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5:00 am, October 23, 2014

Oversight News

House bill would make it easier to fire senior execs at VA

The VA Management Accountability Act would give VA Secretary Eric Shinseki broad authority to remove Senior Executives Service (SES) members "if the secretary determines the performance of the individual warrants such removal," according to the bill. In addition to outright removal, the bill would allow the VA secretary to bump SES members down to the General Schedule at any grade level the secretary deems appropriate according to the bill.

Wednesday - 02/12/2014, 01:22pm EST

Background check probe zeroes in on USIS contracts

Among the issues considered Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were contracting practices at the Office of Personnel Management that allowed the largest background-investigation contactor -- accused by the Justice Department of taking improper shortcuts and defrauding the government -- to conduct quality reviews of its own work.

Tuesday - 02/11/2014, 04:24pm EST

OPM brings background investigation reviews in-house

The Office of Personnel Management has decided that final quality reviews for background investigations will be conducted by government employees -- not contractors. A Feb. 6 statement from OPM Director Katherine Archuleta provided to Federal News Radio said starting Feb. 24 the quality-review process for background checks will be "fully federalized," and that "only federal employees will be conducting the final quality review before the investigative product is sent to the agency for review and adjudication."

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 03:33pm EST

Emergency zombie warnings make Coburn's list of federal cyber failures

Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) report on cybersecurity and critical infrastructure in the federal government examined more than 40 inspector general audits and revealed gaping holes in the security of agencies' systems.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 10:44am EST

IGs to propose cyber maturity model to better gauge federal cyber health

The goal is to more accurately evaluate the security of the government's computer networks and systems. These efforts could bring more consistency to the cyber auditing process and engender more confidence in its results.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 04:45am EST
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Exam cheating scandal hits Navy nuclear force

Navy says at least 30 sailors implicated in alleged cheating on naval nuclear reactor tests

Wednesday - 02/05/2014, 05:30pm EST

Agencies experiencing a widening cybersecurity reality gap

The inconsistent way inspectors general review the security of federal networks and computers is causing uncertainty around what is working and what isn't in the federal government. A recent State Department IG management alert is a prime example of this growing disconnect.

Wednesday - 02/05/2014, 04:54am EST
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Army identifies up to $100 million in fraud in recruiting payments

The Army's audit arm finds huge accountability holes in a years-long program that recruited 130,000 soldiers. The program most likely violated federal law from the get-go, officials say.

Wednesday - 02/05/2014, 03:45am EST
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DIA chief: Snowden leaks lead to Pentagon change

Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn told the House Intelligence Committee that his agency has to assume that former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden took every document he accessed, and that much of it concerned Pentagon programs.

Tuesday - 02/04/2014, 07:50pm EST

Air Force secretary sees 'systemic' problems in nuclear workforce

Air Force's new civilian leader returns from tour of the service's nuclear sites with a dim assessment of the workforce's leader development and training culture. In 60 days, the service will recommend an action plan to the Pentagon.

Thursday - 01/30/2014, 03:50am EST
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Hagel ordering full review of nuclear force

With public trust and safety at stake, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered immediate actions Thursday to define the depth of trouble inside the nation's nuclear force, which has been rocked by disclosures about security lapses, poor discipline, weak morale and other problems that raise questions about nuclear security.

Friday - 01/24/2014, 04:20am EST

Background check firm in hot water for 'flushing' records

The Justice Department has accused the company that performed background investigations of both National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis of defrauding the government, making false statements and breach of contract. DoJ's civil complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Alabama alleges the company, which is the government's largest contractor for background-investigation services, submitted at least 665,000 background investigations to the Office of Personnel Management that hadn't been properly reviewed.

Thursday - 01/23/2014, 01:29pm EST

USPS falling behind in upkeep of postal facilities, auditors say

The U.S. Postal Service's financial woes are forcing the agency to put off vital maintenance and repair work of facilities across the country, according to a recent inspector general report. Between 2009 and 2012, the Postal Service's budget for capital improvements and facility repairs fell by $382 million, and some 19,000 planned repairs were left uncompleted.

Tuesday - 01/21/2014, 04:03pm EST

Agency watchdogs seek more independence, budget boost

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) says agency inspectors general are increasingly facing obstacles in their efforts to uncover waste and misconduct. The top watchdogs at both the Justice Department and the Peace Corps told lawmakers they've faced resistance from their agencies at times in turning over records in recent years. Lawmakers also expressed concern about the impact of across-the-board budget cuts on the operations agency IG operations.

Wednesday - 01/15/2014, 05:21pm EST

Post conference scandals, agencies struggle to find balance

OMB reported agencies avoided spending $3 billion on travel and conferences in 2013 as compared to 2010. Senate lawmakers are concerned how to ensure agencies don't slide back into old habits of lavish spending on conferences.

Wednesday - 01/15/2014, 04:09am EST
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House votes to beef up OPM inspector general funding

The House gave a boost to the Office of Personnel Management inspector general's office Tuesday, voting to provide the agency's auditors with access to new funding to conduct investigations. In a unanimous vote, the House approved the bipartisan OPM IG Act, introduced by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and co-sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass). The Senate approved a nearly identical measure, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), in October.

Tuesday - 01/14/2014, 05:49pm EST

Duncan calls for 'reality check' on DHS headquarters project

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, released a majority staff report that questioned the planning and future efficacy of the Homeland Security Department consolidating its headquarters at the St. Elizabeths campus in D.C.

Tuesday - 01/14/2014, 02:22pm EST

GAO, OMB still not seeing eye-to-eye on pace of IT Dashboard updates

The Government Accountability Office dinged OMB yet again for having updated information in the IT Dashboard only in nine of the last 24 months. OMB said the information is pre-decisional and therefore can't be made public.

Tuesday - 01/14/2014, 09:28am EST

DHS nominee seeks 'to hit the reset button' in embattled IG office

In his nomination hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday, John Roth, currently the director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, said he aimed to turn around employee morale in the IG's office, which has been rocked by allegations of misconduct by the former acting head of the office. Roth, whose nomination has garnered near-universal support from both Republican and Democratic members of the committee.

Wednesday - 01/08/2014, 03:02pm EST

Reduced conference spending could save government $500M each year

Increased oversight and tighter controls have led to a nearly 90 percent drop in conference spending since 2010 at four agencies. The reductions could amount to $500 million in annual savings across the government.

Wednesday - 01/08/2014, 10:47am EST
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