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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  November 18, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EST

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quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president, i ask consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 1118, the nomination of jack lieu to blew to bedirector of the officf management and budget, the nomination be confirmed. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask consent the motion -- the presiding officer: the question is on confirmation of the nomination. mr. reid: i'm sorry. the presiding officer: all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. they do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. reid: i ask consent the motion to reconsider be
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reconsidered -- motion to consider be considered and laid on the table, that any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record as if read, the senate be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, we have been working for several days -- actually it's longer than that -- trying to work things out on a situation involving the state of louisiana. the state of louisiana has struggled. we've had the hurricane -- anyway, the economic situation in louisiana was going very well.
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-- well when the b.p. oil spill occurred. as a result of that and actions taken by the administration and other situations that developed, it is hurt significantly the viability of the state of louisiana. the senator from louisiana has worked tirelessly to get the work going again in shallow water off the coast of louisiana. she will be able to spread on the record better than i can, because i've been in some of those negotiations the progress that she has made in regard -- in regard to that. not only has the administration stepped forward, but the industry has stepped forward and so i would ask unanimous consent that the senator from louisiana be recognized to make a statement and that her statement appear in the record prior to the vote that was just taken on that matter regarding jack lew. the presiding officer: without objection.
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ms. landrieu: mr. president, i thank the majority leader. i know his day has been much bussier than mine, but both -- busier than mine. the vote that just took place in the senate would not have taken place without my acquiescence and i thought it was important for me to come to the floor tonight and speak briefly why i released my hold on jack lew. jack lew is a terrific nominee and he had the support of many people in this body for his new position and we're grateful to him for wanting to step up and be the budget director for you can't that has serious economic challenges before it and we're very grateful. but, mr. president, as you know, we have extremely serious economic challenges right now in the gulf of mexico. it's been five years since katrina, three weeks later we had rita, and then we had gustov
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and ike and then a few years later had an oil spill with more than five million barrels of oil spilled in the gulf, which was bad enough. but then this administration placed a hold -- or a moratorium, if you will on an entire industry because of that accident. it was a horrible accident, but to place a moratorium on an entire industry because one company and their contractors made some serious and terrible mistakes, i think, is really unprecedented. it was unwise and it is extremely harmful to the gulf coast. so i tried many things over the last several months to call attention to this matter. i called several hearings in louisiana, several hearings here in washington, sent several letters, setup several meetings. nothing seemed to get through to
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this administration about the catastrophe that they were causing along the gulf coast. so i put this hold on a nominee. it was in many ways potentially unprecedented. i didn't know that when i did it. i was told later it has never been done or hardly ever done that someone places a hold on a budget director, but i figured it would get their attention, and i think it has. i've had now three meetings in the last 24 hours with the secretary himself. we've talked through some of these issues in a way that i think we can make progress. in the last two weeks there have been six permits issued. i'm told that there will be additional permits issued in the coming week. the secretary is also committed to me that he, himself, will be in the gulf coast in louisiana actually on monday expressing
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his commitment in no uncertain terms to future robustness of this industry. and, mr. president, this isn't just about louisiana and the importance to louisiana. i want to submit for the record this report, "economic impact to the gulf coast and the role of independence" released in july of 2010. i want to submit it to the record and i'm only going to read one figure, but it's a big enough figure that it should capture people's attention since people are looking for money in this chamber to solve our budget issues and bring this budget into balance. one figure that i'm going to cite from this report is that the independence, not -- independents, not big oil, i'm not talking about chevron,
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shell, b.p., not big oil. i'm talking about independent oil and gas operators that are sidelined because of this policy by the administration will bring in more than $147 billion in federal, state, and local revenue in the next 10 years. so the stakes are very high, which is why i took the action that i did and which is why today i've released the hold because notable progress has been made, permits have been issued, the secretary has committed on monday to be in state and to give a path forward are for this industry. so i am convinced a at this momt that that was the right thing to do both for the country and for the gulf coast, but we have more progress that needs to be made. and this industry is a valuable,
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critical, important industry to this nation. it has been for over 100 years. it will be for the next 100 years. we have got to realize the importance of producing oil and gas here at home. and, yes, it was a terrible accident. yes, we need to have safety and rules and regulations that are enforced. but, mr. president, there's got to be a way to accomplish that without shutting down the entire industry, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, and, again, this isn't about big oil specifically, it's about contractors and small businesses all along the gulf coast and throughout the united states. so i appreciate the secretary's commitments, his renewed focus, his understanding of the urgency of the situation and i thank, you know, my colleagues, many of whom who were supportive of this action as we worked through
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these last six weeks. so i appreciate the courtesy of the majority leader and the statement will stand as read and, again, i just want to submit this economic indicator -- economic impact statement of the gulf of mexico offshore oil and gas industry for the record. and, thank you, mr. president, suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered.
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without objection, the chair calls a recess subject to the call of the chair. recess:
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>> this has been an incredibly busy week, and i got caught up in a meeting, and couldn't get out, so i apologize for being a few minutes late. the subcommittee on contracting oversight of the u.s. senate committee on homeland security will come to order, and i'll have an opening statement about the hearing today and defer to my colleague, senator brown for his opening statement and three panel of witnesses to get the the issue we want to cover this afternoon. this is a hearing on the role of the special inspector general in oversight of the contracts in afghanistan. this subcommittee was created at the beginning of the congress to
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create oversight of government contracting. over the last 18 months, we have focused on two key areas, improveing the government's oversight and reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. covering four of the 15 hearings including today's include contracting afghanistan and how to ensure that the government is getting the best possible value for the billions of dollars we spend there. today's hearing on the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction called sigr bridges these issues and when i teamed with senator grassily to introduce legislation to give it better authority. at that time general field had
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been there for several months and they not yet completed any investigative work. this raised serious concerns about this in afghanistan, and it received additional money and received money in 2009, the organization did not improve. it continued to have difficulties in the serious staff. they performed only one contract awe did while devoting time outside of its mission like a 2009 review of the role of women in afghanistan election. we were particularly concerned that sigar was failing to establish the right priorities for its work, and in december of 2009, senator collin and coburn
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asked for a review. in july of 2010 they abbreviated this and completed their review. this review confirmed the problems that my fellow citizens and i had been concerned about. sigar didn't have a plan or doing risk assessment. they had not put the right investigative team in place. their audits for focused on quality than quantity, and their management and leadership failed to create an effective organization. today's hearing is how sigar under the leadership of arnold fields who i hold in high regards as one of our nation's heros has fallen short of the mark. they found sigar's investigation division failed to meet minimum standards and revealed its findings to the attorney general to revoke sigar's law
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enforcement authority. they found the audit division had no less than five major disht sigars. we'll have general fields how to happened on his watch. he awashed $96,000 sole contract to joseph schmidt who resigned in 2005 and had allegations made against him. general fields hired him to act as an independent monitor of sigar's compliance and to report progress to the department of justice. we have learned that sigar understood by awarding the contract to mr. schmidt, they would act as an advocate for them at the justice department. interestingly, we have learned
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that mr. freed's organization spoke only briefly about this contract and quickly decided that they were not interested in participating. we will ask general fields why this contract was in the best interest of the taxpayer. we will hear from four experts in conducting oversight in a war zone. the state department, defense department, usaid and inspector general for iraq reconstruction. they will share their lessons learned and what needs to happen going forward. iraq and afghanistan has not been pretty. that's why it's so important that we have aggressive, independent, quality oversight with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, there's no room for error, and no time to delay. we are having this hearing today because a frank, open, and on the record discussion is imperative to adequate oversight going forward, and to make sure that we protect the men and
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women in uniform in the contingency theater and also protect the american taxpayer. i look forward to the hearing of the testimony of our witnesses today in providing general fields the opportunity to address the subcommittee's concerns. i will now defer to my colleague, senator browne. >> thank you, well said. i'd like to specifically thank you for scheduling this hearing on this topic. this is the second hearing i participated in on this very important topic. as general petraeus stated in his contract, the scale of our contracting in afghanistan represent opportunity and a danger. with proper oversight, contracting can spur economic development and support the afghans government and aiaf's campaign.
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however, we spend large quality of money on international contracting funds quickly and with insufficient oversight, it is likely some of these funds will unintentionally strength the -- if our soldiers are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the mission, at least we can do in congress 1 to make sure the funds go to the right people for the right purpose. since the partners began operations in afghanistan on october 7, 2001, the united states has invested approximately $56 billion in afghanistan which is more than the $58.3 billion invested in iraq. despite this commitment, problems continue to persist such as waste fraud and by far the most troubling findings is
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they are resulting to taliban insurgeons. we will decide if the leal is accomplishing the mission and using the taxes how it is expected to be used so the soldiers are provided with the tools and resources to do the job. on january 8, 2008, congress created sigar to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of funds. to date, they proarmted 48.2 million for this mission and i appreciate the difficult circumstances for sigar to work, i'm convinced we're not seeing the return on investment, and as noted, we'll soon find out more about those must remembers. the recent counsel reported on sigar found it does not have the robust program of risk
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assessment and it was not looking in the right places for fraud, waste, and abuse. the oversight army in afghanistan includes the dod, state agency for international development and sigar, yet the funds in afghanistan remains limited. in this hearing today, i plan to ask the inspector's general how to better align these oversight resources to maximize return on and chief the accountability on missions requires and our soldiers deserve. thank you. >> thank you, senator brown. i'll introthe panel. john t. rymer. he is the chairman of the audit committee on integrity and efficiency which we have been referring to. mr. rymer has been serving prior to the army and he served as a directer at kpmg llp.
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he has served as a authorities inspector general since may of 2003 and is the chairman of the investigations commission of the counsel of inspector general on accountability and efficiency. prior to joining, mr. moore served as a district attorney in the southern district of alabama for 18 years. it is the custom of this committee to swear in the witnesses. i'd like to ask you to stand if you don't mind. do you swear that the testimony that you will give before the subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god? let et record reflect the answers were in the affirmative. we are using a timing system today and your oral testimony be no more than 5 minutes because we have three panels today. your written testimony is
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printed in the record in its entirety. >> thank you. i'm jon rymer and i'm appearing before you today. you asked me to address the evaluation of sigar and conduct of audits. you have already agreed to put our report into the record. thank you. in late february 2010, the sigi chair received a letter from special general of afghanistan reconstruction requesting a peer evaluation. the counsel was con seened to discuss sigar's request and determined that conducting three standard spaced reviews would provide sigar with the information it was requesting. i led a team to conduct a peer review of the audit organization, and i will speak on the results of that review in just a moment. mr. moore led a team to conduct a quality assessment of sigar's
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investigative operations, and he will discuss the routs of that -- results of that review. we have others not covered by either of the two reviews. i will focus my remarks on the audit organization and the request for a follow-up review. in the audit community, an peer review is a back ward looking, independent review requiring a peer to examine once every three years an audit's organization system of quality control. a peer review is done with sigi's peer review guide based on yellow book standards. the goal is to provide reasonable assurance that the audit organization has one, adopted audit processes that are properly designed to produce accurate and reliant information in reports, and two, following those processes in conducting its work. they are not designed to assess
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reliability of individual reports. on july 14th this year we indicated our reports of the review and concluded that the sigar's system of quality controls was suitably designed, but the compliance with the procedures was inconsistent and incomplete. we identified five deficiencies that could generate situations to have less than reasonable assurance of performing and report k on audits and comporting with the yellow book and its own policies. these deficiencies relate to quality assurance, documentation and supervision, reporting, and independent referencing. we believe the procedures we performed and the deficiencies we identified provide a reasonable basis for the opinion. in its response, sigar concurred and implemented corrective
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actions to overcome the deficiencies. last month general fields contacted the chair to request a follow-up review. earlier this week, my aves began a focused, limited-scope review to do so. this review will not modify the opinion and conclusions reached in our july 2010 report nor qualify as an external peer review. i have scheduled a full scope peer review of the audit organization to commence next october. at this time, i want to make two concluding comments. first, sigar's request for a peer evaluation was unprecedented and a unique approach. despite competing demands and challenging that our offices faced, we responded in a fair, professional manner, conducted a review, and provided sigar with useful and meaningful information. second, i want to recognize the
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the professionals in the reviews and support. i'd like to acknowledge the curtesy and cooperation extended to us by general fields and his staff and acknowledge the assistance for those who facilitate or travel and work in afghanistan. that concludes my testimony and i look forward to answering your questions. thank you. >> thank you. mr. moore. >> chairman mccaskill, senator brown, good afternoon. i am richard moore, the inspector general at tba and appearing before you today in my capacity as the chair of the investigations committee for sigi. my colleague, mr. rymer laid out how we got here in the peer reviews, and i will not restate that. i would like to make a few comments about the work that we did, however. this -- the reviews particularly, for example, the investigations peer review was not the work of one
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ig or one office. it was a community-wide review, and the case of investigations peer review, there was six ig's who participated and their offices that participated rather in that review. for the peer evaluation, there were 7ig offices that participated in that particular review. the investigations peer review resulted in a finding that sigar was not in compliance as you menaced with our -- mentioned with our quality standards and there's only two quality outcomes in the reviews and that is you're in compliance or you are not. the determination that sigarfuls not in compliance was based on 10 specific findings attached to the report, and i'll be happy to discuss in detail if you would like later. as you mentioned, chairman
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mccaskill, we were required to alert the attorney general which i did and they supervise all of the ig's that enforce powers and it's conditioned and exercise those powered based on our compliance with the tonal general's standard and the sigi standards. as mr. rymer mentioned, there's a follow on review and one on the investigation side as well. i'd reiterate what was said about the audit review for the peer review. this is not a new peer review and will not change the finding or decision on the peer review. that is noncompliance. this is merely to determine whether or not there's remediation of the deficiencies that we found. as to the peer evaluation, that silver book review as we call it was done pursuant to standards that are called a quality standards for federal offices of
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inspector general. the silver book sets forth the overall approach of managing, operating, and conducting the work of the inspector general. there's nine categories in the book that we addressed with sigar, and in the end, the team found 22 different suggestions of recommendations for improvement of sigar. that concludes my testimony, and i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you, mr. moore. let me first start by asking, put me on the record that what peer reviews, how conservative peer reviews are, and let me just say that every three years as the elected auditor of missouri, we had a peer review, and i loaned some of my senior staff to the national peer review efforts that goes on
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nationwide, so i am very intim matily aware of what a peer review is and what it means. i also know that auditors by nature are extremely conservative, and the only time they become even more conservative is when they are passing judgment on their peers. let me start with this question. how often does an organization based on your experience in the counsel of inspector generals for efficiency and operations. how often does an organization fail its peer review in especially in light of the failure of sigar? >> well, let me start, ma'am, by saying that the audit committee has conducted or supervised or administered now 58 peer reviews
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from 2006 until 2009. of those 58, 55 were passed, and there were three pass the with deficiencies. three out of 58. >> and so we had three pass with deficiencies. has there been any that have failed? >> not in that period, ma'am, that i know of. >> okay. what about on your end in terms of the silver book? >> in terms of the peer reviews, i believe there's been one noncompliance in the last -- since we've been conducting peer reviews in 2003. >> so you've had -- how many have been done since 2003? >> approximately 50. >> one time out of 50, and that would be this one? >> well, no, one other. >> this is the second time since 2003, and could you share with us what the organization was
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that had these serious problems, the other organization that was evaluated? >> it was not the chair then. >> you can see this hearing on afghanistan reconstruction hearings after the senate is out tonight. senate coming back now. senator franken who has been residing over the senate after taking a personal break. the business is a food safety bill overhauling food safety laws and strengthen food and and drug administration powers. this is c-span2. bring to the chose the debate on the harkin substitute amendment s. 510 the f.d.a. food safety modernization act signed by 19 senators. cloture motion. mr. reid: i ask that further
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reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debatthe f.d.ad by 19 senators. mr. reid: i ask that further reading of the the names be waived. objection.ing officer: without mr. reid: i ask consent that the cloture vote on the substitute endment occur at 6:00 p.m. on monday, november 29. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: if cloture is rin soaked on the substitute all cloture time be yield the back except for the time specified in this agreement and the -- with debate limitations as specified, 4702, with respect to 4713, with a total of 06 minutes of debate with respect of these two motions with the time equally divided and controlled between senators baucus and johanns with respect to amendment 49 -- 4696.
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substitute. the motion to suspend with respect to amendment 4697, dealing with earmarks. there are two amendments, mr. president. i the thought there was one. there are two. that there be a total of four hours of debate with respect to the coburn motions, equally divided and controlled between senators coburn an inouye or their designees. upon the use or yielding back of that time, the senate proceed to vote with respect to the motion to suspend in the order listed, johanns 1099, baucus 1099. coburn earmarks coburn -- if any motion is successful, then the senate vote immediately on the amendment. that no further motions or amendments be in order, the substitute amendment if amended abe greed to, the bill as
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amended be read add third time, the senate proceed to passage on the bill and cloture motion with respect to the bill be withdrawn. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent we now proceed to a period of morning business, senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent we now proceed to calendar 520, s. 1609. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 520, s. 1609, a bill to authorize a single fisheries cooperative for the better ring sea aleutian islands long line catcher sub sector and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the
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senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, no intervening action or debate, any statements relate to go this matter be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask now, mr. president, we proceed to s. con. res. 75. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. con. res. 75, authorizing the use of the rotunda of the capitol for an event marking the 50th anniversary of the inaugural address of president john f. kennedy. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the concurrent resolution be -- and preamble be agreed to en bloc, the motions to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc, any statements relating to the concurrent resolution be placed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask we now proceed to s. con. res. 76. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. con. res. 76, to recognize and honor the commitment and sacrifices of
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military families of the united states. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask we concur -- i'm sorry, mr. president. i ask that the concurrent resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate and that any statements relate to go this matter be placed in the record at the appropriate place. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask we proceed to s. con. res. 647 and that the "help" committee be discharged from further consideration of that matter. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. con. res. 647, expressing support for the goals of national adoption day and national adoption month, and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee will discharge -- is discharged, and the senate shall proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i further ask that the
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resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate and any statements relating to this matter be placed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask consent that we proceed en bloc to the following resolutions -- s. res. 683, 684 and 685. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 683, recognizing the recent michiganments of the people and government of moldova and so forth. s. res. 684, recognizing the 35th anniversary of the enactment of the education for all handicapped children act of 1975. s. res. 685, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of sickle cell disease by dr. james b. henrick. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measures. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask consent that the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, the motions to
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reconsider be laid on the table en bloc, there being no intervening action or debate, any statements relate to go any of these matters be placed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i'm told that there is a bill at the desk for the first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 3975, a bill to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax relief provisions and to permanently repeal the estate tax, and to provide permanent alternative minimum tax relief, and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i now ask for a second reading in order to place the bill on the calendar under the provision of rule 14. i object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. reid: i ask consent that we now proceed -- the presiding officer: the bill will be read a second time on the next legislative day. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask that we now proceed to h.
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resolution 332. provided providing for an additional adjournment of the house of representatives and a conditional recess or adjournment of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: mr. president, first i would like to express my appreciation to the presiding officer for your patience. i ask consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, november 19. following the furnl and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day and the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, there will be no roll call votes during tomorrow's session. the next vote will occur at approximately 6:30 p.m. on monday -- i shouldn't say approximately -- at 6:30 p.m. on monday, november 29.
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mr. reid: we proceeded to the adjournment resolution but didn't agree to it, so let's agree to it, mr. president. i ask consent the concurrenting resolution and the motion to reconsider be laid on the table relating to h. con. res. 332. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: we have agreed to it, right? the presiding officer: that is correct, sir. mr. reid: mr. president, if there is no further business to come before the body, i ask that we adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.
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services committee this morning considered the nominations for air force general to head the u.s. strategic command and army general to lead the u.s. africa command. the generals these questions on a wide range of issues including don't ask don't tell policy, national missile defense and the start missile treaty. this is just over two hours.
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first let me put this to the witnesses and the people attending this hearing. this has been an incredibly busy week and i got caught up in a meeting and couldn't get out so i apologize for being a few minutes late. the subcommittee on contract and oversight of the u.s. senate committee on homeland security will come to order and i will have an opening statement about the hearing today and dever to my colleague senator brown for his opening statement and then we will have three panels of witnesses to get at the issues we want to cover this afternoon. this is a hearing on the role of the special inspector general on contracts and afghanistan. the subcommittee was created beginning in the congress to provide oversight of government contracting. over the last 18 months we have
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focused on two key areas come in prison the government oversight and reducing waste fraud and abuse. four of the subcommittee's 15 hearings including today have examined contracting in afghanistan and how to ensure the government is getting the best possible value for the billions of dollars we spend. today's hearing on the special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction called cigar this began in march, 2009 when i joined senator lieberman, senator collins, senator coburn and senator grassley to introduce legislation to give better hiring authority. at that time, general fields had been the cigar for more than seven months and cigar hadn't completed in the original audit or investigative work.
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this raised serious concerns about the effectiveness at protecting against waste fraud and abuse in afghanistan. even though cigar received additional money and new hiring authorities in the summer of 2009, the organization did not improve. cigar continued to have difficulty in recruiting adequate experienced staff. we learned cigar performed only one contract audit prior to december, 2,009 while devoting time and resources to review subjects outside of its mission like a 2009 review of the role of women in afghanistan elections. we were particularly concerned that cigar was failing to establish the priorities for its work and so in december of 2009 senator collins, senator coburn and i asked the president to conduct a thorough review of cigar in july 2010 the inspector
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for efficiency abbreviated completed their review. this review confirmed many of the problems that my fellow senators and i had been concerned about. cigar didn't have a plan and wasn't dealing with assessment. they haven't put the right investigative team in place. their audits were more for guest on quantity and quality. and their management and leadership failed to create an efficient, effective organization. the focus of today's hearing is how cigar under the leadership of general arnold fields, who i hold in high regard as a decorated retired general in the united states marine corps and one of the nation's heroes has fallen so short on the market. cigar's investigation division field to meet minimum standards and referred its findings to the attorney-general to consider revoking cigar's law enforcement authority. they also found speed's audit position had no less than five major deficiencies.
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today we will ask a general fields how this happened on his watch. in the course of today's hearing we will also examine general fields decision to award a 96,000-dollar source contract to joseph smith, the former defense department inspector general who did resign in 2005 and did have allegations made against him. general fields hired mr. schmidt to act as a, quote, independent monitor of compliance with the review and report cigar progress to the department of justice. we have learned that cigar understood by rewarding the contract to mr. schmidt they will also be obtained the services of louis free the four fbi director pumas cigar thought would act as an advocate for them at the justice department. interestingly we have learned his organization spoke only briefly with mr. schmidt about the contract and quickly decided they were not interested in
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participating. we will ask general fields when he thought this contract was in the best interest of the taxpayer. we will also hear from four experts on conducting oversight in the war zone. the inspectors general for the defense department, the state department, usaid, and the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction. they will share their lessons learned and what needs to have been going forward. the government record on contract in in iraq and afghanistan the the has not been pretty. that's why it's so important we have aggressive independent quality oversight with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake there is no room for error and no time to delay. we are having this hearing today because a frank, open and on the record discussion is imperative to adequate oversight going forward and to make sure that we protect the men and women in uniform in the contingency fielder, and also protect the
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american taxpayer. i look for to the hearing of the testimony of witnesses today and providing general fields to the opportunity to address the subcommittee's concerns the of and i now refer to my colleague senator brown. schenectady's ranking member of the subcommittee i would like to specifically thank you for scheduling this afternoon's hearing on this very important topic and since i joined the subcommittee this is the second hearing i've participated in on this very important topic. the oversight of contract in afghanistan. as general petraeus recently stated in the contract in guidance, the scale of the contracting efforts in afghanistan represent both an opportunity and a danger with proper oversight contracting can spur economic dilemma and support the afghan government, and isaf objectives. however we spend large quantities of money on international contracting funds quickly and with insufficient
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oversight it is likely that some of these funds will unintentionally fuel corruption, financing surgeon organizations, strength and criminal activities in networks and undermine our efforts in afghanistan. and madame chair, i agree with general petraeus the guidance of the soldiers are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the success of the mission at least we can do in congress is to ensure the american taxpayers' funds go to the right people for the right purpose. since the u.s. and coalition partners begin operations in afghanistan in october 7, 2001, the united states has invested approximately $56 billion in afghanistan, which is more than 53.8 billion invested in iraq. despite the commitment on the part of the american tax payers, problems continue to persist such as waste, fraud and fueling of corruption by far most troubling findings of american taxpayers' money has been flowing to taliban insurgents, which i find unconscionable. today we will examine whether
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the oversight in afghanistan is meeting the necessary level to accomplish the mission and protect the taxpayers and using our soldiers expected to be used to can be provided the tools and resources to do the job. january 28, congress created sigar to provide leadership in protecting waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds used in the afghanistan conflict. to date congress has appropriated 46.2 million for this mission. while i fully appreciate the difficult circumstances in which sigar must work, i am convinced that we are not receiving the necessary return on our investment in our oversight activities as noted we will soon hopefully find out more about those numbers. the recent council known as sigy reported they did not have the robust on we program of the risk assessment and that it was not looking in the right places for fraud, waste and abuse. the oversight army in afghanistan includes the dod,
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state agencies for international data element inspector general's and sigar that the accountability of the american taxpayer funds in afghanistan remains limited. this hearing today i plan to ask the inspectors general how we can better strategically aligned use oversight resources to maximize the return on taxpayer investment and achieve the accountability of the motion requires and our soldiers deserve. thank you, madame chair. >> thank you, senator brown. let me introduce the first panel. john t. rymer served as inspector general for the federal deposit insurance corporation since july of 2006. he's also the chairman of the audit committee of the council of inspector general on integrity and efficiency couldn't which we have been referring to as sigy. mr. rymer served 30 years in the reserve component of the u.s. army prior to his confirmation as inspector general mr. rymer served as a director at kpmgllp.
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richard moore served as the inspector general since may of 2003. he is also the chairman of the investigations committee of the council of the inspectors general on integrity and efficiency known as sigy. prieta joining mr. moore served as assistant u.s. attorney for the seventh district of alabama for 18 years. it is the custom of the subcommittee to swear in all witnesses to appear before us so if you don't mind i would like to ask do you swear the testimony will give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? let the record reflect the witness has answered in the affirmative. we will be using a timing system today. we would ask that your oral testimony be no more than five minutes especially since we have three panels today. you're written testimony will be printed in the record in its entirety. mr. moore. >> thank you, chairman mccaskill.
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my name is john rymer, inspector general of the fdic. i'm appearing today on my capacity of the sigy committee. you asked me to address the recent review of moore and specifically the conduct audits. you have already agreed to put our report into the record. thank you. in late february 2010, the sigy chair received a letter from the general army field special in inspector general for afghan reconstruction requesting that evaluation of the operations. the sigy council was convened to discuss moore's request and determined that conducting three separate yet coordinated standards based reviews would provide sigar with the information that was requested. fi led a team to conduct the review of the sigar audit organization and i will speak on the results of that review in just a moment. mr. moore led the team to conduct the quality assessment of sigar investigative operations and he will discuss the results of that review.
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mr. moore and i lit a joint review to the management support operations not covered by either of the peer reviews. i will focus the remainder of my remarks on the external peer review of sigar's audit and the request for a follow-up review. in the audit community and external peer review is an independent backward looking review requiring a year to examine and opine on at least once every three years and audit organization system of quality control. the peer review was done in accordance with the audit. review god and is based upon the gal yellow book standards. the goal of the peer review is to provide reasonable assurance that the audit organization has, one, adopted audit processes are properly designed to produce accurate reliable information and reports, and number two, following those prophecies and conducting its work. the peer review was not designed to assess reliability of individual reports. on july 14th this year, we issue our report on the results of
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this review. we concluded sigar's system of quality control suitably designed but it was compliance with those policies and procedures was inconsistent and incomplete. we specifically identified five deficiencies in the audit organizations practices could generate situations in which sigar would have less than reasonable assurance performing and reforming on audits and with the yellow book and its own policies. these deficiencies relate to quality assurance, audit planning, documentation and supervision, reporting and independent referencing. we made eight recommendations for improvement. we believe the process followed procedures we perform and the deficiencies we identified in sigar's all the organization provide a reasonable basis past deficiency opinion. in its response, sigar concurred with the results of the peer review in committee to implementing the corrective actions to overcome the deficiencies. last month general fields contacted the sigy chair to
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request a follow-up review to address the extent to which the audit organization had implemented recommendations. earlier this week my office began focused limited scope review to do so. in this review will not modify the opinion and conclusions reached in the july, 2010 report nor will it qualify as an external peer review of the stifel's of the organization. i scheduled a full scope. the realists sigar organization to next october. at this time i would like to make to concluding comments. first, sigar's request for the peer evaluation was unprecedented and a unique approach. despite the competing demands and challenges of individual offices faced, we responded in a fare professional manner conduct a thorough review and provide sigar with useful in a meaningful information. second, i would like to recognize the professionals you volunteered to participate in his reviews and the support of the respective ivies. i also like to acknowledge the
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courtesy and cooperation extended by general fields and his staff and to acknowledge the assistance of those who facilitated the travel to and work in afghanistan. this completes my testimony and i look forward to answering questions. thank you. >> thank you mr. rymer. mr. moore. >> german mccaskill, senator brown, good afternoon. as you mentioned i am richard moore the inspector general and i am appearing before you today in my capacity as the chair of the investigations committee or cigie. michael e. mr. rymer has the lead out how we got here in terms of these peer reviews and i will not want to restate that. i would like to make a few comments about the work we did, however. the reviews particularly in the investigation here review was not the work of one on eg or one office, it was a community wide
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review in the case of the investigations peer review there were six ig who participated in that review. with the peer evaluation there were seven ig offices that participated in that particular review. the investigation. review resulted in a finding that sigar was not in compliance as you mentioned with our quality standards. there are only two possible outcomes in the investigation pure review and the would be either you are in compliance or you are not. the determination that sigar was not in compliance with our peer review standards was based on ten specific findings which were attached to the report and i would be happy to discuss in detail if you would like leader. as you mentioned, chairman mccaskill, we were required to alert the attorney-general of this finding which i did.
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the attorney general supervises all of the igs who exercise all powers and it is conditioned to exercise those powers based on our compliance with attorney general standards and the cigie peer review standards. and as mr. rymer mentioned, there will be an audit follow-on review and there will be one on the investigation side as well. i reiterate what mr. rymer said the audit review for the investigation. you this is not a new peer review and will not change the finding or the decision on peer review that as long complained. this is a determine whether or not there has been free mediation of the deficiencies that we faugh to of -- sound. the civil review as we call it was done pursuant to standards that were called a quality standard for federal offices of inspector general. the book sets forth the overall approach for managing operating
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and conducting the work of the inspector general. there are nine categories in the civil book that we address with sigar, and in the end, the team found 22 suggestions or recommendations for improvement of sigar. that concludes my testimony. i look for to answer many questions you may have. >> thank you, mr. moore. let me first start by asking -- putting on the record what peer review, how conservative peer reviews are, and let me just say that every three years as the elected auditor of missouri we had a peer review and i loaned some of my senior staff to the peer review effort that goes on nationwide so i am very
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intimately aware of what the peer review is and what it means. i also know that all the terse by nature are extremely conservative. and the only time they become even more conservative is when they are passing judgment on their peers. so let me start with this question. how often does an organization based on your all experience in the council for efficiency and operation, how often those an organization feel it's peer review especially in light of the failure of sigar? >> let me start by saying the audit committee has conducted -- the audit committee of cigie has supervised or administered now 58 peer reviews in the last -- from 2006-2009. of those, 55 were passed and
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there were three pass with deficiencies. so three out of 58. >> and, so we had repast with deficiencies. have there been any that have field? >> not in that period that i know of. >> okay. and what about on your end in terms? >> on the investigation side in terms of the investigation peer reviews i believe there has been one long compliance in the last -- since we've been conducting the peer reviews in 2003. >> how many have been done since 2003? >> approximately 50. >> so one time out of 50 and that would be this one? >> yes. >> one other. stomachs of this would be the second time since 2003 and can you share with us with the organization was that had these serious problems, the other organization that was evaluated?
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>> i was not the chair then. my recollection you may recall i believe was opm. >> office of personnel and management? >> yes. >> how serious would you characterize the failure is to document in your review of hospital? >> i think what you've already pointed out and established, senator, is the fact that it's very rare. the deficiencies noted, the five deficiencies on the audit site were problems of noncompliance. we did positively no that sigar established policies and procedures manual and process that we thought that the standards, that is we often found that they were not in compliance and in those cases, we found situations where the
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compliance levels were in two-thirds or so and we would find many of the findings were of the 12 reports that we've reviewed we would often find five, six -- six, seven or eight reports would be in compliance and then three or four would not be so that is the range i think i would describe. >> and i would say on the investigation side, the seriousness is of course if you of special agents in a component of ig shock who have not been trained or confronted with the guidelines they are required to adhere to come and use of deadly force, and use of confidential informants, the surveillance techniques, those kind of things are in the attorney general's guidelines. he put at risk the investigations that you are conducting and potentially put
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at risk all the federal law enforcement simply because the reputation will damage that can occur if the agents are not fully knowledgeable of the guidelines and adhering to them. >> which of these can be exacerbated in the contingency theater where we are fighting a battle and one of the battles we are fighting is in fact corruption. >> i believe that's true. >> one responsive sigar had to these issues as they are in the organization and inspector general's are given a peer review for three years. i understand the reason this happened is because general fields asked for the review. but is that a valid response that the kind of problems that you found could be attributable to the fact that they had not been in existence for three full years? >> manama, we took into consideration from the -- to think it's valuable to note that as i sit in my statement it is
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unprecedented. no one else asked for the peer review at this stage, and as a ig particularly none of the three now special igs in existence. so i think that was positive. i think -- i think we noted that in terms of how we conducted the review. we were concerned that over a fairly short existence come 18 months or so when we began the review that there wouldn't be sufficient evidence of really how they were performing. so to accommodate the fact that it was a short term or accelerated peer review i chose to do 100% sample of every audit they did frankly to try to give the organization the opportunity to show improvement. >> to give them the benefit of the doubt. >> is nam. if there were opportunities to show improvement from the audit one or audit ten or 12 we can demonstrate that the results were really mixed. there were some improvements on location and some did not show
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improvement. >> so you did 100% sample? >> yes, ma'am. >> you don't need to tell me that is very unusual. >> yes, ma'am. >> on the investigation side, again, as mr. rymer suggested, we have not looked at an organization this early in their development. we were surprised to see the absence of policies and procedures and the fact that the agents we interviewed, and we interviewed agents here in the united states and in afghanistan , and they were not conversant with the guidelines they had to adhere to or the standards, and as we reflected in the report, it appears that there were no manuals or standards at sigar's headquarters that were being taught to the agents' and holding them accountable when we went in, but there were blocked on policies after the time that
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we conducted the peer review, so it appeared that they were making good faith efforts to adopt policies, but they have not been in existence before april of this year. >> okay. senator brown. >> thank you, madame chair. first of all, thank you very much for your testimony. i'm trying to get my hands around the fact that we have the group like sigar and while i am appreciative they said they can come and audit us and see what is up and report back, i certainly appreciate that, but the results in terms of actual numbers that we have actually spent in terms of providing them the resources and then the return -- i know senator coburn has the comparison of oversight in afghanistan and fun discovered by olver entities, usaid, the dot and sigar.
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if my numbers are correct, we have given approximately $46.2 million to sigar for this mission, yet it only identified 8.2 million. and by not -- i know the value of the dollar but that doesn't seem to be a good value for the taxpayer dollars. you have any comment as to whether you feel we are getting value for our dollars and or why do you feel -- also why do you feel the recovery is so low compared to these other entities? >> i might start to get to answer that. the funds put to better use i think is a function direct function of the audits the organization chose to do. one of the -- one of the observations we had in the peer review and the capstone review is we were concerned about the
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process that sigar went through in selecting the initial audits of the first 12 or so at least the ones in the sample. we were concerned perhaps were not as focused. we heard this in some of our interviews that the audits were not recall of its that were focused on either contract oversight funds put to better use or improper payments -- >> wasn't that the mission of contract oversight? >> the would certainly be a large part of the mission. of the audits that we looked at -- let me explain a little bit and put it in context. we didn't really see any of its that were specifically designed to recover funds. that's the principal objective of the audit. but the ig has the responsibility also to detect and comment on lapses of internal controls. we saw a few of its that were
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directed on internal controls that really were a preventive process, but and i think we sold three audits that were in my judgment internal control related audits and then of the 12 we looked at, three were internal control and the other nine were audits that were at least in my view of -- audits looking at u.s. policy rules and of regulations or international policy reviews and regulations. so in a continuum, we suggested -- and sigar certainly agreed that a more risk-based approach to identify the audits that should be focusing on was something it should do. >> but you'd think after given 46 plus million dollars, the fact that nobody gave them the proper guidance as to where to go and what to do or they just chose to ignore the guidance and do their own thing, and you just
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commented upon and let me also ask this your independent professional opinion as to whether we are actually getting our money's worth out of this particular group? >> senator i have to be careful. i have to say as a professional auditor i have to stick to the -- [inaudible] will agree to this the the concern i had as i said is the sort of level one, tier one auditing was not in the original plan. we suggested it be in their plans. the other concerns i think would be ones of the perhaps not paying as much attention and in the early stages to the suggestions of the audits of folks that have responsibility for management programs. there was a bit of in my view a bit of top down and not enough bottom-up audit planning.
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sweating the audit planning process was one that wasn't quite balanced and i think needs improvement. >> and i recognize certainly i think everybody does the difficult operating environment in afghanistan. i've been there. understand it. in your opinion, does sigar have the sufficient resources to overcome that lack of direction or obstacles or not? >> senator i would say we looked at funding for sigar because that was released to us by sigar staff that there were funding issues early on, and we are particularly concerned about that on the investigating side with the had the proper funding to put agents in afghanistan. we found that they did have appropriate funding levels. and i would just say in terms of performance of the organization, which you've been asking about today, there are at least three things that can detect the
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organization in my opinion and we covered this in the report. if one is what we mentioned before which is the lack of risk assessment. what are the risks to the money if you will but you're charged with overseas? typically in offices we look at what are the likely frauds that are likely to occur, what's the likelihood of that happening and then we look at the severity if it does and be given an indication where we should put our dollars where they would be most effective. that wasn't done at sigar. the second thing is strategic planning. everybody i think appreciates the importance of having goals, making sure your priorities are understood, and unfortunately, that was not done very well at sigar at least in the period we reviewed and i would say in terms of performance, the handicapped that we saw was the
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way that human-resources issues were handled. that is the hiring decisions. as we point out in the report, there was the decision to weight to hire that is investigations to pursue one candidate and that cost them almost a year on performance on the investigative side. they decided not to higher speed a deputy until recently. there's some other human resource issue that made it more difficult for them to perform. >> so with a hiring the lack of experience or knowledge in what the job at hand was? i mean, where do you see the breakdown? >> i would say that it goes back to not having the kind of focus on risk and the plan if you are not sure exactly what the strategic plan is, what your priorities should be, it can affect the whole year in the decisions that made. >> before i turn it back over to
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the chair, i would think out of everything we've been talking about here today, that the number one priority of every independent group here is obviously dealing with afghanistan specifically now, is to find out how much and where the money is going if they are going to the taliban and other groups that want to the cyclicals. it's a shock we don't find out where that money is going and who is delivering the funds and under what circumstances, where is the breakdown. i'm just flabbergasted and i know i'm going to be asking the questions to the next panel, but am i missing something? i mean, shouldn't that be the priority of sigar and any other entity that is a fair fighting waste, fraud and abuse? we are giving money to people that want to kill us and they are not entitled to it.
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i'm sorry, folks, i know i am still semi new, but give me a break. islamic fell one thing i would say, senator, with a special ig, as to differentiate the special igs that are assigned to work in existing federal agencies my opinion is both a special igs in this case should be primarily focused in my opinion on contract oversight and management of dollars. those are the two special igs that exist because they are attached to an appropriation or series of appropriations meaning to me financial oversight should be primary responsibility. take the case of my organization, my primary responsibility in the regulatory agency is to look for waste, fraud and abuse in the progress of a regulator which don't give me the same opportunities in a
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regulatory agency to look at situations where appropriations are controlled over cash in the extent and contracting so i think there is a difference and i think it speaks to each of three of the special igs that their principal in my view at least looking at controls associated with contract and and looking at specifically how cash is being used. >> think you for that assessment because the taxpayers are being heard and do their jobs and they are being provided with -- because a disadvantage because the money is the potentially used to hurt or kill them and i find it deeply troubling. i will turn it back over. >> thank you, senator brown. in reading your report i was struck by how factual -- which wasn't surprised and this would be by the book that that trouble
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and compliance in the yellow book and silver book. and i think that what i -- i just have one area i would like to cover and that is the management and oversight issue. the head of an audit agency, their responsibility is to make the decision about how the resources of that agency are going to be used. i think you'll both agreed general fields was never expected to do these audits or investigation, is that correct? >> it is correct. >> his entire responsibility is taking over in this position is to look at what was flowing into afghanistan and figure out where there was a risk. that was his most important job was first the risk assessment and second, the audit plan that
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would address the risks set within the scope of the work that he had the legal ability to audit or investigate. would that be correct? in in this context we of been informed by major problems in iraq, my frustration with general fields and his position is as a former auditor, his job was like shooting fish in a barrel. there was so much work to be done as an auditor. everywhere you look, there was a contract that needed another set of eyes. there was a flow of money that needed investigation. there was potential for corruption, waste, misuse of money in almost every single location this money was flowing.
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i mean, this is a free-for-all in terms of risk assessment, but yet in the first 16 months of his tenure, there was not one audit performed on one contract; is that correct? >> yes, ma'am believe that is correct. >> that is hard for me to get around. >> the wally control assessments of internal control specifically of contract audit i don't recall the contract -- >> there was the assessment of control and there was also a study done on the participation of women in the afghan election and i don't mean to minimize the participation of women in the afghan election is an important policy problem and important part of the mission in afghanistan because we want obviously the capabilities of that country in terms of keeping
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the taliban et et essay with all due respect as auditors, with that study have been -- with that of majeure risk assessment if you had been given this job in the first 18 months? >> the afghan election as i said i think the special ig to be on the dollars that should be principal responsibility of any of the three specials we have i think. >> mr. moore? >> i would agree and when not in addition to the risk assessment as to the pot of money if you will, one of the things we discussed with sigar staff and pointed out in the report was you have to do that internal office risk assessment are so you know what your skill sets
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are, what your priorities are, what's likely to limit you from getting the mission accomplished that was not done at sigar. >> that is all the questions i have for this panel. >> thank you very much for your service, and cigie is a very important part of oversight in this government. it's unfortunate most americans have no idea that many professional inspector generals and the federal system give of their time and overseeing other inspector general's in the system, but i certainly understand that we wouldn't have the quality inspector general's that we have in the federal government were it not for the work of cigie. so thank you and please convey our thanks to your entire organization that does these peer reviews. >> thank you.
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>> general fields, welcome, thank you for your attendance. let me introduce you to the hearing. in general fields has served as special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction since july of 2008. general fields previously served as deputy director of the african center for strategic studies data at department of state and is assigned u.s. embassy in iraq where he forms duties as the chief of staff of the iraqi reconstruction management office. he retired as a major general from the united states marine corps in january of 2004 after 34 years of active military
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service. let me state for the record how much your record speaks of you as an american, as a patriot period, and how much our country owes you a credit negative gratitude for your years of service on behalf of the united states of america. it is the custom of the subcommittee to swear in all witnesses to appear before us, so if you don't mind i would like you to stand. do you swear the testimony you will give before the subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. >> we welcome your testimony, general fields. >> [inaudible] >> thank you, chairman mccaskill and a ranking member, senator brown. i appreciate this opportunity to be here today. i would say that is a pleasure,
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but i would be telling a lie if i were to say so that it is a privilege as well as an opportunity and i wish to take full advantage of that opportunity. i have worked in support of sigar the last basically have year-and-a-half. funding we received in june of 2009 fully funded disorganization. i have built sigar from nothing but legislation to 123 very well-informed and talented staff, of which 32 today are on full assignment for 13 months to a very dangerous place known as afghanistan. this work is challenging. i have to find people who are
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willing to put their lives in harm's way in afghanistan conducting this work in midst of a very competitive market of investigators and auditors. i am proud of the staff that we have. we have conducted work in 22 of 34 provinces and afghanistan, and 48 separate locations. we have produced 34 audits. over 100 recommendations. 90% of which have been accepted by the institutions of this federal government that we have scrutinized. they are using our work. i could cite many cases, but i will not at this point. but our work is in fact making a difference. i did, and i appreciate that the chairwoman acknowledged that i
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requested the cigie assessment. we wouldn't have normally undergone such a thing until as the earliest would have been 2012. i wanted to make this organization what senator mccaskill wished that it would be, and that assessment for which i come individually and unilaterally, made requests was intended to do just that. my leadership has been referred to as at bat. that is the first time, senator, that in all of my life, and man of 64 years of age, who has support this federal government for 41 straight years of which 34 have been as a military officer. i don't even allow my own auditors to refer to the people in afghanistan as inept because there is too general the
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statement for any human being. i have met with many people in afghanistan from the president of afghanistan to the little children in the province. and when i asked those little children what is it on which this reconstruction effort and $56 billion that the united states has invested in afghanistan should be based, and i want you to know those children who were no higher than my knee said to me the same thing that president karzai said as well as his minister. they want energy, electricity, light, they want agriculture, they want education. and what really broke my heart is when those little children told me what we really want is a floor in our school. that is what we are up against in afghanistan. we have created by way of this $56 billion an opportunity for
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the children in afghanistan who i feel represent the future of afghanistan as well as the rest of the people. and i would be the last, senator mccaskill and senator brown, to condone in any form or fashion, any activity that these less than the full measure of the 56 billion being used for the purposes of which made available. i won the subcommittee to also know that i take this work very seriously. why? because i raised up in south carolina and a family not unlike that in afghanistan, where the level of education from both my mother and father was less than fifth grade. but nonetheless the best education i received came from my mother who had less than a fifth grade education. i wish someone had brought
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$56 billion to bear upon my life. but here i am in a very important position trying to influence what going on in afghanistan to the best of liability using a very knowledgeable and competent staff by which to do so. i raised apart, ladies and gentlemen come in poverty myself. i worked for less than $1.50 per day, about the average afghan makes today, in the year 2010. on the day president kennedy was buried, which was a no school day for me, my brother and i shuffled stuff out of a local farmer septic tank with a shovel for 75 cents per hour for the two of us. i know what it is to live in poverty, and i know what it is to have an opportunity and why country has given me that. and by which i am pleased and
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very grateful. i will do my best, senator mccaskill and senator brown, to measure up to your full of expectations. i appreciate the emphasis you've placed on a contract in afghanistan, what i want also to say that the legislation the line carrying out has three dimensions. contracts is not the exclusive one but i will agree with you that is where the money is and we should focus more on that. but i'm also asked to look at the programs as well as the operations that support this tremendous reconstruction effort, and i promise you, senator, i will do so. thank you. >> thank you, general fields. general fields, i certainly respect your life story and what he accomplished, and no 1i can speak confidently for senator brown and every united states senator, no one questions your
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commitment to the united states of america. that is not the question here. the question here is whether or not the important work of the inspector general in afghanistan has been fulfilled and completed, especially within the timeframe that we are working with because of the contingency operation. you've submitted 12 pages of testimony for this hearing. less than one page of those 12th addresses the serious deficiencies found in your peery view by other inspector general's trying to measure the work of your audit agency against the standards that are required in the federal government. you did say in your testimony defined itself to strengthen your organization and that you have now made changes. let me talk about of the law

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