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DATA Act Implementation Check-in

PURPOSE: To examine the administration's efforts and the challenges confronting government-wide implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). BACKGROUND: Enacted on May 9, 2014, the DATA Act modernizes federal spending data by requiring agencies to report detailed, program level financial data which will allow for tracking and analyzing the use of taxpayer dollars. The DATA Act ...


Time and Attendance Abuse at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

PURPOSE: To provide an opportunity for members to understand the steps the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has taken and still need to take to prevent time and attendance abuse. BACKGROUND: In August 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was ...


Examining the Costs of Overclassification on Transparency and Security

PURPOSE: To examine overclassification of national security information and other government information, including controlled unclassified information and other designations. To discuss the causes and unintended results of excessive restrictions, and to discuss potential solutions. BACKGROUND: Congress established the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy in 1994, which stated ...


The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard 3.0: Measuring Agencies’ Implementation

PURPOSE: To assess agencies' FITARA implementation efforts and plans. BACKGROUND: Yesterday, the Committee released this video previewing today's hearing. In 2014, Congress enacted FITARA to improve the government's IT capabilities and enhance the authority of federal agencies' Chief Information Officers to make IT related decisions. In 2015, ...


A Safe Track?: Oversight of WMATA’s Safety and Maintenance

PURPOSE: To examine Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) progress in bringing the rail system to a state of good repair through the SafeTrack program. To examine maintenance and safety related issues that have occurred since the program's inception. BACKGROUND: In May 2016, WMATA announced the SafeTrack program would condense three years of maintenance into a single year. ...


Restoring the Power of the Purse: Legislative Options

PURPOSE: To examine use of fines, fees, penalties, and settlements to fund agency priorities outside of the appropriations process. To discuss H.R. 5499, the Agency Accountability Act of 2016 as a potential solution. BACKGROUND: The Constitution vests the power of the purse in Congress, and over time it has been subverted by spending that occurs outside of the appropriations process. ...


Examining Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

TAKEAWAYS: Harassment and discrimination at USDA has gotten worse under the Obama Administration. Witnesses testified sexual assault, harassment, discrimination, and resulting retaliation has increased at the Agency since 2008.