The inspector general of the Los Angeles Unified School Distict is reopening an investigation into the purchase of iPads and Pearson software based on findings in a KPCC investigation into communication between district officials and those companies nearly a year ahead of a public bid.
After reviewing more than 1,000 internal emails over several days, KPCC found Superintendent John Deasy and his staff communicated closely with executives at Pearson about purchasing learning software under development for the iPad. A year later, the requirements for proposals resembled the package Pearson was selling.
Read more at KPCC, which uncovered the emails that reopened the probe.
At least three federal agencies have hindered the oversight efforts of independent watchdogs by limiting their access to records, according to a complaint from more than half of the government’s inspectors general. The inspectors general, several of whom were nominated for their roles by President Obama, said such interpretations of the law represent “potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”
Read more at the Washington Post.
A federal inspector general said Thursday that more than half of the separation agreements signed by departing employees of a nonprofit that received hundreds of millions of tax dollars to work in Iraq and Afghanistan contain provisions that violate whistleblower-protection laws. The separation agreements warned employees that they could face legal action if they made disparaging remarks about IRD, including comments to “funding agencies” or “officials of any government.”
Read more at Stars and Stripes
A disbarred Florida attorney was sentenced in federal court in Tampa, Florida today to serve 70 months in prison in connection with her role in a $28.3 million Medicare fraud scheme involving false claims for physical and occupational therapy services. The case is being investigated by HHS-OIG and the FBI and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Read the entire article at eNews Park Forest
When Jaime Vargas with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General agreed to share how his office is faring in the security realm, FedTech jumped at the opportunity. Jaime Vargas, chief information security officer for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General.
Read the entire article at FedTech Magazine
Late last month the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Interior issued a twenty 7 page report outlining continuing issues with the onshore oil and gas leasing process administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The wide variation in approving APDs at BLM offices varies widely, ranging from 37 days in Anchorage, Alaska to 328 days in Buffalo, Wyoming.
Read the entire article at Fairfield Sun Times
Thomas said his interest in the job increased after a change to state law allowed special prosecutors to work full-time instead of part-time. Thomas, a former Clay County prosecutor, became the state’s first inspector general when the office was created under then-Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2005. Since then, the office has pushed for criminal charges or ethics complaints in more than 100 cases.
Read the entire article at Indianapolis Star
The Office of Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency is urging the FHFA to sue its servicers and lender-placed insurance providers because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have suffered considerable financial harm in the LPI market, possibly as much as $158 million in 2012 alone from excessively priced insurance coverage.
Read the entire article at mortgagecrisiswatch.com
New county Inspector General John Carey started work this week and out-going Inspector General Sheryl Steckler’s last day at work is scheduled to be Friday. Steckler was the county’s first-ever inspector general, a position created as part of the ethics reforms prompted by a string of local government corruption scandals.
Read the entire article at Sun Sentinel