Hearings

Dec 8, 2016

DATA Act Implementation Check-in

PURPOSE: To examine the administration's efforts and the challenges confronting government-wide implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). BACKGROUND: Enacted on May 9, 2014, the DATA Act modernizes federal spending data by requiring agencies to report detailed, program level financial data which will allow for tracking and analyzing the use of taxpayer dollars. The DATA Act ...

Dec 7, 2016

Time and Attendance Abuse at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

PURPOSE: To provide an opportunity for members to understand the steps the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has taken and still need to take to prevent time and attendance abuse. BACKGROUND: In August 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was ...

Dec 7, 2016

Examining the Costs of Overclassification on Transparency and Security

PURPOSE: To examine overclassification of national security information and other government information, including controlled unclassified information and other designations. To discuss the causes and unintended results of excessive restrictions, and to discuss potential solutions. BACKGROUND: Congress established the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy in 1994, which stated ...

Dec 6, 2016

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard 3.0: Measuring Agencies’ Implementation

PURPOSE: To assess agencies' FITARA implementation efforts and plans. BACKGROUND: Yesterday, the Committee released this video previewing today's hearing. In 2014, Congress enacted FITARA to improve the government's IT capabilities and enhance the authority of federal agencies' Chief Information Officers to make IT related decisions. In 2015, ...

Dec 2, 2016

A Safe Track?: Oversight of WMATA’s Safety and Maintenance

PURPOSE: To examine Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) progress in bringing the rail system to a state of good repair through the SafeTrack program. To examine maintenance and safety related issues that have occurred since the program's inception. BACKGROUND: In May 2016, WMATA announced the SafeTrack program would condense three years of maintenance into a single year. ...

Dec 1, 2016

Restoring the Power of the Purse: Legislative Options

PURPOSE: To examine use of fines, fees, penalties, and settlements to fund agency priorities outside of the appropriations process. To discuss H.R. 5499, the Agency Accountability Act of 2016 as a potential solution. BACKGROUND: The Constitution vests the power of the purse in Congress, and over time it has been subverted by spending that occurs outside of the appropriations process. ...

Dec 1, 2016

Examining Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

TAKEAWAYS: Harassment and discrimination at USDA has gotten worse under the Obama Administration. Witnesses testified sexual assault, harassment, discrimination, and resulting retaliation has increased at the Agency since 2008.

Nov 30, 2016

Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program: Examining Premium Increases

PURPOSE: To examine premium increases for enrollees of Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) and what steps are being taken to mitigate future increases. To understand the challenges the long-term care industry faces in providing quality service at affordable premium rates. BACKGROUND: In 2016, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) awarded the only bidder, John Hancock Insurance, to ...

Nov 30, 2016

Oversight of DEA’s Confidential Source Program

TAKEAWAYS: DEA's lax oversight of its use of Confidential Sources (CS) has persisted for over a decade, despite numerous IG and congressional warnings. DEA does not adequately track money paid to confidential sources, which increases the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse. An Amtrak employee was paid more than $850,000 for information DEA could have obtained at no cost. DEA does not have adequate metrics in place to

Nov 16, 2016

2020 Census: Outcomes of the 2016 Site Test

PURPOSE: To discuss the findings of the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) review of the 2016 site tests and to address what steps the Census Bureau (Bureau) must take to correct problems identified from these tests. To understand the Bureau's timeline for procuring the final IT products necessary for the 2020 census, and its efforts related ...