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2:56 am, October 2, 2014

Oversight News

Concerns over quality continue to plague OPM's background investigations

Ten years ago, the federal government was faced with a crisis in managing security clearances: costly delays and backlogs in performing background investigations. The Office of Personnel Management stepped in and tremendous progress clearing the backlog and meeting strict new timelines mandated by Congress. But some critics now worry too much focus has been put on speed in the process and not enough attention has been given to quality. In our special report, Questioning Clearances, Federal News Radio examines why efforts to measure the quality of background investigations have stalled.

Wednesday - 05/14/2014, 02:00am EDT

Does your company need a board of advisors?

Stan Krejci of the SK Group discusses whether your company needs a board of advisers, and if so, how you should assemble one.
May 12, 2014

Monday - 05/12/2014, 07:07pm EDT
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Hagel: Accountability has be upheld in VA scandal

Defense chief Hagel says he supports VA's Shinseki, but wants accountability

Monday - 05/12/2014, 12:18pm EDT

IGs 'straddle fence' between contractors, agencies

Former Inspector General of the General Services Administration Brian Miller says IGs are in the spotlight more these days. He shares advice and best practices for contractors being audited by IGs.

Friday - 05/09/2014, 07:37am EDT
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OPM's crackdown on background check fraud leads to jail time -- for some

Since 2008, the Office of Personnel Management has been on a crusade to root out falsification in background investigations using the courts. Nearly two dozen background investigators for either OPM or one of its contractors have been criminally prosecuted for misconduct ranging from outright falsifying reports, known as "ghostwriting," to performing sloppy checks that failed to adhere to OPM's standards.

Friday - 05/09/2014, 02:00am EDT

Background investigation fraud case against USIS moved to DC court

Less than two weeks ago, a federal judge approved the transfer of the case alleging USIS with improperly conducting thousands of background-check reviews to Washington, D.C. An investigation conducted by the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general remains ongoing. OPM says it has confidence in the reforms put in place by the company.

Wednesday - 05/07/2014, 03:28pm EDT

EPA accused of blocking independent investigations

The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Homeland Security has blocked independent investigations by the EPA's inspector general for years, according to a top investigator.

Tuesday - 05/06/2014, 10:21pm EDT

Senate Republicans call for VA secretary to resign

Three Senate Republicans called Tuesday for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, following allegations of corruption and avoidable deaths at a veterans' hospital in Phoenix.

Tuesday - 05/06/2014, 06:42pm EDT

American Legion calls for VA Secretary, two others to resign

The organization says a series of whistleblowers and investigative reports show a "pattern of bureaucratic incompetence and failed leadership" among VA senior leaders. This is the first time in more than 30 years the American Legion has called for the removal of a public official.

Monday - 05/05/2014, 04:51pm EDT

John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Corruption and instability in Afghanistan threaten to derail billions of dollars of U.S. aid. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko recounts the problems in a new report to Congress. His team investigated $31 billion worth of programs and projects during the first three months of this year. Sopko told Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp some of the mistakes discovered through the report.

Wednesday - 04/30/2014, 09:47am EDT
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Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project on Government Oversight

The former acting Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security, Charles Edwards, is now on administrative leave, following the release of a Senate subcommittee report indicating Edwards "jeopardized the independence" of the IG office. Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, talks to In Depth with Francis Rose about who's watching the watchers.

Tuesday - 04/29/2014, 06:28pm EDT
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Former DHS IG placed on administrative leave following release of Senate report

In a report issued Thursday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, says Edwards altered or delayed reports to accommodate senior DHS officials, sought outside legal advice in violation of the laws governing agency IGs and failed to recuse himself form some audits despite concerns over conflicts of interest involving his wife, who was also employed by the agency.

Thursday - 04/24/2014, 12:52pm EDT

GSA's new contracting policy tackles IG's concerns about management interference

Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe tried to balance the need for management oversight with contracting officer autonomy. But some in industry worry that the new memo does nothing more than add more paperwork to a broken process.

Wednesday - 04/23/2014, 04:15am EDT
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Report: IRS employees disciplined for misconduct still received bonuses

In a recent audit made public Tuesday, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that between Oct. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31 2012, more than 2,800 employees disciplined within the past year for misconduct collected a total of $2.8 million in monetary awards. That included more than $1 million in cash awards for 1,100 IRS employees who had failed to pay federal taxes.

Tuesday - 04/22/2014, 05:37pm EDT

IRS audits less than 1 percent of big partnerships

The Government Accountability Office says the number of large businesses organized as partnerships has more than tripled since 2002, yet hardly any get audited.

Friday - 04/18/2014, 03:50pm EDT

Dead feds with credit cards!

Despite publicity and crackdowns, credit card abuse continues in federal agencies. Sometimes it's shocking, sometimes amusing, sometimes creepy ... as in dead men charging, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Thursday - 04/17/2014, 02:00am EDT

Beryl Davis, Government Accountability Office

Forty-one agencies don't have designated inspectors general of their own, according to Senate Financial and Contracting Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). She's sponsoring a bill that focuses on these small agencies that don't have the budget or resources for their own IG. Beryl Davis, director of financial management and assurance issues at the Government Accountability Office, testified recently before the subcommittee. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose about a recent GAO report on oversight at smal federal agencies.

Monday - 04/14/2014, 06:25pm EDT
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NASA fixing security holes in oversight of foreign nationals

Changes come in the wake of a NASA-commissioned report on the issue of foreign nationals' access to sensitive information. The study, which has not been released to the public, found the agency had failed to establish a central management structure for those workers' access to data and didn't impose consequences when its policies were violated.

Monday - 04/14/2014, 03:56am EDT
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McCaskill drafting new IG bill with focus on small agencies

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told a panel of agency IGs that she's currently drafting legislation that would pool together resources and establish an IG office specifically for the dozens of small agencies that fall outside the scope of the 1978 IG Act.

Thursday - 04/10/2014, 04:18pm EDT

OSC targets Hatch Act violations at IRS, improper hiring at CBP

A customer service representative at the IRS who repeatedly greeted taxpayers calling a help-line with a chant urging President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 could now be facing significant disciplinary action, according to the Office of Special Counsel. It's one of three cases of improper political activity at the agency recently uncovered by OSC. Meanwhile, three career officials at Customs and Border Protection are under fire by OSC for allegedly manipulating the hiring process to install job candidates favored by political leadership into career appointments.

Wednesday - 04/09/2014, 03:45pm EDT
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