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Tag: Government Accountability Office

Most of Homeland Security’s Uniforms Are Bought Outside U.S., Including South of Border

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

So much for Made in America.

A report by the Government Accountability Office found that Homeland Security bought 46% of its uniforms from Mexico and Central America, compared to just 42% in the U.S., the Washington Times reports

Homeland Security spent nearly $75 million over the past three years on department uniforms from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.

Under Homeland Security rules, the agency is supposed to buy uniforms that originated in the U.S.

The GAO said Homeland Security was aware of the requirements but ignored them.

“As of June 2017, under the current uniforms contract, 58 percent of the value of ordered uniform items by DHS came from foreign sources,” the investigation found.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Cancels $500M, No-Bid Contract with Motorola Following Protests from Competitors

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Protests from other vendors have prompted the FBI to cancel a $500 million, no-bid contract to Motorola Solutions Inc., the McClatchy Washington Bureau reports.

The FBI declined to use the competitive bidding process because the bureau already uses Motorola, and it would cost $1.2 billion for a complete new system.

Three vendors filed formal protests to the Government Accountability Office, which handles such cases.

In response, assistant FBI General Counsel Jack Cordes Jr. said the requirements in the FBI’s solicitations were “not clear” and that the no-bid contract doesn’t comply with Federal Acquisition Regulations.

“Therefore, as corrective action, the FBI will cancel the solicitation and reassess its requirements, as well as the acquisition strategy for meeting them,” he wrote.

AG Holder, FBI Director Among Officials Who Spent $7.8 Million on Personal Trips and Federal Jets

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder and former FBI Director Robert Mueller are among senior Justice Department officials who billed taxpayers a combined $7.8 million to use federal aircraft for hundreds of personal trips, the Washington Post reports.

The report by Congress’ nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, which was released Thursday, comes less than three months after Holder came under fire for his use of the FBI jet.

Attorneys general have access to Defense Department aircraft for business and personal travel, the Post wrote.

 

U.S. Government Gets Bigger, Largely Because of Growth of Homeland Security

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of federal government workers rose from 1.9 million to 2.1 million between 2004 and 2012, the USA Today reports, citing the Government Accountability Office.

Homeland Security grew nearly 4% annually on average between 2004 and 2012.

The GAO report, which was released Wednesday, found:

  1. From 2004 to 2012, the federal non-postal civilian workforce grew by 258,882 employees, from 1.88 million to 2.13 million (14 percent).
  2. Three agencies — the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Veterans Affairs (VA) — accounted for about 94 percent of this increase. At DOD, officials said that converting certain positions from military to civilian, as well as the growth of the agency’s acquisition and cybersecurity workforce, contributed to this overall increase. At VA, officials said the increased demand for medical and health-related services for military veterans drove most of the growth in personnel levels. DHS officials said the increase in employment was due in large part to the nation’s border security requirements.

Departments with workforces that declined include the EPA, Small Business Administration and Office of Personnel Management.

Oops! Homeland Security Loses Track of 1 Million Foreigners Who Previously Arrived in U.S.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An audit revealed Tuesday that the Homeland Security Department does not know what happened to more than 1 million people who arrived in the U.S., an embarrassing blunder as lawmakers debate a new immigration bill, The Washington Times reports.

The Government Accountability Office’s report underscores that the department’s failure to accurately track people visiting the U.S.

The Homeland Security Department was unable to prove whether more than 1 million immigrants ever left the U.S., The Washington Times reported. That’s because the department is long overdue in creating a system to track departures, a goal set in 1996.

“DHS has not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability, but has planning efforts under way to report to Congress in time for the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle on the costs and benefits of such a capability at airports and seaports,” GAO investigators wrote.

Senators Call for Government Study on DEA’s Role in Prescription Drug Shortage

Sen. Grassley/official photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Could the DEA be doing more harm than good with its efforts to curb prescription drug abuse?

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are asking the Government Accountability Office to study how the DEA’s crackdowns on controlled substances may be creating shortages of vital prescription meds for doctors in the field.

Grassley says in his office’s press release, “More and more, emergency medical technicians report shortages of medicines they need in the field.”

“Patients need access to the right treatment at the right time,” Whitehouse added, “and we need to balance the DEA’s mission to fight prescription drug abuse against patients’ need for proper care.”

The DEA sets controlled substance quotas, and in effect, production limits, for drug companies. Since the drug shortage crisis developed, controlled substances are frequently on the FDA drug shortage list. While the shortage creates crisis for emergency care workers and their patients, recent studies indicate prescription drug abuse continues to rise.

Read Grassley’s press release here.

Column: U.S. Falls Short in Helping Mexico Battle Drug War

drug war-gunBy Jackson Diehl
Washington Post Deputy Editorial  Page Writer

WASHINGTON — Last month, 303 people were murdered in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, which lies alongside El Paso. This month, the dead include three men killed by a sophisticated, remote-controlled car bomb — the first in Mexico’s drug wars. In a city of 1.2 million, more than 2,600 died violently in 2009; some 200,000 more may have fled.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Government Accountability Office has drawn up a list of assistance promised to Mexico by the United States since 2008, but not delivered. It includes: at least nine Black Hawk helicopters; three Bell helicopters; four airplanes for sea patrolling; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft; 218 polygraph units; two railroad inspection units; mobile gamma radiation trucks; and five training programs, ranging from “financial intelligence” to “drug demand reduction.”

Since the end of the Cold War, neglect of Latin America has become something of a fine art in Washington, practiced by Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST