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NEWS
December 12, 2002
FEELING LIKE you know less and less about what your federal government is up to while at the same time your own privacy is being violated? You should. The Bush administration is cloaking its own activities ever tighter even as it devises new ways to collect and share information about private citizens. And a federal judge this week advanced the process. A lawsuit seeking information from the White House - filed on behalf of two Democratic congressmen by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress - was tossed out of court.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Kevin Rector and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
The officials who are responsible for safeguarding the nation's intelligence secrets are trying to figure out how to better vet millions of employees and contractors with security clearances, after auditors found that some of those workers owed more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in unpaid taxes. About 83,000 employees and contractors at the Department of Defense owed more than $730 million in unpaid taxes, the Government Accountability Office reported last month. Last year, the agency reported that 8,400 executive-branch civilian employees and contractors owed $85 million.
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HEALTH
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
The U.S. Government Accountability Office said Wednesday it is planning to examine state-based health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act, a move that could lead to a review of Maryland's troubled website. In a letter to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress wrote that it would pursue a review of Oregon's exchange and that the effort would be folded into "a broader study planned to examine states' health exchange websites.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
The number of federal contractors that have been suspended or excluded from future contracts for poor performance has more than doubled in the past five years - a development that watchdogs inside and outside of government say is positive. The Government Accountability Office reported last month that contractor suspensions and debarments rose from 1,836 in 2009 to 4,812 in 2013. The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, said the numbers reflect greater oversight of projects that use taxpayer money - and show that more contractors are suffering consequences for overbilling, subpar performance or ethical breaches.
NEWS
By SIOBHAN GORMAN and SIOBHAN GORMAN,SUN REPORTER | February 4, 2006
WASHINGTON -- The head of the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said yesterday that he has been frustrated in his efforts to persuade Congress and the intelligence agencies to allow his agency to monitor the effectiveness of the nation's intelligence agencies as they pursue new programs to track terrorism. Comptroller General David M. Walker said in an interview that over the past 10 years the GAO has been asked only a few times to produce reports on intelligence programs, even though his staff has the expertise, authority and security clearances to do so for most programs.
NEWS
By Arch Parsons and Arch Parsons,Washington Bureau of The Sun | April 27, 1991
WASHINGTON -- A new probe into the travels of members of Congress and all high-level government officials will be launched by the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative arm, along with the GAO's inquiry into the travels of John H. Sununu, the White House chief of staff.Originally, the GAO had been requested by Representative John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, to look only into Mr. Sununu's travel records -- particularly his use of military aircraft in travels for both personal and official purposes -- and to determine whether there should be a change in policy concerning such flights.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 2, 2006
A senior congressional investigator has accused his agency of covering up a scientific fraud among builders of a $26 billion system meant to shield the nation from nuclear attack. The disputed weapon is the centerpiece of the Bush administration's anti-missile plan, which is expected to cost more than $250 billion over the next two decades. The investigator, Subrata Ghoshroy of the Government Accountability Office, led technical analyses of a prototype warhead for the anti-missile weapon in an 18-month study, winning awards for his "great care" and "tremendous skill and patience."
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | December 19, 1994
WASHINGTON -- A 1988 law designed to transform the nation's welfare system from a permanent support system into a temporary safety net has fallen far short of its goal of helping recipients find jobs, the General Accounting Office of Congress reported yesterday.In a separate study, a conservative polling organization said the public overwhelmingly supports the concept of welfare reform, but strongly resists many of the key elements of the welfare initiative contained in the House GOP's "Contract with America."
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,Washington Bureau of The Sun | May 17, 1991
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon's controversial plan to close 43 military facilities and reduce forces at 28 others was based on adequate information from the U.S. Army and Air Force, although the Navy supplied "inadequate documentation" to support its recommendations, the General Accounting Office reported yesterday.The report by the GAO, Congress' auditing watchdog, recommended that Defense Secretary Dick Cheney require the Navy to give "specific details" about how it came up with its closure and realignment recommendations to an independent commission that is reviewing the list.
BUSINESS
By Stacey Evers and Stacey Evers,States News Service | May 17, 1991
WASHINGTON -- A federal watchdog agency has criticized the Navy for providing sketchy documentation to justify its proposed list of base closings and wants officials to explain the realignment plan.The General Accounting Office said yesterday that the Navy had "insufficient documentation" to support its proposed list, which calls for the closings of a military laboratory in St. Mary's County, Md., and the realignment of three other Navy labs in the state.The GAO's criticisms are a boon to Maryland lawmakers, who for months have protested the Defense Department's inclusion of military laboratories on the closings list.
HEALTH
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
The U.S. Government Accountability Office said Wednesday it is planning to examine state-based health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act, a move that could lead to a review of Maryland's troubled website. In a letter to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress wrote that it would pursue a review of Oregon's exchange and that the effort would be folded into "a broader study planned to examine states' health exchange websites.
NEWS
February 10, 2014
In response to Laura Howell's commentary, "Minimum wage debate ignores crucial group" (Jan. 15), direct support professionals in the developmental disabilities field are paid through state funds - through programs that are currently woefully underfunded, which results in staff who are underpaid and underemployed and often need to work several jobs to make ends meet. Direct support roles save lives, ensure valued participation in the community, provide employment supports and more.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | October 18, 2013
A new government report raises questions about the consistency of federal nuclear power plant oversight, noting regional disparities in the frequency with which plants - including Maryland's Calvert Cliffs - have been cited for safety problems or violations. The review released this week by the Government Accountability Office , an investigative arm of Congress, found significant differences across the country in how often the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported finding low-risk safety problems and low-level violations at the nation's 62 operating nuclear plants.  While there were not similar regional disparities in the number of serious violations reported, the differences in identifying minor problems could affect the NRC's ability to head off safety lapses before they get worse.
NEWS
By Amy Bennett and Angela Canterbury | August 7, 2013
We already know that federal regulators have undermined accountability for abuses by mortgage servicing companies. In another disturbing development, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are refusing to turn over information to members of Congress that could help them prevent such abuses from happening again. A recent study of the Independent Foreclosure Review process by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) cited significant flaws, including a lack of transparency, in the design and implementation of the process.
NEWS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | December 14, 2012
Wounded soldiers returning from war can find plenty of programs through nonprofits and the government that offer to help them re-enter the workforce. The problem, according to a new report, is that there are so many employment programs, often duplicating each other's efforts, that job seekers can easily be overwhelmed. On top of that, so little research has been done on these programs, it's unclear which are most effective. "There are tons of programs available ," said clinical psychologist Karen Chan Osilla, lead author of the Rand Corp.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2011
A new report says the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort is handicapped by the failure so far of the federal government and bay watershed states to agree on common goals for reviving the troubled estuary. The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog agency, said in a report released Thursday that a new bay restoration strategy drawn up last year by the Obama administration has not been adopted by Maryland and the bay watershed states. The year-old federal plan lays out four broad goals, 12 specific goals and 116 actions to be taken by 2025 to restore the bay. It's similar — but different in some key areas — to one adopted in 2000 by federal and state officials.
NEWS
November 4, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Amtrak needs to improve the way it monitors performance and oversees its finances to reach solid financial ground, congressional investigators said yesterday. "While Amtrak has recently reduced costs, revenues are declining faster than costs, leading to operating losses exceeding $1 billion annually," the Government Accountability Office reported. "These losses are projected to grow by 40 percent within four years." The GAO recommended that the transportation secretary direct the federal railroad administrator to: require Amtrak to submit a plan laying out specifically how it will improve its financial operations; provide Amtrak with direction on how to do so; and monitor Amtrak's performance and report to Congress on the railroad's progress.
BUSINESS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | March 8, 1991
WASHINGTON -- The General Accounting Office said yesterday that the Treasury Department's banking reform proposal may hurt the deposit insurance fund by placing too much emphasis on making U.S. banks internationally competitive.The Treasury's proposal would give banks powers to underwrite securities and enter related businesses to enhance their ability compete on the world market.However, the congressional investigative agency warned that "the more competitive markets get, the more tempting it becomes for banks to abuse expanded powers and attract federally insured deposits to take greater risks in attempts to gain market share or higher profits."
NEWS
April 1, 2010
The Baltimore Sun continues its publishing of articles biased against liquefied natural gas with the March 30 op-ed by Charles S. Faddis, "Danger at our doorstep." The patently biased Mr. Faddis can be refuted in most of his comments by a Government Accountability Office study published in February 2007 and by general information that should be known to the public. While Mr. Faddis predicts catastrophic events, the GAO states, "A major LNG spill has never occurred" and "studies examining LNG hazards rely on computer models to predict the effects of hypothetical accidents."
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,michael.dresser@baltsun.com | July 31, 2009
Almost 10 percent of interstate bus operators who have their federal permits revoked for safety violations are able to quickly resume business by "reincarnating" themselves as new companies, according to federal government watchdogs. In a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday, investigators reported that 20 of the 220 motor coach operators ordered to stop service by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association in 2007 and 2008 remained on the road by re-registering - sometimes under the same name as the company that was barred.
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