Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… ons — and works with the Bechtel Corporation to manage the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantex plant in Texas, where key nuclear weapons components are ma …"

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 "official":

"… ” Klotz said. Data reporter Alex Cohen contributed to this article. …"

"… s top auditor has asserted in a riveting new report that the firm, and top officials that helped it operate the Sandia nuclear weapons labs in Albuquerque, ap …"

"… obbyists — including former members of Congress — to meet with federal officials, lawmakers and others who can help orchestrate a new, even richer federal …"

"… p;against the law for contractors to use taxpayer dollars to lobby federal officials, it's galling that in this particular case, the contractor is using taxpa …"

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 "spokesman":

"… the Inspector General — don’t seem to have made much difference. HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan wrote in an email that the average overall quality rating o …"

"… programs in the near future,” the GAO wrote in 1995. But HUD spokesman Sullivan said the agency’s management of the program has indeed improved …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… erly to Health plans rapidly expanding under the Affordable Care Act. The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicar …"

"… ting illness, according to Richard Kronick, director of the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. “I would not be surprised if there is some fr …"

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 "Office of Inspector General":

"… el “never 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 "Charles Grassley":

"… l. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew sent Oct. 3, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asked how Treasury can protect taxpayers from fraud and conflicts …"

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 "Congress":

"… according to the U.S. Justice Department. On Sept. 19, however, half the Congress voted unanimously to prevent federal contractors that process security cle …"

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 "speaker":

"… any comment we can share at this point,” she wrote in an email. A former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Avraham Burg, was less discrete during a December …"

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 "Inspector General":

"… of $24.2 million into $8.4 million of profit, according a March report by Inspector General Eric Thorson. The extra payments might “provide Comerica with a future …"

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 "National Nuclear Security Administration":

"… g the need for and cost effectiveness of the project, and that the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which runs Los Alamos and other energy labs, “needs to fully reassess i …"

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 "Tax Analysts":

"… sp;the division then, in a speech published in the trade journal Tax Analysts. “Examination workforces have greatly diminished and hence the number o …"

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 "Congress":

"… work along in deference to timeliness mandates.” That’s a reference to Congress’ requirement that the agency process 90 percent of clearance cases withi …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector":

"… part of the giant Health and Human Services Department. The HHS Office of Inspector General is supposed to backstop CMS and act as a watchdog to make sure tha …"

"… said, adding: “Even when we catch it, nobody gets spanked.”  HHS Inspector General’s Office spokesman Donald White wouldn’t comment on the audits …"

"… plan attacked the auditors’ methodology in a December 2010 letter to an Inspector General’s Office official. The health plan said the auditors’ finding …"

"… Cosgrove said. Sympathetic ear While the industry clashed with the HHS Inspector General’s Office, it found a sympathetic ear at CMS. Rather than hammer …"

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that its plan in Arizona was selected. None of the health plans would comment. At issue is the accu …"

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 "Government":

"… st those that do intelligence-related work. The website of the Project on Government Oversight, a spending watchdog group, says on its website that in the past …"

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":

"… It could force thousands of children in low-income families to find a new dentist willing to treat them. Small Smiles will be excluded from the Medicaid pr …"

"… roblems at Small Smiles clinics. Small Smiles was first accused of paying dentists bonuses to hit production targets in a 2007 television news report. The C …"

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 "financial services":

"… neral’s office said. Credit unions are bank-like companies that provide financial services for consumers. They were created during the Great Depression to help poor …"

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 "TCEQ":

"… eporting them to the state. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates most air emissions, doesn’t even know some of these fa …"

"… y fined. Of the 284 oil and gas industry-related complaints filed with the TCEQ by Eagle Ford residents between Jan. 1, 2010, and Nov. 19, 2013 , only two …"

"… actions could lead to six more fines.) The Texas legislature has cut the TCEQ’s budget by a third since the Eagle Ford boom began, from $555 mill …"

"… for those who have become collateral damage in the drive for riches. The TCEQ is led by three commissioners appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, a Re …"

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 "Government Accountability Office":

"… on how not to run a major acquisition effort.” That was the same month a Government Accountability Office auditor warned that paying the F-35 program’s bills could break the Pent …"

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 "Department of Defense":

"… now, they have deep roots. Even before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Defense was experiencing backlogs in clearance investigations, largely caused by i …"

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 "Security":

"… few new restrictions. …"

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 "Pentagon":

"… y Yard, the site of the Sept. 16 shooting rampage. Last week, an internal Pentagon report called into question how the Rapidgate system became so widely used …"

"… m and other threats. Some of the results, according to a new audit by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General, have not been pretty. At the ten Navy ins …"

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 "Charles Grassley":

"… than received,” Thorson said in a December 2008 letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. Then in September 2008 WaMu, with more than $300 billion in asse …"

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 "San Francisco":

"… roups behind the letter were California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, San Francisco; Center for Medicare Advocacy, Washington; Legal Aid Justice Center, Charl …"

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 …"

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