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3:01 pm, November 21, 2014

GAO News

Bid protests continue to rise as agencies take corrective action more quickly

The Government Accountability Office released its annual report showing vendors submitted 5 percent more protests in 2014 than in 2013. But the overall sustainment rate dropped significantly for the first time in five years.

Thursday - 11/20/2014, 02:30pm EST

GAO raises concerns about quality of OPM official time data

GAO finds discrepancies in OPM data on union-related work by federal employees. OPM admits that official time reporting is not a priority.

Wednesday - 11/19/2014, 06:37pm EST

VA to spend $60 million more on cyber after auditors' continued concerns

Steph Warren, VA's CIO, said he moved money out of projects and into cybersecurity to ensure the agency gets rid of as many material weaknesses as they can. The decision to move money comes as Congress turns back up the heat on VA to correct long-standing and systemic cyber shortcomings.

Tuesday - 11/18/2014, 12:56pm EST

Melissa Emrey-Arras, Government Accountability Office

Auditors say federally-run Native American schools need more oversight on spending. A report from the Government Accountability Office finds that the schools improperly spent nearly $14 million. In one case, a hacker transferred $1.7 million from a school to an off-shore bank account. Melissa Emrey-Arras is director of Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues at GAO. She joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss GAO's findings.

Tuesday - 11/18/2014, 09:39am EST
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David Wise, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues, GAO

The three biggest landlords in the federal government don't know how much federal agencies are actually using their own property. The Government Accountability Office reports one thinks almost all of its warehouses are in use, when in reality some of them are sitting empty and forgotten. David Wise is Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues at the GAO. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he shared the latest results in the ongoing effort to rightsize the federal real property portfolio.

Monday - 11/17/2014, 04:17pm EST
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GAO: Some agencies hit harder than others during sequestration

A new report from the Government Accountability Office says that some agencies, including the Departments of Energy, Transportation and Health and Human Services, experienced stalled grants and contract activity during the government shutdown of 2013.

Monday - 11/17/2014, 11:21am EST

Postal Service remains financially 'at-risk,' says GAO report

The USPS' ability to carry our its duties and remain financially self-sustaining continues to be at risk, according to a recently released GAO performance audit. Conducted over the past year, GAO's report found that the agency is projecting "unsustainable" losses through 2020.

Friday - 11/14/2014, 03:39pm EST

GAO: Agencies not using performance data to decide policy, budget changes

In its new report, the Government Accountability Office found that agency managers aren't using performance data to objectively determine the success of programs before making changes to their policies or budget.

Friday - 11/14/2014, 11:15am EST

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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