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Archive for the ‘veterans’ Category

New From the GAO

September 18, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Inspectors General: Improvements Needed in the Office of Inspector General’s Oversight of the Denali Commission. GAO-14-320, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-320
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665909.pdf

2. Secure Flight: TSA Should Take Additional Steps to Determine Program Effectiveness. GAO-14-531, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-531
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665677.pdf

3. Secure Flight: TSA Could Take Additional Steps to Strengthen Privacy Oversight Mechanisms. GAO-14-647, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-647
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665674.pdf

4. VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Address Higher-Than-Expected Demand for the Family Caregiver Program. GAO-14-675, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-675
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665929.pdf

5. Large Partnerships: With Growing Number of Partnerships, IRS Needs to Improve Audit Efficiency. GAO-14-732, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-732
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665887.pdf

6. Depot Maintenance: Accurate and Complete Data Needed to Meet DOD’s Core Capability Reporting Requirements. GAO-14-777, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-777
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665916.pdf

Testimonies

1. Healthcare.gov: Information Security and Privacy Controls Should Be Enhanced to Address Weaknesses, by Gregory C. Wilshusen, director, information security issues, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-14-871T, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-871T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665878.pdf

2. Secure Flight: Additional Actions Needed to Determine Program Effectiveness and Strengthen Privacy Oversight Mechanisms, by Jennifer Grover, acting director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Transportation Security, House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-14-796T, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-796T

Press Release

1. GAO Names New Members to PCORI Methodology Committee. September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/press/pcori_methodology_comm2014sep18.htm

Reissue

1. Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Action Needed to Enhance Integration and Coordination of Vulnerability Assessment Efforts. GAO-14-507, September 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-507
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665787.pdf

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Veteran Hiring in the Civil Service: Practices and Perceptions

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Veteran Hiring in the Civil Service: Practices and Perceptions (PDF)
Source: Merit Systems Protection Board

This report describes the laws and regulations for hiring veterans into the civil service. It explains that the laws and regulations regarding the preferences in hiring that can or must be given to veterans and certain family members are extremely complicated. It includes survey data of perceptions by employees regarding both violations of veterans’ preference rights and inappropriate favoritism of veterans. Furthermore, it explains the history behind—and implementation of—a law that was designed to ensure that the hiring of recently retired service members as civilian employees of the Department of Defense is based on merit and not favoritism.

New From the GAO

September 10, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimonies
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Federally Funded Research Centers: Agency Reviews of Employee Compensation and Center Performance. GAO-14-593, August 11.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-593
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665285.pdf

2. Foreign Assistance: USAID Should Update Its Trade Capacity Building Strategy. GAO-14-602, August 11.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-602
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665281.pdf

3. Veterans Affairs: Better Understanding Needed to Enhance Services to Veterans Readjusting to Civilian Life. GAO-14-676, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-676
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665724.pdf

4. DHS Training: Improved Documentation, Resource Tracking, and Performance Measurement Could Strengthen Efforts. GAO-14-688, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-688
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665700.pdf

5. Defense Planning: DOD Needs Specific Measures and Milestones to Gauge Progress of Preparations for Operational Access Challenges. GAO-14-801, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-801
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665696.pdf

Testimonies

1. Department of Education: Status of Prior GAO Recommendations, by Jacqueline M. Nowicki, acting director, education, workforce, and income security, and Melissa Emrey-Arras, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training and the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, House Committee on Education and the Workforce. GAO-14-848T, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-848T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665694.pdf

2. Older Americans: Inability to Repay Student Loans May Affect Financial Security of a Small Percentage of Retirees, by Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee On Aging. GAO-14-866T, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-866T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665710.pdf

New From the GAO

September 9, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Veterans Affairs: Data Needed to Help Improve Decisions Concerning Veterans’ Access to Burial Options. GAO-14-537, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-537
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665664.pdf

2. Export-Import Bank: Enhancements Needed in Loan Guarantee Underwriting Procedures and for Documenting Fraud Processes. GAO-14-574, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-574
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665620.pdf

3. Contract Management: DOD’s Implementation of Justifications for 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts. GAO-14-721R, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-721R

4. Clinical Trials: Little is Known about Participation by Supplemental Security Income Recipients. GAO-14-734R, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-734R

5. Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Update General and Flag Officer Requirements and Improve Availability of Associated Costs. GAO-14-745, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-745
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665652.pdf

6. Bureau of Reclamation: Availability of Information on Repayment of Water Project Construction Costs Could Be Better Promoted. GAO-14-764. September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-764
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665589.pdf

7. Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Take Further Actions to Prevent Sexual Assault during Initial Military Training. GAO-14-806, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-806
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665631.pdf

Testimony

1. Department Of Homeland Security: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of Research and Development, by David C. Maurer, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, House Committee on Homeland Security, and the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. GAO-14-865T, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-865T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665618.pdf

New From the GAO

September 8, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Defense Infrastructure: DOD Needs to Improve Its Efforts to Identify Unutilized and Underutilized Facilities. GAO-14-538, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-538
Highlights –  http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665576.pdf

2. Information Security: Agencies Need to Improve Oversight of Contractor Controls. GAO-14-612, August 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-612
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665245.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/664981

3. Personnel Security Clearances: Additional Guidance and Oversight Needed at DHS and DOD to Ensure Consistent Application of Revocation Process. GAO-14-640, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-640
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665594.pdf

4. Medicaid Demonstrations: HHS’s Approval Process for Arkansas’s Medicaid Expansion Waiver Raises Cost Concerns. GAO-14-689R, August 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-689R

5. Crop Insurance: Considerations in Reducing Federal Premium Subsidies. GAO-14-700, August 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-700
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665268.pdf

6. Special Operations Forces: DOD’s Report to Congress Generally Addressed the Statutory Requirements but Lacks Detail. GAO-14-820R, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-820R

7. DOD Education Benefits: Action Is Needed To Ensure Evaluations Of Postsecondary Schools Are Useful. GAO-14-855, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-855
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665581.pdf

New From the GAO

September 3, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. VA Dialysis Pilot: Documentation of Plans for Concluding the Pilot Needed to Improve Transparency and Accountability. GAO-14-646, September 2.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-646
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665498.pdf

2. Medicare Advantage: CMS Should Fully Develop Plans for Encounter Data and Assess Data Quality before Use. GAO-14-571, July 31.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-571
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665143.pdf

3. Human Capital: OPM Needs to Improve the Design, Management, and Oversight of the Federal Classification System. GAO-14-677, July 31.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-677
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665199.pdf

Audit of VBA’s Efforts to Effectively Obtain Veterans’ Service Treatment Records

September 2, 2014 Comments off

Audit of VBA’s Efforts to Effectively Obtain Veterans’ Service Treatment Records (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General

This audit was Congressionally required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. The Act directed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG), in coordination with the Department of Defense (DoD) OIG, to examine the processes and procedures for transmitting service treatment records (STRs) and personnel records from DoD to VA. We focused our efforts on the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) processes and timeliness of requesting paper STRs and providing them to VA Regional Office (VARO) staff that need the records to make decisions on veterans’ disability compensation claims. We also assessed initial timeliness of receiving electronic STRs from DoD, which is a process that began in January 2014.

We determined that DoD is not timely in providing VBA electronic STRs. From January 1 through June 3, 2014, VBA submitted 7,278 STR requests to DoD for veterans who submitted claims and separated from military service on or after January 1, 2014. Of those, DoD only completed 2,111 requests (29 percent) and 5,167 requests (71 percent) were pending. Of the 2,111 completed STR requests, 377 requests (18 percent) were received by VBA within 45 calendar days of the veterans’ separation from military service. This occurred because DoD reported experiencing challenges and delays implementing the process of transmitting electronic STRs to VBA.

Based on a review of 400 statistically selected original disability compensation claims completed during calendar year 2013, we identified delays within VBA’s processes. Delays occurred with VARO staff establishing claims, requesting STRs, and receiving requested STRs. Overall, we attributed a total of about 131 days to these actions. Delays occurred primarily because of VBA’s focus on eliminating the disability claims backlog. As a result of these delays, DoD and VBA need to improve timeliness of their current STR processes in order for VBA to achieve its timeliness goal of processing all claims within 125 days.

We made recommendations to the Under Secretary for Benefits to improve VBA’s processes of requesting and providing STRs to VARO staff. The Under Secretary for Benefits concurred with our recommendations and provided an acceptable action plan. We will follow up on the implementation of the corrective actions.

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