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Potential Financial Effect on the U.S. Postal Service of Increased Voting by Mail

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The United States Postal Service (USPS) is in a serious financial crisis and has not generated sufficient revenue to cover its expenses and financial obligations as mail volume continues to decline. Congress requested that we examine how much additional revenue could result from the increased use of voting by mail--that is, more registered voters receiving and casting ballots through the mail. Currently, all states use voting by mail to some degree, most commonly in the form of absentee ballots mailed to registered voters who cannot, or choose not to, vote in person on Election Day. However, Oregon and Washington now administer elections solely through mail voting. According to a 2009 U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) study, about 23.7 million ballots, or 17.7 percent of all votes, were cast by mail in the 2008 presidential election. This report documents information on the revenue potential of increased use of voting by mail that we presented to your office on August 17, 2011."
Date: October 20, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD Met Statutory Reporting Requirements on Public-Private Competitions

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) relies on a multisector workforce of military personnel, other federal employees, and private contractors to perform needed services. The contractor workforce is substantial: DOD is the federal government's largest purchaser of contractor-provided services, such as aircraft maintenance or base operating support. Determining whether to obtain services with in-house resources or through private sector contractors is an important economic and strategic decision essential to DOD's effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Conducting competitions between public and private sources to identify the most cost-effective provider of services is one tool DOD can use to achieve such efficiencies. In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (NDAA 2010), Congress imposed a temporary moratorium on new competitions involving functions currently performed by DOD civilian employees until, among other things, DOD reviewed and reported to Congress on various aspects of its public-private competition policies. The department submitted a report to Congress on its review on June 28, 2011. Should the moratorium be lifted, Congress also limited the duration of any new competitions to 24 months, with a possible extension to 33 months if DOD notifies Congress of the need for an extension. Congress required that we assess the DOD review and report on any use of the authority to extend the 24-month time limit.."
Date: September 26, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prior Experience and Past Performance as Evaluation Criteria in the Award of Federal Construction Contracts

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over the last 10 fiscal years, federal agencies have increased their spending on construction contracts, leading to obligations of almost $54 billion in fiscal year 2010. When awarding contracts, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires agencies to consider firms' performance records to help ensure that taxpayer dollars go to capable contractors. The FAR also provides agencies with broad discretion in deciding how they will consider firms' prior experience, which refers to whether the firms have done similar work before, and past performance, which describes how well they have done that work. As construction firms without prior federal contracting experience seek to gain entry into the federal marketplace, some may regard the consideration of these factors as an impediment. In response to your request for information on the consideration of prior experience and past performance, we reviewed (1) how selected agencies consider prior experience and past performance in awarding construction contracts and (2) the resources available to assist firms in gaining entry to the federal marketplace."
Date: October 18, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Establishing a Special Interest City Magazine: D, the Magazine of Dallas

Description: The problem of this study was to determine how, and to what degree, a representative contemporary special interest magazine projected editorial, advertising, circulation, and financial obligations prior to publication and during its infancy. In essence, how did a representative nonsubsidized city magazine identify a marketable audience, resolve advertising and circulation policies, and meet financial obligations? Specifically, this study explored--in six chapters--the mechanics of pre- and post-publication planning at D, The Magazine of Dallas, which began publication in October, 1974. This study determined that twelve common denominators are essential, but are not necessarily a guarantee, for the success of a planned or newly introduced nonsubsidized special interest magazine.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Glaves, Robert F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improvement of Quality in Publication of Experimental Thermophysical Property Data: Challenges, Assessment Tools, Global Implementation, and Online Support

Description: Article on the improvement of quality in the publication of experimental thermophysical property data.
Date: September 6, 2013
Creator: Chirico, Robert D.; Frenkel, Michael; Magee, Joseph W.; Diky, Vladimir; Muzny, Chris D.; Kazakov, Andrei F. et al.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Energy Star: Providing Opportunities for Additional Review of EPA's Decisions Could Strengthen the Program

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "American consumers, businesses, utilities, and federal and state agencies rely on the Energy Star product labeling program to identify more efficient products that lower their energy costs. Even with the program's successes, several reports by GAO and others have identified weaknesses in the Energy Star program. The program, which began in 1992 and was reauthorized in 2005, has been jointly administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). In 2009, the agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlined changes to address these weaknesses. The changes included identifying EPA as the lead agency, clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each agency, as well as instituting third-party testing of products. GAO was asked to examine (1) the status of EPA's and DOE's implementation of changes to the Energy Star program under the MOU and (2) program partners' views of the Energy Star program and changes that are under way. To examine the status of the changes, GAO reviewed guidance and eligibility criteria and interviewed various program partners to gather their views. The results of these interviews are not generalizable, but provided insights on changes to the Energy Star program."
Date: September 30, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Warfighter Support: Improved Cost Analysis and Better Oversight Needed over Army Nonstandard Equipment

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As of March 2011, the Army had over $4 billion worth of nonstandard equipment in Iraq--that is equipment not included on units' standard list of authorized equipment. Concurrently, the Department of Defense (DOD) has acquired over $44 billion worth of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP), most of which have been allocated to the Army. This equipment must be withdrawn from Iraq by December 31, 2011. GAO examined the extent to which the Army has plans and processes for the disposition of (1) nontactical nonstandard equipment; (2) tactical nonstandard equipment; and (3) MRAPs that are no longer needed in Iraq. In performing this review, GAO analyzed relevant documents, interviewed Army officials, and visited Sierra Army Depot, where most nontactical nonstandard equipment is shipped once it leaves Iraq."
Date: September 29, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD Health Care: Cost Impact of Health Care Reform and the Extension of Dependent Coverage

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) offers health care to eligible beneficiaries through TRICARE, its health care program. Recently enacted health care reform legislation--the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA)--has implications for much of the nation's health care system, including TRICARE. One particular health reform provision directed certain health insurance plans to extend coverage to dependents up to age 26. Though this provision does not apply to TRICARE because it is not considered a health insurance plan, the subsequent Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (NDAA 2011) included a similar provision that extends TRICARE coverage to certain dependent children of TRICARE beneficiaries. In response, in May 2011, DOD began implementing TRICARE Young Adult (TYA), a premium-based health care plan that extends TRICARE coverage to dependents of TRICARE beneficiaries up to age 26 who do not have access to employer-sponsored health care coverage and are unmarried. The NDAA 2011 directed us to assess the cost to DOD of complying with PPACA and HCERA. You also asked us to examine DOD's costs of implementing, administering, and providing benefits under TYA. In this report, we assess DOD's costs of (1) complying with PPACA and HCERA and (2) implementing and providing benefits under TYA."
Date: September 26, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard: Action Needed as Approved Deepwater Program Remains Unachievable

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our recent work on the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition, which represents the majority of the Coast Guard's efforts to recapitalize its fleet of vessels and aircraft. This statement is based on our July 28, 2011, report, Coast Guard: Action Needed as Approved Deepwater Program Remains Unachievable. This report discusses areas in which the Coast Guard has strengthened its acquisition management capabilities but also emphasizes actions the Coast Guard needs to take to address the cost growth, schedule delays, and capability shortfalls that have made the approved Deepwater Program unachievable. Today's climate of rapidly building fiscal pressures underscores the importance of assessing priorities--from a Coast Guard-wide perspective--so that more realistic budgets can be submitted to Congress. Such a step would help alleviate what has become a pattern of churn in revising program baselines when unrealistic planned funding does not materialize, which contributes to schedule delays and can lead to other issues such as unhealthy competition for funding. We also recognize several steps that the Coast Guard has taken to improve the management of the Deepwater Program. For example, the Coast Guard has updated its Major Systems Acquisition Manual to better reflect best practices and has significantly reduced its relationship with the prior lead systems integrator, Integrated Coast Guard Systems, by awarding fixed-price contracts outside of the prior construct. To continue this improvement, our July 2011 report made several recommendations with which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concurred. We have reviewed the Coast Guard's recapitalization efforts since 2001 and have built an extensive body of work over the last 10 years that has focused on the need for the Coast Guard to improve its acquisition workforce, contractor management, and oversight capability. For the July 2011 ...
Date: October 4, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare Part D: Instances of Questionable Access to Prescription Drugs

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the results of our investigation of fraud and prescription drug abuse in Medicare Part D. Prescription drug abuse is a serious and growing public health problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses, including those from prescription drugs, are the second leading cause of deaths from unintentional injuries in the United States, exceeded only by motor vehicle fatalities. Unlike addiction to heroin and other drugs that have no accepted medical use, addiction to some controlled substances can be unknowingly financed by insurance companies and public programs, such as Medicare Part D. This statement today summarizes our report, describing indications of doctor shopping in the Medicare Part D program for 14 categories of frequently abused prescription drugs. The objectives of the forensic audit and related investigation were to (1) determine the extent to which Medicare beneficiaries obtained frequently abused drugs from multiple prescribers, (2) identify examples of doctor shopping activity, and (3) determine the actions taken by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) to limit access to drugs for known abusers."
Date: October 4, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Motor Carrier Safety: More Assessment and Transparency Could Enhance Benefits of New Oversight Program

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over 3,600 people in this country died in 2009 as a result of crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses. Until recently the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its state partners tracked the safety of motor carriers--companies that own these vehicles--by conducting resource-intensive compliance reviews of a small percentage of carriers. In 2004, FMCSA began its Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program. CSA is intended to identify and evaluate carriers and drivers posing high safety risks. FMCSA has focused on three key CSA oversight activities to evaluate carriers: a new Safety Measurement System (SMS) using more roadside inspection and other data to identify at-risk carriers; a wider range of "interventions" to reach more at-risk carriers; and using SMS data to suspend unfit carriers. FMCSA expected to fully implement CSA by late 2010. FMCSA also plans to separately use data to rate drivers' fitness. In this report, GAO assessed: (1) the status of the CSA rollout and issues that could affect it and (2) CSA's potential to improve safety. GAO reviewed CSA plans and data, visited eight states, and interviewed FMCSA, state, and industry officials."
Date: September 29, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Incapacitated Adults: Improving Oversight of Federal Fiduciaries and Court-appointed Guardians

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Today's hearing is on the appointment and oversight of guardians. As people age, they often reach a point when they are no longer capable of handling their own finances or have difficulty making other decisions for themselves. To ensure that federal cash payments received by incapacitated adults are used in their best interest, the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and other federal agencies assign a responsible third party or fiduciary to oversee these benefits. SSA and VA can designate spouses, other family members, friends, and organizations to serve as fiduciaries. Similarly, when state courts determine that adults are incapacitated, they have the authority to grant other persons or entities--guardians--the authority and responsibility to make financial and other decisions for them. Incapacitated adults are vulnerable to financial exploitation by fiduciaries and guardians, so these arrangements are not without risk. In 2010, we identified hundreds of allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation by guardians in 45 states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2010. At that time, we reviewed 20 of these cases and found that guardians had stolen or otherwise improperly obtained $5.4 million from 158 incapacitated victims, many of whom were older adults. To protect against financial exploitation, state courts as well as federal agencies are responsible for screening prospective guardians and federal fiduciaries, respectively, to make sure suitable individuals are appointed. They are also responsible for monitoring the performance of those they appoint. This statement today is based on our recent report on this topic. It will cover (1) SSA and VA procedures for screening prospective federal fiduciaries, and state court procedures for screening prospective guardians; (2) SSA and VA monitoring of federal fiduciary performance, and state court monitoring of ...
Date: September 22, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Future Ground-Based Vehicles and Network Initiatives Face Development and Funding Challenges

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "After the Army canceled the Future Combat System in June of 2009, it began developing modernization plans, including developing a new Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) and additional network capability. At the same time, the Army was considering options on how to improve its light tactical vehicles. This statement addresses potential issues related to developing (1) the new GCV, (2) a common information network, and (3) the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) in a constrained budget environment. The statement is based largely on previous GAO work conducted over the last year in response to congressional requests and results of other reviews of Army modernization. To conduct this work, GAO analyzed program documentation, strategies, and test results; interviewed independent experts and Army and Department of Defense (DOD) officials; and witnessed demonstrations of current and emerging network technologies. DOD reviewed the facts contained in this statement and provided technical comments, which were incorporated as appropriate."
Date: October 26, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Homeland Security: DHS and TSA Acquisition and Development of New Technologies

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for developing and acquiring new technologies to address homeland security needs. TSA's acquisition programs represent billions of dollars in life-cycle costs and support a wide range of aviation security missions and investments including technologies used to screen passengers, checked baggage, and air cargo, among others. GAO's testimony addresses three key challenges identified in past work: (1) developing technology program requirements, (2) overseeing and conducting testing of new technologies, and (3) incorporating information on costs and benefits in making technology acquisition decisions. This statement also addresses recent DHS efforts to strengthen its investment and acquisition processes. This statement is based on reports and testimonies GAO issued from October 2009 through September 2011 related to TSA's efforts to manage, test, and deploy various technology programs."
Date: September 22, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department