Posts tagged ‘gao’
New Government Report: Terrorist Watchlist Screening: FBI Has Enhanced Its Use of Information from Firearm and Explosives Background Checks to Support Counterterrorism Efforts: Congressional Testimony
Terrorist Watchlist Screening: FBI Has Enhanced Its Use of Information from Firearm and Explosives Background Checks to Support Counterterrorism Efforts: Congressional Testimony
By Eileen R. Larence (Paperback, 17 pages, 2010, $15)
Membership in a terrorist organization does not prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explosives under current federal law. However, for homeland security and other purposes, the FBI is notified when a firearm or explosives background check involves an individual on the terrorist watchlist.
In light of the recent failed Times Square bombing, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee:
“When gun dealers run background checks, should F.B.I. agents have the authority to block sales of guns and explosives to those on the terror watch lists — and deemed too dangerous to fly?” the New York Times reported the Mayor asking. “I believe strongly that they should.”
According to GAO, from February 2004 to February 2010, 1,228 people listed on an FBI terror watchlist had tried to buy weapons. About 90 percent, some 1,119, had succeeded. Faisal Shahzad, the alleged bomber, was not on the list in March.
This statement addresses: (1) how many checks have resulted in matches with the terrorist watchlist; (2) how the FBI uses information from these checks for counterterrorism purposes; and (3) pending legislation that would give the Attorney General authority to deny certain checks. Includes recommendations. Charts and tables.
Auto Industry: Lessons Learned from Cash for Clunkers Program
by A. Nicole Clowers (Paperback, 43 pages, 2010, $25)
In July and August 2009, the federal government implemented the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) program, or “Cash for Clunkers,” a temporary vehicle retirement program that offered consumers a monetary credit ($3,500 or $4,500) to trade in an older vehicle for a new, more fuel-efficient one.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was responsible for administering the program, and GAO was required to review the program’s administration.
This report examines (1) what is known to date about the extent to which the CARS program achieved its objectives; (2) what stakeholders’ experiences were with the CARS program; and (3) how the CARS program compares to other selected domestic and international vehicle retirement programs. Tables and figures.
New Government Report: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Office of Collections and Distribution and Fair Funds
Securities and Exchange Commission: Information on Fair Fund Collections and Distributions
by A. Nicole Clowers (Paperback, 34 pages, 2010, $20)
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) primary mission is to protect investors and maintain the integrity of securities markets.
As a part of its responsibility to protect investors, SEC seeks to ensure that individuals who violate federal securities laws and regulations take responsibility for their misdeeds. Specifically, when individuals or firms are found to have violated securities laws, SEC may order civil monetary penalties and seek ill-gotten financial gains, or disgorgement, from the violators.
For its enforcement actions to be successful, SEC must have a collection and distribution program for both civil monetary penalties and disgorgement that functions effectively. In 2002, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which established numerous reforms to increase investor protection, including Section 308(a), the Federal Account for Investor Restitution provision, commonly known as the Fair Fund provision.
This provision allows SEC to combine civil monetary penalties and other donations to disgorgement funds for the benefit of investors who suffer losses resulting from fraud or other securities violations.
In 2007, SEC created the Office of Collections and Distribution (OCD) to manage the collection of penalties and disgorgement, including Fair Funds, and speed the process of returning funds back to harmed investors.
This report examines (1) the status of Fair Fund collections and distributions and (2) the actions that SEC has taken to address GAO’s previous recommendations regarding SEC’s OCD. Figures.