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Rockefeller: We Need a Strong Federal Standard to Protect Consumer Data

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today gave an opening statement at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing titled, "Protecting Personal Consumer Information from Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches." Below are his prepared remarks:

Protecting Personal Consumer Information from Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. titled, “Protecting Personal Consumer Information from Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches”. The recent high-profile data breach at Target, and less-reported breaches at entities such as Neiman Marcus, White Lodging, Snapchat, and the University of Maryland, have highlighted the need to improve our protection of consumer data. Databases populated with sensitive information about large numbers of American consumers have been prime targets for cyber thieves for a number of years. This hearing will examine the risks to these recent data breaches pose for consumers, the current lack of federal data security protections, and several data security bills pending before the Senate Commerce Committee that would establish such federal standards.

Thune Data Breach Hearing Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will submit for the record the following prepared remarks at today’s “Protecting Personal Consumer Information from Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches” full committee hearing:

Thank you, Chairman Rockefeller, for holding this afternoon’s hearing on data breaches and protecting consumer information. Protecting consumers from identity theft, fraud, and financial harm is certainly a goal that all of us on this committ...

Hanna Subcommittee Exposes Job-Killing Business Regulations and Occupational License Requirements

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 12:00am

The Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, under the chairmanship of Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), today conducted a hearing to examine the impact of burdensome occupational licensing laws on business startups and the economy overall.
 
As the economy and employment situation remains sluggish, many unemployed and underemployed Americans are considering starting their own business or using a skill or talent to earn an income. However, for many of these workers, potentially costly and burdensome licensing requirements are presenting a significant barrier to economic opportunity.
 
“During the past five years, economic freedom and entrepreneurial opportunity have declined in America due to burdensome and unnecessary occupational licensing laws,” said Chairman Hanna. “For enterprising and motivated individuals to have every opportunity for economic success, we must repeal licensing laws and regulations that slow growth while serving no true public interest. The stories from today’s hearing demonstrate how these laws are creating barriers to entrepreneurship and putting a damper on competition, innovation, and prosperity.”
 
Materials from the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.
 
Notable Quotes:
 
Melony Armstrong, Owner of Naturally Speaking in Tupelo, MS said, “Every day, hundreds of low-income families are housed because of my work. But I don’t run a shelter. They are clothed through what I’ve done. But I don’t run a second-hand clothing store. They are fed because of what I achieve. But I don’t run a soup kitchen. I have transformed the lives of hundreds of poor women in my state of Mississippi not because I sought out government assistance for them; rather, because I demanded that the government get out of my way so I could provide for myself and for my family, and so other women around me could do likewise in peace, dignity and prosperity.”
 
Patti Morrow, President of Interior Design Protection Consulting in Greer, SC said, “Two years ago, I moved to South Carolina, and it was déjà vu, all over again. In 2012 and 2013, I had to take time away from my business to drive to Columbia multiple times to speak with legislators and testify at hearings. As of right now, the latest bill has been tabled. But for how long? Licensing this industry is nothing more than restraint of trade and is a job killer.”
 
Timothy Sandefur, Principal Attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, CA said, “Sadly, licensing restrictions have been abused for centuries by established businesses as a way to prohibit economic competition, enabling them to raise their prices while barring newcomers from the market. This harms consumers and restricts economic opportunity for precisely those who most need it. While these abuses generally take place at the state level, Congress has authority to protect economic freedom and secure the blessings for economic liberty for all.”

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Kline Statement: Hearing on "Reviewing the President's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal for the Department of Labor"

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 12:00am

The purpose of today’s hearing is to examine the president’s fiscal year 2015 budget request for the Department of Labor. However, as is often the case, budget hearings are about more than dollars and cents. As the old saying goes, budgets are about priorities. Naturally, budget hearings provide Congress an opportunity to examine and discuss the policies an administration intends to pursue in the coming years.

The authority of the Department of Labor governs practically every private business and affects countless working families. It is a great responsibility and one I am sure you take seriously, Mr. Secretary. Since taking office, you’ve shown a willingness to work with the committee on a number of important issues, such as the department’s unprecedented enforcement of family farms and health care providers serving active and retired military personnel. We haven’t agreed on every detail, but we appreciate the efforts you’ve made to address our concerns.

It is my hope that we can build on this progress in the weeks and months ahead. Our nation faces significant challenges that can only be addressed if we work together in good faith, and we all know there is a great deal that demands our attention.

For example, more than 10 million Americans can’t find work and roughly 7 million are employed part-time but need a full-time job. The labor force participation rate has dropped to levels not seen since the Carter administration – a sign millions of workers are so discouraged with their job prospects that they’ve left the workforce entirely. We have a health care law that is discouraging and destroying full time work. More than one out of every 10 African-Americans can’t find a job and nearly 47 million individuals are living in poverty. In the Obama economy, stock prices on Wall Street reach record highs while the wages of working families on Main Street remain flat.

We are told time and again a strong recovery is just around the corner if the president is allowed to spend more, tax more, and borrow more. Yet after $17.6 trillion in total spending and $6.8 trillion in new debt, we are stuck in the slowest economic recovery in our nation’s history. Despite the obvious fact that the president’s policies aren’t working, he has once again put forward a budget that doubles down on the status quo.

This fundamentally flawed approach is evident in the president’s request for six new job training programs at a cost of more than $10 billion. That’s right, the president wants to pile more training programs onto the more than 50 duplicative and ineffective programs that already exist, making a confusing maze of programs even more difficult for workers to navigate. Taxpayers will be forced to invest in more bureaucracy instead of in the skills and education that will help workers succeed. Spending more money on a broken system will not provide the support vulnerable workers and families need. 

The American people can no longer afford to invest in the president's failed agenda. We need to change course and adopt responsible reforms that will get this country working again; reforms that will help every individual who wants to enjoy the dignity of work find a job; reforms that will help ensure no one who works full time is forced to live in poverty; reforms that will help provide hope and prosperity for every working family. The policies embraced by the president during the last six years haven’t moved us toward these goals, and his current budget request won’t either.

Obviously there are stark differences on how best to move our nation forward. This committee will do its part to find common ground where we can and invest in real solutions that help grow our economy, create jobs, and expand opportunity for all who seek it. I urge the administration to be a partner in that effort. No executive order or unilateral action can put the country back on track and people back to work. Mr. Secretary, let’s stop recycling bad polices and start building on the small but encouraging progress we’ve made in recent months to work together on behalf of the American people.

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Subcommittee Explores House Priorities for CCDBG Reauthorization

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 3:00pm

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), today held a hearing entitled, “The Foundation for Success: Strengthening the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program.” During the hearing, members discussed the committee’s priorities for reauthorizing the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, and examined opportunities to help improve the quality of the program’s child care services.  

In his opening remarks, Chairman Rokita said, "CCDBG is invaluable to parents who are struggling to provide for their families. As a father of two boys, I know firsthand child care isn’t just finding a place for your kids to go during your work day. It’s a far more difficult decision about choosing a provider where you can trust trained professionals will care for your child in a safe environment.”

“Child care is a way of life today for the majority of families. Times have changed over the years and more mothers are working today than 24 years ago when the Child Care and Development Block Grant was first enacted,” said Paula Koos, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Child Care Resource & Referral Association.

“Across the country, the most recent federal data shows that 1.5 million children on average every month are in CCDBG funded child care settings,” Ms. Koos added. “I believe it’s time to provide some minimum protections for all our children across this great country and to ensure that public dollars are spent in an accountable way.”

A recent review of the Child Care and Development Fund determined states face significant challenges in meeting suggested program standards. Gloria Jarmon, Deputy Inspector General for Audit Services for the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services, provided an overview of the report’s findings.

“First, vulnerabilities exist in states’ standards and monitoring of child care providers that put the health and safety of some children at risk,” Ms. Jarmon said. “Two, weaknesses in certain states’ fiscal controls over obligation and liquidation activities put CCDF funds at risk of being misspent.” Ms. Jarmon emphasized the importance of ensuring the affordable child care services offered under CCDBG do not sacrifice quality or safety.

Linda Kostantenaco, president of the National Child Care Association, expressed support for raising the quality standards under CCDBG while also maintaining the program’s flexibility. “Such flexibility ensures parents the opportunity to find an appropriate child care center that satisfies their needs and the unique needs of their children,” Mrs. Kostantenaco said. “It is this array of choice that facilitates the best partnership between a family and their child care center.”

“As many of you know, our colleagues in the Senate recently approved the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization Act of 2014,” Rep. Rokita said. “While many of [the] provisions [in the Senate bill] will help to improve the quality of child care, we must also take steps to ensure these new requirements will help – not hinder – states in meeting the needs of children and their families…If we are truly here to fight for people, and to empower people so they can build better lives for themselves and their families, access to quality child care is something we must address.”

Rep. Rokita concluded, “The reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act provides an opportunity to work together to advance bipartisan legislation that will help our nation’s most vulnerable children and families. I look forward to examining the strengths and weaknesses of the CCDBG program, and discussing opportunities for consensus between House priorities for reauthorization and the Senate-passed legislation.”

To learn more about today’s hearing, or to watch an archived webcast, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.

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Five Questions for the Secretary of Labor

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 1:00pm

Tomorrow Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will testify before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on the department’s budget and policy priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. This will be the secretary’s first appearance before the committee since his confirmation, so committee members are eager to discuss a broad range of topics and concerns. Here are five critical questions for the secretary that should help get the conversation started:      

  1. Mr. Secretary, where are the jobs? More than 10 million Americans can’t find a job and 7 million are employed part-time but need full-time work. Just as disturbing, the labor force participation rate stands at just 63 percent, a grim sign millions have given up their job search entirely. There are a number of pressing priorities that would help create jobs and put people back to work. For example, the president could work with Congress to reform a broken job training system (see below). Or approve construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Or expand foreign markets for American-made goods. All efforts would enjoy bipartisan support and help get the country working again.
       
  2. What exactly is the president’s job training plan? In 2012 President Obama called on Congress to “cut through the maze of confusing [job] training programs” and establish one program to serve job-seekers. Yet recently the president requested more taxpayer money to fund six new programs. Meanwhile, Congress is still waiting for the president’s plan to clean up the maze of confusing programs. Fortunately the House has taken action on one plan that would streamline the bureaucracy, strengthen federal job training support, and help Americans compete for in-demand jobs. House Republican priorities for job training reform are clear. The administration’s priorities are not.
       
  3. Does the administration agree with labor leaders that ObamaCare is hurting workers? Once upon a time, the administration dismissed Republican concerns that ObamaCare would destroy full-time jobs as speculation. But it’s a lot harder for the administration to disregard the law’s critics now that they include allies in organized labor. Three prominent labor leaders wrote ObamaCare will “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.” A resolution endorsed by the AFL-CIO warned the law is leading to “a new underclass of less-than-30 hour workers.” The House will soon consider legislation that would help address this problem. The president and his administration should support this important effort.
       
  4. Will Secretary Perez help Congress resolve the multiemployer pension crisis? For two years the House Education and the Workforce Committee has been examining the challenges facing the multiemployer pension system. A number of large plans are on the brink of insolvency and the federal agency that assists troubled plans is on a path to bankruptcy. Action is needed to protect employers, workers, retirees, and taxpayers. Leaders representing labor and management have coalesced around a broad package of reforms, and the committee is working on its own solution to this looming crisis. However, this important effort cannot succeed without support from the president and his administration.
       
  5. Can the committee expect less interference and more cooperation with congressional oversight? President Obama promised an era of unprecedented transparency, yet the challenge of receiving adequate responses to basic oversight requests appears unending. The labor department has routinely responded to committee inquiries late, insufficiently, and sometimes not at all. On one occasion, the department slipped under the committee’s front office door a CD containing oversight materials along with the password to access the materials. This mysterious drop occurred after business hours and on the eve of an oversight hearing. Let’s hope our new secretary instills in the department greater respect for congressional oversight.

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Rockefeller: Staff Report Details Target's Missed Opportunities to Stop Massive Data Breach

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today released a staff report titled, “A ‘Kill Chain’ Analysis of the 2013 Target Data Breach.” The report details how Target possibly failed to take advantage of several opportunities to prevent the massive data breach in 2013 when cyber criminals stole the financial and personal information of as many as 110 million consumers.

House Panel Recommends Cuts to SBA FY 2015 Budget, but Boosts Contract Staff

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 12:00am
House Panel Recommends Cuts to SBA FY 2015 Budget, but Boosts Contract Staff» Contracting Bills
By Deborah Billings, Bloomberg Government

The House Small Business Committee recommended reducing the Small Business Administration's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget of close to $865 million by $50 million.

The “views and estimates” document marked up by the panel and sent to the House Budget Committee would zero out the $39 million requested for entrepreneurial education and outreach initiatives and redirect $3 million to the SBA's government contracting programs and office of inspector general; $1 million of that would be earmarked for additional procurement center representatives and commercial marketing representatives.

The focus in this area, however, should be on quality not quantity, according to Devon Elizabeth Hewitt, a partner with Protorae Law PLLC. Shoring up education and training for the existing PCR/CMR before diverting funds from entrepreneurship programs for additional staff would be a better alternative and go further to achieve the objective of getting small businesses into the federal marketplace, she told Bloomberg BNA.

The FY 2015 request includes $102 million for operation of government contracting programs, which is “roughly a $1 million increase from FY 2014,” according to the committee budget document. “The Committee believes that the SBA undervalues the importance of its mission to ensure that small businesses have a fair shot at winning government contracts and resources should be reallocated to help small businesses enter and succeed in the federal government marketplace,” it says.

Failure to Act on Congressional Mandates

During the markup, Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) criticized the “gall” of the SBA to request $39 million to continue duplicative entrepreneurship initiatives of its own making while failing to take action on changes to government contracting programs mandated by Congress over the past two years.

The changes, many of which originated in Graves' committee, require:

• new guidelines and reports on agency small business contracting goals ;

• improvements and expansion of mentor protege and teaming programs;

• establishment of a website for large businesses to post subcontracting opportunities for small firms;

• creation of a safe harbor and accompanying compliance guidance for small businesses that make a good faith effort to stick to the size-standard rules; and

• new regulations and procedures for suspensions and debarments.

So far, “not a single one of those changes has been made, and some are more than a year behind schedule,” Graves said. “In fact, the SBA's budget justification document makes almost no mention of these changes or any effort by the agency to implement them.”

The SBA is “hopelessly behind” in putting these changes in place, Hewitt said. The new requirements can't be in force without implementing regulations, but a number of pending rules are “languishing “at the agency.

Hewitt specifically cited expansion of the mentor-protege program to all small business contracting programs, which she said is a “game changer” that will provide real, not “theoretical,” access to federal contracts for small businesses.
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Committee Calls for Savings in Views & Estimates of SBA Budget

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 12:00am
The Committee on Small Business, led by Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), today conducted a markup and passed its Views and Estimates on the Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the Small Business Administration (SBA) that calls for about $50 million in savings from the President’s budget request. 

Each year, the Committee examines the SBA’s budget request, and lays out the Committee’s recommendations to allocate taxpayers’ dollars in a way that will improve the performance of the SBA and without diminishing services provided to small businesses. This year, the Committee identified wasteful duplications in SBA operations and recommends correcting that by eliminating $39 million in new spending for unproven and duplicative SBA-created entrepreneurial training initiatives. The Committee also proposes eliminating two outreach offices that provide services available from other government agencies with greater resources resulting in a savings of about $14 million. 

“The SBA, and every federal agency, should do their part in finding savings and providing services efficiently so that we can do more to reduce the deficit and get the economy back on track,” said Chairman Graves. “As the Committee’s Views and Estimates show, the SBA can save $50 million by cutting duplication and reallocating resources to proven initiatives rather than spending on costly and unproven SBA-created programs. The SBA should renew their commitment to the services that benefit small businesses the most, and fix or cut that which is failing. Bloated budgets are relics of the past.

“Our nation’s debt crisis is not only a burden on the next generations of Americans, it is a burden on the economy and small businesses now,” Chairman Graves continued. “This is not the time for federal agencies to look for new ways to spend more money. Unproven programs are a luxury the federal government cannot afford. Instead, the SBA should stick to running programs that actually work on Main Street, not ideas concocted inside the beltway; serving America’s job creators; and being the voice for small businesses that this Administration has too often lacked.”

Materials from the markup are available on the Committee’s website HERE.

Views & Estimates Highlights: 

• Recommends cutting approximately $50 million below the President’s FY2015 Budget proposal of $864.64 million

    1. Recommends eliminating $39 million from SBA-created initiatives for entrepreneurial education and outreach that duplicate current services of other programs.

    2. Recommends saving $14 million by eliminating two outreach offices.

    3. Recommends other modifications and staff reallocations that could create additional savings.

• Calls for rapid compliance with changes mandated by Congress over the past two years to government contracting programs overseen by the SBA – a process in which the SBA is lagging.

• Recommends reallocating resources for the following priorities:

    1. Improve recoveries on defaulted SBA-guaranteed loans

    2. Speed up improvements to SBA loan management accounting system

    3. Increase SBA personnel assisting small businesses with federal contracts

    4. Strengthen Inspector General’s resources to uncover waste, fraud and abuse

    5. Preserve SBA core missions and capability to serve small businesses

• Recommends preserving and strengthening access to capital, including an increase in the guaranteed loan program, and maintaining funding for the microloan program

• Recommends increasing funding by $2 million for Small Business Development Centers, funded at $113.625 million in FY2014 and the same amount requested by the SBA in FY2015.

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Rokita Statement: Hearing on "The Foundation for Success: Strengthening the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program"

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 12:00am

As you may know, the full committee recently held a hearing to review the federal investment in early childhood care and development. During the hearing, we explored opportunities to streamline and improve existing programs to better serve children and their families.
 
Today we will continue that discussion as we examine one of the largest and most critical programs in the nation’s network of early childhood programs, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, or CCDBG, program.
 
Authorized in 1996 under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act the CCDBG program provides funds to states to help low-income families access child care. Parents receive funds in the form of vouchers or certificates to pay for the child care provider of their choice, be it public or private, secular or religious, or in a home-based or center setting.
 
CCDBG is invaluable to parents who are struggling to provide for their families. As a father of two boys, I know firsthand child care isn’t just finding a place for your kids to go during your work day. It’s a far more difficult decision about choosing a provider where you can trust trained professionals will care for your child in a safe environment.
 
Unfortunately, this is where CCDBG falls short. In the nearly two decades that have passed since the last reauthorization of the law, it has become increasingly clear the CCDBG program fails to ensure states develop or adequately enforce the health and safety, training, and inspection standards that are the foundation for quality care.
 
Last year Child Care Aware of America released a report ranking state child care center regulations and oversight. The report found 10 states failed to conduct monitoring visits or inspections at least once a year. Even more troubling, five states do not check the child abuse registry before allowing an individual to work in a center.
 
With nearly 1.5 million children and their families participating in the CCDBG program, federal policymakers must take steps to strengthen the program and ensure enhanced program quality and accountability.
 
As many of you know, our colleagues in the Senate recently approved the Child Care and Development Block Grant Reauthorization Act of 2014. As Chairman Kline noted in our previous hearing on early care programs, the Senate legislation presents a solid foundation for reform.
 
I am pleased the Senate legislation includes language to raise standards for child care providers, requiring states to implement minimum training requirements and conduct annual inspections of license providers. These provisions will help ensure caregivers are equipped to handle common health conditions and emergency situations, while also promoting facilities that are cleaner and safer for our children.
 
The Senate legislation also takes important steps to enhance transparency and better inform parents of their child care options.  Under the bill, states are required to make public information on a range of key issues, including availability of child care services, the quality of providers, data on childhood development research and best practices.  
 
While many of these provisions will help to improve the quality of child care, we must also take steps to ensure these new requirements will help – not hinder – states in meeting the needs of children and their families. I also hope today we can discuss policy changes that work to streamline the federal early childhood system and help increase coordination among existing programs.

If we are truly here to fight for people, and to empower people, so they can build better lives for themselves and their families, access to quality child care is something we must address.

The reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act provides an opportunity to work together to advance bipartisan legislation that will help our nation’s most vulnerable children and families. I also look forward to examining the strengths and weaknesses of the CCDBG program, and discussing opportunities for consensus between House priorities for reauthorization and the Senate-passed legislation.
 

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Update: FDA Drags Feet on Approval of Internationally-Accepted Vaccine While Drexel Student Dies of Meningitis B

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 12:04pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded that a Drexel University student who died in early March was infected with the same strain of meningitis, “serogroup B,” that some Princeton University students contracted in late 2013. The two schools are separated by about an hour in the greater Philadelphia area. We discussed the outbreak […]
Categories: Latest News

District Court’s Attorney-Client Privilege Ruling Counteracts Incentives to Perform Internal Investigations

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 10:40am
Guest Commentary by Greg Brower and Brett W. Johnson, Snell & Wilmer LLP* It has long been assumed that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Upjohn Co. v. United States, reports generated during an internal investigation undertaken at the direction, and under the supervision, of corporate attorneys are protected from discovery by the attorney-client privilege.  […]
Categories: Latest News

Monday Morning Mojo: Chinese Bamboo

InteroMojo - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 7:30am

If it was easy…if all you had to do was work for a few months and spend a few grand before your business took off everyone would do it.

That is the conversation I have been having with several of the newer people who have recently joined our company.  Most of them are out there working their butts off 40+ hours a week.  They are doing all the right things but feel like they aren’t making any progress…they are getting super frustrated.   As I tell them…”good, you are right where you’re supposed to be.”

Our industry, like most entrepreneurial businesses, has a very high failure rate.  In the real estate business the failure rate is approximately 80%.  That means out of every 10 people who try to make real estate a career only 2 of them will make it…the other 8 quit.  I remind them that is a good thing because if all it took to be successful was a few months of work and a few grand then everyone would do it and there would be no opportunity at massive success for those of us who are persistent, discipline, and have faith.  It really doesn’t matter what it is in life…anything worthwhile takes time.

I have been listening to a cool book while taking my dog for a walk at night…BREAK OUT! by Joel Osteen.  In the book Joel talks about how the Chinese bamboo plant barely grows above ground for its first 4 years after being planted.  You can hardly see anything happening even though you are watering it, fertilizing it, nurturing it and making sure it is getting sunlight…you barely see a shoot in 4 years…talk about frustrating. It makes you feel like you are wasting your time.  But what you can’t see is under the ground it is developing a massive root system.  The roots are spreading out in every possible direction.  Then…in the 5th year, once the roots are properly established, the plant will take off and shoot up as high as 80 feet in the air…from zero to 80 feet all in one year.  That is how greatness happens at almost anything in life…in anyone of the areas of our F5 (Faith-Family-Friends-Fitness-Finance).  I know we all would like to just buy the winning lottery ticket and call it a day, but that is probably not going to happen.

Work hard, be discipline, have faith, and don’t give up!!!!  It will pay off.

Categories: Latest News

SBA Budget Request Faulted for Failing To Address Problems in Identifying SBs

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 12:00am

SBA Budget Request Faulted for Failing To Address Problems in Identifying SBs
By Bloomberg Government

The System for Award Management (SAM) and the Small Business Administration's Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database do not reliably identify small business government contractors, according to a House Small Business Committee memo on the fiscal year 2015 budget request for the SBA.

The memo faults the SBA's proposed FY 2014 budget request for not identifying resources to remedy this issue. It serves as a backdrop to the committee's “views and estimates” document evaluating the SBA's funding request for FY 2015.

The full committee plans to mark up the document March 25, the deadline for submission to the House Budget Committee.

According to the views and estimates document, circulated to committee members in advance of the markup, neither SAM nor DSBS fully addresses data flaws that cause large businesses to be identified as small.

In fact, problems with the legacy Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system “were only compounded with the transition to SAM,” the memo says. “SAM does not permit contracting officers to search for small businesses in a given industrial classification, thus limiting the ability of contracting officers to perform the appropriate market research to determine whether to set aide a contract for small businesses or to unbundle a contract.”

DSBS fixed problems with CCR “to some extent,” but problems with the system's search process have since surfaced. “The malfunctioning of DSBS undermines a key strategic initiative of the SBA—to ensure that small business contracting goals are met,” according to the memo. “If the SBA is unable to identify small businesses on its own database, one should not expect that other federal agencies should be able make such identification.”

 

 

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Hearings to Examine CCDBG Program and the Department of Labor’s Budget Priorities

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 12:00am

This week the committee will convene two hearings in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

On Tuesday, March 25th at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), will hold a hearing entitled, “The Foundation for Success: Strengthening the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program.” The hearing will provide members an opportunity to examine the challenges facing the CCDBG program and discuss House priorities for completing the reauthorization process.

On Wednesday, March 26th at 10:00 a.m, the full committee chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will hold a hearing entitled, "Reviewing the President's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal for the Department of Labor." The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor, will offer testimony and answer members’ questions on the department’s budget and policy priorities.

To learn more about these hearings, or to watch live webcasts, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.

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