DoJ will not reopen case against Lois Lerner

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  • A former government official has skirted potential legal issues. The Justice Department announced it will not reopen an investigation into former IRS official Lois Lerner for her role in the targeting of conservative special interest groups back in 2010. Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee made the original request. Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) called the decision “terrible.” (House Ways and Means Committee)

 

  • Veterans evacuating from hurricanes Harvey or Irma can go to any VA medical center for health care. The Veterans Affairs Department assured patients medical centers will be ready to offer care. Some VA medical facilities and clinics in Florida will reopen today. Veterans who need emergency shelter should go to a community shelter in the state. (Department of Veterans Affairs)

 

  • While thousands of National Guardsmen are working on relief efforts in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Harvey, Guardsmen in the west are busy too. Nearly 600 Oregon National Guardsmen are fighting one of the worst Oregon fire seasons in history. Almost 183,000 acres have burned so far. (Department of Defense)

 

  • The Internal Revenue Service is responding to Freedom of Information Act requests in an inconsistent manner. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration also reports disclosure specialists at the IRS accidentally disclosed personal taxpayer information for a handful of responses. Other mistakes include withholding information from taxpayers that related to their own cases and not providing publicly available information to requestors. (Department of the Treasury)

 

  • A new audit by the Pentagon’s inspector general claims DoD may be wasting billions of dollars by buying more weapons than it actually needs. The audit specifically targets the processes used by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, the panel that validates the military services’ requirements for major Defense acquisition programs. The IG said the JROC has been effectively rubber-stamping the procurement quantities requested by the military services without independently validating them, and insisting on tradeoffs between cost, schedule, performance and quantity. In its official response, the Pentagon disputed the report’s conclusions, calling the assertions about potential waste “misleading.” (Department of Defense Office of Inspector General)

 

  • Lawmakers think they have a solution to fix the Secret Service’s growing overtime and staffing problems. The newly introduced Secret Service Recruitment and Retention Act would raise the statutory cap on total pay for Secret Service employees. At least 1,300 employees have already reached the pay and overtime limit for the year. The bill would also require Congress to study the Secret Service’s future workforce and hiring plans. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

 

  • Spending caps have prevented the Homeland Security Department from fully implementing many of the mandates in the 9-11 Commission Act. According to House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the sequester caps set under the Budget Control Act of 2011 make it tough for DHS to fully support state and local governments with grant money. (House Homeland Security Committee)

 

  • The most recent federal CIO has a new job. Tony Scott, the federal chief information officer under the Obama administration for the final two years, has landed at law and lobby firm Squire Patton Boggs. Scott will be a senior advisor in the data privacy and cybersecurity practice. In that role, Scott will help the firm’s clients understand and apply legal, regulatory, policy and legislative changes around cyber and privacy. Scott is the fifth former government official to join Squire Patton Bogg’s privacy and cyber practice since June. (Squire Patton Boggs)

 

  • A cabinet secretary is cleared of violating the Hatch Act. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, introduced by his official title, spoke at a rally for President Trump. That prompted a complaint to the Office of Special Counsel by former Labor Deputy Secretary Chris Lu, a prominent supporter of former President Barack Obama. In a tweet, Lu includes a letter from OSC exonerating Carson. But the White House staffer who introduced Carson is gone. (Twitter)