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Tag Archive: Government Accountability Office


ObamaCare’s Numbers Game

 

 

 

 

 

” It seems the administration had been exaggerating the number of people enrolled in ObamaCare to the tune of about 700,000. We’re shocked! Shocked!

  At a hearing Thursday, Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, finally confessed that 7.3 million were enrolled in ObamaCare plans as of mid-August.

 In other words, the administration had been inflating the “enrollment” number nearly 10% by counting anyone who had completed the application process, not those who paid their premiums.

  Now, they say it’s no big deal, because everyone expected some attrition. But even this new, lower number is likely to be inflated.

  As many as 115,000 could lose their coverage this month because they haven’t validated their citizenship or legal status. Another 360,000 or so could lose their ObamaCare subsidies because of discrepancies over income, which will likely drive many of them to drop their now overpriced health plans.

  And these are just people enrolled through the HealthCare.gov site. California reported in late August that 100,000 of those who enrolled through its state-run exchange were at risk of losing their coverage over citizenship issues.”

 

This is a perfect example of the fact that this administration finds it acceptable to lie about everything it does .

 

Investor’s Business Daily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GAO: Pentagon Broke Law In Bergdahl Case

 

 

 

 

 

” The Defense Department violated the law when it didn’t tell Congress before transferring five Taliban detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Qatar in return for the Taliban’s release of captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Government Accountability Office said in a legal decision made public Thursday.

  Pentagon officials “did not notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the transfer,” as required by law, GAO General Counsel Susan A. Poling said in a letter to nine Republican senators who had sought the analysis.

  What’s more, Poling said, “because DOD used appropriated funds to carry out the transfer when no money was available for that purpose, DOD violated the Antideficiency Act,” which “prohibits federal agencies from incurring obligations exceeding an amount available in an appropriation.”

  The GAO ruling provides legal backing for the position that the administration flouted the notification requirement — a view held by most Republicans and more than a few Democrats. The GAO does not address other issues that many lawmakers have raised about the merits of the exchange. “

 

Read more at Roll Call 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Pentagon Paid $150 Per Gallon For Green Jet Fuel

 

 

Corn v Ethanol

 

 

 

” The Department of Defense (DOD) paid $150 per gallon for alternative jet fuel made from algae, more than 64 times the current market price for standard carbon-based fuels, according to a report released on Wednesday.

  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in its report that a Pentagon official reported paying “about $150 per gallon for 1,500 gallons of alternative jet fuel derived from algal oil.”

  GAO’s report examined the financial challenges facing increased purchases and use of alternative jet fuels by federal agencies. “Currently, the price for alternative jet fuels exceeds that of conventional jet fuel,” the report noted.

  The price for conventional jet fuel is currently $2.88 per gallon. GAO’s report reveals that federal agencies have paid significantly higher prices in an effort to promote biofuels in commercial and military aviation.”

 

 

    To who’s benefit might it be for the Feds to “promote” biofuels use ? Any guesses on who might own/have stock in these companies ?

   For those interested in further reading on the big players in the biofuels industry this article may be of interest , as might the GAO report itself (PDF here) which will avail one of the huge effort being undertaken to send billions of tax dollars into the hands pockets of private investors by way of mandated biofuels purchases from many Federal agencies … all under the guidance of that most upright of government entities , the EPA .

     Below we present the viewer with the introduction to the aforementioned GAO report that makes plain just how large is the concerted effort now underway to require federal agencies to purchase ever-increasing percentages of their fleet fuels at prices way beyond market value from select manufacturers …

 

 

 

” The federal government supports the development and use of alternative jet fuels through both broad and targeted initiatives. Broad national strategies promote the development of a variety of alternative fuels—including alternative jet fuel—to help achieve national goals, such as securing energy independence, fostering economic development, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the renewable fuel program—established by law in 2005 to encourage greater use of renewable fuels and administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—requires that U.S. transportation fuels contain certain amounts of renewable fuels annually, increasing from 9-billion gallons in 2008 to 36-billion gallons in 2022. The other four federal agencies that GAO reviewed—Department of Transportation‘s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Defense (DOD)—directly support alternative jet fuels through targeted goals, initiatives, and interagency and industry coordination efforts. For example, FAA set a goal for the U.S. aviation industry to use 1-billion gallons of alternative jet fuels annually by 2018. The four agencies also sponsor research that specifically targets alternative jet-fuel development or provide direct support for its future commercial production, or both. For example, FAA and DOD support research to determine the technical feasibility of using new alternative jet fuels on aircraft and in existing infrastructure. Also, USDA, DOE, and DOD have coordinated their activities to support the future construction or retrofit of multiple domestic commercial- or pre-commercial-scale production facilities to produce alternative fuels, including alternative jet fuels. Specifically, in May and June 2013, four private fuel producers received awards totaling $20.5 million in federal funds, with private industry paying at least 50 percent of the cost.
  Achieving price competitiveness for alternative jet fuels is the overarching challenge to developing a viable market. No alternative jet fuels are currently commercially available at prices competitive with conventional jet fuels. The 23 stakeholders that GAO interviewed most frequently cited high development costs and the uncertainty of federal regulations and policies as primary reasons why alternative jet fuels are not priced competitively and believe that federal activities are needed to help advance the alternative jet-fuels industry. For example, according to 10 stakeholders, fuel producers face difficulties in obtaining private investment to help construct commercial-scale fuel production facilities, in part because of concerns about the supply and high cost of feedstock (the source used to produce the fuel, such as crops) and high capital costs.

  Also, 13 stakeholders stated that continued uncertainty about the future of current federal policies—particularly the renewable fuel program—generally causes potential investors to discount the value of federal subsidies, discounting that, in turn, limits the support these policies may provide the industry. Stakeholders identified a variety of federal actions to advance alternative jet-fuels development, including continuing current federal research efforts, providing greater regulatory and policy certainty, and giving more direct financial support. However, even if the cost to produce alternative jet fuels is reduced, market factors may still determine the long-term success of the industry. The main market factors identified by stakeholders were (1) comparative value of competing end products, (2) feedstock prices, and (3) the costs of conventional jet fuels.”

 

 

 

     It’s also worth remembering that every gallon of biofuel produced increases the cost of our food from the grocery store . Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pentagon Wasting Millions On Ammunition, Report Says

 

 

 

ammo destruction

 

 

” The Pentagon plans to destroy more than $1 billion worth of ammunition although some of those bullets and missiles could still be used by troops, according to the Pentagon and congressional sources.

  It’s impossible to know what portion of the arsenal slated for destruction — valued at $1.2 billion by the Pentagon — remains viable because the Defense Department’s inventory systems can’t share data effectively, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by USA TODAY.

  The result: potential waste of unknown value.

” There is a huge opportunity to save millions, if not billions of dollars if the (Pentagon) can make some common-sense improvements to how it manages ammunition,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Despite years of effort, the Army, Navy and Air Force still don’t have an efficient process for doing something as basic as sharing excess bullets. This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.”

 

Read the rest of this damning report of waste .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Security Breaches Of Personal Information At Federal Agencies More Than Doubles Since 2009

 

 

Security Data Breaches

 

 

 

” Millions of individuals who recently entrusted personal, medical, and financial information to the federal government while enrolling in Obamacare via Healthcare.gov may find a recent trend reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) rather unsettling.  The number of security breaches involving Personally Identifiable Information (PII) at federal agencies more than doubled in recent years, increasing from 10,481 in 2009 to 25,566 in 2013.  Perhaps even more disturbing, the GOA found that “none of the seven agencies [in a related study] consistently documented lessons learned from PII breaches.”

  A graph accompanying the GAO report illustrates the dramatic and consistent upward trend in PII-related breaches over the last several years”

 

 

   See the Weekly Standard for more . We find this disturbing trend to be remarkably suspicious , yet hardly surprising given the current administration’s total lack of regard for our basic Constitutional protections . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthcare.gov Pricetag Was $1 Billion And Counting ..As Of September 30th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” If you asked ten people how much U.S. taxpayers spent on the embarrassingly non-functional Healthcare.gov website and exchage, you’d probably get ten different answers.  The official number offered by the Government Accountability Office is $394 million.  While that’s an awful lot of money, nobody believed it was anywhere close to an accurate figure. The more popular estimate was in the $600 million range but, now, even that seems downright reasonable.

   Bloomberg Government has an analysis which claims that the total cost of federal ACA implementation has easily topped $1 Billion and that it happened way back on September 30th. 

  Although the Affordable Care Act has been law for three and a half years, one third of the funds going to the top contractors working on the federal exchanges were awarded in the six months before the new insurance marketplaces opened Oct. 1, a Bloomberg Government Analysis has found.

  The torrent of late spending — almost $352 million of $1 billion in awards to the top 10 contractors — indicates the magnitude of the work still to be done as opening day approached, and helps explain the information technology problems that have dogged the exchange system since its launch. In a typical IT project, spending ramps up to a peak, then trails off during the final phase.”

 

 

   A billion dollars spent and nothing to show for it but enriched cronies and 404 messages . Now that’s Hope & Change®

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSA Wastes $1 Billion On SPOT

 

 

 

 

”  A new GAO report recommends that Congress end the SPOT program, which attempts to catch terrorists by suspicious behaviors they may exhibit at airport checkpoints. The Transportation Security Administration currently spends more than $200 million a year on the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques program, even though there has been criticism from the start that there is no solid science behind it.

Here are observations about SPOT from my new Cato study on the TSA to be released next Tuesday:

The SPOT program illustrates the problems with top-down federal control over aviation security. ”

 

Read More

   The Federal government , through the auspices of the TSA has wasted over a billion dollars in the past six years on a program that trains the TSA employees to “visually determine” likely terror suspects . When you are through laughing at the TSA’s well-publicized attempts at “profiling” potential terrorists (think nuns , grannies & 5 Year-olds) , consider the waste of time , money , liberty and human dignity that this six year fiasco represents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army Redesigns Combats For $4bn JUST Eight Years After Spending $5bn On Highly Criticised Camo Wear

 

 

 

” The army is soon to announce its new $4 billion camouflage pattern and standard uniform to be worn by its soldiers as it comes under criticism for ‘wasting’ $5 billion on its last uniform which lasted less than a decade.

The billion-dollar experiment to create a universal pattern, known as the Universal Camouflage Pattern, or UCP, is being phased out as the army gets ready to reveal the new uniform.

The army decided to scrap the two traditional camouflage uniforms that had long been used by the military – one meant for woodland environments, another for the desert – in favour of the UCP, which they said could be worn anywhere and blend in with any environment. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Disability Rolls Swell In A Rough Economy

 

 

 

” The fast expansion of disability here is part of a national trend that has seen the number of former workers receiving benefits soar from just over 5 million to 8.8 million between 2000 and 2012. An additional 2.1 million dependent children and spouses also receive benefits.

The crush of new recipients is putting unsustainable financial pressure on the program. Federal officials project that the program will exhaust its trust fund by 2016 — 20 years before the trust fund that supports Social Security’s old-age benefits is projected to run dry.

The growth of the disability rolls has accelerated since the recession hit in 2007. As the labor market tightened, workers with disabilities that employers previously accommodated on the job — painful hips, mental disorders, weak hearts — were often the first to go. Finding new work often proved difficult, causing many to turn to the disability rolls for support.

The migration of so many people from work to the disability rolls is raising concern among lawmakers in Congress that the program is being stretched beyond its original intent of providing a safety net for former workers whose medical problems make them unable to work.

Last week, the Government Accountability Office found that the program made $1.3 billion in potentially improper payments to people who had jobs when they were supposedly disabled. The allegedly improper payments represent less than 1 percent of disability payments.

While fraud remains a concern, policymakers say the program’s biggest vulnerability is the subjective criteria that create a large gray area for applicants. A worker with physical impairments that are difficult to document precisely, like a bad back, can tolerate the condition while on the job but claim it as a reason to go on disability if he falls out of work for a prolonged period.

Many recipients first go on unemployment, which can last a few months or even more than year. Disability, by contrast, can pay out benefits for decades. The vast majority of recipients never return to work.

“The disability program is increasingly becoming a long-term unemployment program,” said Richard Burkhauser, a Cornell University professor who co-wrote a book on disability policy and has testified before Congress about the program. “We see a lot of it now because of the effects of the recession.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICE Released 2,837 Convicted Alien Sex Offenders To Comply With Supreme Court Ruling

 

 

” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released 2,837 convicted criminal alien sex offenders back into American communities in order to comply with a Supreme Court decision authored by Clinton-appointed Justice Stephen Breyer, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The 2,837 sex offenders represented five percent of the 59,347 deportable aliens that have been released from detention under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the GAO report, which was released Thursday.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Says Obamacare Is Going Great

 

 

 

” Obamacare is “working fine,” President Obama said yesterday in his press conference. It’s made health insurance “stronger, better, more secure than it was before.”

Right. There’s nothing to worry about, which is why Members of Congress are trying to exempt themselves and their staffs from Obamacare.

In reality, health insurance premiums are rising, and states—meaning taxpayers—are staring down some astronomical expenses. A new study from the Government Accountability Office cites Obamacare and Medicaid costs as budget busters for states that are just starting to get their budgets in order.”

 

 

>>> See How Much Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Would Cost Your State

 

 

 

 

 

Littoral Combat Ship Network Can Be Hacked, Navy Probe Finds

 

 

 

 

”  The computer network on the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship is vulnerable to hacking, according to findings by Navy cybersecurity specialists.

A “red team” assigned to test weaknesses in computer systems found major deficiencies last year on Lockheed Martin Corp.’s USS Freedom, said a government official familiar with the findings who asked not to be identified because the Navy report hasn’t been made public. The Freedom, the first of the new ships to be deployed, sailed to Singapore last month for eight months of testing of its manning and logistics operations.

The estimated price to build each vessel has doubled to $440 million, and its ability to survive to fight after an attack has been questioned.

The Littoral Combat Ship depends for its combat capability on communicating with better-armed vessels through its “Total Ship Computing Environment,” a maritime battle network linked by computers and sensors. The Navy and the Pentagon’s weapons testing office declined to say whether the vulnerabilities would affect operations of the ship or coordination with other vessels.

The program may face added scrutiny this year, starting tomorrow with a hearing on Navy ship programs convened by the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower panel. The U.S. Government Accountability Office also is working on a review that may be published in June.

The LCS depends on mission modules that are supposed to be swapped out depending on the duty at hand. The GAO said last month that the Navy plans to purchase 30 of a planned 52 vessels by 2018, before the first fully combat-capable modules for surface warfare, counter-mine operations and anti-submarine patrols are ready.

The modules the Navy has accepted so far “do not yet meet requirements,” GAO said.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: 20,000 Pages of Obamacare Regulations

 

 

 

 

” Late last week, Obamacare regulators added more than 800 pages to an ever-growing document that will govern your healthcare.  The bureaucrats’ work product now prints out to 20,000 pages — nearly eight times the length of the infamous original bill:

That tower is already taller than Kobe Bryant (see update), and much of the law hasn’t even gone into effect yet.  According to the Government Accountability Office, Obamacare is projected to add $6.2 trillion to the nation’s long-term deficits, despite presidential assurances that it wouldn’t add a “single dime” to our red ink:

 

 

Not one dime , but 58 trillion dimes … Good grief 

 

 

See also :

 

Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.

 

 

 

And we wouldn’t want Fido to feel left out : 

 

Obamacare May Bite You At The Vet’s Office

 

 

 

FNH Lands Army M4 Contract, Underbids Colt, Remington

 

 

” After a lengthy back-and-forth bidding war between Colt and Remington, one that would eventually involve the Government Accountability Office and the threat of a Congressional hearing, F.N. Herstal has won the contract to update and replace the Army’s aging rifles.

In April of 2012, Remington finally broke the chain of Colt contracts with the U.S. Army, placing an $84 million bid for a run of 120,000 M4A1s, with 24,000 carbines to be delivered starting September of this year.

The cost per Remington M4A1 was just $673 per. Their bid severely undercut Colt’s previous contract, which priced the rifles at over $1,200 a piece.

FN’s contract with the Army is $77 million for the first 120,000 rifles, which works out to a bottom line of just under $642 per M4A1. These will be manufactured at FNH USA in South Carolina along side the M16A4s and M249s FNH USA currently produces for the U.S. armed forces.”