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Michael Posner

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SBA program skewered by Senators on fraud oversight

November 13, 2007 A massive fraud in a Small Business Administration loan program sparked stinging criticism Tuesday from senators who charged that SBA was lax in oversight to prevent abuses. The criticism came as the Senate Small Business Committee scrutinized a scheme involving $76 million in SBA-guaranteed loans made by Business Loan Express,...

Panel votes to limit Justice-White House communications

September 21, 2007 Concerned over possible political influence over ongoing investigations, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to limit those in the White House who can communicate with top Justice Department officials over probes. The legislation (S. 1845) cleared the panel for the Senate floor on a 14-2 roll call. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse,...

Federal disaster management plan running into criticism

September 12, 2007 A proposed federal plan to react to such disasters as the Sept. 11, attacks or Hurricane Katrina came under fire Tuesday from emergency response experts who said the proposal needs revision. The broad-scale attacks on the National Response Framework put together by the Homeland Security Department and Federal Emergency Management...

Bill to improve processing of FOIA requests advancing

August 13, 2007 A bill to make the Freedom of Information Act more responsive has picked up momentum in Congress. Senate legislation -- sponsored by Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and passed by voice vote just before the chamber left for recess -- includes provisions to allow anyone...

Panel to seek contempt charges against Bolten, Miers

July 25, 2007 Amid bitter partisan sniping, the House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to recommend that the House cite White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers for contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the investigation of firings of U.S. attorneys. The vote put Congress...

House subcommittee cracks down on Iraq war profiteering

July 25, 2007 The House crime subcommittee voted Tuesday to make excessive overcharging in Iraq and Afghanistan contracts a specific "war profiteering" crime. Without debate, the House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee approved the bill (H.R. 400) on a voice vote and sent it to the parent committee for action. The...

Subcommittee backs bill to make agencies more user friendly

May 14, 2007 Federal agencies would be getting a report card grading how customer friendly they are under a bill approved last week by a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. By a voice vote, the House Oversight and Government Reform Government Management Subcommittee sent the bill (H.R. 404) to the full committee...

Data breach bill sets notification requirements

May 4, 2007 A bill requiring federal agencies and businesses collecting personal information to divulge security breaches or face penalties of up to $1 million won approval Thursday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The measure (S. 239) by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was approved by voice vote. It was a companion bill to...

USDA officials apologize for exposing Social Security numbers

May 3, 2007 Top Agriculture Department officials conceded Wednesday they discovered 38,700 Social Security numbers of farmers were publicly available on the Internet only after a sleepless farm woman found hers there one night. The officials -- including Charles Christopherson, USDA's chief financial officer -- said the sensitive data was immediately purged after...

Measure to fight war profiteering moves to full Senate

April 25, 2007 Legislation to nab unscrupulous businesses and people scheming to make exorbitant profits from the Iraq or other wars and reconstruction efforts sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The bill (S. 119), which adds a new war profiteering and fraud section to the U.S. criminal code, was approved on...

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