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Inspector General Brian Miller testified Monday that GSA's Region 9 remains under further investigation for potential bribery and kickbacks. Martha Johnson, the former chief of the General Services Administration, was hammered by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee over what she knew about a 2010 Las Vegas conference and when she knew it. Johnson resigned her post after an inspector general report detailed excessive spending at the $822,000 event.
Read tweets about the hearings and join the conversation using hashtag #GSA.
Congress returns to session this week with a few short months to reach a budget resolution for the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1 and agree on how to avoid the automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over the next decade that will be triggered Jan. 2, 2013, under the Budget Control Act debt limit deal. But don't expect much to get accomplished before the election, say budget experts.
Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenas Jeff Neely, PBS region 9 commissioner, to appear. Along with Neely, PBS Deputy Commissioner David Foley and former Administrator Martha Johnson are on the witness list. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also is expected to hear from GSA Deputy Administrator Susan Brita, CFO Alison Doone and event planner Lisa Daniels.
Current and former officials at the General Services Administration will face a gauntlet of congressional hearings this week, following reports of excessive spending on a 2010 regional training conference and other programs. In an interview on In Depth with Francis Rose, former Virginia Congressman and Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Tom Davis shared his insights and what to look for during the hearings.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has broadened the scope of Congress' probe into the GSA conference scandal, requesting a list of all overnight conferences attended by more than 50 employees at 23 federal agencies and departments.
Internal emails from the General Services Administration show high-level agency officials were aware of a spending problem months before the scandal burst into public view. And as early as last summer, officials disagreed over how to reprimand the employees responsible for excessive spending at a 2010 regional training conference.
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee expressed serious concerns that the U.S.-Afghanistan deal giving Afghans authority over night raids could put Americans at greater risk and undercut intelligence gathering critical in the long war.
BCA does not specify how those cuts would be implemented. One interpretation is every program is cut by the same amount, which would be by about 13 percent. The other interpretation of the act is the overall spending would have to be reduced by 13 percent and the Pentagon could pick and choose the programs to cut, said Kevin Brancato, a defense analyst for Bloomberg Government.
Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) introduced legislation to make sharing of classified cyber threat information easier between the government and the private sector. The bill builds on DoD's Defense Industrial Base pilot to share data about vulnerabilities. DoD plans to expand the DIB pilot to more than 200 companies in the coming year.
For a brief moment in a season of partisan rancor, the Democratic leader of the Senate and his Republican counterpart hit the pause button. As senators prepared to leave for their annual spring recess, dozens of nominees to important federal jobs were confirmed without debate or acrimony.
Tech America and USTelecom said the Anonymous hacker group targeted their Internet sites in denial-of-service attacks.
As lawmakers gear up for the first of several congressional hearings about the spending scandal at the General Services Administration, District of Columbia delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told In Depth with Francis Rose that the inspector general and the president have "already cured the problem."
During a briefing Wednesday with General Services Administration Inspector General Brian Miller, members of Congress learned of a GSA program that awarded employees $200,000 worth of electronics and gift cards. Congressmen Jeff Denham and John Mica have now asked the IG for the internal report.
President Barack Obama signed legislation Wednesday prohibiting members of Congress, the President and thousands of federal workers from engaging in insider trading. Under the law, lawmakers and government employees will be required to report certain financial transactions within 45 days of the initial trade. Those reports — which now are typically only available upon request — will be made available on agency websites and, eventually, on searchable databases.
Issues related to federal employees and their pay and benefits have played a starring role in the competing budget proposals introduced by the White House and lawmakers alike. Find highlights from how the proposed budgets would affect federal employees as well as how they've fared so far in Congress
The chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said he will hold a hearing when Congress returns from recess on the scathing IG report and other shortcoming at GSA's Public Building Service. Scott Amey of POGO said the management failures at GSA show a systemic problem.
President Obama said the fiscal 2013 passed by the Republican-controlled House will cut into crucial federal services.
The bill — introduced last summer by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) — would eliminate Saturday mail delivery, close mail processing facilities, require postal employees to pay the same percentage in their health and life insurance premiums as federal employees do, and allow the Postal Service to use nearly $11 billion in surplus retirement contributions.
The House Democrats' budget proposal is the most fed-friendly of the plans put forth for fiscal 2013.