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1:40 am, December 19, 2014

GAO News

Massive inconsistencies continue to affect USASpending.gov data

A Government Accountability Office probe of USASpending.gov, the government's awards website, found that while contracting information was generally correct, only 2-to-7 percent of awards listed on the site perfectly matched agency data. GAO recommended better record keeping policies be set by the Office of Management and Budget to avoid inconsistencies.

Monday - 08/04/2014, 05:19am EDT

Joe Petrillo, Procurement Attorney, Petrillo & Powell PLLC

After spending $1 billion on a failed border security fence project, the Homeland Security Department restarted the project a couple of years ago. But it didn't get far. A $145 million award for seven new surveillance towers has been halted thanks to a successful protest. Raytheon filed the protest against the winning bidder, EFW, an affiliate of the Israeli defense contractor Elbit. The Government Accountability Office sustained the protest. In this week's legal loop segment, Procurement Attorney Joe Petrillo joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to sort out the case.

Thursday - 07/31/2014, 08:56am EDT
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FBI narrows down final locations for new headquarters

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations wants to know how agencies plan to dispose of and consolidate more than 7,000 federal properties worth $350 billion. On the same day, the FBI announced the finalists for the site of its consolidated relocation.

Tuesday - 07/29/2014, 06:21pm EDT

DoD gave security clearances to thousands of 'federal tax cheats'

About 83,000 Defense Department employees and contractors, who held or were determined eligible for a security clearance, owed more than $730 million in unpaid taxes as of June 2012, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Per GAO's recommendations, the Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and DoD are now working to include tax-compliance checks to enhance security clearance processes.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 04:33pm EDT

Rep. Latham wants to beef up agency performance requirements

Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) introduced a bill requiring agencies to use continuous process improvement measures. The bipartisan "Lean and Responsive Government Act" looks to improve efficiency and effectiveness in agency management.

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 04:19am EDT

Jessica Klement, Legislative Director, NARFE

The Government Accountability Office is in the middle of an ongoing, multi-year study on the pay system, and taking its findings to Capitol Hill. A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee looked at the General Schedule last week. Jessica Klement is legislative director of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. She shared her own ideas of how to reform the General Schedule on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 03:58pm EDT
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Robert Goldenkoff, Director of Strategic Issues, GAO

Restructuring the way the federal government organizes its employees is all of a sudden a big focus on Capitol Hill. Bills to change or kill the General Schedule are already floating around, and more may come. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census looked at the future of the General Schedule with witnesses from the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Managers Association, the American Federation of Government Employees and the Government Accountability Office. Robert Goldenkoff is Director of Strategic Issues at the GAO. He told the committee HR management in the Federal government has been on the GAO's High Risk list since 2001, but he said not all the news is bad on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 07/21/2014, 04:10pm EDT
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Steve Bucci, Heritage Foundation

Federal officials say Chinese hackers broke into the networks of the Government Accountability Office and the Government Printing Office back in March. While news of Chinese cyber attacks on federal agencies isn't unprecedented, the March attacks, first reported by the New York Times, have some observers scratching their heads. They say it's unclear why those two agencies would be targeted -- particularly in the case of GPO. Steve Bucci is director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at the Heritage Foundation. He's also former deputy assistant Defense secretary. He said the attacks shouldn't come as a surprise on In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu.

Friday - 07/18/2014, 04:10pm EDT
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NOAA faced with tough choices as hurricane-tracking planes near end of lifespan

NOAA planes used for tracking and forecasting hurricanes -- known as the P-3 Orion -- are reaching the end of their lifespan, according to a report published by the Government Accountability Office.

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 10:25am EDT

GAO: Pentagon needs to connect dots between workforce planning, budget needs

The Defense Department is getting smarter about workforce planning — making sure it has the right people with the right skills in the right positions. But DoD's five-year strategic workforce plan, released last fall, is short on details in a few key areas, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Monday - 07/14/2014, 06:41pm EDT

Brenda Farrell, Government Accountability Office

Over the past decade, Congress has stepped up pressure on the Defense Department to gather data about its civilian workforce, and to use that data to develop a strategic workforce plan. The Pentagon has a plan, but according to the Government Accountability Office, it has some gaps: It leaves out some of the information Congress mandated. DoD's workforce strategy doesn't appear to be tied to either its budget plans or its broader management strategies. Brenda Farrell is director of defense capabilities and management at GAO. She discussed the report on In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu.

Monday - 07/14/2014, 04:51pm EDT
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Brian Lepore, Government Accountability Office

The Defense Department isn't following one of its own roadmaps. Back in 2012, defense planners devised a plan for protecting bases and installations from the potentially damaging effects of climate change. That's all started to affect DoD's planning, but there's a lot more to do. Brian Lepore is the director of Defense Capabilities and Management at the Government Accountability Office. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what the roadmaps mean.

Tuesday - 07/08/2014, 10:52am EDT
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John Pendleton, Government Accountability Office

The Pentagon says it's time to trim down the size and the cost of its headquarters staff around the world. The Government Accountability Office says the size of the overall workforce at the Pentagon's combatant commands doubled over the past decade. Overall spending to support the command headquarters grew by almost $1 billion, too. John Pendleton is director of defense capabilities and management of the GAO. He explained DoD's reduction plan and recommended ways to shrink the workforce on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 07/07/2014, 04:10pm EDT
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New ‘hallways' lead to strategic sourcing expansion

Under the Obama administration's strategic sourcing cross-agency priority goal, new commodity managers will oversee "hallways" for information technology, administration and human resources across government. The hope is that the managers and their teams of experts will be able to offer guidance and best practices to agencies when it comes to strategic sourcing.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 05:54pm EDT

Asif Khan, Government Accountability Office

The latest check on the Defense Department's push to full audit readiness uncovers a domino effect of problems. The Government Accountability Office says DoD didn't follow a plan to improve how it tracks contract payments. Asif Khan is Director of Financial Management and Assurance Issues at the GAO. Khan told In Depth with Francis Rose that because the Pentagon missed some steps of the plan, it's dealing with even more problems that could keep the agency from meeting an important deadline.

Monday - 06/30/2014, 04:28pm EDT
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Belva Martin, Government Accountability Office

A group of foreign nationals working on one of NASA's major projects found a way to choose their own security clearances to gain access to sensitive technologies. The way they did it was pretty simple. NASA just let them do it. Belva Martin is director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues at the Government Accountability Office. In a new GAO report, she looks at NASA's supply chain security. She shared a few ways the agency can tighten up its grip on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Thursday - 06/26/2014, 04:13pm EDT

Small government agencies have ground to make up in privacy, cybersecurity compliance

A new report from the Government Accountability Office suggests the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget need to take a more active role in monitoring and guiding small agencies when it comes to their security and privacy-protection programs.

Thursday - 06/26/2014, 03:33pm EDT

Debra Draper, Director of Health Care Issues, GAO

The Defense Department's showing negative side effects from a rough transition to a new healthcare contractor in the western United States. Those side effects are because of a 21-billion dollar contract award to a healthcare administration company new to the TRICARE system. Debra Draper is director of health care issues at the Government Accountability Office. She said on In Depth with Francis Rose that cost overruns and healthcare delays are cropping up because TRICARE management didn't pay close enough attention to the company's transition process.

Monday - 06/23/2014, 04:09pm EDT
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Colleen Kelley, President, National Treasury Employees Union

An early House version appropriations language for 2015 would bring the IRS budget below sequestration levels in fiscal 2015. Earlier this week, the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved funding levels that are more than $300 million below what the agency has to spend this year. IRS officials have been adamant that even that level is far too low. The bill comes right after warnings from the Government Accountability Office for the IRS to make some long term budget plans to better deal with an uncertain financial future. Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, is looking at what the cuts would mean for agency operations and the workforce. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose these cuts go too far. Read related article by Federal News Radio's Stephanie Wasko.

Friday - 06/20/2014, 04:39pm EDT
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DoD needs updated cost savings data when considering furloughs

A new Government Accountability Office report says the Pentagon needs more comprehensive information about potential cost savings when it considers implementing future administrative furloughs.

Tuesday - 06/17/2014, 02:10pm EDT
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