IGs creating ‘fearful paralysis’ among agencies, vendors

The number of successful investigations by inspectors general has more than doubled in 20 years. Does that meanRight Then Forward IGs are doing a better job weeding out waste, fraud and abuse in government, or are they creating mountains out of molehills?

Kymm McCabe, founder of ValueStorm Growth Partners, said the increased oversight is creating a “fearful paralysis” in the acquisition community.

“We’ve become so focused on using oversight to try to solve every problem, that folks are now just afraid,” McCabe said on In Depth with Francis Rose . “It’s really caused a freeze on communication.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/147/3851146/IGs-creating-fearful-paralysis-among-agencies-vendors

Pentagon employees used Government charge cards for gambling and ‘adult entertainment’

A not-yet-released Defense Department investigation has found civilian and military employees used government charge cards to make more than $1 million in purchases at casinos and to pay for escorts, according to an internal report

The Pentagon’s inspector general, as first reported by Politico and confirmed by a department official, found Defense employees used the cards for gambling and “adult entertainment” in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The IG initiated the review in 2014 in accordance with the 2012 Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act.

Govt Charge CardIn the one-year period beginning July 1, 2013, Defense cardholders made 4,437 transactions totaling more than $950,000 at casinos using their government cards. Employees made an additional 900 transactions totaling nearly $100,000 at “adult entertainment establishments.” The Pentagon said this represented a small fraction of the total transactions on department-issued cards, coming to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the charges.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2015/05/pentagon-employees-used-government-charge-cards-gambling-and-adult-entertainment/112186

Advocacy group accuses SBA of misapplying law on small business set-asides

As it celebrates National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration is facing renewed accusations that its efforts to reserve work for small contractors have been distorted by accounting tricks and misapplication of the law that permits large companies to win the awards.

Public Citizen, the nonprofit that pushes an anti-corporate view of trade, the environment, campaign finance and product regulation issues, released a report on Wednesday saying SBA “may be flouting the law,” perhaps for political reasons.

public citizenThe study of controversies over the SBA-coordinated program to help federal agencies meet the goal of 23 percent of purchases from small businesses draws on the work of the Petaluma, Calif.,-based American Small Business League, which has long battled SBA and the Defense Department over the definition of a small business. But the league, Government Executive has learned, does not think Public Citizen’s conclusions go far enough.

The SBA’s claims “that the government has met or nearly met a requirement to make 23 percent of its purchases from small businesses are misleading and rely on methodologies that conflict with federal law and regulations,” argued the report by Taylor Lincoln, research director for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2015/05/advocacy-group-accuses-sba-misapplying-law-small-business-set-asides/112240

Secret Service taking steps to strengthen certain acquisition policies, oversight, says DHS IG

The Secret Service has adequate oversight and management of its acquisitions, but it needs specific internal policies for acquisitions valued at less than $300 million – an issue that the agency is addressing, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general said recently.

The IG’s revised audit dated Feb. 10 said the Secret Service should have its own policies and procedures and a designated “component acquisition executive,” or CAE, to strengthen its program. The agency should also integrate best practices into its daily operations, the report added.

“Taken together, these actions will decrease the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse and improve the Secret Service’s ability to acquire goods and services in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost,” the audit said.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercehomelandsecurity.com/story/secret-service-taking-steps-strengthen-certain-acquisition-policies-oversig/2015-02-17

‘Fat Leonard’ contracting scandal jams up dozens of US Navy flag moves

It was a festive day at the U.S. Naval Academy last July 23 as the US Navy’s top leadership gathered in Annapolis, Maryland, for a change of command and retirement ceremony. Vice Adm. Mike Miller was ending a four-year tour as academy superintendent and retiring with honors after a 40-year career.

Except that when the hoopla died down, Miller wasn’t allowed to leave the service just yet. Even though his official online biography reads “retired,” he’s still being carried on the Navy’s active-duty rolls — at a reduced two-star level. And although he has no specific job — or billet, in Navy-speak — he counts against the service’s allocated total of 219 admirals.

Defense officials said Miller is one of an estimated three dozen flag officers under federal investigation for potential wrongdoing in the Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) case, also known as the “Fat Leonard” affair, after the nickname of the company’s leader, Leonard Glenn Francis.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/navy/2015/02/08/navy-gdma-glenn-defense-marine-asia-fat-leonard-scandal-investigation-justice-admirals-flags/22978631