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Senate bill blocks background-check firms from reviewing own work

The Preventing Conflicts of Interest with Contractors Act would block the Office of Personnel Management from contracting with companies to perform final quality reviews if those same companies are also responsible for conducting initial investigations. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta announced in early February that, going forward, only federal employees would conduct final quality reviews. The new bill writes Archuleta's decision into law. Otherwise it could be reversed by a future OPM director.

Tags: Senate , Congress , Jon Tester , Mark Begich , Security clearances , background investigations , Katherine Archuleta , OPM , Jack Moore

Friday - 02/28/2014, 11:32am EST

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.

Tags: DoD , Army , Congress , workforce , recruiting , Oversight , waste, fraud and abuse , Army Criminal Investigation Command , Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee , William Grisoli , David Quantock , Joseph Bentz , Jared Serbu

Wednesday - 02/05/2014, 03:45am EST
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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.

Tags: DHS , Oversight , Senate , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee , Tom Carper , John Roth , Charles Edwards , Jack Moore

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

Senators say embattled DHS IG slow to respond to requests for information

Two top senators on a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee say a delay by the acting inspector general of the Homeland Security in providing documentation is hindering the committee's investigation into allegations of nepotism and misuse of agency resources. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Financial and Contracting Oversight subcommittee, wrote to the Deputy IG Charles Edwards Wednesday pressing him to respond to their requests for information.

Tags: DHS , Charles Edwards , Oversight , Ron Johnson , Jack Moore

Friday - 11/01/2013, 04:52pm EDT

Security clearance process ready for, in need of its next makeover

OMB is set to begin next week a 120-day review of three broad areas around security clearances. DoD and ODNI are pursuing initiatives to create a continuous evaluation process for employees with secret and top secret approvals. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members say recent events show the process is broken.

Tags: management , security clearance , OMB , Joe Jordan , Stephen Lewis , DoD , Brian Prioletti , ODNI , OPM , Elaine Kaplan , Rob Portman , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee , Jason Miller

Friday - 11/01/2013, 03:51am EDT

Senate bill calls for random background checks for clearance holders

Five senators introduce bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing how the Office of Personnel Management handles the clearances of federal employees and contractors to access classified information. If enacted, the legislation would require OPM conduct random, automated reviews twice every five years of public records and databases for information about individuals with security clearances.

Tags: Senate , Susan Collins , OPM , Kelly Ayotte , Heidi Heitkamp , security clearance , background checks , TechAmerica , Trey Hodgkins , Michael OConnell

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 04:55pm EDT

McCaskill wants more oversight of SES bonuses

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants to know whether many of the federal government's Senior Executive Service members are deserving of the bonus payments they receive. McCaskill, who chairs a Senate subcommittee on financial and contracting oversight, wrote to the head of the Government Accountability Office, asking the watchdog agency to investigate whether bonuses paid to SES employees involved in contract management are effective tools in reducing costs or improving contract performance.

Tags: Congress , Senate , Oversight , pay and benefits , SES , SES bonuses , SEA , Carol Bonosaro

Wednesday - 09/25/2013, 06:53pm EDT

OPM defends 2007 background check of Navy Yard shooter

The same company that performed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's background investigation also performed a check of Aaron Alexis, the IT contractor who shot and killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard Monday. The Office of Personnel Management said it believes Alexis' background check was complete and that the Defense Department signed off on the results of the background check.

Tags: background investigation , Mert Miller , Patrick McFarland , USIS , Aaron Alexis , Navy Yard shooting , Edward Snowden , Oversight , Navy , Jack Moore

Friday - 09/20/2013, 01:45pm EDT

Senators seek probe into how Navy shooter got clearance

Key senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are seeking answers into how the contractor employee responsible for the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people obtained his security clearance. In a Sept. 18 letter, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), requested the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general look into what type of clearance the shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, held as well as what federal agency conducted his background investigation.

Tags: Congress , Senate , Patrick McFarland , Oversight , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee , Rob Portman , Jon Tester , Ron Johnson , Aaron Alexis , Navy Yard shooting , DoD , Navy , Jack Moore

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 04:20pm EDT

DoD, State see light at end of wartime contracting reform tunnel

In responding to a list of wartime contracting changes Congress ordered last year, agencies cited many advances, but acknowledge challenges remain. Recent audits show major problems in how the Defense and State departments, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, continue to spend billions of dollars in Afghanistan.

Tags: DoD , USAID , Contracting , Congress , Richard Ginman , Patrick Kennedy , Aman Djahanbani , management , Oversight , Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee , Jared Serbu , State

Thursday - 07/18/2013, 05:54am EDT
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