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Contractor Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program: Improvements Needed to Ensure Effective Implementation
GAO-17-227: Published: Mar 2, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2017.
The Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program (pilot program) provides enhanced legal protections to contractor employees who believe that they have experienced reprisal as a result of disclosing certain wrongdoings. Among other enhancements, the act expanded the persons and entities to which a whistleblower could disclose wrongdoing and identified which office within an agency has responsibility fo...
Federal Real Property: GSA Should Inform Tenant Agencies When Leasing High-Security Space from Foreign Owners
GAO-17-195: Published: Jan 3, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 2017.
GAO reviewed available information on the ownership of General Services Administration (GSA) leased space that requires higher levels of security protection based on factors such as mission criticality and facility size (high-security space) as of March 2016 and found that GSA is leasing high-security space from foreign owners in 20 buildings. The 26 tenant agencies occupy about 3.3 million square...
Permanent Funding Authorities: Some Selected Entities Should Review Financial Management, Oversight, and Transparency Policies
GAO-17-59: Published: Dec 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 2016.
Permanent authorities to collect and obligate fees, fines, penalties and other funds without further congressional action vary in the degree to which Congress retains control over collections and obligations or delegates control to the entities that administer them. For the purposes of this report, GAO refers to these legal authorities as permanent funding authorities. GAO examined five case studi...
Federal Fees, Fines, and Penalties: Observations on Agency Spending Authorities
GAO-17-268T: Published: Dec 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 2016.
GAO's prior work has identified four key design decisions related to how fee, fine, and penalty collections are used that help Congress balance agency flexibility and congressional control.Key Design Decisions for Use of CollectionsOne of these key design decisions is the congressional action that triggers the use of collections. The table below outlines the range of structures that establish an a...
Confidential Informants: Status of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Efforts to Address a GAO Recommendation
GAO-17-265R: Published: Nov 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2016.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), an agency within the Department of Justice, has updated its confidential informant policy and corresponding monitoring processes to address provisions in The Attorney Generalâ€™s Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants regarding oversight of informantsâ€™ illegal activities. Thus, GAO considers its recommendation from September 2015â€...
Student Loans: Oversight of Servicemembers' Interest Rate Cap Could Be Strengthened
GAO-17-4: Published: Nov 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2016.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides servicemembers with an interest rate cap of 6 percent on student loans while they are on active duty. The number of servicemembers with federal student loans who received this rate cap increased as a result of the Department of Education (Education) requiring federal loan servicers to regularly use the Department of Defense's (DOD) SCRA website t...
Financial Institutions: Penalty and Settlement Payments for Mortgage-Related Violations in Selected Cases
GAO-17-11R: Published: Nov 10, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2016.
GAO reviewed nine selected cases involving alleged mortgage-related violationsâ€”violations related to mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, and the packaging or sale of residential mortgage-backed securitiesâ€”finalized from February 2012 through April 2016. GAO found that the eight federal agencies that played key roles in these casesâ€”the Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Ur...
Federal Chief Information Security Officers: Opportunities Exist to Improve Roles and Address Challenges to Authority
GAO-16-686: Published: Aug 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2016.
Under the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA 2014), the agency chief information security officer (CISO) has the responsibility to ensure that the agency is meeting the requirements of the law, including developing, documenting, and implementing the agency-wide information security program. However, 13 of the 24 agencies GAO reviewed had not fully defined the role of the...
Freedom of Information Act: Litigation Costs For Justice and Agencies Could Not Be Fully Determined
GAO-16-667: Published: Sep 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
Of the 1,672 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits with a decision rendered between 2009 and 2014, GAO identified 112 lawsuits where the plaintiff substantially prevailed. Litigation-related costs for these 112 lawsuits could not be fully determined. Costs associated with such lawsuits are comprised of (1) the Department of Justice's (Justice) costs for defending the lawsuits on behalf of age...
Sexual Violence Data: Actions Needed to Improve Clarity and Address Differences Across Federal Data Collection Efforts
GAO-16-546: Published: Jul 19, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 2016.
Four federal agenciesâ€”the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Justice (DOJ)â€”manage at least 10 efforts to collect data on sexual violence, which differ in target population, terminology, measurements, and methodology. Some of these data collection efforts focus on a specific population that the agency servesâ€”for example, the incarcerated populationâ€”while...