Showing posts with label GAO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GAO. Show all posts

Monday, August 24, 2015

America's Sanctuary City Nightmare

A litigation battle is raging between the states and President Barack Obama over his attempt to impose a nationwide “sanctuary” policy for illegal aliens. Yet, there is no question that existing sanctuary policies implemented by numerous towns and cities have victimized innocent Americans. Those sanctuary policies have enabled illegal aliens to commit thousands of crimes –crimes that would not have occurred had their perpetrators been deported in keeping with existing law.
In 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study on approximately 250,000 illegal aliens locked up in our federal, state, and local prisons. They represent more than a quarter of all of the prisoners in the federal prison system alone. The GAO’s “study population” had been arrested nearly 1.7 million times and committed three million offenses, averaging about seven arrests and 12 offenses per criminal alien. The incarcerated aliens had been arrested for a vast array of crimes:
- 49 percent had been arrested for drugs;
- 37 percent for burglary, stolen property or robbery;
- 35 percent for assault;
- 21 percent for fraud, forgery or counterfeiting;
- 19 percent for weapons violations;
- 13 percent for homicide or kidnapping, and
- 12 percent for sex crimes.
Three states—California, Texas and Arizona—bore the brunt of the crime wave induced by these criminal illegal aliens, although other states—e.g., Florida and New York—suffered significant problems due to criminal illegal aliens, as well. In Texas, drugs, sex offenses, and assault were the top three offenses for which illegal aliens were incarcerated. A recent report from the Texas Department of Public Safety obtained by J. Christian Adams of PJ Media showed that from 2008 to 2014, illegal aliens committed over 600,000 crimes in Texas, including nearly 3,000 homicides and almost 8,000 sexual assaults.
Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies analyzed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records and found that during just one eight-month period in 2014, sanctuary jurisdictions released more than 8,100 deportable aliens. Of those, 62 percent had a prior criminal record; 3,000 were convicted felons. Of those released, 1,900 were later rearrested a total of 4,300 times on 7,500 different offenses. As Vaughan says, “when local jurisdictions shield aliens wanted by the feds, the aliens can commit more crimes.”
And that is exactly what happened recently in San Francisco. Kathryn Steinle, a 32-year-old resident of the city, was out for a walk with her father on Pier 14. She was shot and killed by an illegal alien who had seven felonies on his record and had already been deported five times.  ICE had already started another deportation process for Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, but the federal government transferred him to San Francisco at the city’s request because he had an outstanding drug charge against him.

Friday, August 21, 2015



Illegal aliens who show up at the border have been resettled all across United States of America instead of being detained and deported, as Donald Trump recently called for in his new immigration plan.

According to data from the Justice Department obtained by Breitbart News, 96 percent of Central Americans caught illegally crossing into the country last summer are still in the United States. Now Breitbart News has learned exclusively that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a pro-security group about the cost of this operation is being stonewalled.
In January of 2015, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), filed a FOIA request to discover the cost of accommodating the tens of thousands of illegal unaccompanied minors who came across the border encouraged by President Obama’s 2012 executive amnesty for illegal youths.
The FOIA letter made five requests of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency: that the federal agency detail (1) the costs of building of family detention centers; (2) the costs of apprehending, processing and detaining unaccompanied minors; (3) the costs transporting, transferring, removing and repatriating unaccompanied minors; (4) the costs related to ICE’s representation of government in removal procedures involving unaccompanied minors; and (5) the number of instances where objections to the return of unaccompanied minors were raised by the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The federal agency, however, refused to answer many of these questions– instead only partially answering two of the five requests. The agency provided only the costs of transporting, transferring and removing illegal minors, as well as the costs of the man-hours such tasks required. Those costs totaled $58.2 million—quadrupling ICE’s costs of $15.6 million in the year previous.
FAIR told Breitbart News that the agency did not provide clear documentation nor explanation as to how it arrived at this estimation.
FAIR asserts that, “The failure to provide most of the cost information related to the surge of [unaccompanied minors] indicates that the government has either failed to properly document those costs, or is refusing to reveal them.”
Because this FOIA request only inquired into the fiscal impact on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency– it does not at all take into account the cost incurred by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) nor the public education system. Because most of the unaccompanied minors were turned over to HHS following their apprehension, FAIR notes that HHS’ costs “for providing shelter, food, education, health care and other services, likely vastly exceed additional costs incurred by ICE.”
The flood of minors has also placed fiscal strains on our public education system. FAIR notes that, “68,541 [unaccompanied minors] were apprehended entering the U.S. Virtually all of them have been allowed to remain in the U.S., at least temporarily.”
Because federal law dictates that all children are entitled to an education regardless of their immigration status, the fiscal burden of educating these students has fallen onto our public education system.
As FAIR notes, educating 68,541 illegal immigrant children at “an average annual cost of $12,401 per child enrolled in K-12 education, the annual cost to local schools is at least $850 million. However, since virtually all of the [unaccompanied minors] are non-English proficient, the actual costs are likely substantially greater.”
The increased costs and difficulties associated with educating illegal minors from poor and developing countries has been well-documented. As Fox News Latino reported in June of this year, the border surge has left many “schools struggling with influx of unaccompanied minors.” While the federal government’s policy of releasing illegal minors into American communities imposes burdens all across our nation’s education system, it will perhaps hurt minority American students most profoundly, by straining the educational resources needed in their communities.
For instance, New York’s Hempstead School District, which is a 96 percent black and Hispanic district, had about 6,700 students dispersed amongst its 10 schools and usually receives an average of a couple hundred new students every year. “However, last summer’s enrollment skyrocketed to about 1,500 new kids – most of them undocumented immigrants.” Fox News Latino writes, “The crush of new enrollees left the district scrambling, forcing it to dip into its emergency reserves to shell out more than $6 million to hire more English as a Second Language teachers and additional staff to alleviate overcrowded classrooms. Still, it has not been enough. The average classroom in the district now has about 40 to 50 children and [as one teacher explained is] posing a safety issue… ‘You have to understand,’ [one teacher said], ‘many of the children are not even proficient in their native language, Spanish, and now we have to teach them how to speak English. That can be very difficult.’”
Deporting instead of resettling illegal immigrants would save taxpayer dollars in two ways.
First, by deterring future border crossings, it would reduce the amount of illegal immigration in the future. As FAIR explains, refusing to implement immigration law has only encouraged more illegal immigrants to unlawfully enter the United States: “In July 2015, the Government Accountability Office confirmed that President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] program played a substantial role in triggering the surge of [unaccompanied minors] in 2014.”
Second, deporting rather than resettling illegal immigrants would save the costs of feeding, clothing, housing, educating, hospitalizing, and caring for illegal immigrants and their relatives. A previous study conducted by FAIR documented that illegal immigrants cost U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion every year. After FAIR explains that by comparison, “The estimated cost of deporting an illegal alien is $8,318. Using just the partial enumerated $58.2 million costs to ICE and the conservative $850 million estimate for education of [unaccompanied minors] resettled in the U.S., the amount of taxpayer money spent on dealing with unaccompanied minors would have paid for the removal of an additional 109,000 illegal aliens.”

Saturday, August 15, 2015

5 GAO employees indicted for stealing school lunches for their kids

The dollar amount involved in this scheme of employees of the General Accountability Office to steal school lunches for their children is miniscule; about $13,000. But there is a larger lesson that can be drawn from it; the sense of entitlement of government workers that gives them leave to abuse the public purse and steal from taxpayers.

Five employees with the Government Accountability Office, and one GAO employee’s spouse, were indicted Tuesday for working to illegally obtain reduced-price lunches for their children. 
The indictment resulted from the legislative branch agency’s own investigation into the school meals program, which found some of the GAO’s employees applied for the program and underreported their income to gain access to the reduced-price lunches. After the agency discovered the illegal activity, the GAO reported applications to the agency’s inspector general. 
“There is no excuse for stealing funds intended to go to children whose parents cannot afford the school lunches,” Maryland’s Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in a news release announcing the indictment. “Their actions are made even worse by the fact that some of them claimed to have not just low income, but no income at all, even though they were working full-time jobs at the GAO.” 
The GAO, which notes on its website that it is often referred to as the “congressional watchdog,” investigates federal spending. GAO spokesman Chuck Young wrote in an email to CQ Roll Call that GAO employees were “both disappointed and surprised” to learn their colleagues were potentially committing fraud. 
“We will now be monitoring the judicial process and then determine what personnel actions might be appropriate,” Young said. Young later noted all of the employees indicted are administrative support personnel. 
According to the news release, between 2010 and 2014, the employees’ children received more than $13,000 in reduced-price lunches. The GAO employees named in the indictment include Lynette Mundey, an internal auditor and an outgoing member of the county’s board of education; Barbara Rowley; Jamilah Reid; Tracy Williams; Charlene Savoy; and James Pickney, whose wife is a GAO employee. Pickney allegedly failed to disclose his wife’s income, which rendered his family ineligible for the reduced lunch program. 
Each employee was charged with two counts of welfare fraud, two counts of submitting a false application for public assistance and one count of a theft scheme, according to a copy of the indictment.
This incident speaks to the general lack of concern harbored by many bureaucrats regarding how taxpayer money is spent. Up and down government we see managers taking expensive trips for "conferences" to Hawaii and even overseas. Other employees game the system to receive perks and pay to which they are not entitled. The rot is systemic and results from a lack of competent management at the top.

In any large organization, you will find graft and corruption. But the culture in government seems to magnify and encourage corruption at all levels by fostering that sense of entitlement not found in the private sector.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Watchdog report: Fake applicants were automatically re-enrolled in Obamacare

AP Photo/Don Ryan)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore, but a new report has found yet another issue with

A new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, found that 11 fictitious image:

people created as part of a watchdog effort to test for fraud detection were able to automatically re-enroll in Obamacare coverage.

This report, released by Congressional Republicans Wednesday, is a follow up to one from last year.

It found that the marketplace still had no way to test for fake documents.

Eleven out of the 12 people created for the test were able to maintain their coverage through the end of 2014 and then were automatically re-enrolled for 2015. Some were even re-enrolled despite not providing the additional documentation requested.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services defended its process by saying that there has been “no indication of a meaningful level of fraud,” but the GAO pointed out point that there could be fraud that officials do not know about because they are not equipped to detect it.

Congressional Republicans slammed the report’s findings.

“That the administration failed to weed out fake applicants one year later is yet another shocking development that, unfortunately, continues the trend of ObamaCare’s gross mismanagement at the expense of hardworking taxpayers,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), as quoted by The Hill.

“Last year, this committee warned that weaknesses in could put billions of taxpayer dollars at risk, and the GAO undercover review has confirmed our concerns,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said. “One year later, this investigation continues to reveal alarming flaws in the ObamaCare system.”

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Most older Americans fall short on retirement savings

How bad is America doing when it comes to retirement savings? The Government Accountability Office looked into the question, and its answer is sobering.
A new GAO analysis finds that among households with members aged 55 or older, nearly 29 percent have neither retirement savings nor a traditional pension plan. (Tweet This)
"There hasn't been a significant increase in wages, people have student loans and other debt, and many are continuing to struggle financially," said Charles Jeszeck, the GAO's director of education, workforce and income security, which analyzed the Federal Reserve's 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances to come up with its estimates. "We aren't surprised that people have not saved a lot for retirement."
Even among those who do have retirement savings, their nest eggs are small. The agency found the median amount of those savings is about $104,000 for households with members between 55 and 64 years old and $148,000 for households with members 65 to 74 years old. That's equivalent to an inflation-protected annuity of $310 and $649 per month, respectively, according to the GAO.
"I don't care what anyone says. That's not enough income for retirement," said Anthony Webb, senior research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, who reviewed the GAO report.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Report: IRS Hands Out $14 Billion For Green Energy, Doesn’t Keep Track Of It

A new government watchdog report found that the Internal Revenue service has handed out billions of dollars to support green energy projects, and then failed to mention how the money was spent on building new power generation.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that IRS tax subsidies to green energy operators “accounted for an estimated $13.7 billion in forgone revenue to the federal government for renewable projects and $1.4 billion for traditional projects” between 2004 and 2013.
That’s a lot of money, but the IRS can’t (or won’t) tell government auditors how much green energy generating capacity their tax subsidies are supporting. The GAO says the IRS “is not required to collect project level data from all taxpayers” who claim an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or Production Tax Credit (PTC).
“IRS officials stated that IRS is unlikely to collect additional data on these tax credits unless it is directed to do so,” the GAO reported. “Since 1994, GAO has encouraged greater scrutiny of tax expenditures, including data collection. Without project-level data on the ITC and PTC, Congress cannot evaluate their effectiveness as it considers whether to reauthorize or extend them.”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Agency Created to Force FOIA Compliance a Failure

An agency created by Congress years ago to promote government transparency by facilitating the treacherous process of obtaining public records has failed to do its job, according to a federal audit.

Is anyone really surprised? With a $1 million infusion from Congress, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) was promoted with great fanfare in 2009 as an objective ombudsman that would force federal agencies to comply with public records requests. Part of its mission is resolving disputes between federal agencies and those who request records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  

Judicial Watch has a lot of experience in this area because FOIA is a valuable tool in our mission to promote government transparency and accountability and expose public corruption. In many cases, especially when the stakes are high, federal agencies violate FOIA deadlines—or simply disregard the law all together—and JW must initiate litigation.

OGIS was created precisely to curb a shameful surge in FOIA violations by the U.S. government. In fact, media and government transparency groups across the nation hailed it as a “milestone” that would finally force agencies to be more responsive to FOIA requests from journalists and ordinary citizens. There was great hope that the new office would efficiently mediate disputes over requests and help ease the grueling and costly process of pursuing records when agencies refuse to turn them over.

This has not occurred, according to a federal audit released this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. The OGIS “has not performed the reviews of regulations and notices in a proactive, comprehensive manner, and has not conducted any reviews of agencies’ compliance with the law,” the GAO writes in its report.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


In an explosive report set to send shockwaves through official Washington, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) released a 108-page GAI investigation into the threat of foreign and fraudulent Internet campaign donations in U.S. federal elections (visit to download the full report).

Breitbart News obtained an advance copy of the bombshell report which reveals that the website is not owned by the president’s campaign but rather by Obama bundler Robert Roche, a U.S. citizen living in Shanghai, China. Roche is the chairman of a Chinese infomercial company, Acorn International, with ties to state-controlled banks that allow it to “gain revenue through credit card transactions with Chinese banks.”
There’s more.
The unusual website redirects traffic directly to a donation page on the Obama campaign’s official website,, which does not require donors to enter their credit card security code (known as the CVV code), thereby increasing the likelihood of foreign or fraudulent donations. The website is managed by a small web development firm, Wicked Global, in Maine. One of Wicked Global’s employees, Greg Dorr, lists on hisLinkedIn page his additional employment with Peace Action Maine and Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights. According to the GAI report, 68 percent of all Internet traffic to comes from foreign visitors. 
And still more.
In 2011, Mr. Roche obtained one of the most sought-after pieces of real estate in Washington, DC: a seat at the head table for President Obama’s State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao. How Roche—a man whose infomercial company hawks fitness equipment, cell phones, and breast enhancement products—landed a seat alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, former President Jimmy Carter, and Chinese President Hu Jintao remains unclear.  
Since 2009, White House Visitor Logs list the name Robert Roche at least 19 times, despite the fact Mr. Roche’s primary residence is in China.  
Mr. Roche, who is originally from Chicago, is a co-chair of the Technology Initiative for the Obama campaign. 
According to Acorn International’s prospectus, the success of Mr. Roche’s company hinges on maintaining access to state-run media and “preferential tax treatments and subsidies” doled out by the People’s Republic of China (PRC):  
Our business depends on our access to TV media time to market our products and services in China….PRC law is vague and is subject to discretionary interpretation and enforcement by PRC authorities…Loss of these preferential tax treatments and subsidies could have material and adverse effects on our results of operations and financial conditions.
In addition to the redirect revelation, the Government Accountability Institute report—America the Vulnerable: Are Foreign And Fraudulent Online Contributions Influencing U.S. Elections?—exposes myriad gaping online security holes that stand to threaten the integrity of House, Senate, and presidential elections.  
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for continuing coverage…

Saturday, September 29, 2012


NEW YORK — Concerning the fun parts of his job, Barack Obama resembles the Energizer Bunny. If there are crowds to wow, entertainers to schmooze or donors to pitch, Obama is Johnny on the spot.
Too bad Obama's sparks stop flying when it comes time for the serious, heavy lifting of the presidency.
This phenomenon's most chilling example involves Obama's national security-related presidential daily brief. As the conservative Government Accountability Institute calculated, and Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen first reported Sept. 10, Obama attended only 43.8 percent of his daily briefings between Jan. 23, 2009, (three days after his inauguration) and May 31, 2012.
Available nearly every day, the briefing allows the commander-in-chief to hear directly from top intelligence professionals about the latest threats to U.S. safety. These experts are on hand to answer questions, hear suggestions and otherwise help Obama foil America's enemies.
But Obama has had higher priorities.
According to the institute's data culled from the official White House calendar and's news coverage of that schedule, Obama chose to skip his daily briefings and, instead, simply read his briefing book.
This is a bit like studying one's chest X-rays at home while spurning a radiologist's offer to interpret them and answer pertinent questions.
In this sense, Obama quietly reviewed his national security X-rays alone during 56.2 percent of the time the institute analyzed. Obama missed 61.6 percent of these briefings in 2011.
Obama skipped his briefings between last Sept. 4 and 11, the entire week before the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, suffered an Islamic terror attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, technical officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
Who knows if a briefer's classified utterance, or a particularly astute question from Obama, might have triggered tighter security in Benghazi and perhaps prevented the murders of four Americans?
Even worse, as Thiessen reports, Obama postponed and eventually skipped his briefing on the day after these planned and deliberate assassinations. This liberated Obama for a truly indispensable responsibility that day. As American embassies burned brightly throughout the Islamic world, Obama jetted off on Air Force One for a campaign fundraiser in America's least solemn city — Las Vegas.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Issa Threatens To Subpoena HHS Over Medicare Bonuses

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Thursday that he's willing to subpoena documents from the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), alleging a conspiracy to hide the impact of President Obama's healthcare law.
Issa, as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is investigating an $8 billion demonstration project in which Medicare pays bonuses to certain private Medicare Advantage plans based on quality.

The congressman has suggested that HHS is using the bonus payments to mask the healthcare law's cuts to Medicare Advantage plans ahead of the election.
Issa and Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) requested documents about the bonus payments in August. They said Thursday that they haven't gotten a response and said they "will consider the use of compulsory process" if HHS doesn't turn over the documents by Oct. 5.

A committee spokeswoman confirmed that a "compulsory process" includes subpoenas.

Obama's healthcare law made several cuts in government payments to privately run Medicare Advantage plans, including a new system for giving bonus payments to high-quality plans. 

But in November 2010, HHS announced that it would not immediately implement the health law's changes, and would instead test a different system — the demonstration program Issa is investigating. The demonstration program will mean bigger payments, delivered earlier, to more plans, according to the Government Accountability Office.

GAO recommended that HHS cancel the demonstration, which it estimates will cost $8.3 billion over 10 years. Issa has repeatedly emphasized GAO's recommendation, saying it's the first time the auditing and investigative office has taken such a step.

Issa has suggested that HHS is using the added payments under the demonstration program to ensure that seniors won't see fewer Medicare Advantage options before the election

Sunday, September 23, 2012

160! – We have 160 Federal Programs That Deal With Housing

Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) senior communications advisor and speechwriter, Amanda Carpenter, who was recently a columnist for The Washington Times, penned an interesting post on the senator’s page, the Pickpocket, concerning how many federal programs deal with housing.  A whopping 160 federal programs is “how many the Government Accountability Office tallied in a recent report that noted, ‘fiscal realities raise questions about the efficiency of multiple housing programs and activities across federal agencies with similar goals, products, and sometimes parallel delivery systems.”
The post, which Carpenter wrote on September 20, also reported that:
…HUD runs the majority of the programs, 91. The United States Department of Agriculture, which also administers farming aid and the nation’s food stamp program, offers 18 different types of housing assistance as well. The Internal Revenue Service has 14 programs. The Department of Treasury offers 8 programs; the Department of Veterans Affairs 7; the Department of Labor 2; Federal Home Loan Banks 3.
The rest of the activities are run through a number of organizations, such as the Department of Interior,  the Federal Reserve System, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, Farmer Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to name a few.
If President Obama had truly wanted to consolidate wasteful government programs, he sure had the chance. Especially when it comes to housing. He just never took it.
GAO recommended that the government begin taking action to consolidate programs at HUD, USDA, and Treasury, a goal completely compatible the Single Family Housing Task Force that the Obama Administration announced in February 2011.
Carpenter noted that this finding has amounted to little more than a press release.  However, it’s another episode in the annals of government inefficiency.  For a minute – I thought that this could be the foundation for a good movie, but I forgot that it’s already been made.
Via: Green Room
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