9:12 AM, Aug 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Thanks to the marvels of the digital epoch, citizens can now track the government’s spending of public money. On a website, of all things. Of course, while the technology may change and improve, the eternals still apply. So one is not especially astonished to learn, as Gregory Korte of USA Today reports, that:
A government website intended to make federal spending more transparent was missing at least $619 billion from 302 federal programs, a government audit has found.
Well, employing the passive voice favored by government, mistakes will be made. As, for instance:
The Department of Health and Human Services failed to report nearly $544 billion, mostly in direct assistance programs like Medicare. The department admitted that it should have reported aggregate numbers of spending on those programs.
HHS would be the outfit charged with handling your health care. So try to stay well.
At least until the government gets its nimble fingers around this thing. And:
... the administration is already working to improve the data following the passage of the DATA Act last year. "OMB is committed to federal spending transparency and working with agencies to improve the completeness and accuracy of data submissions,”[OMB spokesman Jamal Brown] said in a statement. The administration is also transferring responsibility for the website from the General Services Administration to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service in the Department of the Treasury.
The news of which is reassuring to us all.
Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook was dimly aware that the U.S. Army was reengineering its ammo but still was taken aback to read that it took 15 years and an estimated $100 million to come up with a new 5.56 NATO round for our infantrymen. It cost so much and took so long because, you know, it’s not easy being green. Today’s bullet is lead-free—made from copper with a steel penetrator.
'A billion dollar government contract involving hundreds of local workers'...8:12 AM, May 13, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
An eye-opening report from KMOV about an Obamacare contractor using taxpayer dollars to pay their employees to spend all day doing nothing:
"A billion dollar government contract involving hundreds of local workers at an Obamacare processing center ... But now employees on the inside are stepping forward, asking, Is this why we're broke? Some of them claim to spend most of their day doing nothing," reports a local St. Louis reporter.
7:06 AM, Apr 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Four years after Obamacare became law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is notifying Medicare providers and suppliers of new fingerprint-based background checks. Eventually, all individuals who hold a five percent or greater stake in a Medicare supplier or provider that is categorized as "high risk" will be subject to the requirement.
9:01 AM, Mar 28, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released details of the latest contract with Terremark Federal Group covering "open market items" required for the ongoing operation of Healthcare.gov.
4:41 PM, Jan 28, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
A provision tucked away in a 2008 bill allocated $20 million to create an office at the USDA to inspect facilities that process catfish. Seafood inspections have traditionally been done by the Food and Drug Administration—and if you're wondering why one species of fish needs to be inspected by two different federal agencies, so are a lot of people in Washington.
9:45 AM, Nov 7, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A report issued in September and released this week by the IRS's Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found continuing problems with the agency's Volunteer Program, which provides free tax preparation and electronic filing for "low- and moderate-income, elderly, disabled, and limited-English-proficient taxpayers."
There is nothing in the middle.1:31 PM, Oct 11, 2013 • By JAY COST
The findings of the newly released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll are simply brutal for congressional Republicans. Not only are they getting the lion's share of the blame for the government shutdown, but President Obama's numbers have actually improved. Worse, Obamacare's numbers are improving, as well.
12:12 PM, Oct 7, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Just a week before the government shutdown kicked in on October 1, the State Department awarded a five-year, maximum $5 million contract for custom handcrafted crystal stem and barware, according to a report in the Valley News, an online news site in Vermont (via Charlie Perkins).
8:11 AM, Oct 7, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Only "essential" employees of the federal government are still working during the shutdown. And at the Federal Election Commission that means practically no one is coming one.
According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, only 4 of the employees on the FEC's staff of 339 are working through the shutdown. That's because only those 4 are considered "essential."
8:14 AM, Sep 20, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
In 2009, the Obama administration made news with an $18 million, five year contract to redesign Recovery.gov, the website the government set up to allow taxpayers to track the stimulus spending enacted by the president and Congress soon after President Obama took office.
8:44 AM, Aug 29, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The state of Alabama received bonus payments from Medicaid for 2009 and 2010 that were a stunning 13 times higher than the state was eligible for. So says the inspector general (IG) for Health and Human Services in a report released on Wednesday.