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 "Senate":

"… edom of Information Act request. Grassley is the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department. He could becom …"

"… uld become chairman of the committee if Republicans gain a majority in the Senate after this fall’s election. The audit may expand to encompass other fin …"

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 "Congress":

"… he referred to warheads as “kumquats” throughout his manuscript. Even Congress has been coy on the subject. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee p …"

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 "Federation of American Scientists":

"… aid Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “I think that’s a positive step, because it takes it out of the narro …"

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 accounts":

"… store-front check cashers. The cards were supposed to help people without bank accounts access their benefits while avoiding high fees charged by check cashers. A …"

"… an a million customers who did not need the cards because they already had bank accounts. The card fees are far higher than direct deposit into a bank account. Th …"

"… er electronic means. The card is important for benefit recipients who lack bank accounts, he said, and has helped save taxpayer money that previously was spent pri …"

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 "Department of Energy":

"… used for or why it is needed, according to a report released last week by Department of Energy Inspector General Gregory Friedman. Friedman wrote that the $9.5 million …"

"… . Most of the work would come from other federal agencies rather than the Department of Energy, the IG report said, while the demand for work from these agencies is less …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… cycle from next to nothing only a few years before, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Aghast, watchdog groups and politicos filed numerous complaints wit …"

"… cycle, a presidential election year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.  Millions of dollars more have been spent by social welfare nonprof …"

"… o the FEC. Said Robert Maguire, a political nonprofit investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics: “The amount of 'dark money' this cycle will far eclipse what we saw in …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… 16 that the person no longer works on the agency's contract. OPM spokeswoman Lindsey S. O’Keefe declined to say however how many clearances USIS is p …"

"… two OPM contracts signed in 2011 and is "eligible for new contracts," OPM spokeswoman Jennifer Dorsey said. …"

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 "Congress":

"… tion,’” some details were beyond its scope. An October 2011 report to Congress by the Pentagon’s Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition said contrac …"

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 "Medicaid":

"… April 3, 2014: Small Smiles will no longer be allowed to serve patients on Medicaid started Sept. 30, affecting hundreds of thousands of children, the inspect …"

"… t doesn't plan to appeal the decision, which will bar the company from the Medicaid program for five years. Small Smiles, which has been under federal scruti …"

"… orming unnecessary dental treatments on children, could be barred from the Medicaid program beginning next month. The inspector general of the Department of …"

"… new dentist willing to treat them. Small Smiles will be excluded from the Medicaid program in early April unless it appeals the decision. The owner of the co …"

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 "Oregon":

"… ied on financial support from credit unions over more than a decade in the Oregon state Senate and pushed pro-industry policies while in office. He worked a …"

"… directly from his swearing-in ceremony in August to a party thrown by the Oregon lobbyists who had supported his political career. Agency ethics lawyers ap …"

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 "environmental consultant":

"… e-consuming that they’ve had little success. Last March, Wilma Subra, an environmental consultant from Louisiana, and Sharon Wilson of the advocacy group Earthworks, accomp …"

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 "Claire McCaskill":

"… on charges unrelated to those clearances, according to a statement by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., at a June 20 congressional hearing. It stands accused, she said, …"

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 "Claire McCaskill":

"… n assistant inspector general for readiness, operations and support. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who chairs the Homeland Security’s financial and contracting oversight …"

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 "Bear Stearns":

"… change Commission, said he was comfortable with the amount of capital that Bear Stearns and the other publicly traded Wall Street investment banks had on hand. D …"

"… tom against China, Dubai and London. The race was over in March 2008 when Bear Stearns, the fifth-largest investment bank in the U.S., nearly collapsed and was s …"

"… rity in early 2008, three of the important events that rattled markets — Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG — could have been handled very differently, wit …"

"… e a familiar face as a key decision maker. He had a direct hand in selling Bear Stearns to JPMorgan, letting Lehman Brothers go bankrupt and later bailing out ins …"

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 "Iraq":

"… t get a drink of water. Hancock, 27, joined the Army in 2004 and went to Iraq, where he drove a tank. On Memorial Day 2007 — one month after the birth …"

"… t of health 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, wi …"

"… rsity and coauthor of "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict." As veterans age, their injuries worsen over time, she said. Th …"

"… 3, according to the VA budget. Like Hancock, many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have survived multiple combat injuries because of military …"

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 "Health":

"… his year as a key provision of the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicar …"

"… his mess?’ ” Louis Saccoccio, chief executive officer of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, said that OIG audits not only stem financial …"

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 "Health":

"… sley and Baucus last November, the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services cited the ownership change as one reason he didn’t ex …"

"… stigation on public Health.  Sign up now to receive the Center's Health email newsletter. ------------------------- The report recommended that t …"

"… clinics hire their own staff. The Senate report also criticizes ReachOut Healthcare America, which runs mobile clinics that treat children at schools. Sen …"

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 …"

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