Hearings

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

Federal Cybersecurity After the OPM Data Breach: Have Agencies Learned their Lesson?

PURPOSE: To examine information security programs and management at the Department of Agriculture, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Social Security Administration. To examine these agencies' compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement ...

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 ...

Nov 15, 2016

Oversight of the Secret Service

TAKEAWAYS: Adequate compensation for overtime hours worked during the 2016 presidential campaign has not been paid to USSS employees. Chairman Chaffetz introduced legislation (HR 6302) that allows agents to receive additional pay for overtime hours worked during this time. The ...

Sep 28, 2016

Cybersecurity: Ensuring the Integrity of the Ballot Box

PURPOSE: To understand the scope and scale of cyber threats to the U.S. election system. To discuss efforts underway at all levels of government to secure elections systems against possible cyber threats. BACKGROUND: Elections are administered on a state-by-state and often county-by-county basis. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission is an independent, bipartisan commission that develops guidance ...

Sep 23, 2016

Reviewing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Prohibition on Houseboats

PURPOSE: To review the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) proposed policy on houseboats, including the impact of the policy on houseboat owners and surrounding communities. To evaluate the purported water quality improvements TVA contends will result from the policy. BACKGROUND: TVA's Board of Directorsapproved a policy to prohibit new floating houses on all of its reservoirs and to require the removal of ...