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 "Washington":

"… ed in February from her job managing safety at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state, she complained that it was a reprisal for her repeated warnings tha …"

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 "cent":

"… ” of the contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan “in response to recent media reports concerning the selection of and high fees charged by these t …"

"… counts hold the money inmates earn from prison jobs paying as little as 12 cents an hour and supplemental funds sent by family and friends. Inmates u …"

"… ow JPay Inc., a Miami-based technology company, has gained access to 70 percent of U.S. offenders and holds a monopoly on transferring money into prisons …"

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 "Jon Tester":

"… The bill does not have a sponsor in the House of Representatives, but Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the principal Senate author, said via a spokesperson that he is …"

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 "president":

"… for secretary of defense, when he noted — while serving as a university president — that Iran is surrounded by “powers with nuclear weapons,” includin …"

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 "Daniel Poneman":

"… the review of Doyle’s  2013 whistleblower case to Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. Poneman, Marmolejos said, had ruled against Doyle’s claim that Los Alam …"

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 "Dallas":

"… . Treasury’s announcement that it had signed a new, five-year deal with Dallas-based Comerica to distribute Social Security and disability on bank-issued …"

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 "Gregory Friedman":

"… g to a report released last week by Department of Energy Inspector General Gregory Friedman. Friedman wrote that the $9.5 million proposal had been made without full …"

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 "Congress":

"… e 2010 election. Then the IRS tea party scandal exploded. Republicans in Congress began waylaying the IRS over what they said was the systematic and inexcus …"

"… ng the names of their donors secret. The tea party scandal, combined with Congress systematically stripping the IRS of resources and clout over decades, has …"

"… their evolution. Responding to business complaints about the arrangement, Congress in 1950 passed a law levying taxes on nonprofits’ “unrelated business …"

"… lect tax dollars, the IRS itself is receiving fewer and fewer of them from Congress. The IRS’ approved budget for the 2014 fiscal year is $11.3 b …"

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 "Congress":

"… og, drawing the ire of victims’ families as well as members of Congress.    The board's investigation into the 2010 Tesoro Co …"

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.

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… which operates in more than a dozen states and is owned by insurance giant Aetna. Within a week of the decision, the company freed up $133 million it had h …"

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 "spy":

"… viously worked at the NSA; the DIA and the NRO, which operates America’s spy satellites. The CIA said it learned of the actions by other agencies again …"

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 "Kool Smiles":

"… ic Integrity and PBS Frontline exposed similar practices at another chain, Kool Smiles, in a 2012 report titled “Dollars and Dentists.” Small Smiles’s own …"

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 "energy industry":

"… ut climate change. TCEQ officials often go on to jobs as lobbyists for the energy industry they once regulated. The Texas Railroad Commission, which issues dri …"

"… lopment and minimize risk factors.” 'Help us ... before we all die' The energy industry’s impact on Americans living near drilling areas has been fiercely debat …"

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 "Washington":

"… ground, leak-prone steel tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Site in southeastern Washington State. But progress has been slow, the project’s budget is rising by bi …"

"… years ago, DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Washington agreed to start turning the waste into glass by 2011. But in 2010, the dea …"

"… tel in January 2012 without comment. Then, Judge Lonny Suko of the Eastern Washington U.S. District Court dismissed his lawsuits against DOE and URS partly beca …"

"… . In her complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, Busche said that she was seen as a “roadblock to meeting deadlines.” …"

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 "spokesman":

"… er USIS executives this summer, the Wall Street Journal first reported. A spokesman for the firm, Ray Howell, declined comment on the allegations. But several …"

"… agers called it “flushing” the background check reports, he said. Two spokesman for Providence Equity Partners did not respond to emailed and telephoned r …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… ome of the results, according to a new audit by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General, have not been pretty. At the ten Navy installations where investigators p …"

"… allations at an increased security risk,” the report said. Although the Inspector General’s office planned to release a redacted version of the report, House Arme …"

"… granted through the Rapidgate program. But the shooting — and the Inspector General’s report — have nonetheless brought sudden attention to Rapidgate …"

"… he company will need those contacts more than ever in the weeks ahead. The Inspector General’s report recommended that the Navy scrap Rapidgate immediately, noting t …"

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 "Christopher Cox":

"… t series on what has happened since the meltdown. On March 11, 2008, Christopher Cox, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said he was co …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… r whom follow-up care is particularly important, according to VA Office of Inspector General reports. The VA doesn’t always provide timely mental health evaluations …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… eing reviewed,” according to agency documents. …"

"… iod, the report found. The advocates who wrote to Levinson noted that the Inspector General’s aggressive stance had spurred discussion among federal officials and s …"

"… imited the resources, the more difficult our decisions become.” The HHS Inspector General, the largest such unit in the federal government, expects to lose a total …"

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 …"

Navy at sea with lousy books

By Rebecca LaFlure

The admirals spent nearly a billion dollars to improve their accounting, but then failed to apply what they learned

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… – to meet the legal deadline. The report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General is a reprise of its earlier warnings that the military services are moving …"

Medicare fraud outrunning enforcement efforts

By Fred Schulte

Agency couldn't investigate 1,200 complaints, and more cuts coming.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ama administration. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is set to lose a total of 400 staffers that are deployed nationwide as a p …"

"… led to examine prescription drug abuse in Medicare. Gary Cantrell, Deputy Inspector General for the OIG Office of Investigations, said at the hearing that his unit …"

"… d our oversight in some of these areas,” he said. Stuart Wright, Deputy Inspector General for the OIG Office of Evaluations and Inspections, added that 200 of those …"

Nuclear Waste: A $1 billion Energy Department project overshoots its budget by 600 percent

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

PART TWO OF A SERIES: A yawning gap opens between Washington’s claims about a nuclear plant and its messy construction.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Gregory Friedman":

"… ted plant, a circumstance that alarmed Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman when he reviewed the program in the summer of 2005. Friedman’s report d …"

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