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11:26 pm, December 19, 2014

GAO News

OMB, GSA winning over those skeptical of measuring back-office functions

The administration is establishing cost and quality benchmarks for administrative operations, such as human resources, finance, acquisition, and IT. After initial doubts, agencies see benefits from understanding how much they are paying for specific functions and how much others are paying for comparable jobs.

Friday - 11/14/2014, 03:51am EST
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GAO: Not too early to track DATA Act progress

The Government Accountability Office is taking an early interest in how the White House and Treasury Department draft government-wide financial data standards, due out next summer. A lot is riding on those standards, says Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.

Thursday - 11/13/2014, 02:26pm EST

Eileen Larence, Government Accountability Office

Fighting domestic terrorism, natural disasters and cyber attacks is a multi-agency effort. The Homeland Security Department's fusion centers foster information sharing among all levels of government and in the private sector. But auditors at the Government Accountability Office find problems with how DHS accounts for funding to the centers. Eileen Larence, director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues at GAO, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details.

Wednesday - 11/12/2014, 04:59pm EST
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Chris Mihm, Managing Director for Strategic Issues, GAO

The federal government is supposed to be four years into an effort to inventory all the programs it runs. But that effort hasn't made it very far. The inventory is a requirement of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010. Chris Mihm is managing director of Strategic Issues at GAO. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he shared recommendations to help OMB find duplicative programs to cut.

Monday - 11/10/2014, 05:11pm EST
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Joe Petrillo, Procurement Attorney, Petrillo & Powell PLLC

Contracting officers have a lot of authority when it comes to deciding who wins federal contracts, but they don't have unlimited discretion. That's what the contracting officer who awarded a deal to USIS found out. In a sustaining protest, the Government Accountability Office says the contracting officer should have paid more attention to allegations of fraud against the company. In this week's Legal Loop segment, Procurement Attorney Joe Petrillo joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss this case.

Thursday - 11/06/2014, 08:38am EST
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Increasing building security may be a problem for FPS, GAO says

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said he wants to increase security at federal buildings. But the FPS, the agency responsible for doing so, may not be up to the task. GAO's Mark Goldstein said the FPS has a number of long-standing problems to solve before it can adequately protect anyone.

Wednesday - 11/05/2014, 02:46pm EST
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Mark Goldstein, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues, GAO

After a gunman opened fire at Canada's National War Memorial and Parliament, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he wants to beef up security at federal buildings. But as Mark Goldstein, GAO's director of physical infrastructure issues, explained on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin, more security means a greater workload for the Federal Protective Service. Reports from the Government Accountability Office show the small agency isn't always prepared for new threats.

Tuesday - 11/04/2014, 08:36am EST
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Anne-Marie Fennell, Natural Resources Director, GAO

The total price for professional services contracts at the Agriculture Department is about $2 billion over the last four years. The Office of Management and Budget says those types of contracts can be very risky for you to use. Anne-Marie Fennell is Director of Natural Resources and Environment Issues at the Government Accountability Office. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she said with risk factors in mind, USDA needs to strengthen its oversight of professional services contracts.

Monday - 11/03/2014, 04:22pm EST
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GAO: OMB program inventory needs work to detect duplicative programs

The Government Accountability Office recommends that the Office of Management and Budget revise its guidance to agencies in order to collect better data for its governmentwide program inventory, which is meant to cut down on overlaps in program services.

Monday - 11/03/2014, 11:45am EST
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Rob Burton, partner, Venable

The list of business grievances against the contracting company USIS is growing. The Government Accountability Offices says a five-year, nearly $200 million contract it has with the Homeland Security Department wasn't properly awarded. GAO cites in its decision a recent service history of contracting turbulence as grounds for further review, which includes thousands of incomplete background checks and a massive data breach that affected the Office of Personnel Management. Rob Burton is a partner at Venable law firm. He's also former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. On In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu, he weighed the chances that debarment is in USIS's future.

Tuesday - 10/28/2014, 04:38pm EDT
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Chris Mihm, Managing Director for Strategic Issues, GAO

Five out of five federal agencies fall short in meeting the customer service improvements Congress said it wanted to see four years ago. The Government Accountability Office looked at selected quintet of agencies to see if they have all the key elements necessary for high-quality customer service. GAO says all five are missing at least one critical piece of that puzzle. Chris Mihm is Managing Director for Strategic Issues at GAO. On In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu, he broke down what each agency needs to improve their customer service scores.

Monday - 10/27/2014, 04:34pm EDT
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Chris Mihm, Government Accountability Office

In a study destined to produce big headlines, the Government Accountability Office finds thousands of federal employees are taking prolonged periods of administrative leave. In the past three years, more than 50,000 employees were on paid leave for up to three months. But for most federal employees, paid time off amounts to about a day per year. Chris Mihm, managing director for Strategic Issues at GAO, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what they found.

Friday - 10/24/2014, 10:00am EDT
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GAO sustains protest of DHS contract to USIS

The Government Accountability Office says the Citizenship and Immigration Services directorate should reevaluate USIS to determine if it's indeed a responsible contractor in light of allegations of defrauding the government and an investigation by the Justice Department on those charges.

Tuesday - 10/21/2014, 03:58am EDT

GAO sustains protest of DHS contract to USIS

The Government Accountability Office says the Citizenship and Immigration Services directorate should reevaluate USIS to determine if it's indeed a responsible contractor in light of allegations of defrauding the government and an investigation by the Justice Department on those charges.

Monday - 10/20/2014, 06:16pm EDT

Dave Maurer, Director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues, GAO

Customs and Border Protection is up to about $2.5 billion in spending on equipment to provide a firewall against materials terrorists could use to make weapons of mass destruction. They spend a lot less than that to make sure the equipment -- and the operators -- are doing the job. David Maurer is Director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues at the Government Accountability Office. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he explained how CBP can make the most out of its covert operations budget.

Monday - 10/20/2014, 04:29pm EDT
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After decades of DoD acquisition reform, Congress has yet to tackle cultural issues

Big programs at DoD continue to overspend their budgets and blow past their schedules because of unrealistic requirements and rosy cost projections. As part of our special report, The Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, several acquisition experts pointed out that DoD acquisition is one of the most studied problems in the history of government.

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 04:52am EDT
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Rebecca Gambler, Homeland Security & Justice Issues Director, GAO

The drone fleet at Customs and Border Protection isn't big, but the law states that very strict oversight from the Homeland Security Department and CBP is important. Rebecca Gambler is director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues at the Government Accountability Office. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she said Congress mandated a look at CBP's drone program.

Tuesday - 10/07/2014, 04:13pm EDT
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GAO: Length of DoD withdrawal from Afghanistan to surpass Iraq

The Department of Defense expects a longer and possibly a more costly withdrawal of Army and Marine Corps equipment from Afghanistan than in Iraq, according to a Government Accountability Office report released on Tuesday.

Thursday - 10/02/2014, 12:05pm EDT

Chris Mihm, Managing Director for Strategic Issues, GAO

Federal agencies are not using performance data to make better management decisions. The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 required agencies to do that, and to document how they do it. The Government Accountability Office keeps score of which agencies actually use that information, and only two agencies are showing any improvement. Chris Mihm is Managing Director for Strategic Issues at the GAO. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he broke down the scores on performance data at your agency.

Monday - 09/29/2014, 04:24pm EDT
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Raj Sharma, CEO, Censeo Consulting

Nov. 15 is the deadline for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to patch up the cybersecurity holes in the Healthcare.gov website. The Government Accountability Office offered 22 technical recommendations to the agency last week. Those problems appear just as the website nears its first birthday. Raj Sharma is co-founder and CEO of the Censeo Consulting Group. On the In Depth with Francis Rose Industry Chatter segment, he shared some ways to predict, and fix, longstanding problems with large federal IT projects like Healthcare.gov.

Thursday - 09/25/2014, 04:04pm EDT
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