• VA Released Millions of People's Personal Data Despite Known Risks

    The Veterans Affairs Department knowingly disclosed sensitive information on millions of veterans’ doctors, spouses and dependents despite warnings that the practice “could cause those individuals significant harm,” an internal watchdog found.

    For more than three years, the Veterans Benefits Administration intentionally stopped redacting names, Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information on third-party individuals in claims records provided to veterans, according to the VA Inspector General. The practice not only left countless people vulnerable to identity theft but it also potentially broke the law, auditors found.

    “VBA officials made the decision to stop redacting information that was purposely included in claims files, despite the inherent risks of disclosing third-party [personally identifiable information] in service records,” they said in a report published last week. “The OIG contends that the [policy] could place VBA at legal risk of penalties for Privacy Act violations based on other more recent case law.”

    #VA #Veterans #Privacy #PeakCorruption
    VA Released Millions of People's Personal Data Despite Known Risks The Veterans Affairs Department knowingly disclosed sensitive information on millions of veterans’ doctors, spouses and dependents despite warnings that the practice “could cause those individuals significant harm,” an internal watchdog found. For more than three years, the Veterans Benefits Administration intentionally stopped redacting names, Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information on third-party individuals in claims records provided to veterans, according to the VA Inspector General. The practice not only left countless people vulnerable to identity theft but it also potentially broke the law, auditors found. “VBA officials made the decision to stop redacting information that was purposely included in claims files, despite the inherent risks of disclosing third-party [personally identifiable information] in service records,” they said in a report published last week. “The OIG contends that the [policy] could place VBA at legal risk of penalties for Privacy Act violations based on other more recent case law.” #VA #Veterans #Privacy #PeakCorruption
    VA Released Millions of People's Personal Data Despite Known Risks
    The agency stopped redacting personally identifiable information in claims requested under the Privacy Act, even though officials knew the policy could leave millions of people vulnerable to identity theft.
    WWW.NEXTGOV.COM
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  • Latest Backlog at the VA: Whistleblower Complaints

    Members of Congress expressed concern and curiosity about the reason for a "significant" backlog in resolving the Department of Veteran's Affairs' whistleblower complaints.

    The VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection has 572 investigative cases that are more than 120 days old, with "many" that have been open for one or two years, Assistant Secretary Dr. Tamara Bonzanto testified in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

    #Whistleblowers #VeteransAffairs #PeakCorruption
    Latest Backlog at the VA: Whistleblower Complaints Members of Congress expressed concern and curiosity about the reason for a "significant" backlog in resolving the Department of Veteran's Affairs' whistleblower complaints. The VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection has 572 investigative cases that are more than 120 days old, with "many" that have been open for one or two years, Assistant Secretary Dr. Tamara Bonzanto testified in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. #Whistleblowers #VeteransAffairs #PeakCorruption
    The Latest Backlog at the VA: Whistleblower Complaints
    The VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection has 572 investigative cases that are more than 120 days old.
    WWW.MILITARY.COM
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  • How is 97 percent of Congress able to get re-elected each year even though only 17 percent of the American people believe our representatives are doing a good job?

    It’s called an incumbent protection system. Taxpayers have a right to know how it works.

    Recently, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com, mashed up the federal checkbook with the congressional campaign donor database (source: OpenSecrets.org). We found powerful members of Congress soliciting campaign donations from federal contractors based in their districts.

    We followed the money and found a culture of conflict-of-interest. The confluence of federal money, campaign cash, private employment, investments, prestigious committee appointments, political power, nepotism, and other conflicts are a fact pattern.

    Furthermore, members of Congress own investment stock in, are employed by, and receive retirement pensions from federal contractors to whom they direct billions of taxpayer dollars.

    Moreover, members sponsor legislation that affects these contractors. The contractor’s lobbyists then advocate for the legislation that helps the member and the contractor. Oftentimes, the contractor’s lobbyist also donates campaign cash to the member.

    Here are five case examples detailing the conflict-of-interest among five powerful members of Congress...

    #CampaignFinance #PeakCorruption #Congress #Election
    How is 97 percent of Congress able to get re-elected each year even though only 17 percent of the American people believe our representatives are doing a good job? It’s called an incumbent protection system. Taxpayers have a right to know how it works. Recently, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com, mashed up the federal checkbook with the congressional campaign donor database (source: OpenSecrets.org). We found powerful members of Congress soliciting campaign donations from federal contractors based in their districts. We followed the money and found a culture of conflict-of-interest. The confluence of federal money, campaign cash, private employment, investments, prestigious committee appointments, political power, nepotism, and other conflicts are a fact pattern. Furthermore, members of Congress own investment stock in, are employed by, and receive retirement pensions from federal contractors to whom they direct billions of taxpayer dollars. Moreover, members sponsor legislation that affects these contractors. The contractor’s lobbyists then advocate for the legislation that helps the member and the contractor. Oftentimes, the contractor’s lobbyist also donates campaign cash to the member. Here are five case examples detailing the conflict-of-interest among five powerful members of Congress... #CampaignFinance #PeakCorruption #Congress #Election
    Re-Elected. These Five Powerful Members of Congress Have Figured It All Out
    Congress writes the rules and the laws are lax. Nothing we found is illegal, and that's the problem.
    WWW.FORBES.COM
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  • The Congressional Budget Office identified in March unauthorized appropriations (often called “zombie programs”) for 257 laws and 971 expired programs in fiscal 2019, which totaled $307 billion. This accounts for about 23% of the discretionary budget, compared to 10% in the early 1990s.

    “Americans would be shocked if they knew about this,” said witness James Thurber, American University professor and founder of the university’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.

    #PeakCorruption #MilitarySpending #Congress #Taxes #News
    The Congressional Budget Office identified in March unauthorized appropriations (often called “zombie programs”) for 257 laws and 971 expired programs in fiscal 2019, which totaled $307 billion. This accounts for about 23% of the discretionary budget, compared to 10% in the early 1990s. “Americans would be shocked if they knew about this,” said witness James Thurber, American University professor and founder of the university’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. #PeakCorruption #MilitarySpending #Congress #Taxes #News
    Senate Panel Tackles Unauthorized Appropriations, or ‘Zombie Payments’
    Unauthorized payments accounted for 23% of the discretionary budget in 2019, compared to 10% in the early 1990s.
    WWW.GOVEXEC.COM
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  • Retaliation against US Veterans at Veteran Affairs is a systemic national disgrace.... When asked if a culture of accountability now exists at the whistleblower office, VA Inspector General Mike Missal said his office “did not find that.” Missal’s scathing report issued last week found systemic and pervasive issues at OAWP, including retaliation against the whistleblowers it was meant to help, a lack of consistent and thorough investigatory practices and a failure to discipline virtually any senior leaders.

    "I cannot in good faith direct them to your office," a top lawmaker tells the head of VA's whistleblower office, the department’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

    #Whistleblowers #Veterans #MilitarySpending #PeakCorruption

    Retaliation against US Veterans at Veteran Affairs is a systemic national disgrace.... When asked if a culture of accountability now exists at the whistleblower office, VA Inspector General Mike Missal said his office “did not find that.” Missal’s scathing report issued last week found systemic and pervasive issues at OAWP, including retaliation against the whistleblowers it was meant to help, a lack of consistent and thorough investigatory practices and a failure to discipline virtually any senior leaders. "I cannot in good faith direct them to your office," a top lawmaker tells the head of VA's whistleblower office, the department’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. #Whistleblowers #Veterans #MilitarySpending #PeakCorruption
    After Scathing Report, VA Faces Criticism for Not Improving Whistleblower Protection Office More Quickly
    "I cannot in good faith direct them to your office," a top lawmaker tells the head of VA's whistleblower office.
    WWW.GOVEXEC.COM
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  • Accounting Fraud isn't just a shocking Military Spending crisis, it is now endemic throughout the entire economy! Auditing fraud is rampant at the Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers), which inspect the books of 99 percent of all large companies in America.... The consequences of this chaos could encourage systemic corporate fraud and a collapse of confidence in the stock market. Simply put, PCAOB is the board you didn’t know you needed to know about.

    BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, PCAOB was created as a quasi-public, quasi-private agency, monitoring what at the time seemed like a broken auditing industry. All publicly traded companies must submit financial records for independent review, and in the Enron era, those audits failed to catch (and in a few cases abetted) massive accounting fraud. “PCAOB was supposed to address two things: the underlying fraud in the system, and that the market no longer trusted the books of these companies,” says Graham Steele, who worked on PCAOB legislation in the Senate Banking Committee and now directs the Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

    The Big Four accounting firms also all consult for the same corporations, giving them incentives to keep companies happy while performing allegedly independent examinations. PCAOB was supposed to keep them honest through specialized scrutiny and enforcement. It’s self-funded through corporate fees.

    #Fraud #PeakCorruption #EconomicReform #StockMarket #PCAOB #SEC #Deloitte #KPMG #ErnstYoung #PricewaterhouseCoopers #News #RevolvingDoor #Lobbying
    Accounting Fraud isn't just a shocking Military Spending crisis, it is now endemic throughout the entire economy! Auditing fraud is rampant at the Big Four accounting firms (Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers), which inspect the books of 99 percent of all large companies in America.... The consequences of this chaos could encourage systemic corporate fraud and a collapse of confidence in the stock market. Simply put, PCAOB is the board you didn’t know you needed to know about. BROUGHT INTO EXISTENCE by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, PCAOB was created as a quasi-public, quasi-private agency, monitoring what at the time seemed like a broken auditing industry. All publicly traded companies must submit financial records for independent review, and in the Enron era, those audits failed to catch (and in a few cases abetted) massive accounting fraud. “PCAOB was supposed to address two things: the underlying fraud in the system, and that the market no longer trusted the books of these companies,” says Graham Steele, who worked on PCAOB legislation in the Senate Banking Committee and now directs the Corporations and Society Initiative at Stanford Graduate School of Business. The Big Four accounting firms also all consult for the same corporations, giving them incentives to keep companies happy while performing allegedly independent examinations. PCAOB was supposed to keep them honest through specialized scrutiny and enforcement. It’s self-funded through corporate fees. #Fraud #PeakCorruption #EconomicReform #StockMarket #PCAOB #SEC #Deloitte #KPMG #ErnstYoung #PricewaterhouseCoopers #News #RevolvingDoor #Lobbying
    When the Watchers’ Watchers Look the Other Way
    The board charged with overseeing the firms that audit corporations has become a cushy landing place for Republican politicos averse to enforcing its rules.
    PROSPECT.ORG
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  • The not-so-new F-35! Complete with parts that have been purchased by the United States Pentagon in duplicate (sometimes triplicate) at an enormous markup, fully equipped with guns that do not shoot straight, and an embarrassingly low fully-mission-capable rating, this imprecise, overpriced aircraft could be your next wasteful purchase!

    This extremely deficient sales pitch is precisely the reason that POGO continues to press Congress to hold the Pentagon accountable for its underperforming and wasteful F-35 project. You already know that this is the most expensive weapons system in history—but we recently found out that the Pentagon could not account for at least 3.4 million F-35-related items, valued at approximately $2.1 billion.

    #MilitarySpending #F35 #PeakCorruption #WarProfieers #LockheedMartin
    The not-so-new F-35! Complete with parts that have been purchased by the United States Pentagon in duplicate (sometimes triplicate) at an enormous markup, fully equipped with guns that do not shoot straight, and an embarrassingly low fully-mission-capable rating, this imprecise, overpriced aircraft could be your next wasteful purchase! This extremely deficient sales pitch is precisely the reason that POGO continues to press Congress to hold the Pentagon accountable for its underperforming and wasteful F-35 project. You already know that this is the most expensive weapons system in history—but we recently found out that the Pentagon could not account for at least 3.4 million F-35-related items, valued at approximately $2.1 billion. #MilitarySpending #F35 #PeakCorruption #WarProfieers #LockheedMartin
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  • In Defense of the American People
    art via @ObeyGiant Overcoming divide & conquer propaganda... I will be posting a significant amount of vital information. I am publishing two books and will continue to layout how Trillions of our tax dollars are lost through outrageous fraud and mind-boggling waste. Moving forward, military spending will be a major coverage area but the primary focus will be on spreading the most...
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