The Commerce Department's inspector general began its investigation nearly a year ago after it received anonymous whistleblower allegations that paralegals with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or PTAB, within the U.S. PTO had insufficient workloads and instead used that time to surf the Internet, watch TV and do other personal activities.
House and Senate lawmakers reached agreement on a $17 billion Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that would make it easier to fire VA senior executives. The legislation would give the VA secretary the authority to immediately remove an incompetent senior executive based on poor job performance, a July 28 statement from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who led the negotiations for the Senate. But it also affords that senior executive a 21-day period to file an appeal.
The report noted that the agency did not know when its offices were using cloud computing capabilities nor could the EPA provide evidence that it could access contractor's cloud networks for auditing and investigative purposes.
More than 80,000 Defense Department employees and contractors with security clearance owe back taxes, a June 28 Government Accountability Office report says. GAO found that about 83,000 DoD employees and contractors who held or were determined eligible for secret, top secret, or sensitive compartmented information clearances had unpaid federal tax debt totaling more than $730 million as of June 30, 2012, the report says.
The SSA's Disability Case Processing System, or DCPS, has failed to produce a working system after more than six years of development and $288 million, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Cyber attackers could potentially gain access to critical weather satellite systems through interconnected information systems, an internal Commerce Department audit has found.
The District of Columbia and Maryland ranked as one of the worst regions for late delivered mail, a July 21 Postal Service inspector general report says. More than two-thirds of the time, mail is delivered after 5 p.m. to residents and businesses in the Capital District, which includes Maryland and D.C., the report says.
In 2004, the Homeland Security Department reported to 88 different committees and subcommittees of Congress. The 9/11 Commission urged Congress to consolidate oversight to make it less fragmented—but now, a decade later, the department reports to 92 committees and subcommittees.
For federally declared disasters that occurred between 1989 and 1995, only 9 percent of aid money went toward administrative costs. From 2004 through 2011, that number rose to 18 percent.
One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's so-called high-containment laboratories was allowed to resume its transfer of inactivated dangerous organisms on July 24, a day after a CDC official resigned in the wake of the agency's anthrax mishandling scandal.