May 23, 2017

Protecting American’s Identities: Examining Efforts to Limit the Use of Social Security Numbers

PURPOSE: To examine efforts by federal agencies to reduce the use of Social Security numbers (SSNs) and the security challenges facing these agencies. BACKGROUND: In 2007, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) required all federal agencies to identify opportunities to reduce ...

May 18, 2017

Federal Employee Compensation: An Update

TAKEAWAYS: An April Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report found federal employees earn 17 percent more than comparable private sector employees. Most federal employees receive compensation through the outdated ...

May 4, 2017

Examining a Church’s Right to Free Speech

PURPOSE: To examine the Johnson Amendment's effect on churches' and other non-profit organizations' freedom of speech. BACKGROUND: The Johnson Amendment prohibits churches and charitable organizations from engaging in any political campaign activity - violators risk losing their tax ...

May 3, 2017

Reviewing the FAFSA Data Breach

TAKEAWAYS: The Department of Education (the Department) refuses to recognize this as a "data breach" and has not implemented solutions to fix the vulnerabilities.

May 2, 2017

Examining the Management of Red Snapper Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico

PURPOSE: To examine the distribution of red snapper allotments between commercial and recreational anglers, and state versus federal regulation of snapper fishing. BACKGROUND: The federal government imposes catch ratios on red snapper ...

Apr 27, 2017

The Border Wall: Strengthening our National Security

PURPOSE: To discuss the costs of illegal immigration and the benefits that a border wall would provide to national security, economy, and respect for the rule of law.

Apr 26, 2017

Reviewing the Unintended Consequences of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

PURPOSE: To examine the effects of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) on the U.S. and international economy, as well as potential legislative remedies. BACKGROUND: Signed into law in 2010, FATCA requires non-U.S. financial institutions to report assets and identities ...

Apr 26, 2017

Unfunded Mandates: Examining Federally Imposed Burdens on State and Local Government

PURPOSE: To examine the burdens of unfunded mandates on state and local governments. To hear from several state and local officials about how unfunded mandates affect their communities  BACKGROUND: Unfunded mandates are legislative or ...

Apr 6, 2017

The Best and Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government

PURPOSE: To review trends in employee engagement as reported in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government annual rankings. To discuss the importance of Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and consider the implications of the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) proposed changes to the survey. BACKGROUND: Every year, federal employees voluntarily complete OPM's FEVS, which measures ...

Apr 5, 2017

Improving the Visitor Experience at National Parks

PURPOSE: To examine how visitor services programs operate differently across the country. To discuss whether the National Park Service (NPS) should implement some of the reforms that are driving an increase in visitation at other state and federal facilities. BACKGROUND: Private companies, known as concessioners, manage many visitor services at national parks, such as campgrounds, lodging, and ...