Though counterterrorism and law enforcement agencies have worked to identify early indicators of terrorism and violence, the Boston Marathon bombing and other recent events show the limitations of those efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at a Senate hearing April 23.
A bill introduced simultaneously in the House and Senate on April 22, would make the Office of Management and Budget set governmentwide customer service standards to improve response times for citizen requests and government services.
The government should set up a steering committee to reform how federal documents are classified, 31 public interest organizations wrote in a letter (.pdf) to President Obama. A presidentially-appointed steering committee would provide a mechanism for identifying and coordinating needed changes and for overcoming internal agency resistance to change, it adds.
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not be treated as an "enemy combatant" following his April 19 apprehension and subsequent hospitalization, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. "We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice," Carney said, adding that the courts system had proven many times its ability to handle terrorist cases.
Veterans Affairs disability claims backlog will still be eliminated by 2015 and an electronic claims system will be in every VA regional office by December 2013, Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shineski told a House Appropriations subcommittee during an April 18 hearing . Claims will be processed in 125 days or less with at least a 98 percent accuracy level, Shineski said.
Despite sequestration, the Transportation Security Administration does not intend to furlough any employees, TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski said April 18. So far, sequestration has also not resulted in longer lines at airport checkpoints, he said at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing.
In an April 12 report (.pdf), the Energy Department office of inspector finds much to laud--noting that recent vulnerability scans turned up just 335 high- and medium-risk vulnerabilities, as opposed to a July 2011 scan that turned up about 9,000 such vulnerabilities. But tracking, prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities is problematic at the program, which is responsible for the safety of naval nuclear propulsion systems.
More than a decade's worth of research pointing toward cost savings to be had by making Defense Department satellite control systems interoperable has gone unimplemented, says the Government Accountability Office in an April 18 report (.pdf). The increase in dedicated infrastructure "reflects more of a preference by satellite program managers than a need," auditors say Air Force officials told them.
Five months after Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana, the Justice Department still has yet to decide what to do in response, and Attorney General Eric Holder indicated April 18 that no decision was near.
New logistics programs to help manage Veterans Health Affairs medical supplies lack money and might not be implemented, an April 17 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) says.VHA started several programs to help manage medical supplies, but the administration has yet to fully fund the programs or staff them properly, GAO finds.