Apr 20, 2016

Barriers to Endangered Species Act Delisting, Part I

PURPOSE: To explore barriers the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service face when making a determination and attempting to delist species from the ESA. BACKGROUND: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides for the conservation of species endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend. ...

Apr 20, 2016

Federal Cybersecurity Detection, Response, and Mitigation

PURPOSE: To examine federal agencies’ capabilities and procedures to detect and mitigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities. BACKGROUND: The increasing use of common and shared hardware, software, and information infrastructure across the federal government increases the likelihood for cybersecurity vulnerabilities to occur, as well as the resulting level of damage if vulnerabilities persist. Recent media reports ...

Apr 19, 2016

DATA Act: Monitoring Implementation Progress

PURPOSE: To examine the Administration’s efforts to implement the DATA Act. To discuss actions taken by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) to respond to prior Government Accountability Office and Treasury Inspector General recommendations. BACKGROUND: The DATA Act modernizes federal spending data by requiring agencies to report detailed, program level ...

Apr 19, 2016

Document Production Status Update, Part II

TAKEAWAYS: OMB is intentionally misleading Congress by withholding subpoenaed documents and information related to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rulemaking process. Chairman Chaffetz announced his intention to enforce the subpoena, and raised the prospect of holding Office of Information and Regulatory (OIRA)  Administrator Howard  Shelanksi in contempt if OIRA continues to withhold the documents. DHS was

Apr 15, 2016

The Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report to Congress

PURPOSE: To examine the most serious problems facing the American taxpayer as identified by the Taxpayer Advocate in the 2015 annual report.   BACKGROUND: The National Taxpayer Advocate is an independent office within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) The advocate, appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, was established to help taxpayers handle issues with the IRS, identify problem areas for taxpayers, ...

Apr 14, 2016

Connecting Veterans with PTSD with Service Dogs

PURPOSE: To examine the benefits service dogs can provide to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). To question the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on its existing policy and issues related to its problematic study. BACKGROUND: The FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the VA to conduct a three-year study on the costs and benefits of providing service dogs to veterans with PTSD ...

Apr 13, 2016

Examining the Safety and Service of D.C. Metro

PURPOSE: To examine Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (WMATA) most significant challenges and the issues that led to a complete shutdown of the system. BACKGROUND: WMATA ...

Apr 13, 2016

Waste and Inefficiency in the Federal Government: GAO’s 2016 Duplication Report

 (click to view the report)

Mar 23, 2016

Examining the Bureau of Land Management Public Lands Leasing

PURPOSE: To examine recent management of oil and gas lease sales by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BACKGROUND: The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA) gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to sell leases for the development of fossil fuels on federal lands. Under the MLA, BLM is authorized to conduct competitive and noncompetitive leasing of lands for oil and gas production and ...

Mar 23, 2016

National Security: Threats at Our Borders

PURPOSE: To review the current surge of foreign nationals entering, or attempting to enter illegally, along the southern border. To examine U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to respond. To examine the resources available to CBP to identify, apprehend, and remove aliens who may pose a risk to the American people. BACKGROUND: The border security mission of the Department of Homeland ...