Hearings

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 ...

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 ...