Agency Oversight

  • On National Whistleblower Day, Congress applauds those who speak truth to power

    As members of Congress encourage the whistleblower community to continue to speak up, they acknowledged the long list of improvements they want to make to whistleblower protections at individual agencies like the IRS and FBI.

  • Jeffery Morris: EPA embraces new chemical regulation approach

    Modern life would be impossible without chemicals — yet many chemicals are dangerous. The EPA has a longstanding program for evaluating those risks and providing regulations. Dr. Jeffery Morris, director of the office of pollution prevention and toxics at the EPA, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss a 2015 law — the Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century — that imposes a new risk management approach to chemical safety for the agency.

  • Greg Kutz: IRS looking to fix record archive barriers

    The Internal Revenue Service is working to roll out a new agency-wide email system by the end of the year that will automatically archive messages for record-keeping purposes. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said under legacy processes, the IRS is running afoul of federal records laws in several ways. Greg Kutz, assistant inspector general for audit at TIGTA, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk about what the office found when it took a deep dive into records.

  • IRS chief: Even with bigger budget, tax agency won’t solve all its problems overnight

    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen urged Congress to fund the tax administration so it can invest in IT infrastructure, and meet customer service demands.

  • Melissa Emrey-Arras: Room for improvement in VA’s claims processing

    The Veterans Affairs Department managed to double its rate of processing claims for Gulf War Illness, completing more than 11,000 of them in a year. But that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Some denial letters were poorly written and claims staff often lacked training. Melissa Emrey-Arras, director of education, workforce and income security issues at the Government Accountability Office, shares the details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

  • It takes a village to defraud the government

    In a sense, it also take a village to take down a major Medicare fraud ring — 400 defendants, including 57 doctors, 162 nurses and 36 pharmacists.

  • Walter Shaub: Self-promoter or conscience of the government?

    Former director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub stepped down, questioning the way he handled his feud over conflict of interest issues with President Donald Trump. But others call him the conscience of the government for doing what’s right in fighting to maintain the public trust.

  • Trump’s improper payment goal not impossible, but needs investments in personnel and IT

    Both the Trump administration and Congress are offering new goals to cut government improper payments over the next five to 10 years. Experts in the field say the targets aren’t impossible but need attention and investments in agency technology and personnel.

  • 6 federal workforce bills to watch this summer

    The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will consider a series of bills this week that could impact the federal workforce. Among them is legislation that would give participants more options to withdraw investments from the Thrift Savings Plan.

  • Bob Tobias: Could a pay for performance system work for the federal government

    There are 23 states that have a pay-for-performance system, according to consultant Howard Risher. Florida’s began in 1968, with Wisconsin and Utah following a year later. Bob Tobias, professor in the Key Executive Leadership program at American University, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to assess if the same system could work for the federal government.

  • James Cosgrove: Some hospitals get bonuses despite poor performance

    A Medicare program called hospital value-based purchasing has the goal of rewarding hospitals that give high quality care at lower costs. But, quite a few hospitals have been receiving bonuses for efficiency even though the care they give is sub-par, according to findings from the Government Accountability Office. Joining me with more, James Cosgrove, the GAO’s director of health care issues, shares the details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

  • GSA acting administrator pledges help in finding FBI a new home, defends Trump Hotel lease

    General Services Administration acting Administrator Tim Horne told a congressional subcommittee the FBI headquarters project is cancelled, but not completely out of the running. Horne said the Trump Organization is in full compliance when it comes to the Old Post Office lease.

  • Congress debates how much choice is too much, as it nears key decisions on veterans health care

    Senators have two very different proposals to redesign the Veterans Choice Program. Both pieces of legislation represent very different ideologies and sides of a debate that Congress, the Veterans Affairs Department, veterans service organizations and federal employee groups have been having for the past three years.

  • Seto Bagdoyan: FCC broadband program at risk for fraud

    The Federal Communications Commission’s program for providing subsidized broadband to low income families is at a high risk for fraud and abuse, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The FCC has initiated an independent assessment, but that’s still a couple of years off. Joining me with more, Seto Bagdoyan, director of forensic audits at the GAO, shares the details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.