Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Defense Fraud Cases Fell During Bush Years

Fraud and corruption cases referred to the Justice Department by Defense Department investigators plummeted during the Bush administration, according to a report released yesterday by the Center for Public Integrity -- even as defense contracting increased.

Defense referrals of cases for possible criminal prosecution were 76 percent lower under President George W. Bush than under President Bill Clinton, the group said. FBI referrals also dropped, from 213 in 2001 to 86 in 2008. Meanwhile, defense contracts doubled under Bush, to nearly $400 billion in fiscal 2008.

Polar Opposites Attract

Antarctica may be the preferred lair of supervillains in movies such as "Watchmen," but in truth the land and ice mass around the South Pole is carefully watched over by a successful treaty system that guarantees it be used only for peaceful purposes. The Antarctic Treaty, which also provides for freedom of scientific investigation on the continent, will turn 50 this year.

That's apparently a good time for the body administering it to meet its polar opposite. Yesterday, the State Department formally announced the first joint session of the polar diplomatic bodies, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council, which will be held in Baltimore on Monday.

WHAT TO WATCH

-- President Obama continues on in London, where he will attend the G-20 summit and is expected to meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

-- At noon, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will give the closing keynote at the 25x'25 America's Energy Future Summit at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington on renewable energy development on public lands and oceans.

-- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan goes before the Senate Appropriations transportation, housing and urban development, and related agencies subcommittee for a hearing called "The Role of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in Addressing the Housing Crisis." Also scheduled to testify: HUD Inspector General Kenneth M. Donohue Sr. and Mia Vermillion, a senior loan consultant for Guild Mortgage.

-- AIG -- again. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing called "The Collapse and Federal Rescue of AIG and What It Means for the U.S. Economy." Former AIG chief executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, now chairman and chief executive of C.V. Starr, testifies.

-- Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) gets her formal nomination hearing to be secretary of Health and Human Services from the Senate Finance Committee at 10 a.m.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta FederalCity@washpost.com


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