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 "Congress":

"… and then use the profits to hire lobbyists — including former members of Congress — to meet with federal officials, lawmakers and others who can help orch …"

"… uencing or attempting to influence an officer of any agency or a member of Congress” about an extension. Sandia’s officials planned nonetheless to use th …"

"… s not a lobbyist for Sandia and I did not contact any federal official — Congressional or Executive — for Sandia to try to extend the Sandia contract,” …"

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 "federal government":

"… ng facilities that have earned the top score, a five-star rating, from the federal government from 2009 to 2013.  But U.S.Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a leading l …"

"… early $2 billion the month after receiving a low, one-star rating from the federal government. Ohio had the largest number, 30, of these homes. Illinois, with 20 h …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ng under the Affordable Care Act. The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, said it …"

"… es with an eye toward curbing overcharges. Results are due next year. The Inspector General also announced from five to ten new audits into Obamacare, ranging from th …"

"… ayments for new enrollees to controls to prevent fraudulent sign ups. The Inspector General’s office did not say if individual Medicare Advantage plans would be aud …"

"… n does not always support the diagnoses” (used to bill Medicare),” the Inspector General said. “Efforts for FY 2015 and beyond may include additional work examin …"

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 "JPay Inc.":

"… ve deals with prisons. The first part of the series detailed how JPay Inc., a Miami-based technology company, has gained access to 70 percent of U.S. …"

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 …"

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 …"

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 "Nuclear weapons":

"… uary 2013 article published by the British journal Survival. “Nuclear weapons did not deter Egypt and Syria from attacking Israel in 1973, Argentina fro …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… able targeting of tea party and conservative groups. And the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration declared that the agency had employed “inappropri …"

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 "Environment":

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

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 "Office of Personnel Management":

"… ,152 clearance cases in a single month during fiscal 2013, according to an Office of Personnel Management inspector general’s report. USIS is a private firm spun off from the go …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… s having serious heart disease.  It took years for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general to publish those findings, and …"

"… ing errors tied to a complex payment formula known as a “risk score.” Health plans collect medical data that is used to compute the Health risks for ea …"

"… and secretive that it remains unfathomable to many Health professionals. Health plans that cheat can face civil or criminal penalties, but federal officia …"

"… Advantage contracts, records show.  CMS is but one part of the giant Health and Human Services Department. The HHS Office of Inspector General is supp …"

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… rt of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS Office of Inspector General, which acts as a watchdog over CMS, has done some of its own audits of Med …"

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 "Security":

"… ies with their clearances intact. The agencies involved were the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Reconnai …"

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 "Dentist":

"… ices at another chain, Kool Smiles, in a 2012 report titled “Dollars and Dentists.” Small Smiles’s owner eventually sold its assets in May 2012 to a v …"

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.

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 "Lynn Buehring":

"… , InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel. KARNES CITY, Texas — When Lynn Buehring leaves her doctor’s office in San Antonio she makes sure her inhaler is …"

"… cy spokeswoman declined to comment. Since drilling came to Karnes County, Lynn Buehring’s asthma has worsened. Instead of using a breathing machine once or twic …"

"… e windshield of her pickup truck when she rises before dawn to go to work. Lynn Buehring, who lives about five miles away, described a “greasy, yellow substance …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Labor":

"… rns he expressed. In its response to a complaint Tamosaitis filed with the Department of Labor, Bechtel said Tamosaitis was demeaning to coworkers on multiple occasions. …"

"… t DOE and URS partly because Tamosaitis had not waited a full year for the Department of Labor to act on his case, a step the judge said was required by applicable statu …"

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 "chief of staff":

"… llion over the fleet’s 35-year lifespan. Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, told a June 19 congressional hearing that the F-35 was “the only viable …"

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 "Security":

"… hecks by USIS — those that led to the clearance renewal of National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the leaker of tens of thousands of highl …"

"… temporarily due to the government shutdown — by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, at which top officials from OPM, the O …"

"… his summer, Sen. Jon Tester, D-MT, a committee member, introduced the Security Clearance Oversight and Reform Enhancement Act, which, among various refor …"

"… in March 2005 to 9,421 in January 2008, according to a 2008 report by the Security Clearance Oversight Group, which includes officials from OPM and OMB. Most …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… ar from the Sept. 11 summary of these events sent by the NSA’s Office of Inspector General to the Judiciary Committee’s senior Republican, Iowa Sen. Charles G …"

"… re discipline has been proposed,” according to the letter, signed by NSA Inspector General George Ellard. Half the incidents cited occurred between 2003 and 2006, a …"

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 "White House":

"… ccess without first going through a background check, even though Navy and White House regulations require such checks be completed beforehand. Known as Rapidga …"

"… tive security information accessed by contractors such as Edward Snowden. White House press secretary Jay Carney said at a press briefing Sept. 17 that Presiden …"

"… tandards with OMB and the Director of National Intelligence. Already, the White House — through OMB — requires a background check be done for before providi …"

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 "Intel":

"… onsulting firm has advised big names including Verizon, American Airlines, Intel, Toyota, Deutsche Bank, and others. Cox says he’s worked on Internet tax …"

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 "San Antonio":

"… edicine’s highly advanced care. Doctors at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio repaired Hancock’s body with skin grafts and sent him to spinal-cord doc …"

"… and trying to climb out. Now an outpatient at the VA polytrauma center in San Antonio, Jones is learning to walk on prosthetic legs, provided to him by the VA. …"

"… eneral use. When Terence Jones finishes rehab at the polytrauma center in San Antonio, he hopes adaptive equipment will help him return to a normal life. Jerral …"

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 "Daniel Levinson":

"… according to agency documents. …"

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 "Kool Smiles":

"… tline last year found complaints about unnecessary and substandard care at Kool Smiles, another corporate chain owned by private-equity investors. Grassley’s o …"

"… private-equity investors. Grassley’s office said it tried to investigate Kool Smiles but the company didn’t cooperate. ------------------------- Don’t mis …"

"… e business model resulting in a sustained pattern of substandard care.” Kool Smiles defended the quality of its care and said it cooperated with Grassley’s …"

"… rency regarding our ownership structure and the role we play in supporting Kool Smiles dentists to provide care in the best interests of their patients.” Twen …"