New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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CWC's Final Report: Make Investments in Contracting Oversight

On Aug. 31, the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC) released its final report to Congress, detailing contracting issues in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although most media outlets focused on the sensational estimates of funds lost through waste and fraud over the course of the wars – possibly totaling $60 billion – the report makes a much broader and compelling argument for systemic contracting reforms and better contractor oversight. With the current atmosphere of austerity on Capitol Hill, Congress should heed these recommendations.

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How to Strengthen Transparency in the U.S. Open Government Plan

Yesterday, OMB Watch submitted its recommendations for the Obama administration's national plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The administration will unveil its plan, with new concrete commitments to increase transparency, at the international OGP meeting on Sept. 20.

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Let's Have Contractor Disclosure Already

A disclosure document

Last week, a group of more than 60 House lawmakers sent a letter to President Obama offering their "full support" for final release of a proposed executive order (EO) that would require disclosure of contractors' political spending. After more than three months of baseless attacks on the prospective EO from a relentless special interest smear machine, it's time for the president to establish this basic measure of accountability within the federal contracting system.

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Army Report Highlights Need for More Contracting Officers

A recently released review of the U.S. Army's acquisition process reveals that the service must invest in more acquisition personnel and better training to help address failed weapons programs and their associated costs. Arresting staggering cost increases is an important objective for the Army, but Congress's current obsession with deficit reduction may become the greatest impediment to saving taxpayer dollars.

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Whose Contracting Mess Won't Appear in FAPIIS, but Should?

They hate us for our freedoms.

Give yourself credit if you guessed "ArmorGroup North America Inc." (AGNA) and the "Lord of the Flies" environment they oversaw in the housing camp for U.S embassy guards in Kabul, Afghanistan, which our friends over at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) exposed back in 2009.

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Jamie Leigh Jones Law beyond Dispute

Jamie Leigh Jones

Mother Jones reports that Jamie Leigh Jones – the woman who in 2005 made explosive allegations of gang rape and intimidation while employed in Iraq by former Halliburton subsidiary KBR – stands a “good chance” of losing her civil suit against the contractor due to “significant holes and discrepancies in her story.” These revelations, however, should not call into question the meaningful legislation drafted and passed into law in response to her alleged ordeal.

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Big Business Still Fighting Like Mad Against Disclosure EO*

Filthy rich businessmen simply do not care for disclosure

On Wednesday, a veritable who's who of business interests wrote to the Senate Armed Services Committee to cheerlead an anticipated amendment from Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rob Portman (R-OH). Expected during markup of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Senate defense authorization act, the amendment would prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from implementing President Obama's draft executive order (EO) on contractor disclosure, should he sign it.

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Spending Bill Would Hide Consumer Safety Risks, Money in Politics

Consumer product safety risks would be concealed and influence peddling in government contracting would remain out of public view under the provisions of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending bill approved today by the House Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee.

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Commission on Wartime Contracting: Iraq Contracting Disaster Looming

On June 6, the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC) held a hearing to examine the Department of State's (State) continued preparations for taking control of operations in Iraq from the Department of Defense (DOD). In the past, the CWC has been less than sanguine about State's ability to run contingency operations in Iraq and has chided the agency for slow-walking reforms, especially in relation to contract oversight.

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WaPo and the GOP Take Aim at Disclosure EO

Kaplan Inc. and the Global Oppression Party

In a thoroughly confused editorial published last weekend, the Washington Post told readers it simply does not care for President Obama’s draft executive order (EO) on contractor disclosure, claiming it’s “uneasy” with the “well-intentioned but flawed” proposal. Coming to the Post’s rescue, though, congressional Republicans have introduced stand-alone legislation similar to the recently passed Cole amendment that would prevent federal agencies from requiring contractors to disclose political spending to the public.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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