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 "Senate":

"… anelists were selected by the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, and by the Senate and House leadershi …"

"… rity members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, and by the Senate and House leadership. The panel’s co-chairman Norman Augustine is the fo …"

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 "White House":

"… he DOE a total of $226,000 that it paid Wilson. Wilson, who worked at the White House under President George H.W. Bush and now directs the South Dakota School o …"

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 "Medicare":

"… “Had staff been aware of the issues identified by CMS [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services], they may have been able to address the issues prio …"

More scrutiny coming for Medicare Advantage, Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

New round of audits coming; Obamacare too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ending on managed health care in the new fiscal year, ranging from private Medicare Advantage groups that treat millions of elderly to health plans rapidly ex …"

"… Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, said it would conduct “various revi …"

"… aid waste, fraud and abuse, said it would conduct “various reviews” of Medicare Advantage billing practices with an eye toward curbing overcharges. Result …"

"… lent sign ups. The Inspector General’s office did not say if individual Medicare Advantage plans would be audited, but indicated it would focus on concerns …"

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 "Bechtel National Inc.":

"… cked from conducting its work by the refusal of primary Hanford contractor Bechtel National Inc., as well as Bechtel subcontractor and Busche’s employer, URS Energy and …"

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 "Office of Personnel Management":

"… ervices, Inc., a Falls Church, VA-based company that was hired by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to investigate the backgrounds of current or prospective federal employees …"

"… process,” Susan Ruge, associate counsel to the Inspector General of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), said in an emailed statement after the Senate vote. She said i …"

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 "U.S. government":

"… , such remarks generally cannot be made even now by those who work for the U.S. government and hold active security clearances. In fact, U.S. officials, even those o …"

"… d very classified to me — that Israel has nuclear weapons?”  The U.S. government’s official silence was broken only by accident, when in 1979, the CIA re …"

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 "U.S. government":

"… th Warren asked incredulously if “we agreed to give Comerica — we, the U.S. government, through Treasury — an additional $30 million without knowing if they we …"

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 "White House":

"… the nation’s biolabs occurred during the Bush administration, the Obama White House has defended the trend. According to the 2013 GAO report, officials …"

"… nded the trend. According to the 2013 GAO report, officials with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said they did not agree with the G …"

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 "U.S. Treasury":

"… because members may benefit from the groups, said Alex Reid, a former U.S. Treasury fellow who was also a staffer for the Joint Committee on Taxation. " …"

"… estigations by congressional committees, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Treasury's inspector general. "Accordingly, it is inappropriate for the IRS to com …"

"… t at this time on these matters," IRS spokesman Bruce Friedland said. The U.S. Treasury provided a brief statement that in part reads: "The IRS and Treasury work …"

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 "inspector":

"… e month during fiscal 2013, according to an Office of Personnel Management inspector general’s report. USIS is a private firm spun off from the government t …"

"… period mentioned by government prosecutors in their court filing. But the inspector general’s report also describes how OPM and its security clearance contr …"

"… nspections of contractors have been increased. But OPM also told the inspector general that it is only “exploring” making changes in the software tha …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare Advantage":

"… indings signaled that billing errors could be deeply rooted within private Medicare Advantage plans — which contract with the federal government to care for nearly 16 …"

"… eturned. The Center for Public Integrity’s yearlong investigation of the Medicare Advantage industry found that federal officials over the past decade have missed mul …"

"… s C. Hill said insiders have known of “significant problems” with Medicare Advantage billing practices for years. But they’ve received scant public notice be …"

"… ive to do more to earn more. Medicare adjusts the risk scores used in the Medicare Advantage program based on more than 70 conditions and their severity. That can mean …"

New audits may recover missing millions — or not

By Fred Schulte

Secretive audits target some Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "inspector":

"… that couldn’t be verified through a patient’s medical record. The HHS inspector general audits are more worrisome to the industry than the CMS audits &nbs …"

"… nd often draw media notice and attention from members of Congress. But the inspector general’s office has said it won’t be conducting any more of its revie …"

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 "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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "inspector":

"… tsger paid for his own meal. The National Credit Union Administration’s inspector general — an independent, internal watchdog office — said after the Ce …"

"… t would also launch a formal investigation if the facts warranted one, the inspector general’s office said. Credit unions are bank-like companies that provi …"

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 "Marathon Oil":

"… o the TCEQ in 2012, prompting investigators to check out several Marathon Oil facilities near their home. At one point the emissions were so high, the i …"

"… i dish.” Myra complained to the TCEQ in 2012, and the agency cited Marathon Oil for operating a broken flare and failing to report thousands of pound …"

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 "Office of Personnel Management":

"… , a firm that in 1996 was calved off of an independent agency known as the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and quickly got most of the background investigation business before …"

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 "Charles Grassley":

"… r General to the Judiciary Committee’s senior Republican, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley: Individual NSA employees apparently possess astonishing powers to readily …"

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 "Office of Personnel Management":

"… Merton Miller, Associate Director of Federal Investigative Services of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that organized the screening of Alexis by a different federal …"

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 "Bob Dole":

"… en Kansan who got her start in politics working for former Republican Sen. Bob Dole, also of Kansas, Bair emerged from the crisis beloved by many on Capitol H …"

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 "driver":

"… VA also provides adaptive driving equipment for his car, and he is taking driver education to learn how to drive with only his hands. One day, he hopes to …"

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 "Chemical Safety Board":

"… lic Integrity story examined the causes of this backlog at the agency, the Chemical Safety Board, and the dissatisfaction with its performance among some in Congress, curr …"

"… his report doesn’t change the fact that after more than three years, the Chemical Safety Board has still failed to complete its investigation of the tragic Tesoro refine …"

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 …"

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