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Disability Retirement for Federal Employees

Description: This report is categorized into two categories: (I) Sick Leave and (II) Disability Retirement. Disability Retirement is further categorized into three categories such as (I) Civil Service Retirement System, (II) Federal Employees' Retirement System and (III) Federal Employees' Compensation Act.
Date: December 28, 2012
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Corporate Tax Rate Comparisons and Policy Implications. December 2012

Description: This report focuses on the global issues relating to tax rate differentials between the United States and other countries. It provides tax rate comparisons; discusses policy implications, including the effect of a corporate rate cut on revenue, output, and national welfare; and discusses the outlook for and consequences of a revenue neutral corporate tax reform.
Date: December 28, 2012
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Private Health Insurance: Expiration of the Health Coverage Tax Credit Will Affect Participants' Costs and Coverage Choices as Health Reform Provisions Are Implemented

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Expiration of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) and implementation of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) premium tax credits, cost-sharing subsidies, and Medicaid expansion will affect HCTC participants' costs for health plans in multiple ways. Projections from GAO's analysis of 2010 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data show that most HCTC participants in 2014 will likely be eligible for less generous tax credits under PPACA than the HCTC. Specifically, about 69 percent of HCTC participants will likely be ineligible for either a PPACA premium tax credit or Medicaid, or they will likely receive a PPACA premium tax credit less generous than the HCTC. On the other hand, GAO's analysis also found that at least 23 percent will likely be eligible for PPACA premium tax credits more generous than the HCTC. In addition to the PPACA premium tax credit, up to 28 percent of all HCTC participants will likely be eligible for PPACA cost-sharing subsidies--subsidies that will help them pay for deductibles and copays--depending in part on whether or not their state expands Medicaid under PPACA. For HCTC nonparticipants, the projections from GAO's analysis of 2010 IRS data show that as many as 30 percent may be eligible for either Medicaid or a PPACA premium tax credit more generous than the HCTC in 2014, depending in part on whether or not their state expands Medicaid and whether they meet all other eligibility criteria for the PPACA premium tax credits."
Date: December 28, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The FHA Single-Family Mortgage Insurance Program: Financial Status and Related Current Issues

Description: This report begins with a brief overview of FHA's current role in the mortgage market. It also describes the financial status of the insurance fund that finances FHA-insured single-family mortgages, known as the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, including its treatment in the federal budget and measures of its actuarial soundness.
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: Jones, Katie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy's Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget requests funding for the procurement of two DDG-51s. The Navy this year is also requesting congressional approval to use a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the nine DDG-51s scheduled for procurement in FY2013-FY2017. Decisions that Congress makes concerning these programs could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. The Ohio replacement program is also known as the SSBN(X) program. The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget requests $564.9 million for continued research and development work on the Ohio replacement program. Decisions that Congress makes on the Ohio replacement program could substantially affect U.S. military capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget requests $4,092.5 in procurement and advance procurement (AP) funding for the program. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Issues for Congress

Description: On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed P.L. 111-321 into law. It called for the repeal of the existing law (Title 10, United States Code, §654) barring open homosexuality in the military by prescribing a series of steps that must take place before repeal occurs. One step was fulfilled on July 22, 2011, when the President signed the certification of the process ending the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which was repealed on September 20, 2011. However, in repealing the law and the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, a number of issues have been raised, but were not addressed by P.L. 111-321. This report considers issues that Congress may wish to consider regarding matters arising as a result of the repeal of §654.
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: Burrelli, David F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests

Description: This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in Russia, focusing on the impact of Vladimir Putin's leadership and the leadership of his successor/protégé, Dmitriy Medvedev, both of which have steered Russia away from democratization. The report also discusses the state of the economy since the Soviet collapse in 1999, how the recent global economic downturn has affected Russia, the state of Russia's military, and the current relationship between Russia and the United States.
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA Health Care: Reliability of Reported Outpatient Medical Appointment Wait Times and Scheduling Oversight Need Improvement

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Outpatient medical appointment wait times reported by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are unreliable. Wait times for outpatient medical appointments--referred to as medical appointments--are calculated as the number of days elapsed from the desired date, which is defined as the date on which the patient or health care provider wants the patient to be seen. The reliability of reported wait time performance measures is dependent on the consistency with which schedulers record the desired date in the scheduling system in accordance with VHA's scheduling policy. However, VHA's scheduling policy and training documents for recording desired date are unclear and do not ensure consistent use of the desired date. Some schedulers at Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMC) that GAO visited did not record the desired date correctly. For example, three schedulers changed the desired date based on appointment availability; this would have resulted in a reported wait time that was shorter than the patient actually experienced. VHA officials acknowledged limitations of measuring wait times based on desired date, and described additional information used to monitor veterans' access to medical appointments, including patient satisfaction survey results. Without reliable measurement of how long patients are waiting for medical appointments, however, VHA is less equipped to identify areas that need improvement and mitigate problems that contribute to wait times."
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Veterans' Disability Benefits: Timely Processing Remains a Daunting Challenge

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "A number of factors—both external and internal to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)—have contributed to the increase in processing timeframes and subsequent growth in the backlog of veterans’ disability compensation claims. As the population of new veterans has swelled in recent years, the annual number of claims received by VBA has gone up. Compared to the past, these claims have a higher number of disabling conditions, and some of these conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, make their assessment complex. Moreover, due to new regulations that have established eligibility for benefits for new diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure, VBA adjudicated 260,000 previously denied and new claims. Beyond these external factors, issues with the design and implementation of the compensation program have contributed to timeliness challenges. For example, the law requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to assist veterans in obtaining records that support their claim. However, VBA officials said that lengthy timeframes in obtaining military records—particularly for members of the National Guard and Reserve—and Social Security Administration (SSA) medical records impact VA’s duty to assist, possibly delaying a decision on a veteran’s disability claim. As a result, the evidence gathering phase of the claims process took an average of 157 days in 2011. Further, VBA’s paper-based claims processing system involves multiple hand-offs, which can lead to misplaced and lost documents and can cause unnecessary time delays. Concerning timeliness of appeals, VBA regional offices have shifted resources away from appeals and toward claims in recent years, which has led to lengthy appeals timeframes."
Date: December 21, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Consumer Product Safety Commission: Agency Faces Challenges in Responding to New Product Risks

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has broad authority to identify, assess, and address product risks, but faces some challenges in identifying and responding to new risks in a timely manner. CPSC uses various means to stay informed about risks that may be associated with new or existing products. These methods include (1) market surveillance activities for imported products, retail stores, and Internet sales; and (2) formal agreements and various activities with other agencies. However, certain legal restrictions may hamper CPSC's ability to stay informed about new product hazards to public health and safety. Specifically, because of certain restrictions in the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), CPSC cannot agree to allow foreign agencies to disclose nonpublic information they receive from CPSC. While the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) allows CPSC greater freedom to disclose information to U.S. courts, Congress, and state and local agencies, CPSC has been unable to complete information-sharing agreements with foreign counterparts as envisioned because it cannot offer its counterparts reciprocal terms on disclosure of nonpublic information. Due to the growing number of imported consumer products, this restriction on sharing information may hinder CPSC's ability to identify risks from new products in a timely manner, possibly leading to injury and death if unsafe products enter the U.S. market. CPSC also faces challenges in collecting and analyzing large quantities of data in order to identify potential product risks. Some sources CPSC uses to identify injuries or death are dated--for example, death certificates can be 2 or more years old--or contain limited information about the product involved in the incident. To respond to these challenges, the agency has key efforts under way. First, CPSC is upgrading its data management system. According to CPSC, the ...
Date: December 20, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Rulemaking: Agencies Could Take Additional Steps to Respond to Public Comments

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Agencies did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), enabling the public to comment on a proposed rule, for about 35 percent of major rules and about 44 percent of nonmajor rules published during 2003 through 2010. A major rule has significant economic impact and may, for example, have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. Agencies published a total of 568 major rules from 2003 through 2010. Agencies also published about 30,000 nonmajor rules during this period, which have less economic significance and can involve routine administrative issues."
Date: December 20, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Information on Former High-Ranking Coast Guard Officials' Employment with Major Contractors

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "A total of 22 of the 39 former high-ranking officials (admiral-level and SES officials) who separated from the Coast Guard from 2006 through 2010 were compensated at some point from 2006 through 2011 by contractors that received obligations from the Coast Guard in calendar year 2011. We found that 12 of these former officials were compensated in calendar year 2011 by major Coast Guard contractors--those contractors receiving more than $10 million in obligations during that calendar year. The responsibilities of these officials vary, but 9 of these 12 officials were assigned by major contractors to positions involving the development of new business."
Date: December 20, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interior Immigration Enforcement: Programs Targeting Criminal Aliens

Description: This report begins by defining and quantifying the criminal alien population, to the extent possible. The following sections describe current and historical programs designed in whole or in part to target this population, including the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), Secure Communities, the §287(g) program, and the National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP). After describing how these programs function and key differences among them, the report reviews their recent appropriations history and enforcement statistics.
Date: December 20, 2012
Creator: Rosenblum, Marc R. & Kandel, William A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent.
Date: December 20, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald & Schwartz, Moshe
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
Date: December 20, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department