Check out the map embedded below (or online here) to see where Capitol Police officers were most active between January 1, 2019 and June 1, 2020.
by Jason Briefel and Maggi Molina
A president will appoint more than 4,000 individuals to serve in an administration, yet “there is no single source of data on political appointees serving in the executive branch that is publicly available, comprehensive, and timely,” according to the Government Accountability Office in a March 2019 report.
Instead, these positions are compiled and published exactly once every four years in a congressional document known as the Plum Book (officially the United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions). This book is published only in December after a presidential election (before the president even gets sworn in) and includes important data for each position, including title, salary and location.Continue reading “The PLUM Act: Transparency for Political Appointees”
Last year the House released a valuable report on staff pay, benefits, and diversity. We took a look at the data to answer the question, are better pay and benefits really correlated with staff staying on board? The short answer is yes.
We’ll be releasing a series of short articles focusing on different variables and their impact on staff longevity. This article, the first in that series, focuses on the impact of cost of living adjustments (COLAs) on staff retention.Continue reading “Pay Study Data: Relationship of Cost of Living Adjustments & Staff Longevity”
Following up on our extensive review of US Capitol Police, we compiled the USCP’s Statement of Disbursements (the ones we could find). USCP is legally required to submit these statements to Congress, but they are not available online. Here’s our letter to USCP asking for the last five years of statements:Continue reading “Capitol Police: Statement of Disbursements”
Congressional staff are generally overworked and underpaid. Talented employees with vast institutional knowledge are eventually forced to choose between Congress and a sustainable lifestyle; the result is a Legislative Branch brain drain with employees leaving for better paying jobs in the Executive Branch or private sector. On top of that, Congress has a diversity problem: staff don’t reflect the constituency their bosses represent.Continue reading “New Data on House Staff Pay and Retention”
After the 2008 financial collapse and subsequent stimulus, the RAT Board — Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board — was established to track itemized spending of $840 Billion disbursed by 29 federal agencies. Funding was tracked by zip code, agency, recipient, and funding category.Continue reading “The RAT Board: How to Monitor Coronavirus Relief”
By Maggi Molina and Dan Lips
Congress faces major challenges in 2020—including the Coronavirus pandemic and addressing its significant disruptions to our way of life. With the Congressional Budget Office already forecasting trillion dollar federal deficits through 2030, lawmakers may have less flexibility to authorize new spending to address these problems.
One way for Congress to improve the government’s balance sheet would be to stop federal agencies from making improper payments. “Improper payments” doesn’t sound that bad — perhaps you used Paypal instead of Venmo — but they are essentially illegal payments. These are payments that should not have been made or that were made in incorrect amounts.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported that federal agencies made $175 Billion in improper payments in 2019. Of those, $75 Billion (or 42 percent) were reported as a “monetary loss, an amount that should not have been paid and in theory should or could be recovered.” More than two-thirds of the improper payments were concentrated in three programs: Medicaid, Medicare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
GAO warned that the problem could be even bigger: “The federal government’s ability to understand the full scope of its improper payments is hindered by incomplete, unreliable, or understated agency estimates,” among other issues. Indeed, a number of agencies do not accurately report this information.Continue reading “Congress Can Save Taxpayers Billions By Using Data Science to Stop Improper Payments”
For the week ending April 2, 2020, there were 4 Capitol Police incidents reported; 4 individuals arrested. Only 3 of the 4 incidents reported were within USCP jurisdiction. There were 3 traffic related incidents, including two invalid traffic permits. Numbers continue to decline as the US Capitol Complex stays closed and DC’s stay-at-home order goes into effect.Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending April 2, 2020”
For the week ending March 26, 2020, there were 4 Capitol Police incidents reported; 5 individuals arrested. There was 1 traffic related incident.
Here’s how this week’s activity was distributed:Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending March 26, 2020”
For the week ending March 19, 2020, there were 13 Capitol Police incidents reported; 13 individuals arrested. There were 6 traffic related incidents, including 2 invalid permit arrests.
Here’s how this week’s activity was distributed:Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending March 19, 2020”