The open floor plans in the General Services Administration's headquarters make employees' work spaces vulnerable to theft, the agency's inspector general says in an Oct. 16 report.
Federal departments and agencies were instructed to adopt the use of security-enhanced cards, such as those that use chip-and PIN technology "as soon as possible" in an Oct. 17 executive order signed by President Obama. Chip-and-PIN technology – which uses an embedded chip in credit, debit and other payment cards, in lieu of a magnetic strip, and a personal identification number – has greatly reduced financial fraud and identity theft in Europe.
The Environmental Protection Agency inspector general found significant weaknesses in EPA's oversight of state and local fee collections for Clean Air Act permits. IG finds annual Title V program expenses often exceeded Title V revenues in report released Oct. 20.
A review of cloud computing services in the Commerce Department found missing clauses in contractors' agreements to permit reviews of their facilities and operations, as well as lack of compliance with federal security standards.
The Veterans Affairs Department inspector general cleared a Minneapolis medical facility of wrongdoing after several troubling months at VA clinics across the country related to long wait times and patients being left off wait lists. Jordan Buisman, a 25-year-old ex-Marine, left military service because of complications from epilepsy and died Nov. 26 2012 – 24 days before the date he was scheduled to see a VA doctor about his condition, says an Oct. 10 statement from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).
Federal workers have used government-issued purchase cards to buy thousands of dollars worth of food, salon services and gym memberships, federal auditors told a House subcommittee. This shows that abuse of government-issued purchase cards persists almost across the board despite regulations – most recently the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 – to ensure proper use, they said at an Oct. 14 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Government Operations Subcommittee.
Results from Customs and Border Protection's covert operations, which are conducted to evaluate nuclear and radiological detection and interdiction capabilities at different ports of entry, cannot be used to assess capabilities across all such U.S. locations, a congressional investigation found.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who has championed legislation to ban mobile apps that enable one person to spy on or stalk another, is urging the Justice Department to step up its efforts against such technology.
The firing of an Army civilian police officer who said other officers were receiving unearned pay will be investigated by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. OSC officials persuaded the Merit Systems Protection Board to stay Kenneth Delano's departure from the force for 45 days while it looks into whether the Army retaliated against Delano. OSC's role is to protect federal whistleblowers.
The Defense Department spent nearly half a billion dollars on aircrafts for Afghanistan only to end up destroying them and selling them for about $32,000 in scrap. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction wants to know why so much money was wasted. During a trip to Afghanistan, SIGAR John Sopko observed 16 of 20 planes in the G222 fleet parked unused on a tarmac at Kabul International Airport, a Oct. 3 letter (pdf) from Sopko to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says.