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 "Congress":

"… lethal pathogens has been expanding rapidly. According to a 2013 report to Congress, the number of these labs grew by almost 10 percent, from 1,362 to 1,495, …"

"… y disease agents — squirreled away in cold storage. It also comes after Congress in January created an independent commission to consider consolidating or …"

"… narrow focus on their part of the problem, and so each agency has gone to Congress and gotten funding to do x, y and z,” Kingsbury told the Center. “Ther …"

"… add to the confusion, Kingsbury said there are multiple committees within Congress that have oversight of the agencies that have laboratories or want them, m …"

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 "Inspector General":

"…  ability to fulfill its mission. After this report was released, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. opened a new investigation into the CSB after disco …"

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… e heart failure in a patient seen for knee pain, according to auditors. In Pennsylvania, a person treated for blurry vision was charted as having serious heart di …"

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare Advantage":

"… ieves. …"

"… o top $150 billion this year. The government audits are targeting chronic Medicare Advantage billing errors that federal officials blame for billions of dollars in “ …"

"… recoup as much as $370 million from overpayments allegedly made to the 30 Medicare Advantage plans during 2011, according to CMS. However, that figure is well below p …"

"… ral, which acts as a watchdog over CMS, has done some of its own audits of Medicare Advantage. It estimated much higher losses in six plan audits it conducted starting …"

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.

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 "Pennsylvania":

"… happening in the Eagle Ford is important not only for Texas, but also for Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Dakota and other states where horizontal drilling and hig …"

"… live close to oil and gas development — whether in Texas’ Eagle Ford, Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale or Wyoming’s Green River Basin — tend to report th …"

"… orst offenders, said Jackson, the Duke scientist. His research in parts of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale has shown that while most of the gas wells have relati …"

"… is 500 to 1,000 feet depending on the type of building; it’s 500 feet in Pennsylvania. Texas has no statewide setbacks, aside from a 1,320-foot buffer zone for …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… ct investigations under its contract.” Michelle Schmitz, OPM's Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, said at the June hearing that it began to investigate …"

"… such crimes and one more pled guilty, according to OPM, but the agency’s Inspector General Patrick McFarland said at the June hearing that he does not “believe tha …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… ve that skirted the edges of the law, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky. AIG’s counterpart …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… Smiles from the Medicaid program. But in a letter to Grassley and Baucus, Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson said Small Smiles fixed the problems by selling the Man …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… nts for the completed plant, a circumstance that alarmed Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman when he reviewed the program in the summer of 2005. Frie …"

"… d from cutting corners, according to an April 2009 report by DOE Inspector General Friedman. Soon after construction started, when someone at the constructi …"

'Tea party' nonprofits rarely endorsed political candidates

By Michael Beckel

'Tea party'-branded nonprofits at heart of IRS scandal rarely endorsed political candidates.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… al political cases, according to a report released Tuesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The rules for who can fund social welfare nonprof …"

Pentagon claims $757 million overbilling by contractor in Afghanistan

By Richard H.P. Sia

Lawmakers are upset that the Pentagon kept giving billions of dollars to a food supplier for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

More fudging on Energy Department guard force tests

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Another DOE security squad passes performance exams with improper, inside help

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… they automatically got passing grades on sections they did not complete. Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman called the 2011 and 2012 performance tests for the uni …"

DOE inspector general recommends consolidating national labs

By Douglas Birch

DOE inspector general recommends the nation's 16 national atomic labs be streamlined or shut down.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ilitary,” he says. “Scientists are not that way." …"

"… grams rather than recommending policy. He spent 16 years with the DOE’s Inspector General’s office before becoming Inspector General himself in 1998. He said the …"

Energy Department auto loan program sputters

By Ronnie Greene

A $25 billion Department of Energy loan program has not closed a loan in two years amid the specter of Solyndra.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… dquarters and filed for bankruptcy. The FBI and the Energy Department’s Inspector General have been conducting a joint investigation of the Solyndra project since 2 …"

Electronic medical records probed for over-billing

By Fred Schulte

Are feds doing all they can to ferret out waste from move to electronic records?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… ave yet to get a response, according to a spokesperson. The HHS Office of Inspector General also is investigating what it called “fraud vulnerabilities” related t …"