A nearly $3 million facility the United States built in Afghanistan for local farmers has sat unused for the last year despite interest from locals in leasing it, says a July 21 Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report. The project, developed by the Defense Department's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations is at risk of failing, the report says, because the DoD didn't identify an investor to take ownership before construction began.
A federal office created to be an "independent voice" for small businesses within the government needs to strengthen its research, regulatory and workforce planning activities to better serve that community, congressional investigators said.
NASA is spending more money than it should to maintain one of its software verification and validation facilities, leaving less funding to evaluate the software, a report by the space agency's inspector general found.
The Justice Department said July 22 that it has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against Symantec Corp., alleging the company "knowingly" submitted false claims on a General Services Administration software contract that involved hundreds of millions of dollars.
Although the Federal Communications Commission has begun making funding reforms to a program to support both telephone and broadband service in rural areas, congressional investigators said the agency needs to do a better job in collecting and analyzing data to gauge the program's effectiveness.
While only 15 percent of Americans say they approve of Congress, it's a jump from last year's record low of 9 percent, a recent Gallup poll finds. The July 15 poll of 1,013 adults from July 1-10 is virtually unchanged from the 16-percent approval recorded in the prior month. The margin of sampling error for the poll is 4 percentage points.
The Postal Service needs a better plan to take advantage of the e-commerce boom by offering expanded services to businesses and consumers shipping packages, a July 21 USPS inspector general report says.
Of the more than 158 billion mailpieces it processed in fiscal 2013, about 6.8 billion, or 4.3 percent, were so-called "undeliverable as addressed," or UAA. Reasons include incorrect or illegible addresses or people moving, according to the USPS inspector general audit released July 14.
A review of a bureau's information systems within the Treasury Department found a "signficant deficiency" in security measures over financial reporting, a Government Accountability Office report released July 18.
Port of entry infrastructure along the U.S. borders has struggled to keep up with the needs of cross-border trade and travelers, lawmakers and federal officials testing during a House hearing.