Hearings

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 ...

Mar 21, 2017

Examining GAO Findings on Deficiencies at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

PURPOSE: To examine leadership failures at the Department of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) and the Obama administration's efforts to reorganize the Department after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident. To consider recommendations for improving the Interior Department's management and oversight capabilities. BACKGROUND: BSEE is ...

Mar 21, 2017

$125 Billion in Savings Ignored: Review of DoD’s Efficiency Study

TAKEAWAYS: The contract to generate a report on potential savings within DoD totaled $9 million. DoD never finalized the report; the deliverable was limited to a slide deck. This study was treated differently than previous reports published by the DBB DoD testified that the study was widely disseminated, but: The slide deck of the study was not filed under "Reports" section of the website, but instead filed under the ...

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 ...