The Postal Service didn't identify and recover about $9.9 million in fuel overpayments to trucking contractors in 2009 and 2010 through its Voyager Card Program, which allows drivers to expense gas on a credit card, an Oct. 30 USPS inspector general report says. The USPS IG found that in 2009 and 2010 the Postal Service calculated and recovered $12.6 million in overpayments, but when the IG did its own calculations, it found $22.5 million in overpayments.
Between 2005 and 2010, the U.S. Marshal Service spent nearly $800,000 on promotional swag such crystal statues, scars and Christmas ornaments due to lax oversight, a Nov. 5 Justice Department inspector general report says. The IG found the USMS Investigative Operations Division spent at least $793,118 on promotional items that these expenditures were excessive and, in some instances, in contravention of department policies.
The Small Business Administration plans to update its data rights policies under the Small Business Innovation Research program in late 2013 or early 2014, the Government Accountability Office says. An SBA spokesman could not offer details other than to say that the government shutdown in October delayed the revision process.
Some Veterans Affairs contracts with non-VA medical providers didn't contain specific performance requirements and contracting officer representatives didn't have time to monitor the contracts due to other duties, an Oct. 31 Government Accountability Office report says.
For several healthcare centers that the Veterans Affairs Department planned to build in 2012, the department still had yet to award leases--let alone begin construction--as of August of this year. VA sent Congress a timeline in 2010, showing its plans to award the leases by August 2010, finish construction by May 2012 and occupy the buildings a month later.
A federal appeals court has stayed a series of reforms to the stop-and-frisk practices of the New York Police Department required by lower court Judge Shira Scheindlin earlier this year.
The more independent groups spend to influence state supreme court elections, the more that elected high bench justices tend to rule for the prosecution in criminal cases during election season, an Oct. 28 Center for American Progress report says.
The cash for clunkers program, which was supposed to boost short term vehicle sales and reduce carbon emissions, ended up costing more than it was worth, an Oct. 30 Brookings report says. The $2.85 billion Car Allowance Rebate System, known as cash for clunkers, provided economic incentives to people who bought new, more fuel-efficient vehicles when they traded in their less fuel-efficient vehicles. The program was offered July 1 to Aug. 24, 2009.
The House Homeland Security Committee approved Oct. 29 a bill that would require the Homeland Security Department to issue cybersecurity workforce occupation classifications, conduct an assessment of its current workforce, and develop a recruitment and retention workforce strategy. The committee also passed that day a bill that would require the Science and Technology Directorate to develop a strategic plan to guide federal cybersecurity and physical security research and development efforts.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology will review its cryptographic standards development process and subject it to public comment and a formal review by an independent organization, the agency announced Nov. 1. In addition, Computer Security Division Chief Donna Dodson wrote that NIST will examine its existing body of cryptographic work and the procedures used to develop them, promising to address any cases where in retrospect the agency fell short "as quickly as possible."