Do not travel to Argentina due to COVID-19.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Argentina due to COVID-19.
Travelers to Argentina may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Argentina due to COVID-19. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Argentina.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Argentina:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
- Accountability for the Murder of Jamal KhashoggiBy Sam NewsFebruary 26, 2021Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
- Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Robert A. Zink Delivers Remarks at Virtual GIR Live Interactive: Regional Spotlight-North AmericaBy Sam NewsDecember 9, 2020It’s wonderful to speak with you here this morning. And I’m sorry we can’t do this in person. But I’m still delighted to have the opportunity to be here to say a few words about white-collar criminal enforcement, albeit virtually.[Read More…]
- FEMA Workforce: Long-Standing and New Challenges Could Affect Mission SuccessBy Sam NewsJanuary 20, 2022What GAO Found GAO's past work has identified longstanding challenges facing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) workforce. In May 2020, for example, GAO reported on the following workforce challenges within FEMA: Staffing shortages. The 2017 and 2018 disaster seasons created unprecedented demand for FEMA's workforce. FEMA deployed over 10,000 personnel during the peak of each season but faced shortages in over half of its cadres—operational or programmatic groups—when disasters began. For example, 18 of 23 cadres operated with 25 percent or less of staff available to deploy when Hurricane Maria made landfall in 2017. In addition, many employees—up to 48 percent in some cases—declined deployments due, according to FEMA officials, to burnout and austere conditions in the field. Workforce qualifications. GAO found that FEMA faced challenges deploying staff with the right qualifications and skills at the right times to meet disaster needs. Qualification status in FEMA's systems was not a reliable indicator of staff's ability to perform in the field. For example, in 14 of the focus groups GAO held with FEMA staff, participants said that staff who were designated as qualified in FEMA's system did not always have the necessary skills for their position. GAO recommended that FEMA develop a plan to address challenges in providing quality information to field leaders about staff qualifications. FEMA told GAO in December 2021 that its Field Operations Directorate has created plans to inform field leadership about staff skills and abilities, among other things. GAO also recommended that FEMA develop mechanisms to assess deployment outcomes. FEMA said it is modifying its force structure targets, with input from field leadership, and has implemented continuous data collection efforts. Staff development. GAO found shortcomings in FEMA's ability to ensure staff training and development for the skills needed in the field. For example, Reservists—often comprising the greatest proportion of FEMA staff in the field during a disaster—faced barriers to staff development and inconsistently received performance evaluations. GAO recommended that FEMA create a staff development program that addresses access to training, development, and feedback. In response, FEMA has taken a number of steps, including process improvements for development opportunities and creating a plan to consistently conduct performance reviews. GAO will continue to monitor FEMA's actions and assess the extent to which these actions address GAO's recommendations. These workforce challenges can affect FEMA's ability to achieve its mission to help people before, during, and after disasters. For example, GAO has reported on challenges with inadequate training and low morale for Disaster Recovery Center call center employees. Improving training and employee engagement and morale may help improve services provided to disaster survivors. With an increase in the frequency and cost of disasters, and with FEMA supporting numerous eﬀorts outside of its normal core responsibilities, GAO is concerned that FEMA personnel may not be prepared to manage a catastrophic natural disaster or concurrent disasters. Why GAO Did This Study FEMA has long been tasked with the difficult job of leading the federal response to natural disasters. The increasing frequency of disasters and the additional responsibilities of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and other events have stretched the FEMA workforce in unprecedented ways. This testimony discusses GAO's prior work on various FEMA workforce challenges. This statement is based on products GAO issued from July 2015 to August 2021. For those products, GAO reviewed and analyzed federal law, federal data, and agency documentation and interviewed federal, state, and local officials as well as representatives of stakeholder groups impacted by disasters. GAO also conducted some of these interviews as part of visits to locations affected by hurricanes in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, GAO conducted 17 focus groups with FEMA staff.[Read More…]
- K-12 Education: U.S. Military Families Generally Have the Same Schooling Options as Other Families and Consider Multiple Factors When Selecting SchoolsBy Sam NewsMarch 8, 2021What GAO Found Traditional public schools were the most commonly available schooling option for military families near military installations, similar to schools available to U.S. families in general, according to GAO's analysis of Department of Education 2018-19 data. Over 90 percent of installations had at least one public schooling option nearby—such as a charter or magnet school—in addition to traditional public schools (see figure). Similar to U.S. schools in general, rural installations generally had fewer schooling options compared to their more highly populated urban counterparts. In addition, about one-half of the military installations GAO analyzed are in states that offer private school choice programs that provide eligible students with funding toward a non-public education. At least two of these states have private school choice programs specifically for military families. Public School Options within Average Commuting Distance of Military Installations, School Year 2018-19 Note: According to GAO's analysis of the Department of Transportation's 2017 National Household Travel Survey, the average commuting distance for rural and urban areas is 20 miles and 16 miles, respectively. For the purposes of this report, the term “military installations” refers to the 890 DOD installations and Coast Guard units included in GAO's analysis. Military families in GAO's review commonly reported considering housing options and school features when choosing schools for their children; however, they weighed these factors differently to meet their families' specific needs. For example, one reason parents said that they accepted a longer commute was to live in their preferred school district, while other parents said that they prioritized a shorter commute and increased family time over access to specific schools. Military families also reported considering academics, perceived safety, elective courses, and extracurricular activities. To inform their schooling decisions, most parents said that they rely heavily on their personal networks and social media. Why GAO Did This Study Approximately 650,000 military dependent children in the U.S. face various challenges that may affect their schooling, according to DOD. For example, these children transfer schools up to nine times, on average, before high school graduation. Military families frequently cite education issues for their children as a drawback to military service, according to DOD. GAO was asked to examine the schooling options available to school-age dependents of active-duty servicemembers. This report describes (1) available schooling options for school-age military dependent children in the U.S.; and (2) military families' views on factors they consider and resources they use when making schooling decisions. GAO analyzed data on federal education, military installation locations, and commuting patterns to examine schooling options near military installations. GAO also conducted six discussion groups with a total of 40 parents of school-age military dependent children; and interviewed officials at nine military installations that were selected to reflect a range of factors such as availability of different types of schooling options, rural or urban designation, and geographic region. In addition, GAO reviewed relevant federal laws and guidance, and interviewed officials from DOD, the Coast Guard, and representatives of national advocacy groups for military children. For more information, contact Jacqueline M. Nowicki at (617) 788-0580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Medical Device Company Arthrex to Pay $16 Million to Resolve Kickback AllegationsBy Sam NewsNovember 8, 2021More from: November 8, [Read More…]
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- Four Additional Members of Los Angeles-Based Fraud Ring Indicted for Exploiting COVID-Relief ProgramsBy Sam NewsMarch 12, 2021A federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned a superseding indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, charging four additional individuals for their alleged participation in a scheme to submit over 150 fraudulent loan applications seeking over $21.9 million in COVID-19 relief funds guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.[Read More…]
- Federal Court Shuts Down Michigan Tax Return PreparerBy Sam NewsJanuary 20, 2022A federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan has permanently barred a Detroit-area tax return preparer and her business from preparing federal tax returns for others.[Read More…]
- Small Business Contracting: Better Documentation and Reporting Needed on Procurement Center RepresentativesBy Sam NewsJuly 30, 2020The Small Business Administration (SBA) does not maintain complete documentation to support data on the activities of procurement center representatives (PCR), which is information used to oversee PCRs and assess their performance. PCRs are responsible for helping small businesses gain access to federal contracting and subcontracting opportunities—for example, by making set-aside recommendations to federal agency contracting officers. SBA area offices generate a monthly report that summarizes data on PCRs' activities and accomplishments, and SBA procedures require PCRs to maintain these reports and the supporting documentation. GAO found that they do not consistently do either. According to SBA officials, in some cases the supporting documentation, which PCRs store on their individual computers or in their offices, either was destroyed or was not maintained after PCRs left their positions. Officials told GAO that SBA recently implemented a new database and established a policy requiring the monthly reports to be maintained in the database. However, SBA has not established a centralized means of maintaining the supporting documentation. A central repository for PCRs to store their supporting documentation would provide greater assurance that the documentation is maintained as required and help SBA verify the accuracy of the data PCRs report on their activities. SBA assigns PCRs to buying activities, divisions in federal agencies that purchase goods and services based on geographic coverage and other factors. Specifically, PCRs are assigned within one of six regional areas to ensure geographic coverage, at specific federal agencies, and at buying activities that have significant opportunities for small business contracting. However, SBA has not submitted required reports to Congress on its rationale for assigning PCRs to cover buying activities. The Small Business Act, as amended, requires that SBA submit a report (1) identifying each area for which SBA has assigned a PCR, (2) explaining why SBA selected the areas for assignment, and (3) describing the activities performed by PCRs. SBA was required to submit the first report to Congress by December 26, 2010, and subsequent reports every 3 years thereafter. SBA officials told GAO they were not aware of the reporting requirement. As a result, Congress lacks the information these reports were intended to provide, information that could be useful for its oversight of PCRs. The Small Business Act establishes tools to enhance procurement opportunities for small businesses, such as set-asides and requirements that large contractors set goals for using small business subcontractors. SBA's PCRs advocate for the inclusion of small businesses during the procurement process. GAO was asked to examine how PCRs help small businesses gain access to federal contracting and subcontracting opportunities. This report addresses, among other objectives, (1) documentation SBA maintains on the activities of PCRs and (2) how SBA assigns PCRs to cover buying activities and its requirement to report to Congress on these assignments. GAO reviewed SBA policies and procedures, data on PCR assignments, and selected data reported by PCRs and related documentation. GAO also interviewed agency officials. GAO recommends that SBA (1) develop a central repository for PCRs to store the supporting documentation for the data they report on their activities and (2) ensure that it submits required reports to Congress on PCRs' assignments and activities. SBA concurred with both recommendations. For more information, contact William B. Shear at (202) 512-8678 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- Woman Who Laundered Over $2 Million for International ‘Child Modeling’ Websites Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Federal PrisonBy Sam NewsDecember 3, 2021A Florida woman was sentenced today to five years and three months in prison for engaging in a money laundering scheme in connection with an international, subscription-based, sexually-exploitative enterprise based in Florida that operated “child modeling” websites.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Settles Claim Against Operators of a Utah On-The-Job Training Program for Discriminating Against AsyleeBy Sam NewsJune 24, 2021The Department of Justice today announced that it signed a settlement agreement with Montana-based Easterseals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain Inc. (ESGW), which also operates in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.[Read More…]
- COVID-19: DOD Has Focused on Strategy and Oversight to Protect Military Servicemember HealthBy Sam NewsJune 4, 2021What GAO Found Since January 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) has developed a strategy to protect the health of military servicemembers from COVID-19, with a goal of minimizing risks while continuing operations. The strategy tailors protection measures to local conditions and risks to health and force readiness. GAO found that DOD's strategy applies several key considerations. DOD Application of Key Considerations to Protect Servicemembers from COVID-19 DOD officials oversee the implementation of the department's COVID-19 health protection strategy for servicemembers through: Sustained leadership attention. In January 2020, the Secretary of Defense initiated COVID-19 planning and established a senior task force to oversee the response. Combatant command and installation officials continuously evaluate regional and local implementation and perform compliance checks. Notwithstanding these efforts, DOD officials stated that they expect some limited incidents of personnel not following protocols. Data monitoring. Senior leaders and local commanders assess data on cases, community spread, and testing, among other metrics, to inform strategy implementation and assess its effectiveness. Lessons learned analyses. While these analyses are ongoing as the pandemic continues, DOD has implemented mitigations to address some challenges identified, such as a new system to collect more timely and specific COVID-19 case data. DOD has research and development projects underway to advance COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics and improve detection methods. DOD's investments include many projects that have specific applications for servicemembers, such as pre- and postexposure prophylactic treatments to prevent the onset of the disease. Why GAO Did This Study The COVID-19 pandemic poses risks to the health of U.S. servicemembers. Protecting forces from COVID-19 is therefore essential to DOD's ability to defend the United States, maintain warfighting readiness, and support the whole-of-government response to the pandemic. To help facilitate the COVID-19 pandemic response, Congress appropriated about $10.5 billion to DOD through the CARES Act. The CARES Act includes a provision for GAO to report on its ongoing monitoring and oversight related to the pandemic. GAO was also asked to examine the military health system response to COVID-19. This report examines, in regard to COVID-19, DOD's (1) strategy for protecting military servicemember health, (2) oversight of its strategy, and (3) research and development projects for vaccines, therapeutics, and testing. GAO reviewed guidance and plans for health protection and pandemic response that comprise DOD's strategy, and evaluated alignment of the strategy with key considerations from prior GAO work on pandemic preparedness. To identify oversight efforts, GAO reviewed DOD briefings on the progress of health protection measures, and analyzed 2020 DOD data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and testing. GAO also interviewed DOD leaders, officials from the military department medical organizations, combatant commands, and four military medical treatment facilities selected on the basis of military department and location. For more information, contact Brenda S. Farrell at (202) 512-3604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Department Of Justice Identifies New York City, Portland And Seattle As Jurisdictions Permitting Violence And Destruction Of PropertyBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2020The U.S. Department of Justice today identified the following three jurisdictions that have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities: New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. The Department of Justice is continuing to work to identify jurisdictions that meet the criteria set out in the President’s Memorandum and will periodically update the list of selected jurisdictions as required therein.[Read More…]
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- Justice Department Files Suit Against Dallas, Texas, Towing Company for Unlawfully Selling Servicemember-Owned VehiclesBy Sam NewsSeptember 28, 2020The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas alleging that Dallas-based towing company United Tows LLC violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), by unlawfully auctioning off vehicles owned by SCRA-protected servicemembers.[Read More…]