Oversight

GAO uses uses covert testing scheme to assess SBA screening processes

The Government Accountability Office sent applications from four fake firms to the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program to see whether SBA had made progress addressing long-standing oversight issues.

FTC warns of legal risks of failing on Log4j mitigation

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning this week urging companies to take "reasonable steps" to mitigate known software vulnerabilities or face potential legal consequences, recalling the $700 million settlement Equifax paid for a major breach in 2017.

Tech woes and fraud top the list of unemployment system issues

A new report from a special Pandemic Response Accountability Committee delves into the issues surrounding UI during COVID-19.

What’s next for security clearance reform?

Expect new milestones from the DOD’s governmentwide vetting IT and new policies on vetting criteria in 2022.

Top House Republican pushes back on government telework

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) isn’t the only Republican lawmaker asking questions about the productivity of teleworking federal employees.

White House presses for improved agency-IG cooperation

The White House has called for increased collaboration between federal agencies and inspectors general after conducting a review which revealed some agency leaders had not fully communicated their endorsement of IG policies and whistleblower protections to staff.

Analysis: Are better debriefings driving down protests?

Beginning 2018, the Defense Department started conducting what are called "enhanced" debriefings that allow for more dialogue with companies after they've lost a contract. That means unsuccessful bidders get more information on where their bid fell short without filing a protest.

Speed bumps for VA's new scheduling system

A watchdog report identified gaps in training and oversight for the new scheduling system being implemented at VA medical facilities.

Senate Republicans seek IG probe of TSA pipeline directives

Republican leaders on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are calling for an inspector general probe into how the Transportation Security Administration developed its first ever pipeline-specific security directives.

DOD looks to civilian workforce to close technology gaps

The Defense Department has been increasingly looking to recruit civilians to fill its tech talent needs, but some lawmakers are concerned that the mission of uniformed troops could suffer.

GAO prods OPM to review pandemic hiring

A new Government Accountability Office report says that not compiling the lessons learned from special hiring authorities could "risk significantly hindering the government's ability to recruit, hire, retain and manage its current COVID-19 pandemic workforce as well as for future pandemics or emergencies."

IGs look to expand investigative authority

Agency watchdogs told lawmakers that they would like authority to subpoena former federal employees, contractors and other non-governmental witnesses to give testimony in IG probes.

Lawmakers seek probe of veterans' records requests backlog

The National Personnel Records Center is facing a backlog of 550,000 requests that built up over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FLRA faces backlogs, staffing woes

The agency has been without a general counsel for years, leaving it unable to resolve charges of unfair labor practices, but the Senate is poised to confirm new leadership.

TSA head says more union rights coming to airport screeners

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want the agency to resolve longstanding compensation issues for the frontline Transportation Security Administration workforce.

Federal CIO tees up 7 new TMF awards

The awards, the first since TMF's $1 billion plus-up in the American Rescue Plan Act, are expected to be made public soon.

IG reports delays in COVID notification in GSA facilities

A report from the General Services Administration's Office of the Inspector General says the agency's Public Buildings Services at times failed to follow CDC guidelines around reporting and cleaning procedures for COVID-19 incidents.