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Mar 23, 2016

Examining the Bureau of Land Management Public Lands Leasing

PURPOSE: To examine recent management of oil and gas lease sales by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BACKGROUND: The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA) gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to sell leases for the development of fossil fuels on federal lands. Under the MLA, BLM is authorized to conduct competitive and noncompetitive leasing of lands for oil and gas production and ...

Mar 23, 2016

National Security: Threats at Our Borders

PURPOSE: To review the current surge of foreign nationals entering, or attempting to enter illegally, along the southern border. To examine U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to respond. To examine the resources available to CBP to identify, apprehend, and remove aliens who may pose a risk to the American people. BACKGROUND: The border security mission of the Department of Homeland ...

Mar 22, 2016

Opportunities and Challenges in Advancing Health Information Technology

PURPOSE: To examine the opportunities and challenges in healthcare delivery in the information technology age. To explore ways to leverage technology to improve healthcare. BACKGROUND: Numerous Health Information Technology (Health IT) innovations exist to monitor health and fitness and improve health outcomes, including electronic health records, wearable devices, apps, and next generation medical ...

Mar 22, 2016

America’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic

TAKEAWAYS: Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Experts believe the current epidemic of opioid abuse has contributed to an increase in heroin deaths as opioid consumers move towards heroin use. In recent years, opioid-related overdoses have begun to decrease while heroin-related overdoses have sharply increased. According to the DEA, Mexican based criminal organizations are the ...

Mar 17, 2016

Examining Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Michigan, Part 3

TAKEAWAYS: Chairman Chaffetz and other members of the Committee called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator McCarthy to resign. EPA refuses to take responsibility for not taking quick and decisive action in Flint and has not held anyone accountable for their failures. Administrator McCarthy refused to answer whether she would have removed Susan Hedman as Region 5 ...

Mar 16, 2016

Examining the Renewable Fuel Standard

PURPOSE: To examine the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) management of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. BACKGROUND: The RFS dictates that a specific amount of renewable fuel must be mixed into transportation fuel sold in the United States. Ethanol is the most common ingredient blended in order to comply with RFS. Due to delays in issuing annual blending mandates, EPA must issue retroactive ...

Mar 16, 2016

VA Cybersecurity and IT Oversight

PURPOSE: To examine the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act and Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), as well as specific IT investments, including the modernization of the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VISTA) system. BACKGROUND: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is engaged in an effort ...

Mar 16, 2016

Rebuilding Afghanistan: Oversight of Defense Department Infrastructure Projects

TAKEAWAYS: More than 60 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) reconstruction contracts inspected by the Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) between July 2009 and September 2015 did not fully meet contract requirements or technical specifications. One-third of completed reconstruction projects in Afghanistan inspected by SIGAR have never been used. Troop drawdown in Afghanistan limits SIGAR, DOD, and ...

Mar 15, 2016

Accountability and Transparency Reform at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

PURPOSE: To examine the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in ensuring regulatory transparency and accountability. BACKGROUND: Created by the Paperwork Reduction of 1980, OIRA is housed within the Office of Management and Budget and is responsible for overseeing federal regulatory, paperwork, and information resource management activities. In 1993, President Clinton issued Executive ...

Mar 15, 2016

Examining Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Michigan, Part 2

TAKEAWAYS: The Flint water crisis is a failure at every level of government. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 was aware of dangerously high levels of lead in Flint drinking water in April 2015, yet failed to act until January 2016 when they were forced to intervene. EPA Region 5 Regulations Manager