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Federal Government
GAO: Improvements Needed To Manage Higher-Than-Expected Demand For VA Family Caregiver Program PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 04 December 2014 06:37

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - VA medical centers are having trouble keeping up with demand for services offered by the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (Family Caregiver Program). As a result, according to a new GAO report, some VA medical centers had difficulties managing the larger-than-expected workload, and some caregivers experienced delays in approval determinations and in receiving program benefits.

Officials originally estimated that about 4,000 caregivers would be approved for the program by September 30. However, by May, about 15,600 caregivers had been approved--more than triple the original estimate.

The full report can be found at gao.gov.

The GAO website summary of the report continues:

"The program's staffing was based on VA's initial assumptions about the potential size of the program and consisted of placing a single caregiver support coordinator at each VAMC to administer the program. In addition, each VAMC was to provide clinical staff to carry out essential functions of the program, such as conducting medical assessments for eligibility and making home visits. This led to implementation problems at busy VAMCs that did not have sufficient staff to conduct these program functions in addition to their other duties.

As a result, timelines for key program functions, such as those for completing applications within 45 days and making quarterly home visits to caregivers, are not being met. VHA has taken some steps to address staffing shortages; however, some VAMCs have not been able to overcome their workload problems because the program continues to grow at a steady rate--about 500 approved caregivers are being added to the program each month. Federal internal control standards emphasize the need for effective and efficient operations, including the use of agency resources."

 
Cong.-Elect David Rouzer Selected For Transportation & Infrastructure and Agriculture Committees PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 05:42

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - He will be a freshman in the new 114th U.S. Congress but David Rouzer has already snagged plum assignments on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and the Committee on Agriculture.

“It will be an honor to serve on these two committees, which are vitally important to North Carolina," Rouzer said in a statement.

Rouzer, a Republican, will serve North Carolina's 7th Congressional District, a seat held for decades by Democrat Mike McIntyre. He defeated his Democratic challenger by more than 20 points following a razor-thin loss to McIntyre in 2012.

"If we are going to get our economy humming again and create high paying jobs, we must find long-term solutions for building and repairing our roadways and bridges, for the dredging of our waterways and inlets, and for our beach nourishment and re-nourishment needs.  As a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, I will be a strong advocate for improving and modernizing our highways and ports and protecting our beautiful coastal communities," he said.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 05:44
 
Idea To Grade Senior Executives On Engagement With Employees Draws Skepticism PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 01 December 2014 06:31

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Federal employees could have a more direct impact on the fate of senior executives if an idea being bandied about gains traction. But even if it does, a key member of a working group considering the idea is expressing skepticism about using survey results in that way, according to Federal News Radio.

"The survey is a tool. It shouldn't be viewed as an end result or a goal unto itself," said Bill Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, to Federal News Radio.

The survey in question is the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. President Obama wants the engagement score to increase to 67 percent by 2016. The goal comes as the score has sunk to 63 percent this year.

The score is a compositive of answers to a series of questions that rate employee satisfaction when it comes to management and managers.

The complete story is available at federalnewsradio.com.

 
Food Industry Girds For Obamacare Regulations Requiring Calorie Posting PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 05:41

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - From chain stories to vending machines, if an organization sells food, it's subject to a broad new swath of regulations imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under Obamacare.

The covered establishments have one year to comply.

Two rules have now been finalized that require calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines with 20 or more locations to provide consumers with more nutritional information about the foods they eat outside of the home.

“Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D in a statement. “Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families.”

The menu labeling final rule applies to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items.

Covered food establishments will be required to clearly and conspicuously display calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards, next to the name or price of the item. Seasonal menu items offered for sale as temporary menu items, daily specials and condiments for general use typically available on a counter or table are exempt from the labeling requirements.

The two final rules are available in the Federal Register:

    Final Rule: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments
    Final Rule: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines

 
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