Mar 9, 2017

Reviewing ATF’s Failures in the Death of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata

TAKEAWAYS: Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) failed to appear at the hearing. Invitations to testify before Congress are not optional. Chairman Chaffetz signed subpoenas to compel the attendance of ATF officials Ronald Turk and William Temple later this month. ATF took full responsibility for not investigating straw purchasers who trafficked a firearm that was later used in the attack that killed Immigration ...

Mar 8, 2017

Examining IRS Customer Service Challenges

PURPOSE: To examine the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) failure to efficiently direct available resources to customer service and what might be done to improve it. BACKGROUND: IRS's customer service has been poor over the last several tax seasons, which IRS frequently attributes to lack of resources. Recent reports by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Taxpayer Advocate point ...

Mar 2, 2017

Transparency at TSA

TAKEAWAYS: The committee identified longstanding issues with the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Office of Chief Counsel. TSA is withholding information necessary for the Office of Special Council (OSC) to conduct whistleblower retaliation investigations. TSA claims it is relying on department guidance to invoke an inapplicable attorney-client privilege to redact documents. ...

Mar 1, 2017

VA: Path to Reform

PURPOSE: To examine the policies and procedures of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as they relate to recent issues regarding fraud, waste and abuse. To address strategies for future reform and the new leadership's vision of improving practices within all of the agencies in the VA. BACKGROUND: In the past several months, cases of fraud, waste and abuse have raised questions about the VA's current ...

Mar 1, 2017

Examining Environmental Barriers to Infrastructure Development

PURPOSE: To identify examples of regulations and statutes that inhibit infrastructure growth. To examine ways to remove unnecessary impediments from projects critical to American infrastructure and jobs. BACKGROUND: In December 2016, the Treasury Department released a list of 40 proposed infrastructure projects of ...

Feb 16, 2017

The Use of Official Time for Union Activities at the Department of Veterans Affairs

PURPOSE: To discuss challenges facing the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) regarding tracking official time. To explore whether official time is being authorized in a manner that is most effective for both the veterans being served and the American taxpayer. BACKGROUND: Authorized under section 7131 of title 5, official time is paid time off from assigned government ...

Feb 15, 2017

Examining Federal Programs that Serve Tribes and Their Members

PURPOSE: To review recent studies conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General (DOI OIG) on the management of federal programs that serve tribes. BACKGROUND: On Wednesday, GAO will release its biennial High Risk List of government operations with the greatest vulnerability to fraud, waste, and mismanagement; one new area of the 2017 report is ...

Feb 15, 2017

GAO’s 2017 High Risk Report: 34 Programs in Peril

PURPOSE: To discuss the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) 2017 High Risk List and highlight the problems that remain unaddressed. To consider solutions that will move these programs off of the High Risk List. BACKGROUND: On Wednesday, GAO will release its biennial High Risk List of government operations with the greatest vulnerability to fraud, waste, and mismanagement as well as recommendations that ...

Feb 7, 2017

Accomplishing Postal Reform in the 115th Congress – H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017

TAKEAWAYS: USPS is past the point where it is salvageable as it exists now - legislation is necessary to implement needed reforms. USPS has more than $119 billion in unfunded liability, and is projected to run out of cash. The postal delivery fleet is at the end of its expected life. Average ...

Feb 2, 2017

“Improving Security and Efficiency at OPM and the National Background Investigations Bureau”

TAKEAWAYS: Oversight Committee investigation and majority staff