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Senators seek compromise bill to boost IG independence

October 16, 2007 As a CIA plan to investigate its inspector general draws congressional fire, a group of senators is working to quickly complete a compromise version of a bill to increase the independence of agency watchdogs. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine,...

Watchdog says IRS unable to readily locate key files

October 12, 2007 The Internal Revenue Service could not find more than 10 percent of case files requested in recent audits, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday in a report that drew a congressional rebuke. "The GAO's findings should be an embarrassment to the agency," Senate Finance ranking member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who...

Watchdog groups oppose more money for special counsel

October 10, 2007 Government watchdog groups are pushing key lawmakers not to provide extra funds next year to the Office of Special Counsel, which has said it needs more money to complete a high-profile investigation into improper politicking at federal agencies. OSC should not receive an additional $2.9 million it requested from the...

Fate of effort to block IRS private debt collection hinges on Senate

October 10, 2007 The House Wednesday is expected to pass a bill eliminating the authority of the IRS to use private debt collection companies to pursue small taxpayer debts, as opponents look to the Senate to stop the measure. The IRS last year began assigning thousands of accounts of individuals who owe taxes...

Waxman says Rice headed for 'confrontation' with panel

October 5, 2007 House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Thursday sharpened his rhetoric in an ongoing clash with the State Department, indicating he will renew efforts to force Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to appear before the panel. "Secretary Rice is going to have a confrontation with this committee," Waxman...

Panel told State Department lacks plan to fight Iraq corruption

October 4, 2007 The State Department lacks a functional plan to fight corruption in Iraq, despite increasing crime in the government that harms U.S. reconstruction efforts, according to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee memorandum released Thursday. Current and former State Department officials told the committee that many embassy officials are not...

Partisan dispute flares over Waxman's investigative tactics

October 2, 2007 A "long-simmering" dispute between the majority and minority staffs of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee over investigative tactics has come to a head with the panel's probe of the State Department's inspector general, committee Republicans say. Republicans blasted a letter written Friday by Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry...

Panel criticizes State Department for failure to rein in Blackwater

October 1, 2007 The State Department has twice advised Blackwater USA to pay families of Iraqis killed by company employees, but has done little to curtail Blackwater's high rate of shooting incidents, according to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee memorandum released Monday. Incident reports created by Blackwater show that the company's...

Waxman cites threats in his probe of State Department IG

September 28, 2007 House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., on Friday accused senior officials in the office of State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard of trying to intimidate investigators who are cooperating with the committee's ongoing probe into whether Krongard improperly blocked investigations. "This week, several current employees in your...

Critics not satisfied by naming of Pentagon management chief

September 28, 2007 As the Senate weighs legislation requiring the Pentagon to create the position of chief management officer, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has added the job to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England's portfolio. But the unilateral move has not quieted the department's critics. Gate's action "does not address the longer term needs...

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