December 4, 2021

News

News Network

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Hugh Hewitt of The Hugh Hewitt Show

30 min read

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Via Teleconference

QUESTION:  I am joined now by the United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.  Mr. Secretary, welcome back to The Hugh Hewitt Show.

QUESTION:  Hugh, it’s great to be with you this morning.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  The Chinese Communist Party has a mouthpiece, the Global Times, which has a lead editorial today: China to respond to U.S. provocations in next 10 days, which concluded, and I want to quote, Mr. Secretary, “We would rather face a Taiwan Straits crisis, even a storm, in the next 10 days if Pompeo and his likes become more aggressive and provocative before leaving office.  The crisis will teach Taiwan secessionists a lesson and nail Pompeo and his likes to the pillar of shame.  Even if this will cause a shock to China-U.S. relations during the period of power change in the U.S., it will bring more benefits to the normal development of bilateral relations in the long term,” end of quote.  Mr. Secretary, are we on the cusp of a crisis with China?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Hugh, this is the kind of language that the Chinese Communist Party has been using for an awfully long time now.  Everything that President Trump and our administration has done with respect to the Taiwan issue in particular is deeply consistent with a series of agreements over an awfully long time.  All we have asked is that the Chinese Communist Party continue to adhere to the “one China” policy and the Three Communiques as well.

We’re in conversations with the Chinese Communist Party about it, but all – they’re reacting to a decision about a series of events, which includes so much as just simply allowing the continuation of unofficial visits between Americans and Taiwanese with a set of rules that we apply to every other nation.  This has been President Trump’s policy with respect to China more broadly.  All we ask for is fairness, reciprocity, an even-handed way of dealing with each other.  It’s appropriate that the Trump administration continue to demand that.

QUESTION:  Have you discussed with President Trump how the U.S. will respond to any provocation by General Secretary Xi in next 10 days if one occurs?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So I never disclose conversations with President Trump, but this has been a conversation that is now coming on four years, Hugh, about how the United States will respond to every action, right?  The President began by tackling the challenge of the economic in – disparity between the way the two nations interacted.  We then worked hard with respect to the Wuhan virus to demand transparency, fairness, reciprocity, the central tenets of relationship with the United States and China.  I don’t expect that will change.

QUESTION:  U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft is going to arrive in Taiwan tomorrow.  What sort of provocation do you think General Secretary Xi is capable of ordering?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Oh, Hugh, I never speculate in that way.

QUESTION:  Okay, well, would anything that happens, in your view, happen as a result of a direct order from General Secretary Xi?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Hugh, nearly everything, certainly anything of significance that takes place, certainly in the sphere of security and military activity, certainly extends to the Military-Civil Fusion program as well.  Those actions are highly centralized, highly controlled, and emanate from the leader of the Chinese Communist Party Xi – General Secretary General Secretary Xi Jinping.

QUESTION:  So a very respected navalist who’s a friend of mine, Captain Jerry Hendrix, retired, has written that he expects a, quote, “shouldering” incident soon, where a People’s Liberation Army Navy ship shoulders a United States Navy ship.  Have you discussed with the President or the Vice President, Defense Secretary Miller, Ambassador O’Brien, or DNI Ratcliffe how we would respond to such an incident?  I know you don’t speculate, but —

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  — has it been war-gamed?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Hugh, we’ve – military folks prepare for every potential challenge that they face.  They’ve had these kinds of events before with respect to Iran and others.  I am confident that the Department of Defense knows how to respond in the event that they are challenged.

QUESTION:  At a very important speech at the Nixon Library this summer, and that’s self-serving because I was sitting next to you, you stated that, quote, “We marginalized our friends in Taiwan, which later blossomed into a vigorous democracy,” close quote.  Ambassador Craft will be the third senior official of the team Trump to visit.  Should these visits continue in the Biden administration?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We should continue to have interactions with Taiwan in a way that is permitted under the “one China” policy.  One of the things I said over the weekend was what we’ve done before, is that the Chinese exercise a rhetorical flourish or they challenge us, and we walk away from the things that we promised that we would do.  Indeed, we have legislative requirements, statutory requirements, things that are in law that the United States simply hasn’t done on its own.  It’s bent its knee to China.  We ought not do that.

These actions aren’t provocative.  They aren’t intended in that way.  They are intended to fulfill the commitments that we have made to all the parties in the region, to the Chinese Communist Party in particular, part of the “one China” policy.  We will live up to our promises.  We will live up to our commitments.  We will do so in a way that is appropriate and we – all we ask is that the Chinese Communist Party fulfill the promises that it has made to not only the United States, but to the world for all these years.

QUESTION:  If you’re invited to Taiwan post-transition, will you accept?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Hugh – (laughter) – I’ve spent the last six months refusing to talk about what I’m going to do after I’m Secretary of State.

QUESTION:  (Laughter.)  Fair enough.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I don’t intend to change that this morning.

QUESTION:  Fair.  All right, let me ask you about President-elect Biden.  Do you expect him to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party or sit down?  Because after – he’s financed by Hollywood and big tech, and they are compromised by the Chinese Communist Party.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I think the world, and that includes the American people, will continue to demand that the United States secure freedoms for them, and that includes pushing back against the challenge of our time.  That is the challenge of the Chinese Communist Party and its capacity and intention to expand its influence and ultimately deliver a world that is very different, one not governed by the rule of law, by respect for sovereignty, all the things that the world has come to know in the post-World War II environment.  And the Chinese Communist Party wants to upend with a very different theory of international relations, one dominated by the East, one controlled in a way that won’t create more security, freedom, more prosperity.

I am confident the American people will demand that whoever is leading their country, President-elect Biden included, respond to that in a way that continues to make sure that America remains the country it has for the last 240-plus years, and that the world continue to operate under a set of rules that are based in human rights, based in the law, based in respect for sovereignty.  Those are core principles, the idea of reciprocity is important, and I think every American leader understands the necessity for that.

QUESTION:  Again, going back to your Nixon Library speech, you said, quote, “In Hollywood, not too far from here –” as we were in Yorba Linda, “the epicenter of American creative freedom, and self-appointed arbiters of social justice – self-censors even the most mildly unfavorable reference to China.”  I’d like to expand on that, Mr. Secretary, and I experienced it this weekend.  This era’s version of Oliver – Laurel – is a guy named Seth Rogen.  And after hitting me once he exploded in anger and vulgarity at me on Twitter when I invited him on this program to discuss the Chinese Communist Party.  He replied, quote, “My movies don’t come out in China,” sidestepping the issue of Hollywood kowtowing to Beijing, despite its repression of the Uyghurs, despite Hong Kong.  Is that changing?  Has Hollywood woken up even if celebrities who often disguise ignorance with invective – is it changing in Hollywood?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Hugh, I have not seen that yet.  The capacity of the Chinese Communist Party to influence not just Hollywood, but the – our media more broadly, whether that’s through investment interests, whether that’s through threats that they won’t have access to the markets in China, whether that is simply people hanging out at the same cocktail parties.  It is the case that we have permitted the Chinese Communist Party to get inside of our schools, our research institutions.  You spoke about our media and Hollywood.  Those are things that fundamentally present risk to the sovereignty of the United States of America.  For decades we turned the other cheek, we allowed this to go on.  I think, just as President Trump has said, we’ve had enough, that can’t continue to happen.  And the United States needs to do everything it can.  The government needs to do everything it can to prevent that from continuing to happen.

QUESTION:  The most recent example:  “Feeding the Dragon” is a book by a Hollywood executive, Chris Fenton.  And the most recent example of what he describes as kowtowing is Tom Cruise iconic bomber jacket in Top Gun 2 – removed the Taiwan flag from it.  Now, is that insidious?  Is that something we should ignore?  Is it just silly comedians like Seth Rogen or is that a real problem?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  A flag on a jacket, (inaudible) standing alone – right?  Okay, fine.  But what it is is it is a bellwether.  It’s an indicator.  It is a signal for the depth, capacity, breadth, scope, the levels to which the Chinese Communist Party will reach, and in fact has reached, to influence how Americans think about their own country.  These efforts, these influence operations are real, and the effort to undermine our institutions, our central, Western, democratic institutions, American republic, is real.  And we have to make sure that we do everything we can to call it out, identify it.  When the American people become aware of it, when they know, they’ll demand that not only government do the right thing, but they’ll remand that the – demand that the people who sell them products, the people who provide them services all behave in a way that is consistent with American national security.  We have seen that throughout history before, Hugh.  I’m confident we’ll see it again.

QUESTION:  Now I want to go – one more quote from the Nixon speech – Nixon Library speech.  You said, Mr. Secretary, “We have to keep in mind that the regime is a Marxist-Leninist regime. General Secretary Xi Jinping is a true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology.”  And about Reagan’s old saw, “trust but verify,” you said, quote, “I say we must distrust and verify.”  Do you think the incoming administration embraces this attitude towards the Chinese Communist Party?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Only time will tell.  I don’t know the answer to that.  But the evidence – not rhetoric from any leader or any politician, the evidence – demands it.  Whether it’s the promises that were broken, broken to the people of Hong Kong; whether it was the promise not to militarize the South China Sea that was made in 2015 in the Rose Garden to President Obama.  The list goes on.  It is no longer the case that commitments that are made can be trusted, and so we must validate distrust, verify that the Chinese Communist Party does what it committed to do.  When they do, we can engage.  When they don’t, we must demand that they change in nature of the behavior that they’re engaged in, as it impacts the United States of America.

QUESTION:  Now, Mr. Secretary, this very much looks like a third Obama term with people like Tony Blinken; very nice guy, I met him at Aspen.  Wendy Sherman, very nice person, but, I mean, she negotiated the 1994 Korean “deal.”  She negotiated the JCPOA with John Kerry, who’s back.  Secretary Kerry will be back.  I fear we’re going to end up waking up some morning and seeing a deal that recognizes the nine-dash line in exchange for promises of carbon reductions in 2080.

Are you worried about an Obama third term and the return of appeasement politics?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, I don’t want to comment on the people, but the policy matters an awful lot.  You’ve seen President Trump and our administration lay out a robust response to the great power competition that the Chinese Communist Party presents to the United States.  We believe we have the right end of the stick on this.  We think this is the right direction of travel.  We think the American people demand it.

And we have seen too, Hugh – we have seen the world respond to this in positive ways.  We’ve seen the Australians do remarkable work in pushing back.  We’ve seen the Japanese, the South Koreans.  We’ve developed the Quad now with the Indians that is very powerful in simply saying no, we’re not trying to punish, we are not trying to contain China.  We are simply demanding that they engage in the world in a way that big nations with large economies, powerful militaries – we haven’t even talked about their missile program and their nuclear program – with countries that have real capacity to destabilize and make the world insecure – there is a requirement, there is responsibility that comes with it.  And the United States ought to lead – whoever is president of the United States ought to lead – the path forward in responding to the Chinese Communist Party in this way.

QUESTION:  Now, Mr. Secretary, I personally distrust everything the Chinese Communist Party says and does about the COVID virus that, as you noted, originated in Wuhan.  A sidebar first:  Do you personally believe it began in a lab there?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Still don’t know the answer.  Chinese Communist Party has now for over a year refused to allow anybody to get access to the information they need to figure that out.  It sounds like yesterday or the day before they may finally have let the World Health Organization enter.  I hope, but I’m not optimistic, that they will actually let them do the work that needs to be done: see records, see the lab, see the original work that was done, see – talk to, interview all of the people, not with minders around, but in a situation where those people would be free to speak their mind.  I hope that investigation can be thorough.

But I will add it is – I remember initially when I began to talk about the fact that this might well have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory, it was ruled as impossible.  It is not impossible that that is what happened, and the world must continue to demand that we understand what took place here for a host of reasons, not the least of which, Hugh, is to make sure that something like this never happens again.

QUESTION:  Many of our companies have allowed a Chinese information war to be carried on their platforms, attempting to shift the responsibility for the virus.  Do you accept any other alternative explanation or are you certain it began in Wuhan?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  The Chinese Communist Party has offered not one, not two, but at least three alternative theories for where this began.  They continue to attempt to obfuscate.  Everything that we have seen indicates that this began not only inside of China, but at Hubei province, Wuhan.

QUESTION:  Does China owe the world reparations?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  The reality is that the world has seen what authoritarian regimes do.  They’ve seen the enormous death.  They’ve seen the massive destruction of wealth.  There will be hundreds and hundreds of thousands more people continue to live in poverty as a direct result of the economic challenges that the Wuhan virus has foisted upon the world.  I think the world will respond to this in a way that recognizes what the Chinese Communist Party did by delaying their activation of the promises that they had made to the World Health Organization, and there will be costs that are attached to that as a direct result of the things that the Chinese Communist Party did.

QUESTION:  And now switching to two other subjects, Mr. Secretary.  Four years ago, President Obama declined to send a formal delegation to Cuba to attend the funeral of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, but instead dispatched his top White House aide Benjamin Rhodes, who was the deputy national security advisor, now better known as the Metternich of MSNBC.  Rhodes seems to be the only Obama-era staffer not coming back.  Maybe not; maybe Tommy Vietor and Jon Favreau, the privileged pod boys.

But will appeasement chorus return on Cuba?  Do you worry that the Obama-era policies about Cuba are coming back with the band getting back together?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  The Cuban people don’t want that.  The Cuban people want freedom.  They want the absence of oppression.  When America appeases, the Communist Party in Cuba becomes more powerful, more authoritarian, reduces the capacity of them – the Cuban people – to live the lives the way they want.  I don’t know what the next administration will do, but the approach that the Trump administration has taken to challenge the leadership inside of Cuba and support the Cuban people is the right one.  I hope it will continue.

QUESTION:  My last subject is Iran, Mr. Secretary.  In Yemen, the Houthis remain cruel servants of the Iranian regime and the theocracy there has used them for cruel purposes.  America is about to designate them – indeed, it may have happened yesterday – as a terrorist regime.  Do you expect team Biden to undercut this clarion call for truth in the Middle East?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  More broadly in the Middle East, certainly Yemen, is part of this storyline.  The Trump administration simply recognized reality.  The Houthi forces are terrorists, underwritten by the theocracy, the kleptocracy that runs the Islamic Republic of Iran.  That regime is funding a missile program, funding capabilities inside of Yemen that put Europe at risk, put the Middle East at risk.  We simply are saying this is the truth.  They’re terrorists, so designate them.  We’ve done the same thing.

And you’ve seen the good things that have happened in the Middle East, whether it’s the reduction in the capacity of the regime to fund Lebanese Hizballah – Iranian regime to fund Lebanese Hizballah, or the Abraham Accords, or the things we’ve done to recognize that Israel belongs in the Middle East and is an important partner to those Gulf state countries, whether that’s through the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people, the Jewish homeland in Israel, or whether it was the recognition that the Golan Heights belongs to Israel, or the fact that not every settlement has to be illegal.  Those are central truths.  Those are realistic.  Those are the right policies for security, freedom, prosperity throughout the Middle East.

I think the people of the Middle East know that.  You’ve seen it.  These were sovereign decisions to join the Abraham Accords.  I am very confident that the foundation that has been laid during this time of the Trump administration will continue to help the people of the Middle East flourish.

QUESTION:  Now, our strongest allies in the region are Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and they led the way on the Abraham Accords.  Others have quickly followed and that’s great, but there’s an almost religious attachment to the JCPOA.  They’ve been holding a wake that’s now in its fourth year for it.  Will the attempt to resurrect that failed agreement in any way compromise the progress that’s been made in the Middle East?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  It’s always a mistake to demonstrate weakness to the Islamic Republic of Iran.  They will use it for malfeasance.  They will use it to present risk.  I think the countries that are most impacted by it ought to have the loudest voice with respect to how that proceeds.

And I hope the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Emiratis, the Kuwaitis, the Bahrainis, the Egyptians – all the people who are impacted by what Iran could potentially do if we turn the spigots back on and send tens and tens of billions of dollars back into this regime – I hope that they will prevail and I hope that what we’ll get is a strong response to the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East today – that is, the regime in Iran – and that we will continue down this path of creating enhanced security relationships amongst the Gulf states, amongst all of those partners, all of those nations that want to participate in that.

QUESTION:  Now, Mr. Secretary, I know you don’t do politics.  Secretaries of states don’t.  President Trump’s term is ending in controversy and a disastrous day last week.  But the four years he’s been in office – and you’ve been there every day, either at the CIA or at Foggy Bottom – saw the Abraham Accords, Warp Speed, the federal judiciary made, the China reset.  Does the horrific event of last week in any way detract from those achievements, and ought the American public to discern the differences between those and that?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Look, what happened that day was terrible, and I have said repeatedly that those folks who engaged in this activity need to be identified, prosecuted, and they are criminals and ought to be treated as such.  But history will reflect on the good work that this President and our administration has done.  Those books will be written about the changes that we have made in the world, the recognition that we have taken about reality, sovereignty, respect for basic dignity and human rights, a return to the founding principles in a way that previous administrations had not done.  I’ll let others write it, but I think that those actions – the actual things that happened – will be reflected in a way that shows there was good work done on behalf of the American people.

QUESTION:  My very last question, Mr. Secretary, and you’ve been generous with your time:  You have been an advocate of religious liberty around the world, about the natural rights approach to human rights.  Will that endure?  And why did you make that a priority?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  It’s very difficult to conduct foreign policy around the world if you don’t understand the founding of your own nation, your own nation’s deep traditions.  That’s certainly true in the space of human rights as well, religious freedom being foremost among them, along with the capacity to exercise your religious rights and rights to speak.  You have to get that right.  I wanted to make sure that my team at the State Department, my diplomats understood that founding, understood and appreciated how important and how noble the American tradition was.

And while we are an imperfect nation, we are constantly headed towards respecting and increasing the rights for every American.  If we get that right, if we do it well, then we can be a force for good in the world.  And if we don’t, it becomes more difficult.  I wanted to make sure that my team understood that, and it was a moment to reflect on these central truths about American exceptionalism.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, thank you for your many interviews as Secretary of State.  I continue to look forward to talking to you after you have left, and congratulations on a successful tenure at State and at the agency.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you, Hugh.  Bless you.  So long.

QUESTION:  Bye-bye.

More from: Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

News Network

  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Chilean Foreign Minister Andres Allamand Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Attack on Mercer Street Vessel
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • The United States Announces $25 Million to Support Access to Clean Nuclear Energy
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Michigan Insurance Salesman Indicted for Tax and Bankruptcy Fraud
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, returned an indictment charging a Michigan man with filing false tax returns, making false statements to a bankruptcy court, and making a false statement to the Department of Justice.
    [Read More…]
  • The United States Welcomes the Appointment of Staffan de Mistura as the UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Release of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
  • Retirement Security: DOL Could Better Inform Divorcing Parties About Dividing Savings
    In U.S GAO News
    Although more than one-third of adults aged 50 or older have experienced divorce, few people seek and obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), according to large plan sponsors GAO surveyed. A QDRO establishes the right of an alternate payee, such as a former spouse, to receive all or a portion of the benefits payable to a participant under a retirement plan upon separation or divorce. There are no nationally representative data on the number of QDROs, but plans and record keepers GAO interviewed and surveyed reported that few seek and obtain QDROs. For example, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation administered retirement benefits to about 1.6 million participants, and approved about 16,000 QDROs in the last 10 years. GAO's analysis of other survey data found about one-third of those who experienced a divorce from 2008 to 2016 and reported their former spouse had a retirement plan also reported losing a claim to that spouse's benefits. Many experts stated that some people—especially those with lower incomes—face challenges to successfully navigating the process for obtaining a QDRO, including complexity and cost. Individuals seeking a QDRO may be charged fees for preparation and review of draft orders before they are qualified as QDROs and, according to experts GAO interviewed, these fees vary widely. These experts cited concerns about QDRO review fees that they said in some cases were more than twice the amount of typical fees, and said they may discourage some from pursuing QDROs. Department of Labor (DOL) officials said the agency generally does not collect information on QDRO fees. Exploring ways to collect and analyze information from plans on fees could help DOL ensure costs are reasonable. Divorcing parties who pursue QDROs often had orders not qualified due to lacking basic information, according to plans and record keepers we surveyed (see figure). Plan Administrators and Record Keepers Reported Reasons for Not Qualifying a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) DOL provides some information to help divorcing parties pursue QDROs. However, many experts cited a lack of awareness about QDROs by the public and said DOL could do more to make resources available to divorcing parties. Without additional outreach by DOL, divorcing parties may spend unnecessary time and resources drafting orders that are not likely to be qualified, resulting in unnecessary expenditures of time and money. A domestic relations order (DRO) is a court-issued judgment, decree, or order that, when qualified by a retirement plan administrator, can divide certain retirement benefits in connection with separation or divorce and as such provide crucial financial security to a former spouse. DOL has authority to interpret QDRO requirements. GAO was asked to review the process for obtaining QDROs. This report examines what is known about (1) the number of QDRO recipients, (2) the fees and other expenses for processing QDROs, and (3) the reasons plans do not initially qualify DROs and the challenges experts identify regarding the QDRO process. To conduct this work, GAO analyzed available data, and a total of 14 responses from two surveys of large private sector plans and account record keepers, and interviewed 18 experts including practitioners who provide services to divorcing couples. GAO is recommending that DOL (1) explore ways to collect information on QDRO-related fees charged to participants or alternate payees, and (2) take steps to ensure information about the process for obtaining a QDRO is accessible. DOL generally agreed with our recommendations. For more information, contact Kris Nguyen at (202) 512-7215 or NguyenTT@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Assistant Attorney General Beth A. Williams Commends the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for New Website Enhancing Access to Justice
    In Crime News
    Assistant Attorney General Beth A. Williams issued the following statement today on the efforts by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to enhance public and litigant access to electronic court records. This year, as part of its access to justice efforts, the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice partnered with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to improve transparency regarding fee exemptions for access to court records in the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. As part of that partnership, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced an enhanced PACER website that makes it easier for indigent individuals, as well as pro bono attorneys, academic researchers, and non-profit organizations, to understand how they may access court records for free.
    [Read More…]
  • Sierra Leone National Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • North Carolina Tax Preparer Charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS and Aggravated Identity Theft
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in Durham, North Carolina, returned an indictment yesterday charging a tax preparer with conspiring to defraud the United States, preparing false tax returns, filing a false personal tax return, and committing aggravated identity theft, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.
    [Read More…]
  • Federal Contracting: Senior Leaders Should Use Leading Companies’ Key Practices to Improve Performance
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Each year, federal agencies spend over $500 billion to buy a wide variety of products and services, ranging from cutting-edge military aircraft to common office supplies. Given the amount of federal funds spent and the missions these contracts support, it is critical that agencies' procurement leaders manage their organizations effectively. However, GAO found procurement leaders at six of the federal government's largest agencies did not consistently use key practices that leading companies use to improve the performance of their procurement organizations (see figure). Procurement Leaders at the Federal Agencies GAO Reviewed Did Not Consistently Use Leading Companies' Key Practices to Improve Performance Note: GAO's assessment of procurement leaders' collaboration when developing performance metrics reflects the extent to which they collaborated with end users. Link performance metrics to strategic goals. Procurement leaders at all the agencies in GAO's review linked their performance metrics to their agencies' strategic goals. These leaders stated that doing so helps ensure acquisition personnel are focused on the right things to support their agency's mission. These statements are consistent with statements from procurement leaders at leading companies. Collaborate with internal stakeholders, particularly end users, when developing performance metrics. When they were developing performance metrics, procurement leaders at all six of the agencies in GAO's review collaborated with other members of the procurement community. However, only the procurement leaders at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) collaborated with end users, such as technical experts from installation centers. One procurement leader said he did not collaborate with end users when he developed performance metrics because too much end user influence could lead to suboptimal results, but leaders do not have to cede control when they collaborate with end users. End users can help procurement leaders increase the usefulness and use of performance information in program management and policy, and corporate procurement leaders told GAO that collaboration with end users during the development and implementation of performance metrics increases coordination and improves performance at the strategic level. Use outcome-oriented performance metrics to manage procurement organizations. GAO found the leaders at all six of the agencies reviewed rely primarily on process-oriented metrics (such as small business utilization rates) when managing their procurement organizations. These leaders cited various reasons for not implementing metrics that are more outcome-oriented. For example, two leaders stated they did not use outcome-oriented performance metrics because of unreliable data. Three of the leaders, however, are working to improve data that can facilitate outcome-oriented assessments. Additionally, procurement leaders at most of the agencies GAO reviewed have ongoing or planned efforts to use performance metrics to measure at least one of the four procurement outcomes identified as important by corporate procurement leaders. These outcomes include (1) cost savings/avoidance, (2) timeliness of deliveries, (3) quality of deliverables, and (4) end-user satisfaction. For example, the Air Force's senior procurement leader has used a cost savings/avoidance metric to manage the Air Force's procurement organizations, and as of March 2021, the Air Force leader had identified $2.38 billion in cost savings and avoidance. Additionally, the Army's senior procurement leader told GAO that she began to pursue outcome-oriented metrics in late 2020, after GAO provided her an interim assessment comparing Army practices to private sector practices. GAO has previously reported that using a balanced set of performance measures, including both process- and outcome-oriented measures—and obtaining complete and reliable performance information—can help federal agencies identify improvement opportunities, set priorities, and allocate resources. Why GAO Did This Study Federal agencies face significant, long-standing procurement challenges that increase the risk of waste and mismanagement. GAO was asked to review key procurement practices in the private sector and assess whether federal agencies could adopt them. This report examines key practices that leading companies use to improve the performance of their procurement organizations, and the extent to which procurement leaders at selected federal agencies use those practices. GAO interviewed senior procurement leaders at seven leading companies, and experts from four professional associations and five academic institutions. GAO selected these individuals based on literature reviews and conversations with knowledgeable officials. GAO compared key practices they identified to those used at six federal agencies selected based on the dollar value and number of their procurement actions, among other factors. GAO analyzed documentation on each agency's procurement management practices, and interviewed the agencies' senior procurement leaders. The federal government does not have generally accepted definitions for outcome-oriented and process-oriented metrics. For the purposes of this report, GAO defined outcome-oriented metrics as those metrics that measure the results of organizations' procurement activities. GAO defined process-oriented metrics as those metrics that measure the type or level of procurement activities conducted.
    [Read More…]
  • New York Brothers Charged With COVID-Relief Fraud
    In Crime News
    Two New York brothers were charged in a criminal complaint unsealed today for their alleged participation in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking nearly $7 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo At a Joint Press Availability
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Statement of the Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen on the Death of Former Attorney General Richard (Dick) Thornburgh
    In Crime News
    Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen released the following statement: It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing of former Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Richard (Dick) L. Thornburgh. Gov. Thornburgh’s tenure at the Department of Justice started in 1969 in the Western District of Pennsylvania, where he served as the U.S. Attorney.
    [Read More…]
  • Federal Rulemaking: Selected EPA and HHS Regulatory Analyses Met Several Best Practices, but CMS Should Take Steps to Strengthen Its Analyses
    In U.S GAO News
    GAO reviewed 11 Executive Order (EO) 13771 rules—five significant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and six economically significant Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rules. Seven of the 11 rules modified (i.e. repealed, amended, or delayed) existing rules (see table). GAO found that analyses for most of the seven rules monetized the same types of benefits and costs as analyses for the rules they modified, an indicator of consistency in the regulatory analyses. For example, one EPA rule modified an earlier rule that had established requirements for chemical risk management programs. EPA monetized anticipated changes to industry compliance costs for both rules. Where agencies monetized similar types of benefits and costs for both reviewed rules and modified rules, the value of some estimates differed, in part, because agencies had updated analytical assumptions, such as the number of entities subject to requirements or relevant wage data. Topics and Characteristics of 11 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Rules Selected for Review Agency Topics Modified existing rule(s) Monetized costs exceeded benefits EPA Risk management programs ● ○   Railroad ties as non-waste fuels ● ○   Chemical data reporting ● ●   Mercury reporting ○ ●   Effluent from dental offices ○ ● HHS, FDA Food labeling ● ○   Agricultural water requirements ● ● HHS, CMS End-stage renal disease treatment ● ●   Home health quality reporting ● ●   Patient discharge planning ○ ●   Diabetes prevention and appropriate use of imaging services ○ ● Legend: ● = Yes; ○ = No Source: GAO analysis of EPA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data. | GAO-21-151 Regulatory analyses for eight of the 11 rules GAO reviewed projected that monetized costs would exceed monetized benefits, though each identified other factors that may have led decision makers to determine that the total benefits justified the total costs, such as important, non-quantified effects. These eight analyses met about half of the selected best practices for economic analysis. However, some analyses developed by HHS's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not fully meet best practices associated with analyzing regulatory alternatives, assessing important effects, and providing transparency. It is particularly important that agencies develop quality analyses for economically significant rules, such as those finalized by CMS. By meeting these best practices, CMS could help the public and other parts of government provide effective feedback and mitigate potential conflict with entities affected by rules. It could also help CMS assess whether a rule's benefits justify the costs. EO 13771 generally requires executive agencies to identify two rules for repeal for each new rule issued. Since EO 13771 went into effect in 2017, executive agencies have taken regulatory actions expected to generate over $50 billion in savings to society. Quality regulatory analysis provides agency decision makers and the public with a thorough assessment of the benefits and costs of different regulatory options. GAO was asked to review regulatory analyses for rules finalized under EO 13771. For selected agencies, this report examines (1) how the calculated economic effects of selected rules differed, if at all, from those of rules they modified; and (2) the extent to which agencies met best practices in analyzing the economic effects of selected rules for which monetized costs exceed monetized benefits. GAO reviewed analyses for 11 rules—and the rules they modified— finalized by EPA and HHS, the two agencies that finalized the most economically significant EO 13771 rules through fiscal year 2019. GAO compared analyses to selected best practices in GAO's Assessment Methodology for Economic Analysis . GAO recommends that CMS take steps to ensure its future regulatory analyses are consistent with best practices for analyzing alternatives, assessing important effects, and providing transparency. EPA said it appreciated GAO's findings. HHS generally agreed with the report, and CMS agreed with the recommendation directed to it. For more information, contact Yvonne D. Jones at (202) 512-6806 or jonesy@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper Travels to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Israel
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Jury convicts Houstonian in human smuggling conspiracy
    In Justice News
    A federal jury has [Read More…]
  • On Today’s Terrorist Attacks in Kabul
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Drug trafficker from Canada sent to prison
    In Justice News
    A 51-year-old woman has [Read More…]
  • Out-of-state man pleads guilty to smuggling 117 from Laredo in trailer
    In Justice News
    A 42-year-old resident [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.