Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
On behalf of the Government of the United States, I want to convey my deepest condolences to the family of former President Litokwa Tomeing and to the people of the Marshall Islands on his passing.
President Tomeing was a seminal figure in the founding institutions of his nation, including his role in the Marshall Islands Constitutional Convention. The Republic of the Marshall Islands was blessed by his vibrant political career in local and national governments. Perhaps one of his greatest legacies is the part he played in expanding the Marshall Islands’ international presence by successfully advocating for the establishment of the nation’s first consulate in the United States in Springdale, Arkansas to serve what is now the largest Marshallese community outside of the Marshall Islands.
We commend him for his decades of public service. Together our two countries can honor his memory and legacy through our continued work together and commitment to shared values.
- [Request for Reconsideration of Sustained Protest of Labor Contract Award]By Sam NewsAugust 17, 2021The Department of Labor requested reconsideration of a decision which sustained a protest against a contract award for social services. GAO sustained the protest because of: (1) Labor's agreement with one of two offerers within the competitive range following best and final offers concerning government-furnished property; and (2) a resulting cost analysis which possibly prejudiced the protester. GAO recommended the reopening of negotiations with a clear statement of the requirements and termination of the awardee's contract should the protester's proposal prove more advantageous. Labor requested reconsideration on the grounds that the protester was not prejudiced by the negotiations with the awardee and contended that the recommended corrective action was inappropriate. GAO found that it was not clear that the changes effected by the negotiations were not prejudicial to the protester because a reallocation of savings which followed best and final offers allowed the awardee to reduce its bid. Furthermore, GAO found that Labor presented no convincing evidence that GAO erred in concluding that the protester might have successfully competed had it received the same access to government-owned property which had been developed by the awardee. Therefore, GAO held that the negotiations after best and final offers resulted in a substantial change in contract requirements which possibly prejudiced the protester. Accordingly, GAO affirmed its prior decision; however, since less than 3 months' performance remained on the contract, and Labor had decided not to exercise the contract's option but to issue a new solicitation, GAO had no objection to Labor's not reopening negotiations on the original contract.[Read More…]
- Incyte Corporation to Pay $12.6 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations for Paying KickbacksBy Sam NewsMay 4, 2021A pharmaceutical company headquartered in Delaware has agreed to pay $12.6 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Awards over $9 Million to Combat Elder Fraud and AbuseBy Sam NewsOctober 1, 2020The Department of [Read More…]
- Contract Rehabilitation Therapy Providers Agree to Pay $8.4 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Relating to the Provision of Medically Unnecessary Therapy ServicesBy Sam NewsJuly 2, 2021Select Medical Corporation and Encore GC Acquisition LLC have agreed to pay $8.4 million to resolve allegations that Select Medical Rehabilitation Services Inc. (SMRS) violated the False Claims Act by knowingly causing 12 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in New York and New Jersey to submit false claims to Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services that were not reasonable,[Read More…]
- Justice Department Settles with Indiana School District to Resolve Disability Discrimination Investigation into School Seclusion and Restraint PracticesBy Sam NewsDecember 31, 2020The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement with the North Gibson School Corporation in Princeton, Indiana, to address and prevent the discriminatory secluding and restraining of students with disabilities.[Read More…]
- [Protest of Propriety of Provisions in Navy IFB for Custodial Services]By Sam NewsAugust 12, 2021A firm protested a Navy solicitation for custodial services, contending that it contained: (1) an erroneous Department of Labor wage determination; and (2) an allegedly improper liquidated damages clause. GAO held that: (1) the Navy admitted that the wage determination was erroneous and agreed to correct it; (2) the protester did not show that the damages clause imposed an impermissible penalty, since there was no possible relationship between its provisions and any contemplated losses; and (3) the damages clause involved a matter of contract administration, which it would not review. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed in part and denied in part.[Read More…]
- Joint Statement on the U.S.-Kazakhstan Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue By Sam NewsDecember 24, 2021
- Acting Assistant Secretary Carol Thompson O’Connell Travel to Islamabad, PakistanBy Sam NewsSeptember 27, 2020
- Barge Company Will Pay Over $15 Million for Injuries to Natural Resources Resulting from Oil Spill in Houston Ship ChannelBy Sam NewsDecember 1, 2021Houston, Texas-based Kirby Inland Marine LP has agreed to pay $15.3 million in damages and assessment costs under the Oil Pollution Act to resolve federal and state claims for injuries to natural resources resulting from an oil spill from a Kirby barge, after a collision Kirby caused.[Read More…]
- Concrete Contractor Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids for Public Contracts in MinnesotaBy Sam NewsSeptember 28, 2021A Minnesota concrete contractor pleaded guilty to rigging bids on public concrete repair and construction contracts in the state of Minnesota.[Read More…]
- Law Firms Representing Purdue Pharma Agree to Relinquish $1 Million in Settlement with U.S. Trustee ProgramBy Sam NewsApril 29, 2021The Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) has entered into a settlement with three law firms representing Purdue Pharma (Purdue) in its ongoing bankruptcy cases. The firms are Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP; and Dechert LLP (the Firms).[Read More…]
- Visa Restrictions on Tanzanians for Undermining the Democratic Process and Human RightsBy Sam NewsJanuary 19, 2021Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Owner and Operator of India-Based Call Centers Sentenced to Prison for Scamming U.S. Victims out of Millions of DollarsBy Sam NewsNovember 30, 2020An Indian national was sentenced today to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release in the Southern District of Texas for his role in operating and funding India-based call centers that defrauded U.S. victims out of millions of dollars between 2013 and 2016.[Read More…]
- Nine MS-13 Gang Members Indicted for Racketeering ConspiracyBy Sam NewsJanuary 7, 2022A federal judge in the District of Maryland unsealed a superseding indictment today charging nine members of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) with racketeering conspiracy involving murder, extortion, and money laundering.[Read More…]
- G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Arrest and Detention of Alexey NavalnyBy Sam NewsJanuary 26, 2021
- Laredo man admits to smuggling meth in fire extinguishersBy Sam NewsIn Justice NewsJuly 25, 2021A 40-year-old Laredo man [Read More…]
- Protests in RussiaBy Sam NewsJanuary 23, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo with Aishath Shaany of Raajje TVBy Sam NewsOctober 29, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Human Capital: Administration and Implementation of the General Schedule Locality Pay ProgramBy Sam NewsNovember 30, 2021What GAO Found To help determine the locality-based pay adjustments for federal employees paid under the General Schedule (GS) pay system, the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (FEPCA) created the President's Pay Agent (Pay Agent) and Federal Salary Council (council) to annually recommend locality pay amounts to the President and modifications to locality pay areas (see figure below). Annual Process for the General Schedule Locality Pay Program aDesignated by the President, the Pay Agent is comprised of the Secretary of Labor and the Directors of the Office of Management and Budget and OPM. The council is comprised of three experts in labor relations and pay policy and six representatives of employee organizations representing large numbers of General Schedule employees. Since 1994, the council has recommended defining locality pay areas using the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) statistical area definitions, which provide nationally consistent delineations for a set of geographic areas. Based on the recommendations of the council, the Pay Agent has updated the locality areas, as needed, when OMB updates its statistical area definitions. Currently, the council uses definitions from OMB's April 2018 update. OMB issued an update in March 2020. Some of the council members told GAO that the council plans to discuss these updates once the administration appoints new council members. Using the 2020 definitions could affect GS employees' pay if locations within existing locality pay areas were moved to separate locality pay areas (higher or lower paying). In its 2019 memorandum, the council identified five alternatives to the survey methodology for setting locality pay, including verifying Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey data with other human capital data—such as attrition data—and establishing a commission to periodically review federal civilian compensation. According to council members, these alternatives represent the most recent discussion by the council of different methodologies. This is also consistent with the results of GAO's literature search. Why GAO Did This Study FEPCA authorized annual locality-based pay adjustments for GS employees. The act's goal was to reduce reported pay gaps between federal and nonfederal employees in specific areas of the U.S. to no more than 5 percent. While this goal has not been met since its authorization in 1994, some amount of locality pay increases has been provided for 22 of the 28 years since FEPCA took effect. House Report 116-442 accompanying the bill that would become the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 included a provision for GAO to review the administration of the locality pay program. This report describes (1) the process for administering the GS locality pay program, including establishing or modifying existing geographical boundaries for locality pay areas and the amount of time required for such changes; (2) the status of incorporating OMB's statistical area definitions to determine the boundaries for locality pay areas; and (3) the council's potential alternatives for administering and implementing the locality pay program. GAO reviewed legislation, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations, council memorandums and Pay Agent reports, and BLS, OMB, and OPM documents. GAO also interviewed OPM and BLS officials, OMB staff, and council members; and conducted a literature search. The Department of Labor and OPM provided technical comments on a draft of this report, which GAO incorporated as appropriate. OMB had no comments. For more information, contact Jeff Arkin at (202) 512-6806 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- Prison Official Charged with Accepting Bribes and Smuggling Contraband into Correctional InstitutionBy Sam NewsOctober 20, 2020A federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of North Carolina returned an indictment on Oct. 14 charging a North Carolina Department of Public Safety official with a bribery and smuggling scheme that funneled drugs and other contraband into Caledonia Correctional Institution.[Read More…]