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3:44 am, November 27, 2014

Oversight News

Navy officials push for security clearance changes

The Navy, in a report released Monday, revealed that the shooter, Aaron Alexis, did not disclose a 2004 arrest or some financial problems when he filled out his application for a security clearance when he joined the Navy as a reservist several years later. And officials said the background report given to the Navy at the time, also failed to reveal that he had shot out the tires of another person's car during a 2004 dispute in Seattle.

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 04:10am EDT

DHS' slow progress in centralizing acquisition frustrates Congress

Members of Congress are frustrated at what they see as a failure by the Department of Homeland Security to effectively manage the acquisition practices of its various components, leading to poorly defined requirements and wasted money. But DHS says some of the problems are of Congress' own making.

Monday - 09/23/2013, 06:03am EDT
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OPM defends 2007 background check of Navy Yard shooter

The same company that performed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's background investigation also performed a check of Aaron Alexis, the IT contractor who shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard Monday. The Office of Personnel Management said it believes Alexis' background check was complete and that the Defense Department signed off on the results of the background check.

Friday - 09/20/2013, 01:45pm EDT

Senators seek probe into how Navy shooter got clearance

Key senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are seeking answers into how the contractor employee responsible for the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people obtained his security clearance. In a Sept. 18 letter, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), requested the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general look into what type of clearance the shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, held as well as what federal agency conducted his background investigation.

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 04:20pm EDT

IG cites major flaws with Navy's vetting of contractors

In an effort to reduce costs, officials at the Navy put in place a system for granting contractors access to installations that ended up allowing as many as 52 convicted felons access to bases, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released Tuesday. The IG found the system, called Rapidgate, failed to comply with federal standards and that background checks were conducted using only publicly accessible databases. The security of Navy installations was thrown into the spotlight Monday after 34-year-old contractor Aaron Alexis entered the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning where he shot and killed 12 people.

Tuesday - 09/17/2013, 06:31pm EDT

Budget constraints top IG concerns, new survey reveals

A new survey of the inspector general community says tighter budgets are making it difficult for IGs to do their jobs effectively. Sequestration hasn't help matters either.

Tuesday - 09/17/2013, 06:04pm EDT
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Lawmakers question officials' use of personal, secret email accounts

Current and former Obama administration officials' use of personal email addresses and secret, secondary email accounts to conduct official business came under scrutiny Tuesday at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said her use of a secret account was to do her job more efficiently.

Tuesday - 09/10/2013, 05:14pm EDT

Next front in fight against improper payments? Stopping payments to dead people

Senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have opened a new legislative salvo in the fight against improper payments: helping agencies stop payments to dead people. The new legislation, introduced by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee would allow all federal agencies to access basic death data maintained by the Social Security Administration and require they use it to curb improper payments

Friday - 08/30/2013, 03:10pm EDT
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Man collects $340K in deceased mother's federal benefits

After his mother died in 1999, a Washington, D.C. man continued to collect Social Security retirement benefits and Office of Personnel Management annuity checks for 15 years.

Monday - 08/19/2013, 05:44pm EDT

Obama orders creation of intelligence review group

President Barack Obama is directing his national intelligence director to form a panel of outside experts to review government intelligence and communications technologies

Tuesday - 08/13/2013, 10:48am EDT

House passes bills to halt bonuses, increase transparency of feds

The House passed the Stop Government Abuse Act Thursday by a vote of 239-176. The bill is part of a Republican legislative package aimed at slashing government waste and abuse.

Friday - 08/02/2013, 11:46am EDT

Senate poised to confirm first DoD IG in nearly two years

FDIC IG Jon Rymer said if confirmed, sexual assault and suicide prevention will be top priorities.

Monday - 07/29/2013, 11:51am EDT

DHS nominee Mayorkas defends integrity, offers plans to improve employee morale

Despite being under investigation, Alejandro Mayorkas testified today on becoming the next deputy secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas said that claims he exercised undue influence on cases in his agency, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, are false.

Thursday - 07/25/2013, 06:01pm EDT

APNewsBreak: Homeland Security official probed

APNewsBreak: Official tabbed for No. 2 Homeland Security post under investigation by watchdog

Wednesday - 07/24/2013, 04:46am EDT

Embattled DHS IG convinced Senate probe will clear his name

Charles Edwards, the Homeland Security Department's deputy inspector general and acting IG, calls recent allegations of nepotism and improper travel "baseless" and says he's convinced a Senate subcommittee investigation will clear his name. Speaking exclusively to the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp, Edwards said he has provided complete documentation to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight.

Tuesday - 07/23/2013, 05:04pm EDT
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DoD, State see light at end of wartime contracting reform tunnel

In responding to a list of wartime contracting changes Congress ordered last year, agencies cited many advances, but acknowledge challenges remain. Recent audits show major problems in how the Defense and State departments, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, continue to spend billions of dollars in Afghanistan.

Thursday - 07/18/2013, 05:54am EDT
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Postal Service reform making significant progress in House

In the past few weeks, competing draft proposals have been circulating on Capitol Hill. But at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took a step toward compromise. Issa agreed to make changes to his draft plan, including adopting several measures proposed by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in postal reform legislation he separately introduced Wednesday.

Wednesday - 07/17/2013, 09:01pm EDT

Charities bristle at OPM's proposed changes to CFC program

The Office of Personnel Management's proposed changes to the Combined Federal Campaign, the annual federal fundraising drive, are getting a frosty reception from local charities. OPM wants to do away with the local volunteer coordinating committees and put in place a set of more centralized regional committees established by OPM. It also wants to require charities to pay an application fee and eliminate cash and check donations in favor of electronic donations. However, some charities say the proposed changes would likely lead to fewer charities joining the program -- and fewer total donations.

Wednesday - 07/10/2013, 07:57pm EDT

EDA's overreaction to cyber attack highlights every agency's challenge

The Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration spent almost $3 million to remediate a cyber attack that really didn't happen. Commerce's inspector general found the attack infected only two outgoing email servers and not more than half of EDA's systems. Two cybersecurity experts say other agencies can learn from EDA's year-long unnecessary and expensive recovery.

Monday - 07/08/2013, 05:34am EDT

GSA produced movie parody videos, skits

Conservative watchdog group releases half dozen GSA movie parody videos, skits

Wednesday - 07/03/2013, 04:48pm EDT
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