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The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) Releases 2014 Annual Report

November 25, 2014 Comments off

The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) Releases 2014 Annual Report
Source: Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council held its annual public meeting today and released its annual report, which includes recommendations on a wide range of tax administration issues.

IRSAC is an advisory group to the entire agency. IRSAC’s primary purpose is to provide an organized public forum of relevant tax administration issues for the Commissioner, senior IRS executives and representatives of the public to discuss relevant tax issues.

IRSAC members convey the public’s perception of professional standards and best practices for tax professionals and IRS activities; offer constructive observations regarding current or proposed IRS policies, programs, and procedures; and suggest improvements to IRS operations.

Based on its findings and discussions, IRSAC made several recommendations on a broad range of issues and concerns including IRS funding, as well as topics identified by subgroups covering the Office of Professional Responsibility and Large Business and International, Small Business/Self-Employed and Wage and Investment operating divisions.

IRSAC is administered by the National Public Liaison Office. IRSAC draws its members from the tax professional community and members of academia.

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U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations — Subcommittee finds Wall Street commodities actions add risk to economy, businesses, consumers

November 25, 2014 Comments off

Subcommittee finds Wall Street commodities actions add risk to economy, businesses, consumers
Source: U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Wall Street banks have become heavily involved with physical commodities markets, increasing risks to financial stability, industry, consumers and markets, a two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found.

The investigation’s findings, contained in a 396-page bipartisan report, add important new details to the public debate about the breakdown of the traditional barrier between commercial activities and banking. Included are previously unknown details about activities by Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, including Goldman Sachs’ controversial management of warehouses storing most of the warranted aluminum in the United States. The new details raise new questions about whether such activities harm businesses and consumers and allow for possible manipulation of the markets.

See also:
Wall Street Bank Involvement With Physical Commodities (Day One)
Wall Street Bank Involvement With Physical Commodities (Day Two)

New From the GAO

November 25, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Group Purchasing Organizations: Funding Structure Has Potential Implications for Medicare Costs. GAO-15-13, October 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-13
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666643.pdf

2. Medicare Program Integrity: CMS Pursues Many Practices to Address Prescription Drug Fraud, Waste, and Abuse. GAO-15-66, October 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-66
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666648.pdf

New From the GAO

November 24, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Group Purchasing Organizations: Funding Structure Has Potential Implications for Medicare Costs. GAO-15-13, October 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-13
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666643.pdf

2. Medicare Program Integrity: CMS Pursues Many Practices to Address Prescription Drug Fraud, Waste, and Abuse. GAO-15-66, October 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-66
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666648.pdf

Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief

November 23, 2014 Comments off

Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief
Source: Institute of Medicine

The current epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), cause by a filovirus, has spread internationally, now affecting multiple continents, and has become the worst EVD outbreak in history since its discovery in 1976. While the Ebola viruses have typically been studied in laboratory settings, additional biomedical and public health research in real world settings can best prepare the United States to safeguard the public and at-risk workers.

At the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with the National Research Council, convened a workshop on November 3, 2014 with key stakeholders and experts to discuss the research priorities that could guide medical and public health practice. Discussions included the degree of transmission and biopersistence of the virus under a range of conditions and on a variety of materials, as well as issues of handling potentially infected materials, decontamination, and the training and personal protective equipment and usage of traditional and nontraditional workers involved in the full spectrum of this response.

DHS OIG — Major Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security

November 22, 2014 Comments off

Major Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

We have identified major challenges that affect both the Department as a whole, as well as individual components. DHS must continually seek to integrate management operations under an authoritative governing structure capable of effectively overseeing and managing programs that cross component lines.

DHS’ mission to protect the Nation from domestic and international threats and respond to natural and manmade disasters is further challenged by the unpredictable nature of these hazards. DHS must overcome the challenges inherent with uniting the Department under the Secretary’s Unity of Effort Initiative, as well as those over which it has little control.

This year, we are reporting the Department’s major challenges in the following areas:
• DHS Operations Integration
• Acquisition Management
• Financial Management
• IT Management and Privacy Issues
• Transportation Security
• Border Security and Immigration Enforcement
• Grants Management
• Employee Accountability and Integrity
• Infrastructure Protection, Cybersecurity, and Insider Threat

New From the GAO

November 21, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Defense Logistics: Greater Awareness of Recommendations and Improvements in Data Quality Needed to Resolve Container-Management Challenges. GAO-15-114, November 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-114
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667147.pdf

2. Vaccine Injury Compensation: Most Claims Took Multiple Years and Many Were Settled through Negotiation. GAO-15-142, November 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-142
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667135.pdf

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