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New From the GAO

October 24, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Report
Source: Government Accountability Office

Managing for Results: Selected Agencies Need To Take Additional Efforts to Improve Customer Service. GAO-15-84, October 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-84
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666651.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/666613

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Wastebook 2014: What Washington doesn’t want you to read.

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Wastebook 2014: What Washington doesn’t want you to read.
Source: U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Gambling monkeys, dancing zombies and mountain lions on treadmills are just a few projects exposed in Wastebook 2014 – highlighting $25 billion in Washington’s worst spending of the year.

Wastebook 2014 — the report Washington doesn’t want you to read —reveals the 100 most outlandish government expenditures this year, costing taxpayers billions of dollars.

Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2014” include:

  • Coast guard party patrols – $100,000
  • Watching grass grow – $10,000
  • State department tweets @ terrorists – $3 million
  • Swedish massages for rabbits – $387,000
  • Paid vacations for bureaucrats gone wild – $20 million
  • Mountain lions on a treadmill – $856,000
  • Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys – $50,000
  • Pentagon to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition — $1 billion
  • Scientists hope monkey gambling unlocks secrets of free will –$171,000
  • Rich and famous rent out their luxury pads tax free – $10 million
  • Studying “hangry” spouses stabbing voodoo dolls – $331,000
  • Promoting U.S. culture around the globe with nose flutists – $90 million

Ebola Virus Disease: Information for U.S. Healthcare Workers

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Ebola Virus Disease: Information for U.S. Healthcare Workers
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

National Call on Preparing Nurses to Safely Care for Patient with Ebola recording and transcript, plus information from the CDC, curated by CDC experts.

Measuring Managerial Skill in the Mutual Fund Industry

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Measuring Managerial Skill in the Mutual Fund Industry
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Using the dollar-value a mutual fund manager adds as the measure of skill, we find that not only does skill exist (the average mutual fund manager adds about $2 million per year), but this skill is persistent, as far out as 10 years. We further document that investors recognize this skill and reward it by investing more capital with skilled managers. Higher skilled managers are paid more and there is a strong positive correlation between current managerial compensation and future performance.

Creating Innovation Offices That Work

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Creating Innovation Offices That Work
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

Innovation offices are being established by many governments—including cities (Austin, Philadelphia, Chicago), states (Maryland, Colorado, and Pennsylvania), and federal agencies (NARA, HHS, State Department). But not all offices are organized in the same way, and not all have the same mission or metrics. A new report, “A Guide for Making Innovation Offices Work,”by Rachel Burstein and Alyssa Black detail how these various innovation groups fall into structural categories and how their success metrics map to their missions.

Bullying of Students with Disabilities Addressed in Guidance to America’s Schools

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Bullying of Students with Disabilities Addressed in Guidance to America’s Schools
Source: U.S. Department of Education

As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance to schools reminding them that bullying is wrong and must not be tolerated—including against America’s 6.5 million students with disabilities.

The Department issued guidance in the form of a letter to educators detailing public schools’ responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the bullying of students with disabilities. If a student with a disability is being bullied, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and prevent it from recurring.

CBO — How Initiatives to Reduce Fraud in Federal Health Care Programs Affect the Budget

October 22, 2014 Comments off

How Initiatives to Reduce Fraud in Federal Health Care Programs Affect the Budget
Source: Congressional Budget Office

Observers often cite fraud as an important contributor to high health care spending, particularly in federal programs. This report describes how CBO estimates the budgetary effects of legislative proposals to reduce fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and how those estimates are used in the Congressional budget process.

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