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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POGO Launches Contracting Survey


Are you a federal government or contractor employee with experience in federal service contracts? If so, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) would like you to take their new survey.

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First Round of Recovery Act Data Expected Oct. 15

On Oct. 15, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (Recovery Board) will begin releasing on the first round of Recovery Act recipient reporting to the public.

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Franken Amendment Addresses Contractors that Hide Sexual Assaults

Sen. Al Franken

On Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced and successfully shepherded through debate a meaningful contracting reform amendment to the FY 2010 Defense Appropriations bill. The amendment will defund contractors that block their employees from bringing workplace sexual assault cases to court, forcing contractors to amend their policies or face losing tons of money.

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Obama Names Gordon to Run OFPP

Daniel Gordon

On Friday, President Obama named Daniel Gordon, currently the deputy general counsel of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), as his nominee to run the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). Gordon has been at GAO for 17 years and has also worked as the managing associate general counsel for the GAO's Procurement Law Division and the associate general counsel and senior attorney for the Procurement Law Division. At first glance, Gordon seems like a real solid pick for this position who will certainly have a lot on his plate if he is confirmed by the Senate.

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Wartime Contracting Commission: DOD Must Improve Oversight of Contractor Business Systems

The Pentagon

As pointed out this afternoon by the Project on Government Oversight's (POGO) Scott Amey, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan released a special report yesterday summarizing their review of inadequate contractor business systems. The report follows up on work the commission did over the summer when it held a hearing on contractors' deficient internal control systems. Based on testimony and evidence from the hearing, the special report lays out five recommendations for the Department of Defense (DOD) to improve oversight of and encourage better business systems from contractors.

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House Considers Scrapping Virtual Border Fence

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report yesterday before a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the embattled Secure Border Initiative (SBI) program - a multi-billion dollar program designed to secure the U.S. borders. A subset of that program, called SBInet is supposed to be building a fancy, virtual fence along the U.S. southern border. The program, begun during the Bush administration, has consistently been behind schedule and over budget - and that's when the new technologies have worked at all. And now it looks like Congress may want to cancel the program altogether.

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Inspectors General Unable to Alleviate Congressional Fears of Fraud in Af-Pak Theater

U.S. Army

The recently coordinated Southwest Asia Joint Planning Group, comprised of several Inspectors General and a representative of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), came before a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing last week to testify on the oversight of U.S. resources in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To the chagrin of the subcommittee, though, the assembly of government overseers provided no overarching strategy to combat waste, fraud, and abuse, and little in the way of proactive solutions to help prevent the future squandering of U.S. resources. It is debatable, of course, whether it was fair for the subcommittee to expect as much.

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Wartime Contracting Commission Continues Work through Summer

While Congress was away for its August recess, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan continued its work, holding a hearing on Aug. 11 to investigate deficiencies in contractors' business systems. The timing of the hearing prevented some significant problems from receiving much public attention.

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In Afghanistan, Non-Combat Troops Out, Contractors In

U.S. Army

The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that as part of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's effort to turn around the fight in Afghanistan, the U.S. military is planning to replace between 6,000 and 14,000 non-combat troops with contractors. This would allow the Army and Marines Corps to bring in more "trigger-pullers" without increasing the overall number of troops in theater, currently a contentious issue with the American public. With the military having experienced so many issues of waste, fraud, and abuse with contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan, however, some analysts – including this one – are questioning whether increasing their numbers will not produce more problems than solutions, including the prospect of increasingly jeopardizing soldiers' safety.

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House Committee to Investigate Federal Procurement System

U.S. Congress

Yesterday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-NY), announced that it "is conducting a broad investigation of problems with the Federal procurement system." The announcement states that as part of the investigation, the committee is examining the suspicious events surrounding contracts awarded by the Army's Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) uncovered in a recent Washington Post exposé.

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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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