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Oversight committee asks OSC's Bloch to explain deleted files

December 7, 2007 The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday asked Special Counsel Scott Bloch to agree to a transcribed interview with committee staff to explain why he deleted from an office computer files that might have been relevant to an investigation into his conduct. In a letter, Oversight and Government Reform...

Group rips cash-strapped Forest Service for purchasing Tasers

December 4, 2007 The U.S. Forest Service recently bought $600,000 worth of Tasers with no training program or written explanation for why it needed them, an organization of state and federal employees charged Tuesday. According to documents acquired by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and posted on its Web site, the Forest Service...

Office of Special Counsel sees progress in Hatch Act probe

December 3, 2007 The Office of Special Counsel is pushing ahead with its investigation of suspected Hatch Act violations involving White House political operatives, despite new criticism of Special Counsel Scott Bloch and his probe. An OSC Hatch Act team is reviewing thousands of documents received from agencies and has begun interviewing officials...

Wikipedia users burnish GSA administrator's image

November 30, 2007 Contributors to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia like "Chiphi5" have made the page about embattled General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan a notably positive one. Chiphi5 is among a group of anonymous users who have, for now, tried to polish Doan's image in the publication that anyone can edit. Doan drew...

Office of Special Counsel chief under fire for erasing computer files

November 28, 2007 Conflict of interest charges flew Wednesday after a report that Special Counsel Scott Bloch, whose office is investigating improper White House political activity, erased computer files that may affect a separate probe into his own conduct. Bloch's Office of Special Counsel, which investigates violations of government personnel rules, gained attention...

House panel to hold another hearing on State IG

November 19, 2007 State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard and his brother, former CIA Executive Director Alvin (Buzzy) Krongard are standing by their conflicting accounts of a Halloween phone conversation, while the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans a December hearing to examine if Howard Krongard perjured himself before the committee. The...

TSA plays down GAO success at evading airport security

November 15, 2007 Transportation Security Administrator Kip Hawley Thursday played down a new report that undercover GAO investigators had smuggled bomb components past TSA screeners at 19 airports this year, calling the checkpoints one part of a multi-tiered risk management system. On the eve of the busy holiday season, "the American public can...

State IG hearing illustrates panel's conflict on probes

November 15, 2007 A high-profile House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday on State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard generated new charges in a mostly behind-the-scenes spat over how the committee treats witnesses. The committee's majority and minority staffs have for months battled over what Republicans claim is Democrats' insistence that witnesses...

'Brusque' State IG denies making partisan decisions

November 14, 2007 A self-styled change agent, State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard admitted to lawmakers Wednesday that he tried to turn around his office in part through harsh confrontations with underperforming employees. "I have been brusque and I have been shrill and I have been hard on people," he told the House...

Report faults State IG's management, but not motives

November 14, 2007 State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard has been an unpopular boss who often dressed down employees and nixed travel requests, according to documents released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and interviews. But at a hearing today, Krongard and committee Republicans will argue that his actions have not...

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