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Monthly Archives: April 2013

New GAO Reports – National Preparedness, Security Force Assistance

  • National Preparedness – Efforts to Address the Medical Needs of Children in a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear Incident, GAO-13-438, Apr 30, 2013: “HHS faces a variety of economic, regulatory, scientific, and ethical challenges in developing and acquiring pediatric CBRN medical countermeasures. High costs and the high risk of failure associated with testing and research of pharmaceutical products on children, difficulties in meeting regulatory requirements for approving CBRN countermeasures, and scientific and ethical obstacles to safely evaluating countermeasures for children all pose challenges to developing pediatric countermeasures.”

  • Security Force Assistance – More Detailed Planning and Improved Access to Information Needed to Guide Efforts of Advisor Teams in Afghanistan, GAO-13-381, Apr 30, 2013: “Officials from several teams stated that the guidance they received lacked specificity regarding desired end states for the development of their ANSF counterpart units. Without a more structured approach with clear linkages between end states, objectives, and milestones that are in support of broad goals for ANSF units, theater commanders cannot be assured that the advisor team activities are making progress toward these goals.”

EFF Surveys Major Tech Companies' Privacy and Transparency Policies

News release: “As you search the Internet, visit websites, and update your social media accounts, you entrust a wealth of data to service providers: your thoughts, your photos, your location, and much more. What happens when the government wants access to all of this information, held by companies like Google and Facebook and AT&T? WillContinue Reading

Central bank finances (BIS Paper)

Central bank finances, by David Archer and Paul Moser-Boehm. BIS Papers No 71, April 2013 This paper looks at the relevance of a central bank’s own finances for its policy work. Some central banks are exposed to significant financial risks, partly due to the environment in which they operate, and partly due to the natureContinue Reading

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Reform

CRS – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Reform: An Overview of Proposals to Reduce the Growth in SSDI Rolls, William R. Morton, Research Associate. April 29, 2013 “Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides benefits to insured workers with disabilities under the full retirement age and their dependents based on an individual worker’s earnings andContinue Reading

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Examining the Evidence to Define Benefit Adequacy

“For many Americans who live at or below the poverty threshold, access to healthy foods at a reasonable price is a challenge that often places a strain on already limited resources and may compel them to make food choices that are contrary to current nutritional guidance. To help alleviate this problem, the U.S. Department ofContinue Reading

Fourth Season of Dredging Begins in Upper Hudson – emove sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

News release: “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Deputy Commissioner Eugene Leff today to kick off the start of the fourth season of dredging in the Upper Hudson River. Portions of the Upper Hudson are being dredged to remove sediment contaminated withContinue Reading

A Secure Submission System for Online Whistleblowing Platforms

A Secure Submission System for Online Whistleblowing Platforms. Volker Roth, Benjamin Güldenring, Eleanor Rieffel, Sven Dietrich, Lars Ries (Submitted on 26 Jan 2013) An abridged version has been accepted for publication in the proceedings of Financial Cryptography and Data Security 2013. “Whistleblower laws protect individuals who inform the public or an authority about governmental orContinue Reading

Lost Generations? Wealth Building among Young Americans

Lost Generations? Wealth Building among Young Americans. C. Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Sisi Zhang. Urban Institute, March 15, 2013 “Despite the Great Recession and slow recovery, the American dream of working hard, saving more, and becoming wealthier than one’s parents holds true for many. Unless you’re under 40. Stagnant wages, diminishing job opportunities,Continue Reading

Best Places to Work in the Federal Government: Analysis – Government Innovation Slipping

Partnership for Public Service – Most Innovative Agencies – Snapshot 2012. May 2013: “From 2011 to 2012, the government-wide innovation score dropped by 1.7 points to 61.5 out of 100. While the vast majority of employees (91 percent) said they are always looking for ways to do their jobs better, a smaller majority (57.2 percent)Continue Reading

Paper – Maintaining Adequate Bank Capital

Maintaining Adequate Bank Capital, Mark J. Flannery. University of Florida – Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate. April 1, 2013. Forthcoming, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking “The Basel framework has produced complex definitions of “adequate” capital, expressed in terms of book (accounting) ratios. However, solvency actually depends not on accounting ratios but onContinue Reading

Less Than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation

Less Than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, C. Eugene Steuerle, Sisi Zhang. Urban Institute, April 26, 2013. Income inequality understates the size of the economic gap between whites and minorities in the United States. In 2010, whites on average had two times the income of blacks and Hispanics, but sixContinue Reading

CRS – Terrorism, Miranda, and Related Matters

Terrorism, Miranda, and Related Matters. Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law. April 24, 2013 “The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part that “No person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due processContinue Reading