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IRS Tax Delinquency Report Shows Federal Employees Owe $1 Billion

March 27, 2015 Comments off

IRS Tax Delinquency Report Shows Federal Employees Owe $1 Billion
Source: U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today released its 2014 tax delinquency report, which identifies the total number of federal civilian employees who are tax-delinquent and the total amount owed in past-due taxes. Tomorrow, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) will hold a mark-up to examine eight bills including the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015 [H.R. 1563], which was introduced in the House this week.

CBO — Legislation Enacted in the 113th Congress That Will Affect Mandatory Spending or Revenues

March 27, 2015 Comments off

Legislation Enacted in the 113th Congress That Will Affect Mandatory Spending or Revenues
Source: Congressional Budget Office

This report summarizes the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates of the budgetary effects of laws enacted in the 113th Congress that will affect mandatory spending or revenues. Those laws were enacted in calendar years 2013 and 2014.

Table 1 includes legislation that was enacted in the first session of that Congress and shows CBO’s estimates of budgetary effects for fiscal years 2013 through 2023. According to CBO’s estimates, those laws will increase budget deficits in fiscal years 2013 through 2016 and will decrease deficits in fiscal years 2017 through 2023. All told, CBO estimated that those laws will reduce federal budget deficits by about $76 billion over the 2013-2023 period.

Table 2 includes legislation enacted in the second session and, in most cases, shows the agency’s estimates for fiscal years 2014 through 2024. According to CBO’s estimates, those laws will increase budget deficits in fiscal years 2014, 2015, and 2023, and will decrease deficits in all of the other years through 2024. In total, CBO estimated that those laws will add about $24 billion to budget deficits over the 2014–2024 period (excluding any 2024 effects from one law for which CBO’s estimate did not encompass that year).

Summary 2014 U.S.-Based Airline Traffic Data

March 27, 2015 Comments off

Summary 2014 U.S.-Based Airline Traffic Data
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 848.1 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2014, 2.5 percent more than in 2013 and 1.2 percent more than the previous record-high of 838.4 million reached in 2007. The systemwide increase was the result of a 2.6 percent rise in the number of passengers on domestic flights (662.3 million) and 2.3 percent growth in passengers on U.S. and foreign airlines’ flights to and from the U.S. (185.8 million) (Tables 1, 1A, 5).

DOJ OIG — The Handling of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Allegations by the Department’s Law Enforcement Components

March 27, 2015 Comments off

The Handling of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Allegations by the Department’s Law Enforcement Components (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General
From Executive Summary (PDF):

\The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to assess how the Department of Justice’s (Department) four law enforcement components respond to sexual misconduct and harassment allegations made against their employees. This review examined the nature, frequency, reporting, investigation, and adjudication of such allegations in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and the United States Marshals Service (USMS).

The OIG’s ability to conduct this review was significantly impacted and delayed by the repeated difficulties we had in obtaining relevant information from both the FBI and DEA as we were initiating this review in mid-2013.1 Initially, the FBI and DEA refused to provide the OIG with unredacted information that was responsive to our requests, citing the Privacy Act of 1974 and concerns for victims and witnesses as the reasons for the extensive redactions, despite the fact that the OIG is authorized under the Inspector General Act to receive such information.2

After months of protracted discussions with management at both agencies, the DEA and FBI provided the information without extensive redactions; but we found that the information was still incomplete. Ultimately, based on a review of information in the OIG Investigations Division databases, we determined that a material number of allegations from both DEA and FBI were not included in the original responses to our request for the information.

We were also concerned by an apparent decision by DEA to withhold information regarding a particular open misconduct case. The OIG was not given access to this case file information until several months after our request, and only after the misconduct case was closed. Once we became aware of the information, we interviewed DEA employees who said that they were given the impression that they were not to discuss this case with the OIG while the case remained open. The OIG was entitled to receive all such information from the outset, and the failure to provide it unnecessarily delayed our work.

Therefore, we cannot be completely confident that the FBI and DEA provided us with all information relevant to this review. As a result, our report reflects the findings and conclusions we reached based on the information made available to us.

Have Distressed Neighborhoods Recovered? Evidence from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Have Distressed Neighborhoods Recovered? Evidence from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Board

During the 2007-2009 housing crisis, concentrations of foreclosed and vacant properties created severe blight in many cities and neighborhoods. The federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established to help mitigate distress in hard-hit areas by funding the rehabilitation or demolition of troubled properties. This paper analyzes housing market changes in areas that received investments during the second round of NSP funding, focusing on seven large urban counties. Grantees used NSP to invest in census tracts with high rates of distressed and vacancy properties, and tracts that had previously received other housing subsidies. The median NSP tract received quite sparse investment, relative to the overall housing stock and the initial levels of distress. Analysis of housing market outcomes indicates the recovery has been uneven across counties and neighborhoods. In a few counties, there is some evidence that NSP2 activity is correlated with improved housing outcomes.

New Census Bureau Population Estimates Reveal Metro Areas and Counties that Propelled Growth in Florida and the Nation

March 26, 2015 Comments off

New Census Bureau Population Estimates Reveal Metro Areas and Counties that Propelled Growth in Florida and the Nation
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Florida was home to the nation’s fastest growing metro area from 2013 to 2014, according to new U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan statistical area, micropolitan statistical area and county population estimates released today.

The Villages, located to the west of the Orlando metro area, grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, to reach a population of about 114,000. State population estimates released in December revealed that Florida had become the nation’s third most populous state. Today’s estimates show Florida’s growth to reach this milestone was propelled by numerous metro areas and counties within the state.

The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary (2015)

March 26, 2015 Comments off

The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary (2015)
Source: Institute of Medicine/National Research Council

Individuals with disabilities, chronic conditions, and functional impairments need a range of services and supports to keep living independently. However, there often is not a strong link between medical care provided in the home and the necessary social services and supports for independent living. Home health agencies and others are rising to the challenges of meeting the needs and demands of these populations to stay at home by exploring alternative models of care and payment approaches, the best use of their workforces, and technologies that can enhance independent living. All of these challenges and opportunities lead to the consideration of how home health care fits into the future health care system overall.

On September 30 and October 1, 2014, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council convened a public workshop on the future of home health care. The workshop brought together a spectrum of public and private stakeholders and thought leaders to improve understanding of the current role of Medicare home health care in supporting aging in place and in helping high-risk, chronically ill, and disabled Americans receive health care in their communities. Through presentations and discussion, participants explored the evolving role of Medicare home health care in caring for Americans in the future, including how to integrate Medicare home health care into new models for the delivery of care and the future health care marketplace. The workshop also considered the key policy reforms and investments in workforces, technologies, and research needed to leverage the value of home health care to support older Americans, and research priorities that can help clarify the value of home health care. This summary captures important points raised by the individual speakers and workshop participants.

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