DoD fails to meet all requirements for reporting improper payments, IG says

  • The Defense Department failed to comply with the Improper Payment Elimination and Recovery Act in Fiscal 2016. The agency’s inspector general found the department complied with only one of the six requirements of the act by reporting improper payment rates of less than 10 percent. Other than that, DoD missed the deadline for its Agency Financial Report and failed to say when it would take action to reduce the bad payments it reported. (Department of Defense Office of Inspector General)
  • You can now be kicked out of the Marine Corps for sharing nude photos of someone without their permission. Corps leaders updated the branch’s Separation and Retirement Manual to include the distribution or broadcasting of an intimate image without consent, as an offense which warrants separation. So one strike and your out. (Marine Corps)
  • The Defense Department has less than five months to prepare for an audit. The Senate Armed Services Committee put David Norquist, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Under Secretary of Defense and Comptroller in charge of preparations. During Norquist’s confirmation hearing, committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz) said DoD’s 17 years without an audit must end with him. Norquist promised to begin the audit immediately if confirmed. Norquist oversaw the Homeland Security Department’s first audit in 2006 as the agency’s chief financial officer. (Federal News Radio)
  • Leaders of the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee said they’re interested in possibly changing the military’s up or out system. Chairman Mike Coffman (R-Colo) and Ranking Member Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said the system was alienating some of the military’s best talent. The up or out system requires service members to continue rising in ranks throughout their career or leave the military. But Coffman and Speier said that keeps service members on a strict career path that breeds out creativity and diversity out of the military.
  • Two bills in Congress aim to improve citizen services. House and Senate lawmakers introduced separate bills to make it easier for agencies and citizens to access to federal services. Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) authored the Federal Agency Customer Feedback Act. This bill would remove the lengthy approval process to obtain voluntary feedback from citizens under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced the Connect to Government Act. This legislation would require all future and re-designed agency websites to be mobile-friendly. (Rep. James Lankford) (Rep. Robin Kelly)
  • Twenty-one good government and oversight organizations want the House Financial Service Committee to rescind guidance it gave to the Treasury Department on Freedom of Information Act compliance. Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) wants Treasury to decline any FOIA requests for communications between his committee and the department. Good government groups say those communications are agency records, not congressional ones, making them subject to FOIA. (Project on Government Oversight)
  • Will Ivanka Trump support six weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees? National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon asked the President’s daughter to support legislation in the House and Senate calling for it. The bill would give feds an additional six weeks for the birth, adoption or fostering of a new child. Ivanka Trump has said she supports paid parental leave. (National Treasury Employees Union)
  • A former Treasury employee is sentenced to almost four years in prison for tax evasion. According to Justice officials, Henti Baird used his knowledge and experience from working as an IRS revenue officer to get out of paying taxes since 1998. DOJ said he evaded more than $573,000 in taxes. He was also charged with impeding tax laws. (Department of Justice)
  • A bit of Silicon Valley joins the Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s attorney Bill Hinman, who becomes the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance director. Until recently he was a partner at Simpson Thacher and Bartlett, working in its Palo Alto, California office. He’s also a lecturer at Stanford University. Hinman is a long time corporate adviser, with expertise in finance, initial public offerings, and governance. He helped IPOs for Facebook, Google, and eBay among others. (Securities and Exchange Commission)