Archive for the ‘Gov – US’ Category

New From the GAO

January 30, 2015 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Defense Health Care: Additional Information Needed about Mental Health Provider Staffing Needs. GAO-15-184, January 30.
Highlights –

2. Federal Workforce: OPM and Agencies Need to Strengthen Efforts to Identify and Close Mission-Critical Skills Gaps. GAO-15-223, January 30.
Highlights –

Prevalence of Reduced Muscle Strength in Older U.S. Adults: United States, 2011–2012

January 30, 2015 Comments off

Prevalence of Reduced Muscle Strength in Older U.S. Adults: United States, 2011–2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011–2012

  • Five percent of adults aged 60 and over had weak muscle strength. Thirteen percent had intermediate muscle strength, while 82% had normal muscle strength.
  • The prevalence of reduced (weak and intermediate) muscle strength increased with age, while the prevalence of normal strength decreased with age.
  • Muscle strength status did not differ by sex, except among persons aged 80 and over, where women had a higher prevalence of weak muscle strength than men.
  • Non-Hispanic Asian and Hispanic persons had a higher prevalence of reduced muscle strength than non-Hispanic white persons.
  • Difficulty with rising from a chair increased as strength status decreased.

Historical Hydraulic Fracturing Trends and Data Unveiled in New USGS Publications

January 30, 2015 Comments off

Historical Hydraulic Fracturing Trends and Data Unveiled in New USGS Publications
Source: USGS

This national analysis of data on nearly 1 million hydraulically fractured wells and 1.8 million fracturing treatment records from 1947 through 2010 is used to identify hydraulic fracturing trends in drilling methods and use of proppants (sand or similar material suspended in water or other fluid to keep fissures open), treatment fluids, additives, and water in the United States. These trends are compared to peer-reviewed literature in an effort to establish a common understanding of the differences in hydraulic fracturing and provide a context for understanding the costs and benefits of increased oil and gas production. The publications also examine how newer technology has affected the amount of water needed for the process and where hydraulic fracturing has occurred at different points in time. Although hydraulic fracturing is in widespread use across the United States in most major oil and gas basins for the development of unconventional oil and gas resources, historically, Texas had the highest number of records of hydraulic fracturing treatments and associated wells documented in the datasets.

The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2015 Edition

January 30, 2015 Comments off

The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2015 Edition
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

WIC provides supplemental food, nutrition education, and referrals to health care and other social services to low-income, nutritionally at-risk women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age.This report explains how WIC works, examines program trends, describes some of the lesser known effects of WIC, and discusses some of the major economic issues facing the program.

Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement (January 28, 2015)

January 30, 2015 Comments off

Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement
Source: Federal Reserve Board

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in December suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace. Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish. Household spending is rising moderately; recent declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power. Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow. Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices. Market-based measures of inflation compensation have declined substantially in recent months; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate. The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced. Inflation is anticipated to decline further in the near term, but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of lower energy prices and other factors dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.

To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate.

New From the GAO

January 29, 2015 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Federal Construction Subcontracting: Insight into Subcontractor Selection Is Limited, but Agencies Use Oversight Tools to Monitor Performance. GAO-15-230, January 29.
Highlights –

2. DOD Acquisitions: Opportunities May Exist to Increase Utility of Nondevelopmental Items Pilot Program. GAO-15-285, January 29.
Highlights –

January 2015 Quarterly Report to Congress on the Status of TARP

January 29, 2015 Comments off

January 2015 Quarterly Report to Congress on the Status of TARP (PDF)
Source: Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program

Long-lasting recovery from the financial crisis requires important efforts on many fronts, including investigating and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse related to the Government’s rescue efforts. Fraud prevention and law enforcement is at the heart of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s (‘SIGTARP”) audits, general oversight, and investigations. Uncovering and combating bailout-related crime is neither fast, nor easy, but it is necessary for justice, accountability, deterrence, and lasting recovery. SIGTARP has ramped up our law enforcement efforts to uncover and combat bailout-related crime. In the last two years:
• The number of defendants charged with a crime SIGTARP investigated nearly doubled to 222;
• We supported prosecutors at 6 trials including 5 criminal fraud schemes investigated by SIGTARP;
• The number of defendants convicted of a crime investigated by SIGTARP nearly doubled to 160;
• The number of defendants we investigated who were sentenced to prison increased 160% to 91;
• Prison sentences for crime investigated by SIGTARP are nearly double the national average for white collar crime, reflecting the complexity and seriousness of the criminal schemes; and
• SIGTARP investigations have already brought back $1.258 billion to the Government and $224 million to other victims, a nearly eightfold increase since 2012.

SIGTARP has much more to do in the fight against bailout-related crime – crime that is opportunistic in the most reprehensible way. We expect an escalation in results from SIGTARP investigations:
• 45 convicted defendants investigated by SIGTARP await sentencing by a court; and
• 61 defendants already charged with a crime investigated by SIGTARP await trial.


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