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8:11 pm, December 17, 2014

GAO 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

David Maurer, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, GAO

No new recommendations when you're on the high risk list might seem like good news. But the Government Accountability Office says that's partly because it's already made more than 2,100 recommendations since the Homeland Security Department was stood up in 2003. The GAO's latest look at DHS high risk list items shows more than a third of them still need work. David Maurer, director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues at the Government Accountability Office, is writing about some of the ongoing leadership problems that are keeping the department on the high risk list. He joined In Depth with Francis Rose to talk about it.

Tuesday - 05/13/2014, 12:00pm EDT
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David Powner, Director of Information Technology Management Issues, GAO

Federal Chief Information Officer Steve Van Roekel rolls out the Smarter IT Delivery Agenda. Its goal is to improve the way federal agencies buy IT. Van Roekel introduced the agenda yesterday at a hearing about IT acquisition in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee. David Powner, director of information technology management issues at the Government Accountability Office, was a witness on the same panel as Van Roekel and GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose what his primary message for the committee was.

Friday - 05/09/2014, 03:39pm EDT
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Seto Bagdoyan, Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, GAO

The Office of Personnel Management's Innovation Lab needs to prove it's worth keeping around, according to the Government Accountability Office. GAO says the lab doesn't have performance metrics to show how much its ideas are actually helping other agencies. Seto Bagdoyan, acting director of audit services for GAO's Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, tells In Depth with Francis Rose your agency's innovative problem-solvers need help proving they actually exist.

Monday - 05/05/2014, 06:37pm EDT
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GAO strategizes in response to government challenges

What are the fiscal, management, and performance challenges facing government executives? What is the goal of GAO's High Risk List and what are some of the key "high risk" areas? How can audit agencies change the way they do business to properly respond to 21st century governance challenges? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Chris Mihm, managing director, strategic issues, Government Accountability Office.

Friday - 05/02/2014, 02:22pm EDT

Grim future awaits DHS' acquisition portfolio

A GAO report says cost overruns, schedule delays and poor results are plaguing major acquisition projects at the Homeland Security Department. GAO said those problems are probably going to get worse before they get better.

Wednesday - 04/30/2014, 02:52pm EDT

Jay McTigue, Director of Strategic Issues, GAO

Absorbing $900 million in budget cuts has created some problems for the IRS, including major staffing reductions and uneven performance. The Government Accountability Office says the agency's budget request of $12.5 billion for fiscal year 2015 is a step in the right direction. Jay McTigue, director of strategic issues for the GAO, tells In Depth with Francis Rose $12.5 billion won't fix what ails the IRS.

Friday - 04/25/2014, 04:49pm EDT
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Steve Lord, Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, GAO

Navy bases are stopping dozens of transportation workers at their gates. All of these workers have criminal records. But a few weeks ago, before a truck driver shot and killed a sailor at Naval Station Norfolk, they would have been allowed on base without question. That's because all hold credentials from the Transportation Security Administration. The cards are known as TWICs. Steve Lord, managing director of Forensic Audits and Investigative Service at the Government Accountability Office, fills in Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp about the TWIC program.

Thursday - 04/24/2014, 11:41am EDT
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Jim White, Director of Tax Issues, Government Accountability Office

Budget cuts have left the IRS high and dry. The Government Accountability Office says the agency has absorbed $900 million in cuts over the past four years. At the same time, the agency is failing to keep up with a growing source of tax revenue: large partnerships. Congress has raised concerns about the extent to which the IRS is able to audit these entities. Jim White, director of tax issues at the GAO, told Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp about the partnerships.

Wednesday - 04/23/2014, 10:19am EDT
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GAO blames 'uneven' IRS performance on budget cuts, staffing decline

Budget cuts and a steep drop in the size of the Internal Revenue Service's workforce have resulted in "uneven" performance by the agency, according to the Government Accountability Office. In the wake of reduced staff and shrinking budgets, IRS service levels decreased, the agency was forced to delay two major IT projects and spending on employee training has been slashed by more than 80 percent, according to GAO.

Tuesday - 04/22/2014, 09:48am EDT

Belva Martin, Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues, GAO

The Defense Department issues far more sole source contracts than any other agency. Full and open competition is supposed to be the holy grail of awarding Federal contracts. Figuring out when sole source contracts are OK and when they're not is drawing attention from Congress. Belva Martin, director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues at the Government Accountability Office, tells In Depth with Francis Rose about a new report that says little competition isn't always a good thing.

Monday - 04/21/2014, 06:28pm EDT
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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

Pat Niehaus, National President, Federal Managers Association

The Government Accountability Office will take a close look at the morale of federal government employees. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) ask for a full review of federal workforce trends from the GAO. And the Office of Personnel Management will soon have a better idea of feds' job satisfaction. It's sending the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey later this month. Pat Niehaus, national president of the Federal Managers Association, tells In Depth with Francis Rose a solution for your agency's morale problems is coming from the inside.

Tuesday - 04/15/2014, 05:00pm EDT
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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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Are agencies doing enough to weed out redundant programs?

Three years after the Government Accountability Office first reported that federal agencies were managing a maze of potentially duplicative federal programs, the watchdog agency has added nearly a dozen more areas to its tally of duplication and overlap. GAO's latest report identifies a total of 26 areas for potential cost-savings, ranging from fragmented operations to out-and-out copycat programs being run by multiple agencies.

Wednesday - 04/09/2014, 12:36pm EDT
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Nicole Clowers, Government Accountability Office

Government auditors have taken a look a federal spending and programs. The Government Accountability Office's latest annual report to Congress repeats earlier findings. Namely, agencies have plenty of opportunities to get rid of programs that are fragmented, overlapping or duplicative. GAO identified 15 new opportunities for cost savings and revenue enhancement. Nicole Clowers, director of financial markets and community investment issues at the GAO, discussed the report with Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.

Wednesday - 04/09/2014, 07:36am EDT
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Dave Powner, Director, Information Technology Management Issues, GAO

The IRS says six of its 19 information technology programs are running below cost and ahead of schedule. The agency says the others are experiencing cost overruns and schedule delays. But the IRS might not know if that's actually true. Dave Powner, director of Information Technology Management Issues at the Government Accountability Office, told In Depth with Francis Rose that GAO is looking at whether or not the IRS is accurately reporting its progress or lack thereof.

Tuesday - 04/08/2014, 05:45pm EDT
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SBA finds fault with GSA's strategic sourcing analysis for office supplies

SBA said GSA's impact analysis failed on two main accounts. SBA said it disagreed on GSA's claim that OS3 is a follow-on contract to OS2 and therefore is not a consolidation of contract requirements subject to the provisions of the Small Business Act. SBA also said GSA's argument that it is "contrary to law" to provide an economic analysis on the consequences of small business on a consolidated contract is wrong.

Monday - 04/07/2014, 12:30pm EDT

Greg Wilshusen, Director of Information Security Issues, GAO

Agencies are still facing several challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. They continue to deploy new technologies and business practices to fend off the cyber threats, but the Government Accountability Office says the number of data breaches has more than doubled over the last several years. Greg Wilshusen, director of Information Security Issues at the GAO, joined Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp to discuss the problem and GAO's ideas for fixing it.

Monday - 04/07/2014, 11:26am EDT
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House lawmakers lose patience with VA, introduce prescriptive cyber bill

Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) introduced the Veterans Information Security Improvement Act that would explicitly require VA to take steps to repair operational and procedure holes in its network and computer security processes.

Thursday - 04/03/2014, 03:23pm EDT
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