SERCO? Isn’t this the same company processing and storing our immigartion records? British?

After months of waiting, the Federal government responded to News 4’s request for information on an Affordable Care Act application processing center in Wentzville, Missouri.

In May 2014, employees at the Wentzville facility run by Serco complained to News 4 that they were sitting around with no work to do.

One employee told News 4 they passed the time by playing “Pictionary on a dry erase board. We played 20 questions.”

Employees at the plants in Kentucky and Arkansas, also hired to process the paper applications for the ACA, made the same claims…

…According to CMS records, from October 2013 through March of 2014, Serco processed 271,341 paper applications. That’s less than 5% of the anticipated workload.

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Does This Go For Every Government Agency?

‘The misconduct we’ve seen of too many facilities, with long wait times and veterans denied care, and folks cooking the books, is outrageous and inexcusable,’ Obama said, waking up the crowd’s enthusiasm.

‘We’re focused on this at the highest levels. We are going to get to the bottom of these problems, we are going to fix what is wrong.’

‘We are going to do right by you and we are going to do right by your families,’ he said, earning his only spontaneous hoots and shouts. ‘And that is a solemn pledge of commitment that I’m making to you here.’

The VA, he said, has been given ‘the authority to more quickly remove senior executives who don’t meet our high standards. If you engage in unethical practices or cover up a serious problem, you should be and will be fired.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2734919/Tepid-clapping-greets-unpopular-Obama-s-VA-speech-American-Legion-convention-small-group-loyalists-tried-generate-applause-him.html#ixzz3BXL75sc7
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DHS No.2 Still Under Investigation. But Not Criminal?

The new DHS Inspector General John Roth states in an interview appearing today in the Washington Post that the investigation of DHS’ No.2 Alejandro Mayorkas’ handling of requests to help push along visa applications at the behest of a well connected Washington insider is on going, that insider at the time, when Mayorkas headed up USCIS, was said to have been Terry McAuliffe who is now the Governor of Virginia.

However, IG Roth makes clear that the investigation is “non-criminal” in nature. He did not explain, nor did the Washington Post interviewer ask, how thorough is an investigation wherein the criminality or non-criminality is already determined.

“Before you arrived, the inspector general’s office was investigating whether Alejandro Mayorkas, who is now the No. 2 at DHS, improperly helped foreign investors obtain U.S. visas while serving as head of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Are you looking into that?

JR: During my confirmation, I was asked about that, because it made the media at that point, that there was in fact an investigation of him — a non-criminal investigation. I had committed in my hearing — I think on three separate occasions, or it might have been four — to continue that investigation, so that investigation is continuing, but I can’t talk about anything.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/08/21/being-an-ig-homeland-security-inspector-general-john-roth-discusses-the-role/?wpisrc=nl_fed&wpmm=1

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Putin’s Espionage Offensive Against France

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

One of the major themes of my work is how Russia, drawing on decades of rich experience with espionage, aggressively employs intelligence in what I term Special War to defeat, dissuade, and deter its enemies without fighting. As I’ve reported many times, Russian espionage against the West has been rising since the mid-2000’s and has returned to Cold War levels of effort and intensity — and in some cases, more so. In recent years, the Kremlin has endorsed aggressive espionage against a wide range of Western countries, members of NATO and the European Union (often both), to learn secrets and gain political advantage. This is simply what the Russians do, as Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer, understands perfectly. Such things are well known to counterintelligence hands the world over, but are seldom discussed in public.

What this looks like up close has recently been exposed by the Parisian newsmagazine

View original 2,117 more words

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Potemkin Sanctions?

“Mr. Obama’s actions would not bar the targeted Russian banks or energy companies from doing business with Americans or seize their property. Rosneft, for instance, has major joint ventures with ExxonMobil that will still be permitted. But administration officials pointedly noted that such moves were still possible if Russia did not back down.

Craig Pirrong, a professor of finance at the University of Houston, said the current moves might not have that much impact because the affected companies could get American dollars elsewhere. “This will constrain to some degree the size of the capital pool that the sanctioned firms can access, but not nearly as much as could be,” he said.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/world/europe/obama-widens-sanctions-against-russia.html?_r=0

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The Integrity Deficit: VA Whistleblowers vs DHS Whistleblowers

DHS Whistleblowers Crossing Over?

DHS Whistleblowers Crossing Over?

What’s the difference in the core dysfunction which they are blowing the whistle on ? Not much:

“In testimony submitted to the committee, Katherine L. Mitchell, an internist at the VA hospital in Phoenix, described an agency suffering from an integrity deficit.

“Ethics have never been made an official VA performance measure, and thus do not appear to be a clear administrative goal,” she said. “There seems to be no perceived financial advantage to pursuing ethical conduct. Administrative repercussions are lacking for unethical behaviors that are so routinely practiced among senior executive service employees.”

Of course, federal employees should not need a financial incentive to engage in ethical conduct. But there were financial incentives, in the form of employee bonuses,  that apparently encouraged workers to falsify records to meet  productivity targets.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/07/08/va-panel-focuses-on-whistleblowers/?wpisrc=nl_fed

Productivity targets and the detrimental effects it has had on management and employees within the DHS, and especially USCIS and ICE, has been at the core of what whistleblowers from DHS have attempted to bring to the public attention over the years, but there is a marked difference on how Congress and the media has treated the whistleblowers from DHS and those from the VA. In the VA case whistleblowers have been praised and heralded as heroes, in the other cases the whistleblowers have been severely retaliated against and targeted for doing the right thing.

The result? The Washington Post reports “that the number of VA whistleblower cases “is growing almost every day.”” At DHS? Whistleblowers are literally fleeing the country in fear of retaliation by their own government.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/07/09/va-employees-testify-about-retaliation-against-whistleblowers/?wpisrc=nl_fed

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/521/3625285/Is-hike-in-whistleblower-claims-a-sign-of-progress-or-growing-mistrust

 

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Unraveling Benghazi: Is Mike Rogers Part of the Problem?

Unraveling Benghazi: Is Mike Rogers Part of the Problem?.

Rogers

Mike Rogers has overseen the collapse of the US Intelligence Community on his watch. The conflict of interests which have accompanied his oversight are stunning. Connections and being on the inside is all well and good if it helps the Congress do its oversight job but in Roger’s case, I would argue that the former G-Man has been a disaster, though his record shows a remarkable targeting success by an Intelligence Community more focused on the Hill than the rest of the world. A comparison to his performance with former CIA Operations Officer Porter Goss who held the Chair job in the 90s would make for an interesting study.

 

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