tv Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao CSPAN March 10, 2013 4:05am-6:00am EDT
>> and you said when you answer the question, i guess this is what i am getting too. year to sides to these questions. -- you hear two sides. there seems to be -- some people have the opinion that win these cuts are made, these cuts are made to things that they don't have to be made to. in other words, you have some fat somewhere else that you can cut and not affect, say, programs for kids like me when i
was growing up in special ed. i am just wondering, tell me about that. explain that to me. is this something mandated, or what? >> reality is, our programs are focused on those that are most needy. in environment where we have fallen behind the world, 16th in the world in terms of college graduates -- >> marching towards the third world nation. >> when you look at the direct investment in education in how that impacts gdp, how it impacts employment, how it impacts earnings, and the research is pretty compelling that it is clear that investing in education is critical. we have no choice. >> my question is, again, i am going back -- is there some way we can have sequestration under the circumstances we have the right now that you can avoid the cuts in these areas?
i just want to know. the implication is that maybe the administration is trying to zero in on things a bit the headlines or whatever. i am just trying to figure out how strict this situation is. but simply put, that is where the money is. the money is in these programs. there are no alternatives. >> am i pronouncing your name right? i am sorry. >> yes, sir. i would agree that sequestration is an across-the- board approach to cutting, it will leave many things and funded, even things you don't want. since title one and special lead and those moneys, where the bulk of the department's moneys, that is where you will see the cuts. i think a better approach would
be looking at other ways of reducing funding. for the hearing was looking at recommendations were made. the deputy secretary brought up the issue up, there are programs. there are 200 programs in the department of education. not all of them are big money programs. why should we not look a little more thoroughly and holistically and what programs might duplicate each other. let's get to the point where we have duplication within the department and between the department and other departments that focus on education. one cannot look at that as a government and make cuts there? >> in other words, go through those programs, the ones that are not getting the most bang for the buck, and we can reduce or eliminate those but we have money for the others. is that what you are trying to say? >> yes. >> so there is some leeway that if these recommendations were,
within sequestration we are going right now, there is some leeway? >> i am talking about what we are going through right now. >> right now, i don't think there is leeway. we are all facing across-the- board cuts, including my office. >> what kind of cuts are you facing? >> i believe it is $3 million, my somewhat small appropriation. i would be furloughing all of my employees for about 10-11 days, including from myself on down, if this sequestration continues through the end of the fiscal year. we have cut out our contract for i.t. security, we are going to cut the support we give for risk modeling work, and we have told 4 -- 4 and term employees that need to leave by the end of the month, and cuts like that. we have greatly reduced travel,
which is very much impacting -- when your a criminal investigator, you have to travel to do your business. i am having to make choices in what cases we open and what audits to do. >> my time is up. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank the chairman. i yield to my colleague from ohio, mr. jordan. >> mr. miller, i just want to be clear with the chairman is questioning. you have not responded to the chairman's letter sent last week? >> i believe the letter received on the 28, i got notice of it on my return on monday. i don't believe a formal response has been submitted. >> tell me when sequestration past and that became a law. >> friday. >> and when the legislation passed requiring sequestration to take effect, do you know when that was? august 2, 2011. 19 months ago.
it seems to me when you get a letter from the chairman about sequestration, you have had 19 months to start playing and getting ready for it. he should have been ready for it in december. -- you should have been ready for it in december. so you guys did not start planning for this until the last couple of weeks? >> we plan on the implementation of sequestered. >> how long have you been planning for a customer >> we have been planning for it in varying degrees since the beginning of the year. >> 1 not before that? in past august 2, 2011. >> as i interpreted it, it was both parties and the administration. >> let me go to the statement that the secretary made, the now famous statement, it just means a lot more children will not get the kind of services and opportunities they need, and as many as 40,000 teachers will
lose their job. there are teachers getting pink slips and notices the cannot come back this fall. do you know where the secretary got that information, what information he was basing that statement on? >> the issue of the 40,000, which is the recognition that the bulk of funding -- it was translated with the current funding split -- billick >> did you guys do some studies, were you given information saying this is going to happen? we have surveyed schools across the country, did you survey those, or did you just sort of make this up? >> again, we have an understanding of the cost representative from -- we understand the basis of the cross structure. if consistent with the current allocation of funds as it is today --
>> of this was a guest at the department's made an portrayed to the -- this was a guess that the department made an portrayed to the american public as fact. >> there are examples, both in anticipation of sequestration and going forward -- gillon >> this does not say there are literally teachers now that are getting pink slips and notices that they cannot go back this fall. is that true? >> i believe the secretary has already said he spoken accurately and try to correct that statement. >> is there anything in writing that was given to the secretary before he made that statement saying you can say this, we think this is going to happen? >> i cannot speak specifically -- >> was the washington post accurate or do you think they
are wrong? >> i would presume that the washington post did what they thought was consistent with their reporting practices. the have also said there is an impact of sequestration likely on jobs. >> mr. lahood said flights to major cities could be delayed up to nine minutes during peak hours because we have fewer traffic controllers on staff. now the faa administrator admitted under question that the nine-minute delay in major cities was not based on any data or study. is that true? do you have any study, any data that says we know for sure this is going to happen? i flew this week, and it did not happen to me. >> chicago would be a good example. by having less controllers on duty, chicago has two towers. we would not be able to man the
north tower, which means one runway would be out of operation. >> the question is, is there any study that indicates this, in fact, is going to be the case. if so, was the faa administrator misleading the committee? >> of the administrator and a secretary were pointing out that it is difficult to measure precisely until the cuts are in effect. we know it will have a significant impact, and the primary impact will be on our busiest -- >> so once again, it is a guess. suggesting, without data are any studies to support that these, in fact, were going to happen. and we have the washington post calling the secretary been to -- education, saying he misled the american public to the tune of before pinocchio's. did you start planning for the
sequester like a good leader would do, did you start planning in august of 2011 when this bill first pass? >> we were well-prepared for january 1. we started planning in the fall. >> we now go to the gentle lady from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. miller, the i.t. report that through 2010, 90% of their audits that the issued since within six months. 53 of those audits were overdue by average of almost three years, including cost of $568 million. due to the running of the statute of limitation, it appears that costs questioned -- did burma lost ability to recover $415 million of costs. two years later, in january 20 fell, 42% of those audits were
still unresolved. my question to you is, is that acceptable performance by the department? >> i think we are in agreement that we need to improve our audits and a more timely way. that is directly well we have taken a number of steps, most recently with the formulation of a dedicated task force. we have already had a 33% reduction in the backlog and we should take debt to zero in the course of this fiscal year. >> but you agree have lost the opportunity to recover $415 million in costs? >> that becomes the total potential, of which general, based on findings and based on what is in the public's interest, the actual amount is typically a fraction of the total potential cost. i would not want to leave an
impression that the $415 million is the amount of recovery that would have happened. that would be misleading. >> i would agree that were probably would not have seen a recovery of $415 million. part representative. is that when you let the statute of limitations run out, you have an opportunity to do anything. all that money did involve school districts and other state and local entities that we know are not richly funded at the moment. on the other hand, part of the problem is not just the money, it is the fact that when you don't resolve the audit at all, you also lose the opportunity to have been due to work with the states and other jurisdictions to put in internal controls to make sure they are spending that money wisely. so you really lose a number of opportunities. >> mr. miller, how much money do
you spend -- how many resources are expended in the suspension and debarment process in the department? >> i am not sure, i don't have that specific kind of allocation. that would be an allocation of individuals across multiple functions, but we could get the specific investment where are making in the deferments specific process. >> it is could get that impression it would be helpful. >> we have had 150 apartments, through 2010, and i believe that number has increased since. >> what kind of offenses? >> a range of offenses, again, we could give you a breakdown of that. >> have any of these individuals been debarred permanently? >> that i cannot answer specifically.
>> inspector, do you have some comments on that? >> yes, i do. i think the department as try to make improvements in its focus on debarment, especially in the non procurement area. as far as grantees, usually the grantees themselves are people associated with grants that have been debarred, based off and on our criminal investigative work. to say grantees themselves are debarred i think may be overstating. usually the department does not bar a whole entity. it will take individuals out of that entity. i think that the department still faces a challenging budget challenges in making its suspension and debarment process affected. we did a report on a plaster that highlighted some issues. >> thank you. i yield back. >> following up on the gentle lady's questions, the $415
million, would it be fair to say that if you had every one of those situations where you are negotiating with the excess recipient, that the future savings by not having this repeat would certainly be as great as that $415 million? in other words, behavioral change would be the ultimate goal, in addition to any recovery? >> absolutely. we've not quantify the fact the chicken save money over the long haul by putting internal controls and to place. >> with that, we go to mr. jordan, and returning star is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. some members of the house and senate have said that mr. lahood's dire warning is not backed up with data. this suggests that the faa could
instead cut $500 million on consultants and $200 million on expenses of travel. do you think that is something we could focus on? >> we cannot achieve the savings that way, and i will be glad to document why. that refers point out what the sequester means. two-thirds -- i am sorry, three quarters. 74% or department is exempt from the sequestered. which means the sequestration cut fall disproportionately on a portion of the department, primarily the federal aviation and attrition. >> my question is, do you spend -- does the faa part of your budget been $500 million on consultants and $200 million on supplies and travel? >> war in those categories is
important. >> let me ask it another way. we discovered two weeks ago in this committee, that we all remember the gsa junkets to las vegas where they spent $600 per day per attendee for conference. if use that as a benchmark, 183 times various agencies have exceeded that mark in various conferences they have attended. i remember defense was over 50 times that exceeded that benchmark. has the deferment of transportation have a -- held conferences around the country and attended? do you know if you were above or below the benchmark? >> we stay within the party and requirements. i will be happy to get that information for you. >> which deal for just one second? when you said per diem, that is
how much the individual gets paid. but the general and was asking is about how much was spent. the gsa scandal was not about per diem. >> i am also referring to the per diem rate for hotels. >> how many conferences did you send a permanent transportation employs two last year? >> i will be happy to get you that. >> you don't know that information? it has been in the news, with the gsa, 183 times we have had -- use that number, and you don't know that information? you don't know how many conferences you went to? >> because we have already achieve the savings we hope to agree. i will be happy to get the permission for you. >> that is why we have these hearings. that is what it is all about. do you know how many times they went on trips? >> the german request to that information from that apartment.
fiscal year 2010, total cost, $12,833,000. the number of conferences was 49. >> where are going to have 90 minute delays because of the sequester. that is the kind of stuff that just drives the american taxpayer -- you know that information and the agency head does not, that is a problem. >> the single largest at a conference is actually safety training for air traffic controllers pierre >> what i am not set -- i am not saying that is not important. $12 million to 49 times. >> it was roughly -- >> there is no roughly two, there is a number. was it 10, was at 49? was it above or below 49?
>> below 49. >> the know how many it was? >> i am sorry, i do not. >> do you know the cost they had to travel on conferences? >> i don't have that off the top of my head. >> mr. miller, do you know how much the department of education spent on conferences and travel last year? >> the largest conference was the federal student aid conference. >> how many park -- how many employees do you have in the department of education? >> about 4500. >> he spent $10 million? that is amazing. here is the point. instead of having the secretaries of these respective federal agencies out schering the american people, maybe cut back on the conferences. maybe it achieve some savings for the american taxpayer. >> we now recognize the gentleman from northern
virginia, mr. connolly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gosh, if the american people wonder why it is hard to reach agreement on sequestration, perhaps that last round of questioning clears that up. i wanted even opportunity without battery new to into the question fully in terms of air traffic controller training, because there seems to be some confusion between conferences and training. would you care to explain what you were trying to get at before being interrupted? >> with the gentleman yield just a second? >> i would like to ask that the clock be stopped. if you would finish the answer, i would appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> what i was referring to with our air traffic controllers is, although some of the activities
are technically listed as a conference, there is a safety agenda or they are basically getting updated education on safety activities and other vital parts of their role. >> we think it is a very important part of what they do. it is management responsibilities to make sure they do their responsibly and make sure they do that as cost- effective as possible. for the last year and a half we have been carefully reviewing conferences, where, when, how many people go, and what the agenda is. >> thank you for that courtesy. mr. porcari, what kind of training are talking about for air-traffic controllers? how to party? how to have a good time and las vegas? >> this is serious safety
training. for example, there are a number of new technologies that are deployed. we share safety data. there are daylong activities where they are having various safety briefings and updates and participation. what we are trying to build is a safety culture. if you are familiar with safety management systems, it starts with the people and a holistic approach to safety. we think the reason we have the safest air traffic control system and safest aviation system in the world is because we have the best trained safety experts, including our air traffic controllers. >> training is not for a lifetime. one has to be sort of refreshed , with changes in technology, changes in new information, changes in technique. for example, we are getting ready, despite sequestration, to
invest in a new air traffic control system that will absolutely expand safety over the atlantic, for example, but there are some sort of training and understanding the technology that is involved. >> the state of the art technology is evolving very rapidly. there was a previous question about the number of air-traffic controllers today is a prose to previous. i mentioned the concentration -- as opposed to previously. the other point is very important is, we are bringing our air traffic control community into the design implementation of our next gen system. some of the early stutter steps that we had with modernization or because, in my opinion, we developed the system without an integrated project team approach. we did not have our controllers as part of the process. >> presumably that serves the public purpose.
>> is certainly serves the public purpose of safety, which is our number one priority. >> de taken issue with what mr. porcari has just said? >> on the basis of our available data, it appears to be accurate. if i could return to one of your earlier questions, and i do want to make sure that the record of this committee hearing is accurate. i certainly don't want to be in a position to have misled the committee at all. when i spoke of the conference expenses for fiscal year 2010, i had also hoped to bring to the committee's attention that the department reported to this committee for fiscal year 2011, having spent $3.40 million and 23 conferences for fiscal year 2012, $668,000 for 11 conferences. 2010 appears to be an unusually
high number and has come down since then. these are not audited figures but they had been supplied by the department to the committee. >> before rider time runs out, and i thank the chair for his graciously allowing us to answer earlier, but you are accused of scaring the public. will there be furloughs among faa employees, including air traffic controllers, and will that affect flight patterns and delays at the airport? will there be furloughs of employees and customs and border patrol agents, all of which can lead to delays at airports? >> yes, there will be furloughs of rfa staff, including air- traffic controllers. we have to reduce the volumes that can be -- aircraft volumes a can be processed at the most busy times. we know that will have a significant impact on reliability and on-time performance.
>> thank you for allowing the witness to answer the question. we now go to the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz. >> can you help me understand the formula as to how many days -- how many furlough days are there going to become and how did you come up with that number? >> in terms of number, with or in the process of notifying our employees that there will be subject to a maximum of 1 per low for two-week pay period, so in other words, up to 11. we arrived at that by first looking at all other available savings, including what we can do with contracts. >> so of the $2.7 billion, how much of the savings will be non payroll oriented savings? agree are you going to cut that is not the role?
>> we are cutting back with the number of contracts. one of the largest contracts is the contract our program. >> i am looking for a value here, the dollar amount. how much of the 2.7 is going to come from payroll and how much will come from other? >> with that federal aviation and ministration number, which overall a total sequestration numbers just over $600 million. we are going to have information technology savings for fy 2013 of about $36 million. we have a 30% reduction of travel costs. we are literally looking at every single contract for the federal aviation administration. >> i appreciate that you said you started this in the fall. here we are in march.
how much is going to come out of payroll? >> we believe that about -- i am sorry. i will get you that number. is a moving target. as we get further in the fiscal year, we originally thought there would be far more than 11 furloughs. we don't know the dollar amount. we are talking about maybe 11 days for someone over the course of a year. how did you come up with 90- minute delays. where did that number come from? >> the delay number comes from what we think can happen. think of the bad weather day in new york or san francisco or chicago. those types of delays that you typically get from weather activity. we think you will see because of
the pearl activity. i use for example chicago o'hare, where the air feel requires two towers. with one of them out of operation because of furloughs, we would take one of the runways out of operation. that is how we try to measure the impact. the other thing i would mention is that the number of impacted hub cities we think could be fairly significant. when any of those hopes are impacted it disrupts the entire system. >> the challenge i have is when we say significant or big. it doesn't sell like much of a plan as for specificity. i would love to know the breakdown between the payroll cost versus the others. you talk about a one-day furlough for every two weeks of work. is that for the 47,000 employees
at the faa? >> yes, it is for the 47,000 employees that would be subject to it. >> how many of those 47,000 employees are actually going to be furloughed? >> the vast majority of the 47,000 employees. the employees that work for some of the mandatory contract spending areas like the airport improvement program are not subject to it. a aip is subject to -- everything but aip is subject to furlough. >> how long would it take you to give me specificity on the questions we just ask? i appreciate you coming to testify, there are a lot of things to get prepared for. even have a plan, we would like to see it. we need to have specificity on most things we just went through. is that fair enough? what is of paramount time?
>> we have some preliminary numbers now. we know that there will keep shifting. i will be happy to provide those by close of business today. >> thank you. i appreciate it. i yelled back. >> would you also include to the extent and you can any steps that could have or are anticipated being taken from the beginning of the fiscal year? for scoring purposes, if for example you restrain hiring, you could have abated some of this starting sooner. i would just like to know to the extent that was planned or done. i know it is a moving number and part of the moving number is things that were not spent that had been anticipated to be spent. >> we have been in a hiring freeze at the faa for some time, as well as travel restrictions. >> if i could add to that list to quick things. the amount of bonuses that representative given out, and
the no. 2 is how much money you spent in iraq and afghanistan. there are 17 different agencies that are still spending money in afghanistan and iraq. >> we will be happy to get you those numbers. we have not awarded bonuses this year. >> we now go to the gentle lady from illinois, ms. duckworth. >> do you have data on how many aircraft land at o'hare that are controlled by the north air traffic control tower every year? >> yes, we do, ma'am. >> tell me if that was shut down, how many aircraft would not be landing on the close runway? can you tell me how many aircraft, takeoff and landing is are controlled by the remaining power at all here every year? >> we can get that as well. what can you tell me how much capacity there is that could be
absorbed by the single remaining air traffic control tower as it stands? >> we will be happy to. the same principles apply at numerous other airports as well. >> wonderful. do you know how many can get picked up by the other control tower, how many would not be able to be handled on a timely basis? >> yes, we do. what you are pointing out is very important. part of the estimating process for delays goes to historical patterns, whether it is for whether or any of the other thruput delays. >> wonderful, thank you. as someone who has gone up -- long most of my adult life as a professional pilot, thank you for the training received from the faa at the safety conferences that i attended. it gave me a far better and safer dod pilot, and now that i am a general aviation pilots, i
think it for keeping me say. in fact will be signing up from one of those training conferences on how better to speak with air traffic controllers in a busy internment. i look forward to attending the training in chicago that is coming up. my question will be toward mr. miller. two weeks ago i had a meeting with the superintendent of schools in my district, who has been planning on what would happen if the funding or cut for taiwan as well as special education funding. they know -- 4 title one as well as special education funding. they know exactly what it would cost them. do you know how much money this country spent on subsidies to the oil and gas industry every year? >> no, i am not familiar with that. >> it is four billion dollars. can you tell me what the cut in taiwan education funding will cut from the department of education? >> $750 million. >> how about the cut in special
education funding? another $600 million. so instead of slashing education funding, democrats offered a balanced alternative that would have made sensible cuts in our nation spending to subsidize the oil and gas industry that has had record profits, but republican house leaders have refused to allow a vote. if you could just could spending on oil and gas subsidies, we would save four billion dollars. i am concerned, mr. miller, that my superintendent schools in my district told me that because there is the requirement that they provide services for students with special needs and also for special education funding, what would happen actually win that title one funding is cut and when that special education funding such as remedial reading tutors is cut, they would still need to provide that. that means that would actually cut services to the mainstream students.
can you speak a little bit about what this would do in districts that would have to ship the pressure from students with special needs to mainstream students and what would you across the nation if these cuts were to go through? >> the requirement is a need to provide a free inappropriate education. there's that minimum standard. as the federal resources are compromised, they need to ensure there still delivering against that standard. is also at a time when many districts like yours are investing in not just the basic services for those children, but they are investing in numerous structural technologies that will be more effective at accelerating burning. you are having to do with expansion of students that don't speak english as their native language, as they are putting in new data systems and preparing
for higher standards that are international benchmarks. it is not only the loss of resources but frankly the leadership that is being spent to do the budget manipulation that is taking precious time from these other meaningful reforms. it is a compromise in the ability to improve our education system. >> can you tell me if you will be keeping data on what the sequestration cuts will do to educational programs across the country? i know some of this is based on historic trends and there has been discussion on the lack of data. will you be keeping data on what it does to funding education and to what its implement across the nation? >> we will continue to capture the data that is currently allowable. there are restrictions in terms of the types of data that we can capture 72 are statutory and regulatory authorities. we will capture the data to
continue to understand the impact of sequestration. >> thank you, i am out of time. >> thank you, madam chairman. and thank you to the panel for being here. i knew you are taking some heat today, probably because of lack of some leadership at the top and some inaccurate and incomplete statements that have been made. mr. miller, let me ask you a question. the statement was made earlier by one of our committee members that we are dangerously close to being a third world country status educationally. i am not sure of the accuracy of that, but improper payments in the department of education,
pelgrin program specifically, that exceeded -- pell grant programs that exceeded the threshold for year, seems to be a problem. in 2010 improper payments exceeded $1 billion. mr. miller, i would ask what steps has the department taken to reduce the amount of improper pell grant payments. >> we of taken a number of steps. first of all, i would like to highlight that the rate of improper payments has dropped significantly. >> i am glad for the rate. i guess i am asking what are you doing to stop it? what steps have been taken? >> i think it is important because it speaks to the impact of the steps that were taken.
the percentage that is subject to improper payment has been decreased. we take a number of steps to work specifically with financial aid officers in the to our schools to better insure that we have the right students taking out the right amount of loans, subject to the statutory restraint that we have. we are working to better understand where there is potential risk of inappropriate actors, not meeting edgett -- eligibility requirements. specifically on the front end is fafsa. we work with the irs, with income verification, to minimize the risk -- >> why are so few using the irs tool? >> i would not characterize that so few are using the irs to. is not as much as we would like, and that is one of the things we are continuing to try to promote. >> go on.
and the additional action you are contemplating taking? the rate may be going down, but we have gone up in dollars. >> the most recent dollars we went up over $1 billion. >> part of this is overpayment and underpayments. we are continuing to address both. we are trying to impact where it allows us to better recover funds for the federal barman. >> let me address the same concern, as you explained in your statement, some of these payments occur when applicants report fraudulent information to receive grants. is the fraudulent reporting the main cause for the improper payments, or has your office
identified any other reasons? >> that is one reason but by no means the only reason. that is why i think the department's actions in the income madge are inevitably going to be limited in helping improper payments. the problem is, just let me speak about the irs drt, which deputy secretary miller talked about. the problem there is, we don't think anyone who wants to defraud the government is going to pick the irs data retrieval system. what is the department doing to manage those students or those applicants, shall we say, some of whom might not really be students, who are not otherwise chosen for verification by schools that their application information -- what is the department doing to fix that problem? >> what are they doing? what have you found?
>> we have not found that they are doing anything. i would also like to highlight that we do have a problem with how the error rate is being calculated to begin with. we do recognize it has gone down, and i think it shows that there has been some modest success in the irs drt match. but i think that the way the error rate is calculated is just based on a statistical study with the irs based on income. there is also fraud related to the number of dependents and a number of issues like that that can happen. >> we talked about the other issues, $750 million that could go to special needs programs. now over a billion dollars of fraud, wasted revenue going to education. i think we've got a problem. i yield back. >> thank you very much.
i yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. cartwright. >> thank you, madam chairman. first, i would like to emphasize how much i value the work of art inspector general community. your work is critical for everybody who, like me, once our government to work. and work better and be more efficient. so thanks for your work in addition to being here today. i want to invite you to answer these questions. the sequester is arbitrary -- the sequesters arbitrary across- the-board cuts also applied to the office of the inspector general. am i correct in that? >> that is correct, sir. >> the question is, how are your offices impacted when your budgets are cut? >> certification, if i may, we have heard from the other witnesses about how sequestration is impacting their
offices. is the fact that sequestration will impact our office. my fear has been that because, for instance, as the faa is subject to sequestration, my office is also buried personnel heavy. if we were going to get hit, that is where it was going to happen. if i am to accomplish my mission, i would have to have my staff on desk. my focus was to minimize the impact on my staff, keep them at work. i am happy because i am getting mission. what we have been doing since late 2011 has been to focus on eliminating, reducing all expenses not staff relating, minimize those to the greatest extent possible, and then see how we could ride out sequestration.
in the interest of full disclosure, my office is the recipient of some degree of extra funding and also for hurricanes and relief. that has representative -- brought us some flexibility. but we could not get to the position where we are today, which is that we will not furlough any of our staff were not for the cost reduction measures that we have had in place for a long time. we have had a hiring freeze in place since august 2011. we have reduced printed space. we have not paid any bonuses. we have withdrawn from the student loan repayments program. across the board we have saw to cut every single expense we possibly could. >> let me jump in there. according to data provided to this committee, at the end of february 2013, your office had about 10% fewer full-time equivalents then you had in fiscal year 2010. is that correct customer correct
that is true. we are, in fact, at the lowest strength level in history of our office since the inspector general act was enacted in 1978. >> what impact has a reduction had on your work? >> datapoint, whether it is a completely -- it is an imperfect measure, and i will acknowledge this. in 2004, each ig was responsible for budgetary resources. in 2012 we are responsible for covering $192 million of the burma budgetary resources. last year with an example where in our criminal investigation side, i regret to say, we have had to take a pass on information that was provided to us to see whether we believe we need to dedicate an investigatory resource, a staff person to participate with other
agencies investigating that offense. we did not have the personnel and we decided that the expenses in participating in that investigation would be too great to justify it. we have also taken steps internally to increase the degree of scrutiny that we will need to apply to every single request, whether from the department or from congress, for audit support. >> i want to jump in there and give ms. tighe a chance. your staff expressed concern a reductions in your office. what impact does this have on your ability to conduct audits and investigations? >> is certainly will have an impact. as i mentioned earlier, 70% of our budget is salaries and benefits. the next highest increment of finding of the common sobor we
pay to the department for i.t. and other costs that i cannot control. then we have our financial statements contract. after that, travel, training, and smaller contracts. we are cancelling or will cancel those contracts which support our data risk modeling. we will be furloughing our employees from me on down for about 11 days, 10-11 days through the end of the fiscal year. that will have a very real impact on our work, our audit and investigative work. we are already turning down cases. we are shifting priorities. we are telling our criminal investigators in the field that they can only open the highest priority things, and they better watch what they do. our audit work, we had put on our audit plan for this year, for example, a project to look
at the grantees for the race to the top money, which is one of the big dollar, mark key initiatives of this administration. i don't go for it will have the travel money to go out to those grantees. >> next is that gentleman from tennessee. >> thank you all for being here today. we have catalogued discussion today about sequester and we have talked about where we need to cut spending in how difficult this is going to be. it has been kind of contentious and it seems like people have gotten a little defensive. that me ask the panel, do you agree, just looking at the big picture, looking at the government and the budget and the deficit, do you believe have a spending and deficit problem in this country? mr. miller, we will start with you. >> based on my reading of the press, i believe that there is a
consensus that we need to address the deficit to preserve the long-term health of the country. >> so we cut $85 billion and we also had a tax increase that raised about $60 billion in taxes. so we have taken a kind of balanced approach. is that in line with what you think we need to be doing right now based on the $17 trillion in debt? but to be clear, my area of focus is the department of education. the administration view is that we need a balanced approach. >> are committees you are to make sure we are spending taxpayers' money properly. >> as a citizen and a taxpayer, not as an ig, i would say that certainly a balanced approach makes sense. i cannot help but think there is government spending that can be
cut. programs that can be run more wisely. i know that the entitlement programs or a pot of money that ought to be looked at in some fashion. i say that as a few years off myself from receiving some of that. in taxes, and i am no expert on tax policy, but nothing should be off the table in my opinion. >> do you want to pay more taxes? >> my husband doesn't. i feel sometimes it is the price of paper better society. whigs i think the balanced approach is the right way to go as a citizen and taxpayer. >> i want to leave the policy decisions to all of you. >> it is easier to cut other people spinning than your own. i am disappointed to hear mr. miller saying we are taking a
hatchet to education. do you truly believe there is no waste in education? for three decades, a trillion dollars put in and their math, science, and reading scores are essentially flat. we are not seeing a return on the pell grant investment. we have had 19 months to prepare for this. is there nothing in the department of education than you can look at that you would want to cut first, before you start saying we are going to take a hatchet to headstart and special-education programs? that sounds like scare tactics. is there not a better approach in prioritizing spending cuts? >> we have. what you have seen is our proposal with the support of congress to eliminate 49 programs. it has been very consistent with trying to make some smart trade-
offs. in an environment where we are actually raising the standards because not enough states have competitive standards, we are putting more challenge are educations to do more better and faster. >> we all know that sequestration -- we talked about the republicans taking these draconian cuts. sequestration was a failure by both sides of the aisle to come to an agreement, so we have to make cuts. there are going to be more coming. i would suggest that maybe this is a good learning experience today, that we are going to see more cuts, and maybe we need to prepare as we go on. you are talking about the 47,000 air-traffic controllers, and we are going to have to furlough them and take up to 11 days out of the year. i know there has been increases in salary. could there be a pay cut, before we decide taxpayers will have to
delayed flights. nobody wants to give up anything, they just want to take more. the problem we have right now is excess spending. we all see it. we know that sequestration was the responsible thing to do. instead of us -- instead of all of us feeling good after admitting we have a spending problem, we have taken the first of been doing the right thing, and we should not be sitting here wining and complaining about what we have to do, because we have a lot more of it to do. i know my time has expired. >> i would point out that our employees are taking a pay cut of up to 10% for the remainder of this fiscal year. we have four very heart of the last couple of years to have a
good working relationship and appropriate collective bargaining relationship with our air traffic controllers. we have a 180 degree turn in terms of the working relationship that shows up and how we implement things like next gen with our work force. i would point out i think we run the risk of undoing an unraveling that. >> within the context structure, you can have a reduction in force, you can have furlough, if i understand correctly, by simply reducing the amount of paper our is not contractually allowed, is that correct? >> that is my understanding. the collective bargaining process with our air traffic controllers for furloughs. >> i just want to make sure we understand what the government
can or cannot do. i want us to just stick to the ones that you could do at this juncture. >> with that we go to the gentleman from missouri. >> for the record, let me state to my friend from tennessee that the american people know exactly what is going on here in this congress, which is nothing. we shirk our responsibility with the circle of minutes we -- with the super committee. we shirk our responsibility with simpson-bowles. and they don't like it. the american people are smarter than that and they know that we are not doing a thing. let me direct a question to mr. miller and ms. tighe. in 1994, there were only seven states with charter schools. 60 operational