Hearings

Apr 5, 2017

Assessing the Iran Deal

PURPOSE: To assess whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is working and the effectiveness of its implementation. To examine Iran's continued aggression and malign activities throughout the Middle East. BACKGROUND: Under the JCPOA, Iran accepted restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for a broad lifting of US, European Union, and United Nations ...

Apr 5, 2017

Oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Response to the Baton Rouge Flood Disaster: Part II

TAKEAWAYS: Incompetence and mismanagement plagued Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) delivery of manufactured housing units (MHUs) to victims of the August 2016 flood. FEMA MHUs cost taxpayers approximately $150,000 for an 18-month occupancy. FEMA auctioned off similar units for an average price of $10,914 in 2015. FEMA documents show the agency prioritized public ...

Apr 4, 2017

Reviewing Federal IT Workforce Challenges and Possible Solutions

PURPOSE: To examine the development, recruitment, and retention of the federal government's IT and cybersecurity workforce. To discuss the potential for forming an industry-government rotational workforce. BACKGROUND: In 2015, 209,000 cybersecurity jobs went unfilled in the U.S., according to Intel. Modernizing the federal government's IT not only requires investments in technology and acquisition ...

Apr 4, 2017

Use of Confidential Informants at ATF and DEA

TAKEAWAYS: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continually refused to provide the Committee its new policy regarding the proper use of confidential informants (CIs). During the hearing, Chairman Chaffetz issued a subpoena to DEA for the documents. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives's (ATF) and DEA's inadequate oversight over the CI program prevents the agencies from properly tracking and monitoring CIs. Since ...

Mar 29, 2017

WMATA After SafeTrack

PURPOSE: To examine whether SafeTrack was successful in restoring the Metro system to a state of good repair, and to discuss how the lessons learned from SafeTrack's planning could be applied to the Back2Good initiative. To address Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) financial ...

Mar 29, 2017

Federally Funded Cancer Research: Coordination and Innovation

TAKEAWAYS: Research funded by the National Cancer Institute has broad applications for many types of cancer, paving the way to advanced and accessible cancer treatments. Modest investments early in the research process yield substantial long-term results. Reducing National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding would negatively impact a generation of research and innovation. The national cancer research infrastructure encourages ...

Mar 28, 2017

Reviewing Challenges in Federal IT Acquisition

PURPOSE: To discuss challenges in the current federal IT acquisition system, best practices from the private sector, and areas for IT acquisition reform. BACKGROUND: The federal government spends over 75 percent of its $80 billion annual IT expenditures to operate legacy IT systems that are inefficient, costly to maintain, and pose security vulnerabilities. The Government Accountability Office designated ...

Mar 23, 2017

Legislative Proposals for Fostering Transparency

TAKEAWAYS: The Fannie & Freddie Open Records Act of 2017 would allow taxpayers to make Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests while the entities are in conservatorship under the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Open Government DATA Act gives taxpayers access to federal data, in non-proprietary formats. It ...

Mar 22, 2017

Examining the Impact of Voluntary Restricted Distribution Systems in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

PURPOSE: To discuss the purpose of using voluntary restricted distribution systems in the pharmaceutical supply chain. To examine how a manufacturer may use a restricted distribution system to delay or block generic competition. BACKGROUND: To expedite the introduction of generic medications, the Abbreviated New Drug Application allows the FDA to rely upon its previous finding of safety and effectiveness for ...

Mar 22, 2017

Committee to Review Law Enforcement’s Policies on Facial Recognition Technology

TAKEAWAYS: Approximately half of adult Americans' photographs are in a FRT database. 18 states each have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FBI to share photos with the federal government, including from state departments of motor vehicles (DMV). The committee identified Maryland and Arizona as having MOUs with the FBI. The FBI will continue to pursue MOUs with states to gain access to DMV ...