Nuclear weapons lab used taxpayer funds to obtain more taxpayer funds

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A government auditor uncovers a textbook case of lobbying by a contractor at federal expense.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… leaders make an informed decision, according to the Nov. 12 report by DOE Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman. But Friedman called that decision “highly problema …"

"… ockheed Martin that operates Sandia National Labs, has cooperated with the Inspector General’s review and will continue to do so. Lockheed Martin will cooperate full …"

"… Sandia takes these allegations seriously and has cooperated fully in the Inspector General's review of the issue … Sandia is confident that the company and the DOE …"

Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Hundreds of poorly rated facilities received mortgage guarantees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… w-cost, HUD-backed mortgages worth close to $2.5 billion, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of loan and ratings data.  Even though HUD restructured …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… Advantage program has grown rapidly under the risk-scoring formula, which Congress enacted in 2003. Officials expect Medicare Advantage to cost taxpayers as …"

Energy Department inspector blocked from probing dismissal of Hanford engineer

By Julia Harte

Inspector says DOE contracts allowed access to key documents, but Hanford contractors refused to provide them

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… DOE’s plans to address the contractors’ lack of cooperation with the Inspector General’s request.” She asked that the information be provided to the Senate S …"

"… r proposed a process which addressed the legitimate needs of the Office of Inspector General” to access the documents it needed. URS, for its part, only agreed …"

Center report spurs investigation of Bank of America, JPMorgan prison deals

By Daniel Wagner

No-bid contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan under government scrutiny after Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank":

"… inmates. …"

"… audit Treasury’s “awarding and administration” of the contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan “in response to recent media reports concerning …"

"… petitive bidding or transparency requirements for most federal contracts. Bank of America has been paid at least $76.3 million by Treasury to manage inma …"

"… hing, phone calls, food and other expenses. Treasury says the payments to Bank of America were reimbursed by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Pri …"

U.S. Senate passes bill curtailing conflicts of interest in security clearance contracts

By Julia Harte

Firms no longer would be allowed to rate their own work

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… background investigation process,” Susan Ruge, associate counsel to the Inspector General of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), said in an emailed statement …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… eral cases now being examined by Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General Gregory Friedman, as part of a broader examination of inconsistent classif …"

DOE official seeks probe of dissident analyst’s dismissal by nuclear weapons laboratory

By Douglas Birch

The overseer of U.S. nuclear weapons production requests an Inspector General’s review of the firing of Los Alamos analyst James Doyle.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz for an inquiry by the DOE Inspector General into the dismissal in July of James E. Doyle by Los Alamos National Labora …"

"… his clearances. In the letter, Marmolejos wrote that Klotz had asked the Inspector General, Gregory H. Friedman, to examine whether Doyle’s termination “resulted …"

"… staff reductions prompted by budget concerns. “By handing it off to the Inspector General, they are creating the possibility of an impartial review,” said Steven …"

Treasury extends controversial bank-card deal with Comerica

By Daniel Wagner

Treasury extends Comerica program that exposed the elderly and poor to fraud.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… with Dallas-based Comerica to distribute Social Security and disability on bank-issued, taxpayer subsidized cards came in the second-to-last paragraph of …"

"… ntry posted on Friday afternoon. Treasury agreed last year to seek another bank partner after a report by The Center exposed fraud in the program and poor …"

"… contract, Treasury also paid Comerica an extra $32.5 million for work the bank had promised to do for free. The payments turned a potential loss for the …"

"… had promised to do for free. The payments turned a potential loss for the bank of $24.2 million into $8.4 million of profit, according a March report by …"

Growing number of biosafety labs raises public health concern

By James Arkin

Construction of new biosafety labs a waste of money, possible threat to public health, say reports and experts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… s needed, according to a report released last week by Department of Energy Inspector General Gregory Friedman. Friedman wrote that the $9.5 million proposal had been …"

"… ries of the national lab,” the assessment said. In his July report, DOE Inspector General Friedman wrote that the Los Alamos project would nearly double the NNSA’ …"

"… ext two years. It did not say which one. When asked for comment about the Inspector General’s report, representatives from both Los Alamos and the NNSA referred the …"

Hobbled IRS can't stem 'dark money' flow

By Julie Patel

Budget and staffing cuts, endless congressional investigations keep IRS from investigating activities of political nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… cycle from next to nothing only a few years before, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Aghast, watchdog groups and politicos filed numerous complaints wit …"

"… cycle, a presidential election year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.  Millions of dollars more have been spent by social welfare nonprof …"

"… o the FEC. Said Robert Maguire, a political nonprofit investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics: “The amount of 'dark money' this cycle will far eclipse what we saw in …"

Leadership at Chemical Safety Board questioned amid investigation backlog

By Rosalind Adams

Evidence of ongoing management failures and a toxic work environment at the Chemical Safety Board was presented at a hearing Thursday.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… to several new safety regulations, Moure-Eraso said. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general last year, however, found that the backlog of cases ha …"

Federal contract employee reviewed 15,152 security clearances in a month, audit says

By R. Jeffrey Smith

One worker's high productivity fails to win plaudits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… 16 that the person no longer works on the agency's contract. OPM spokeswoman Lindsey S. O’Keefe declined to say however how many clearances USIS is p …"

"… two OPM contracts signed in 2011 and is "eligible for new contracts," OPM spokeswoman Jennifer Dorsey said. …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government":

"… are accurate. James Cosgrove, who directs the health care division of the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, said that federal hea …"

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Henry Waxman":

"… ny actual change in health status and drives up payments to plans,” Rep. Henry Waxman, then chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote in a Marc …"

Dozens of intelligence contractors have submitted false claims for federal funds

By Douglas Birch

Pentagon report reveals that those implicated typically kept their security clearances.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… the past decade, according to a new Pentagon report. The report by Deputy Inspector General for Intelligence Anthony Thomas said that when his auditors examined 128 u …"

"… -Intelligence Agency. Bridget Serchak, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s office, declined to answer any questions about the report or to provid …"

"… ustice. It’s not clear if the NRO case was one of those included in the Inspector General report. Eighty five of the 128 cases cited in the recent report were refe …"

Dental chain may be booted from Medicaid program

By David Heath

Small Smiles, under federal scrutiny for performing unnecessary dental treatments on children, could be barred from the Medicaid program.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Grassley":

"… e, clinic excellence and regulatory compliance,” the company said. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, praised the inspector general’s decision. Last year, Grassley e …"

Credit union overseer cozies up to industry execs

By Daniel Wagner

Credit union regulator Rick Metsger cozies up to industry execs at D.C. conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oregon":

"… ied on financial support from credit unions over more than a decade in the Oregon state Senate and pushed pro-industry policies while in office. He worked a …"

"… directly from his swearing-in ceremony in August to a party thrown by the Oregon lobbyists who had supported his political career. Agency ethics lawyers ap …"

As drilling ravages Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, residents 'living in a Petri dish’

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

In partnership with InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel, Center examines oil industry exploitation of Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… nce,” said Isobel Simpson, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California, Irvine, who studies air pollution around the world. Chemicals released d …"

The mess gets worse at Hanford’s nuclear site

By Rebecca LaFlure

A scientific dispute over cleanup of one of the most polluted sites in the country threatens to ensnare the Energy Department’s leaders.

Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ent. In double-barrelled criticisms, the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General report said the F-35 program office’s oversight of Lockheed Martin, the …"

"… ” Michael J. Rein of Lockheed Martin issued a statement noting that the Inspector General’s investigation was concluded last year and that most issues had been ad …"

Security clearance lapses stemmed from Washington’s heedless emphasis on speed over quality

By Rebecca LaFlure

Profits and politics, plus a sudden growth in secrecy-obsessed institutions, played key roles in misguided security clearance decisions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jim Moran":

"… n 1995 at a congressional hearing on the agency’s transformation by Rep. Jim Moran, R., whose Northern Virginia district included many rattled OPM employees. …"

Surveilling a lover with the push of a button

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Report says agency employees have snooped on spouses and girlfriends.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Edward Snowden":

"… of that work — once it was disclosed this year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — and inspiring some rebukes from the secret court that adjudicates the …"

Audit reveals widespread problems in security system used by the Navy

By Rebecca LaFlure and R. Jeffrey Smith

The U.S. military is widely using a security system that lets felons onto its bases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… s revenues increase six-fold from 2008 to 2011. The firm, whose board of directors is packed with former senior military and civilian officials including ex …"

Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms

By Lauren Kyger, Alison Fitzgerald and John Dunbar

Former regulators profit from their experience with jobs, book deals and speaking fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… he report, Reich appears in a photo, pictured at right, with then-OTS director James Gilleran and three bank lobbyists using pruning shears and a chainsa …"

"… y paperwork draped in red tape. Reich was later handed Gilleran’s job as director of the OTS by President George W. Bush in 2005. Reich retired in 2009 aft …"

Health care costs will mushroom as injured veterans age

By Jessica Wilde

News21 investigation finds injured veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan will need costly care for decades.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… th care for the large number of post-9/11 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with life-lasting wounds. But it is certain to be high, with the veterans …"

"… ing to the VA budget. Like Hancock, many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have survived multiple combat injuries because of military medicine’s hi …"

"… analyzed the medical costs of war through 2035. More than half of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are between the ages of 18 and 32, according to 2011 American Com …"

"… eir numbers are growing at the fastest rate. Fifty-six percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans use the VA now. and their numbers are expected to grow by 9.6 per …"

Chemical board's unfinished investigations hinder agency mission, IG finds

By Chris Hamby

A backlog of Chemical Safety Board investigations hinders the agency's ability to help prevent future accidents, a new IG report concludes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… rt released this week by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General concluded. A recent Center for Public Integrity story examined the causes …"

"… Congress and family members of those who died. “I’m encouraged by the Inspector General’s recommendations, but this report doesn’t change the fact that after …"

Advocates for nursing home reform push back against proposed health watchdog cuts

By Fred Schulte

Groups alarmed by proposed cuts for HHS inspector general.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Vice President":

"… 013, and “we are encouraged by our progress.” Matthew Bennett, Senior Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug …"

ObamaCare oversight among health watchdog cuts

By Fred Schulte

Trims include ObamaCare oversight

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ffordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, is in th …"

Senate report recommends ouster of large dental chain from Medicaid program

By David Heath

Small Smiles should be removed from Medicaid for encouraging dentists to perform unnecessary treatments to boost profits, investigators say.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… nation’s largest dental chains for children should be thrown out of the Medicaid program for encouraging dentists to perform unnecessary treatments to boos …"

"… e ownership change as one reason he didn’t exclude Small Smiles from the Medicaid program despite repeated problems found during clinic inspections. "We've …"

"… ded that the HHS inspector general exclude not only Small Smiles from Medicaid but “any other corporate entity that employs a fundamentally deceptive b …"

"… those offices. The report urges states to enforce their laws. Cutting off Medicaid reimbursements could fatally wound Small Smiles, which specializes in trea …"

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