Category Archives: Government Accountability Office

Today’s Fail is brought to you by the letters T.S.A.

It’s been a while since I’ve rummaged in the giant sack o’ fail. Here’s one (via the Government Accountability Office):

TSA has designed and implemented risk-based national and local covert testing programs to achieve its goals of identifying vulnerabilities in and measuring the performance the aviation security system, and has begun to determine the extent to which covert testing will be used in non-aviation modes of transportation.

This tells us two things:

1. Reporters got tired of demonstrating how easy it is to smuggle a Howitzer onto a plane so the TSA had to pick up the slack.

2. Soon you might not need to go to an airport to get pissed off when you need to get somewhere.

What else?

TSA’s Office of Inspection (OI) used information on terrorist threats to design and implement its national covert tests and determine at which airports to conduct tests based on the likelihood of a terrorist attack. However, OI did not systematically record the causes of test failures or practices that resulted in higher pass rates for tests.

Do what?

Without systematically recording reasons for test failures, such as failures caused by screening equipment not working properly, as well as reasons for test passes, TSA is limited in its ability to mitigate identified vulnerabilities.

Well, you know that. And I know that. I bet I could make one of the brighter cats understand the concept. But apparently the people who are supposed to protect us ZOMG FROM THE BIGGEST THREAT EVAR WE’RE ALL DOOOMED!! don’t get that when you find a hole, you fill the hole. You do not, for example, put a check mark next to the hole to indicate you have seen the hole and then proceed to the next hole.

OI officials stated that identifying a single cause for a test failure is difficult since failures can be caused by multiple factors.

Once more, with feeling!

OI officials stated that identifying a single cause for a test failure is difficult since failures can be caused by multiple factors.

I rarely fly because I’m not a sadist and it is boring. I also may have mentiond that strange and inappropriate shit makes me laugh. So if forgive me when I say this made me laugh very hard.

Your tax dollars at work being funneled into the pockets of the FoCs, folks!

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Filed under Fail Watch, Government Accountability Office, The War Against Terror

Commence Operation Smoke Screen

To quote the great Kinky Friedman, the EPA’s looking a little nervous in the service (via the AssPress):

The Environmental Protection Agency is telling its pollution enforcement officials not to talk with congressional investigators, reporters and even the agency’s own inspector general, according to an internal e-mail provided to The Associated Press [emphasis mine – ed.].

Oookaaay. This is exactly like your boss telling you not to talk to the cops when your company is under investigation. Go ahead. Try it. “My boss told me not to talk to you,” will make the cops laugh merrily. And then they will throw your ass in jail.

Of course, like your boss (should he ever feel the need to tell you not to talk to the cops), the EPA seems to be a mite confused:

“There is nothing … that restricts conversation between enforcement staff, the press, GAO and the IG, and the procedure is consistent with existing agency policies,” the statement said. “No one has to get permission or approval to speak with the IG or GAO [emphasis mine, again – ed.].”

As per bAdmin SOP, the preceding paragraph contains a contradiction and a lie:

In a statement issued Monday, the Office of Inspector General said it did not approve of the language in the e-mail and was engaged in discussions with enforcement officials to ensure the electronic dispatch would not hinder its access to information.

Gee, maybe if they spent more time protecting the environment they wouldn’t have to worry about … Nah!

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Filed under Environment, Fail Watch, Government Accountability Office, Misguided Self-justification

I’m feeling lazy.

Find your own fail.

Or insert a Furry joke here.

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Filed under Fail Watch, Government Accountability Office, Lazy Latte Sipping Islahomo

You gotta have faith

Things that come as a surprise to absolutely no one (via the GAO):

As of August 2006, HHS, states, and researchers had made a variety of efforts to assess the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs, but a number of factors limit the conclusions that can be drawn about the programs’ effectiveness. ACF and OPA have required their grantees to report on various outcomes used to measure program effectiveness. To assess the effectiveness of its grantees’ programs, ACF has analyzed national data on adolescent birth rates and the proportion of adolescents who report having had sexual intercourse. Additionally, 6 of the 10 states in GAO’s review worked with third-party evaluators to assess the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage programs in their states. However, the conclusions that can be drawn are limited because most of the efforts to evaluate program effectiveness have not met certain minimum criteria that experts have concluded are necessary for such assessments to be scientifically valid. Additionally, the results of some efforts that do meet such criteria have varied.

Science? We don’t need science! We’ll just trust in the Lord to override the naughty impulses surging through our kids’ bodies!

Yeah, how’s that working for you?

We identified two key studies that experts anticipated would meet the criteria of a scientifically valid effectiveness study. Experts and federal officials we interviewed stated that they expected the results of these two federally funded studies to add substantively to the body of research on the effectiveness of abstinence-until-marriage education programs. One of these key studies—the final Mathematica report, contracted by ASPE, on the State Program—has been completed. In this report, the researchers found that youth who participated in the abstinence-until-marriage education programs were no more likely than control group youth to have abstained from sex, and among those who reported having had sex, they had similar numbers of sexual partners and had initiated sex at the same average age. The youth in abstinence-until-marriage education programs also were no more likely to have engaged in unprotected sex than control group youth.

Unfortunately, expecting the little piggies latched on to this particular teat of the government (you didn’t actually think anyone gives a fuck about the kids did you?) to wean themselves is like expecting a preacher to admit he’s been snorting meth off a hooker without a fight.

Hurry up 2009.

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Filed under Fail Watch, Government Accountability Office, Misguided Self-justification