January 29, 2022

News

News Network

Poland Travel Advisory

8 min read

Reconsider travel to Poland 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 Poland due to COVID-19.

Poland has lifted stay at home orders, and resumed some transportation options and business operations. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Poland.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Poland:

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

News Network

  • United States Announces Settlement of Civil Action Addressing Clean Air Act Violations at New York City Public Schools
    In Crime News
    The United States filed suit today under the Clean Air Act (CAA) against the City of New York and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and lodged a proposed consent judgment to address the defendants’ longstanding failure to properly monitor and control harmful emissions from NYCDOE oil-fired boilers in New York City public schools. 
    [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement on the C5+1 Virtual Ministerial
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Iranian National Charged with Illegally Exporting Laboratory Equipment to Iran
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment today charging a Canadian national with the unlawful export of laboratory equipment from the United States to Iran, through Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
    [Read More…]
  • U.S. Sanctions CEIEC for Supporting the Illegitimate Maduro Regime’s Efforts to Undermine Venezuelan Democracy
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • VA Real Property: Enhanced Communication and Performance Measurement Could Improve Capital Asset Management
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) manages a vast portfolio of capital assets to provide healthcare to enrolled veterans. GAO found that VA has faced and continues to face challenges meeting three of the key GAO-identified characteristics of an asset management framework. These are (1) leadership support that provides necessary resources, such as staffing; (2) communication across traditional agency boundaries; and (3) continuous assessment and improvement of asset management performance. These characteristics are designed to optimize funding and agency decision-making. Staffing resources. Regarding leadership that provides necessary resources, GAO has previously identified staffing challenges that affected VA's ability to manage its assets and that resulted in consequences such as delayed projects and difficulties managing projects. VA officials continued to describe staffing challenges, such as difficulties in planning and executing projects and limits on the number of projects that facilities can undertake. VA officials described efforts they are making to address these challenges. Such efforts include, for example, developing new staffing models and establishing special salary rates for engineers. However, it is too early to determine the extent to which these efforts will improve staffing. Communication. Regarding communication across traditional agency boundaries, VA has taken steps to improve communication among offices with asset management responsibilities. Such steps include issuing an asset management directive that VA officials said would help to facilitate such communication. However, GAO found continuing instances of insufficient (1) communication early in project development between local offices and the Office of Construction and Facilities Management and (2) communication between construction offices and the Office of Information and Technology to ensure information technology needs are met when bringing facilities online. This lack of communication can be attributed, in part, to a lack of direction from VA on how and when to communicate. Improving communication between these offices could help prevent unnecessary delays in projects' development and execution and help VA bring space online more efficiently. Performance measurement. Regarding the need for agencies to continuously assess the performance of their asset management systems and implement necessary improvements, VA lacks sufficient performance goals and measures. Although it collects information on its facilities and has certain broad strategic goals, the agency does not have measurable goals to help assess its asset management and to determine how well that management is helping VA meet those broad strategic goals, such as a goal to reduce the amount of deferred maintenance. Although VA officials acknowledged the importance of such measures, they noted that they had found developing performance measures to be challenging, for reasons such as difficulty in attributing results to agency actions. Nevertheless, GAO's prior work indicates the value of doing so. In the absence of such measures, VA is limited in its ability to determine the extent to which its asset management is helping VA to achieve its strategic goals and objectives. Why GAO Did This Study In providing healthcare to over 9 million enrolled veterans, VA manages a portfolio that includes 5,625 owned and 1,690 leased buildings as of fiscal year 2020. VA has pressing needs associated with these assets, not only maintaining or replacing aging facilities but also adapting to changes in veterans' demographics and needs. GAO was asked to review VA's management of these real property (capital) assets. This report examines: (1) VA's management of its staffing resources for constructing and maintaining its capital assets, (2) VA's communication among offices involved in and supporting capital asset management, and (3) VA's assessment of its performance in capital asset management. GAO reviewed VA documentation and prior GAO and other reports about VA's capital asset management. GAO also interviewed officials at VA headquarters offices involved in asset management, VA officials at a non-generalizable selection of eight geographically dispersed VA medical centers and seven regional offices that managed the various types of VA capital projects, and representatives from four veterans service organizations.
    [Read More…]
  • Asteroid 1998 OR2 to Safely Fly Past Earth This Week
    In Space
    The large near-Earth [Read More…]
  • Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Phee’s Travel to Ghana and Burkina Faso
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Federal Court Permanently Bars Southern Florida Tax Preparer from Preparing Returns
    In Crime News
    A federal court in the Southern District of Florida has permanently enjoined a West Palm Beach tax return preparer and her business from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. According to the court’s order, it issued the injunction in response to violations of a prior order in the case that had allowed the preparer and her business to prepare returns subject to certain restrictions. In April 2017, the United States filed a complaint against Lena D. Cotton and Professional Accounting LDC, LLC, that alleged the defendants prepared returns with improper education credits, manipulated filing statuses, and improper vehicle deductions, among other issues. In November 2017, the court permanently enjoined both defendants from this and other specific conduct and required defendants to engage a “neutral monitor” to “determin[e] and/or secur[e] compliance” with injunction.
    [Read More…]
  •  Secretary Blinken’s Call with Canadian Foreign Minister Joly
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • On the Anniversary of the Day of Portugal, Camões, and Portuguese Communities
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Companies to Pay for Cleanup of Groundwater at Montrose Superfund Site Following Settlement with Justice Department, EPA and California Department of Toxic Substances Control
    In Crime News
    On Sept. 30, 2021, three settlement agreements were approved by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Under the agreements, Montrose Chemical Corporation of California, Bayer CropScience Inc., TFCF America Inc., and Stauffer Management Company LLC have agreed to pay $77.6 million for cleanup of contaminated groundwater at the Montrose Chemical Corp. Superfund and the Del Amo Superfund Sites in Los Angeles County, California. The companies will also investigate potential contamination of the historic stormwater pathway leading from the Montrose Superfund Site, south of Torrance Boulevard. Another company, JCI Jones Chemicals Inc. will participate in the groundwater cleanup.
    [Read More…]
  • Medicaid: CMS Needs to Implement Risk-Based Oversight of Puerto Rico’s Procurement Process
    In U.S GAO News
    Like other U.S. territories and states, Puerto Rico implements major functions of its Medicaid program by procuring services from contractors, such as the delivery of managed care services to Medicaid beneficiaries. In 2018, procurement costs represented $2.4 billion of Puerto Rico's $2.5 billion in total Medicaid expenditures. A 2019 federal indictment alleging Puerto Rico officials unlawfully steered Medicaid contracts to certain individuals has raised concerns about Puerto Rico's Medicaid procurement process, including whether this process helps ensure appropriate competition. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for overseeing the Medicaid program. CMS requires states and territories to use the same process for Medicaid procurements as they do for their non-federal procurements. However, CMS has not taken steps to ensure Puerto Rico has met this requirement. Instead, CMS has relied on Puerto Rico to oversee the territory's procurement process and to attest to its compliance. CMS approved Puerto Rico's attestation of compliance in 2004 and has not required subsequent updates. CMS officials told GAO that states and territories are in the best position to ensure compliance with their respective procurement laws. GAO and others have found that competition is a cornerstone of procurement. Using competition can reduce costs, improve contractor performance, curb fraud, and promote accountability. GAO reviewed selected Puerto Rico Medicaid procurements against federal procurement standards designed to promote competition and reduce risks of fraud. States and territories are generally not required to meet such standards. However, GAO and others have found that such standards can indicate whether a state's or territory's procurement process includes necessary steps to achieve fair competition. GAO found that seven of the eight selected Puerto Rico procurements did not include important steps to promote competition and mitigate the risk for fraud, waste, and abuse, underscoring the need for federal oversight. Competitive procurements. The requests for proposals for two of the three competitive procurements GAO reviewed did not include certain information on factors used to evaluate proposals and make awards. In contrast, Puerto Rico's managed care procurement—the largest procurement reviewed—included this information. Noncompetitive procurements. None of the five noncompetitive procurements GAO reviewed documented circumstances to justify not using competitive procurements, such as a lack of competition or an emergency. Puerto Rico officials explained that territorial law allows noncompetitive procurement for professional services regardless of circumstances. Because CMS does not oversee Puerto Rico's procurement process, the agency lacks assurance that Puerto Rico's Medicaid program is appropriately managing the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse. Procurements that did not include important steps to promote competition could have unnecessarily increased Medicaid costs, reducing funding for Medicaid services to beneficiaries. States' and U.S. territories' Medicaid procurement processes can directly affect their ability to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in the program. A 2019 federal indictment alleging fraudulent Medicaid procurements in Puerto Rico has raised questions about the program's oversight. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 includes a provision for GAO to review oversight of Puerto Rico's Medicaid procurement process and its use of competition. This report examines CMS oversight of Puerto Rico's procurement process from its initial steps through the award, and how it helps ensure competition. GAO reviewed federal regulations, guidance, and Puerto Rico's December 2020 procurement reform plan; interviewed Puerto Rico and federal officials; and reviewed eight awards that represented about 97 percent of the costs of Puerto Rico's procurements in effect as of April 2020. These procurements were selected based on variation in cost, use of competition, and other factors. GAO assessed whether CMS addressed risks in Puerto Rico's procurement process by reviewing selected procurements against certain federal standards that apply to other non-federal entities and aim to mitigate the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse. GAO also assessed CMS's policies and procedures against federal internal control standards. GAO recommends that CMS implement risk-based oversight of the Medicaid procurement process in Puerto Rico. The Department of Health and Human Services concurred with this recommendation. For more information, contact Carolyn L. Yocom at (202) 512-7114 or YocomC@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Uganda Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Jury convicts Cuban national for assaulting federal officers
    In Justice News
    A federal jury has [Read More…]
  • Remarks at Perth USAsia Center
    In Climate - Environment - Conservation
    Ambassador Atul Keshap, [Read More…]
  • Concrete Contractor Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids for Public Contracts in Minnesota
    In Crime News
    A Minnesota concrete contractor pleaded guilty to rigging bids on public concrete repair and construction contracts in the state of Minnesota.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hill Tinoco
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Additional Restrictions on the Issuance of Visas for People’s Republic of China Officials Engaged in Human Rights Abuses
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Saudi Arabia Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider Travel to [Read More…]
  • Colorado Man Sentenced to Prison for Biodiesel Tax Credit Fraud
    In Crime News
    A Colorado resident was sentenced to 15 months in prison yesterday for his role in a biodiesel tax credit fraud scheme, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
    [Read More…]
Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.