Skip to main content

tv   Prime Ministers Questions  CSPAN  July 1, 2013 12:00am-1:01am EDT

12:00 am
>> tomorrow, irs national taxpayer advocate nina olson discusses a proposal on the taxpayer bill of rights and apology payments of up to $1000 to taxpayers whose cases are .ishandled herei looking at preparations for the launch of the insurance exchanges or marketplaces good and ross johnson talks about the purpose of the broadcast, how the government determines its effectiveness and concerns with leadership and oversight. live at 7n journal" a.m. eastern on c-span. .> they had a tremendous role without going to camp every
12:01 am
winter was huge. and he thought so. it wasn't just a valley forge. it was every winter of the eight long years of the revolutionary war and she hated it. it was dangerous. the roads were dangerous. she was a prime object for hostagetaking. .ut she was key to troop morale and he felt that very strongly and she would organize the other officers wives and they would cook for the soldiers. they would settle for the soldiers. they would nurse the soldiers and pray for the soldiers. they put on these great entertainments for the soldiers. washington's genius was keeping the army together and washington would say that he couldn't have done it without martha and he begged her to come to camp every year so that she could work with the troops and the troops adored her. lady washington is here.
12:02 am
>> as we continue our conversation on first ladies, they discuss first ladies from martha washington to michelle obama monday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. during this week's question time, british prime minister david cameron defended his government's proposed spending plans, which include department the cuts, housing costs, and changes to the national health service. shortly after question time, chancellor george osborne announced a proposed 11.5 billion pounds in cuts and outlined the governments spending plans for 2015-2016. this is about 35 minutes. >> the prime minister, thank you, mr. speaker. this morning, i had meetings with my colleagues and i should have further meetings today.etih
12:03 am
ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> gordon henderson. >> many people who have mortgages are benefiting from historically low interest rates. >> want reassurance can my right honorable friend give my constituents of their mortgages will continue to be affordable under his governing? >> my friend makes an important point. we do and a record low interest rates and that is good news for homeowners, and what we needed is to stick to the plans we have set up, have a sensible fiscal policy so the bank of england can keep interest rates low. one piece of advice i won't be taking is on saturday the leader of the libby pardon city want to control borrowing but on sunday the shadow chancellor said borrowing would go up. so perhaps the leader of the labour party would admit when it is tuesday, labour would borrow more.
12:04 am
miliband. [shouting] >> mr. speaker -- mr. speaker, last may the education secretary said, and i quote, work will begin immediately on 261 projects under the priority school building program. can the prime minister delta house how many have begun? >> what i can tell him is infrastructure spending under this government has been higher than it was under labour. we have around 14 billion pounds reserved for capital spending on our schools. we have had to clear up the appalling mess left by the building schools of the future program. >> ed miliband. >> i don't think he knows the answer, mr. speaker. i'll tell him the answer. the answer is, 261 schools were promised, only one has started.
12:05 am
now perhaps you can explain why. >> we've had to recover from the appalling mess of the building schools of the future program. that is the mess we inherited, as well as a record deficit. but it is this government as the chancellor will announce in a minute that are providing half a million extra school places. >> i don't think he knew the answer to that one, mr. speaker. let's try another one. in october 2011 he said he wanted to bring forward and again i quote from the prime minister, every single infrastructure project that is in the pipeline. so out of 576 projects set out in that plan, how many have been completed? >> let me give him the figures for infrastructure spending. our annual infrastructure investment is 33 billion pounds a year. that is 4 billion more every year than ever achieved under labour. now let me give them the figures
12:06 am
for both schemes. we are investing more in major road schemes in each of the first -- >> order. the answer from the prime minister must be heard, and questions to him from whichever side of the house must be heard. it's very clear, very simple. it's called democracy. the prime minister. >> mr. speaker, he asked the question how many of the schemes have been completed. you cannot build a nuclear power station overnight. and by the way, mr. speaker, they had 13 years. they didn't build a single one. now let me give him the figures. this government on rail is electrifying more than 300 miles of railway. perhaps he could tell us how many were electrified under labour. how many? nine miles. that is the labour record that this government is recovering from. >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, i'll tell him
12:07 am
about our record, 100 hospitals under labour government. 3700 schools rebuilt under the labour government. three and a half thousand new children's centers under the labour government. he's got no answe answers let ml in the answer again. the answer is seven out of 576, and five of them were started under the last labour government. [laughter] now he said it takes a long time to complete this project. i thought he might say that. 80% of them haven't even been started. more promises, no delivery. now, let's see if he can answer another one. last year the government said its new by guarantees to help 100,000 people buy a new home. how may people as he hopes of our? >> thousands of people, and has been welcomed by the entire industry. he talks about what was built under a labour government.
12:08 am
we saw the results. i pfi scheme that was still paying the debt, we saw the results, and 11% of gdp, budget deficit that this government will cut in half. those are the proof of what we are doing, and we all know that the one question he asked to answer is will he now admits he wants to put borrowing up. will you admit it is? >> ed miliband. >> every time i come to prime minister's questions, i ask you a question, he doesn't answer the question. he just asks me one, mr. speaker, and the only fact this house needs to know about borrowing is a promise he made. that's the truth. but, of course, let me answer the question he didn't know the answer to. let me answer the question. he promised 100,000 new homes under homebuying. the answer is just 2000. so at that rate it will take until 2058 to meet the target he
12:09 am
said. now, mr. speaker, the british chamber of commerce is the government's plan for infrastructure is, and i quote, hot air, a complete fiction or even the deputy prime minister has woken up to the problem, mr. speaker. he said at a court yesterday, the gap between announcement and delivery is quite significant. no kidding, mr. speaker. why should we believe the promises the chancellor make some infrastructure today when his own deputy said there failing to deliver? >> he asked for figures on housing but let me give them the figures on housing but we delivered 84,000 new affordable homes. the housing supplies at the highest level since 2008, house building is increasing at its faster rate than for over two years, and we have put in place 11 billion pounds for housing investment. but let me ask you again the question he won't answer. will be -- well, i know. i know he doesn't want to answer the question.
12:10 am
but that's what i have to say, mr. speaker, that is why half the country think that he is burned from the muppets because they believe the bronx -- he belongs at "sesame street," not downing street it will you admit borrowing would go up under labour? >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, let me say, we will swap places any time. here is the reality, here is the reality. the prime minister promise to balance the books but borrowing was up last year. he said we're all in it together, but living standards are fallen. he promised to get britain building. they haven't. all you need to know about this chancellor's spending review is the british people are paying the price are there failure. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, mr. speaker, let us -- [shouting] let us remember, let us remember what the leader of the opposition said at the time of the last spending review. he told us unemployment would go
12:11 am
up, it's gone down. he told us crime would go up, it's gone down. he told us volunteering would go down, it's gone. he told us that poor students would go to university. the percentage has gone up, and he does our immigration policy wouldn't work but we've cut immigration either. that is what we have done. as ever, wrong about the economy, wrong about everything, never trusted by the british people. [shouting] >> thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. today, the government publishes spending around for 2015-2016. can the prime minister confirmed that it rejects the representations to borrow list by borrowing more as proposed by the party opposite speak with my honorable friend makes a very good point. on saturday the leader of the labour party told us there would be iron discipline on spending. on sunday, the shadow chancellor on the television past five
12:12 am
times admits, yes, borrowing would go up. so there we have it. they want to borrow list by borrowing more. they want to spend less by spending more. i want to cap welfare by spending more on welfare. it's not just people at wimbledon sank new balls, plea please. [laughter] >> order. order. order. order. in -- order. in congratulating the honorable gentleman on his birthday, i call mr. david winnick. ♪ >> [inaudible] is the prime minister aware how shocking, the place has spent more time investigating the parents and
12:13 am
friends of stephen lawrence and the racist murder itself which took place in 1993? is the home secretary when she meets mrs. lord, is you going to apologize for what occurred? and is a really right for the police to investigate itself? >> i think they are will children make an extremely serious point. this is a very precise situation. the lawrence them have suffered appallingly. they lost their son. there was the third two investigate for year after year, and now they hear these allegations that the police were trying to undermine them rather than help them. my honorable friend the home secretary set out in the house on monday these two inquiries independent inquiries already underway. she has met again with them to make sure his inquiry will cover the allegations that were made overnight about the bugging by the police of a friend of stephen lawrence. but i have to say nothing is off the table. if more needs to be done, if further investigations are inquiries need to be held, they
12:14 am
will be held. this is not an acceptable situation. we must get to the bottom of it. >> my constituency is attracting a lot about of investment for infrastructure projects from around the world. doesn't prime minister agree with him one of the ways in which we are restoring the uk's credibility overseas by dealing with our dead issue and we funded public spending properly? >> my honorable friend makes an astral and point. that power station which for all those years under labour stood there completely empty and unused, the redevelopment is going to be starting this year because under this government would take infrastructure sagely. we get invested come into our country and will get projects started, unlike the wasted years under labour. >> what about bassett law? in the last him in his last six years, the labou labour governmt deliver 225 million pounds with a major infrastructure prects.
12:15 am
n the prime minister confirm that under his three years there has be such projects, zero stars of such projects? and when will the prime minister stop flopping around and get the new flyover and the new school guaranteed by the last government started in my constituency? >> the last government made a lot of guarantees. they wrote a lot of checks but they can deliver and they left us with this enormous budget deficit. but let me give him the figures. our spending on capital spending is higher than what labour bland. the annual infrastructure investment is 33 billion pounds. that is 4 billion pounds higher than they achieved even in the boom years. that is what happened. they had an unaffordable boom, a painful bust, and it's this government that is delivering the recovery.
12:16 am
>> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. speaker. prime minister knows this will come in those it has some of the poorest wards in the country. he would note that two of those wars were promised schools by the previous government. they didn't deliver them in 13 years. i've just been -- next year we will break ground on the other one. [shouting] >> when it comes to promises for the least advantaged people in our community they are very good a promising. we deliver. [shouting] >> my friend is right. they don't like hearing the evidence of the new schools being built by this government in difficult times. also, when we talk about the east of england, of course year after year there were calls for improvements, never delivered. delivered by this government. >> gregory campbell. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
12:17 am
the staging of the g8 proved that northern ireland is open to the world for business. now we need the business of the world to come to northern ireland. can the prime minister give us an outline of what you would in conjunction with the american administration and the northern island executive deliver a very successful inward investment conference in october to deliver thousands of much-needed private sector jobs? >> well, i'm grateful to the honorable gentleman. am looking forward to coming to northern ireland for this vital investment conference but i think what we will be able to demonstrate is not only the success of the g8 that was for northern ireland by the coming together of the uk government and the northern irish assembly with the plans for economic development, and also for breaking down the barriers within northern ireland between different communities. i think that shared future agenda is not just important for the future of the society in northern ireland. it's also important for the future of our economy, to.
12:18 am
>> thank you, mr. speaker. i recently met with amnesty international group where they highlighted the concerns about the risk of women in afghanistan. what reassurance can the prime minister give them for the government will continue its efforts to make sure that there is no return to the threats to women a facing in afghanistan in the past? >> my honorable friend makes an important point, we should continue to support the afghan constitution which gives important guarantees in this regard. i spoke to yesterday to president karzai, including about this issue of the afghan constitution and how important it is. what are making a major investment by supporting the afghan national security forces and also major investment through our aid program, over $100 million a year, that can help to secure these sorts of advances in afghanistan that we all want to see. >> further to the question the prime minister build on lastly, can he confirm that he has never had a conversation with lincoln
12:19 am
crosby about alcohol -- or cigarettes? the question is, has he had that conversation? >> as i said last week i've never been lobbied by lyndon crosby about anything. but the difference between me and, frankly, every member of the party opposite is i can also put my hand on my heart and say i've never been lobbied by trade union after trade union. [shouting] making donation after donation, fixing parliamentary selection after parliamentary selection. that is the real problem in british politics and it's time we cleaned it out the. [shouting] >> order. very important matters. he must be heard. >> thank you, mr. speaker. with armed forces day in mind this weekend, would my right honorable friend join me in supporting a campaign being run
12:20 am
supported by support our soldiers, the free press and the telegraph encouraging local residents to send boxes to our troops in afghanistan? we hoped we would have sent 500 to our troops. >> i congratulcongratul ate my honorable friend, every one who has taken part in this excellent initiative. i think actually these boxes, i've seen them not only been back here in britain but also unloaded in afghanistan, and i can see the huge pleasure and support that figure to our troops in afghanistan but i also think we should continue to use the money that has been raised from a responsible bankers over the libor in court, use the money to invest in the armed forces government. and under this government making real progress in delivering that sort of help and support to armed forces and their families and their communities. >> the prime minister told the conservative party conference in five years time we will have
12:21 am
balanced the books. that promise is going to be broken, isn't it, prime minister? >> with cut the deficit high of 30. will cut it further by the next election. but, frankly, coming to this house complaining about borrowing when you've got plans to put it up is a pretty odd political strategy. that's the question he's got to answer, ask his front bench. why is borrowing is a problem is the labour policy to put it up? >> thank you, mr. speaker. in 2008 labour had three boards, and now we find the ctc has very concerns over the impact will the prime minister support -- [inaudible] the sinister culture of cover-up in our images over the last decade? >> first of all, can i commend my honorable friend for this campaign that she is fighting
12:22 am
for, openness and transparency and clarity in our image as. i think she does make an important point which is there was a culture under the last government of not revealing problems in the nhs. the former health secretary shaking his head but, frankly, this is what the former head of the cq -- cqc, baroness young, appointed by the last government said. she said this, i know they don't want to get but, frankly, they're going to have to hear it. because it's important we understand the culture that went wrong under labour. she said this, there was huge government pressure because the government hated the idea that a regulator would criticize it by criticizing one of the hospitals or one of the services it was responsible for. that is what a barbara young said, and she said we were under more pressure when the right honorable gentleman became a minister under the politics. there was a culture problem under labour, and the sooner they admitted the better. >> we now know from the latest
12:23 am
figures that borrowing dead rise last year. and the prime minister will recall that the chancellor of the exchequer two years ago said we have asked the british people for all that is needed, there's no need to ask for more. today, why is he asking for more? >> we have to have a spending review to cover the year 2015-60 which wasn't covered by previous spending reviews. we have got the deficit down by a third. it is hard, painful and difficult work that frankly we are clearing up the mess that when he was a minister of the last government. >> thank you, mr. speaker. 16 to 18 euros can receive free school meals in schools, academies, free schools and university technical colleges but not in further education colleges like those in my constituency. will the prime minister act now to end this clear in justice left by the party opposite?
12:24 am
>> i'm very happy to look at this issue and i know that actually school meals are much in the news this week because it is weak when we should be promoting healthy eating and our schools. happy to look at this issue but we have to think very carefully about how best to use the education budget to give money directly to schools for all our children. >> i think the prime minister will agree with me that both his generation and mine were lucky enough to come into a labour market at a time of full employment and great opportunity. has he seen the oecd figures this morning, report that shows the gravity of youth unemployment in our country? and can we please, at this late stage in this government, have the determination to stop unemployment up to the age of 25 as they do in the netherlands? why can't we deliver that for young people in our country? >> i ou ask of you agreed with m the youth employment is a scourge. there's good news and the fact that unemployment has been coming down and youth unemployment has been coming
12:25 am
down. but where he's absolutely right is a shouldn't be the case that we've youth unemployment of 55% in spain, and yet under 8% in holland. we need to make sure here in the uk that we're performing alongside holland and germany, in the country with the lowest rates of youth unemployment. we do that by having a flexible labour market by helping businesses to invest in locate here, in fact is as we stand today, this country employment is growing faster here than it is in any other g7 country, including germany. so we are doing the right thing but we need to focus more on young people. >> [inaudible] underlying in his own hand that housing development does not trump the green belt. i gave his letter to martin, the founding inspect referring strategy, and i regret to report that he upheld the principle that green fields in the greenbelt could be identified for development against the
12:26 am
wishes of local people. will be now direct amendment of the national planning policy framework to better protect green fields in the greenbelt? >> look, what i would say to my honorable friend, and i remember underlining that part of the letter is the rules about the greenbelt have not changed and, of course, the local authority can only change the greenbelt by taking something out of the greenbelt and putting something back in, in consultation with local people. i know he is having a discussion with his local authority, and i'm quite convinced with the what we have in place we can get the balance right between environmental protection on the one hand and the need for more housing on the other. >> this afternoon, i shall vote enthusiastically for the high speed preparation bill, but can the prime minister explain why his instructed officials and ministers to oppose the extension of the trans-european networks north of london, which will mean that if we stay in the
12:27 am
european union the high speed two and other transport links to the north of england will not be eligible for funding? >> i guess they will be looking at all the ways we can increase the funding available for high-speed rail because as he says, it's very important not only that we achieve the high speed rail between london and birmingham, but we build up the next stages as well. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister knows how hard the structure to get a direct train service from london -- [inaudible] in december. unfortunately network rail are trying to prevent that from happening. we were the only county town in england without a direct train service to london. will he use his good offices to ensure this blockage is resolve the? >> well, i'm happy to tell my honorable friend that the transfer secretary will be meeting with them next week to discuss this issue. in terms of the answer i just did a moment ago on high-speed rail, i think we have to recognize that there is a lot of congestion on our existing main
12:28 am
lines, and high-speed rail will help free up services so we can have more direct connections, particularly to important towns like his. >> the department of business proposes to abolish the protection for the name sheffield that guarantees the quality of our manufactured goods. the ministry of defence proposes to move the headquarters of our territorial army regiment out of this city. what has this government got against the businesses and people of sheffield? >> well, first of all, on the issue -- sheffield is a fantastic city, it's a fantastic city, and their importance of britain's, a very important part of britain's of social base and about as effective original growth fund and other schemes we are investing in the future of sheffield. on issue of the reserves we are putting more money into the reserves, an extra one and a half billion pounds to make sure we can get the reserves up to the level of strength that is needed before 2020.
12:29 am
on the other issue on informed she should have some confidence. >> sir bob russell. >> military banks are forced not only to abandon armed forces but also the civilian population. the last labour government cut the number of army banks by a quarter. and this armed forces week with the prime minister give an assurance that there will be no further cuts in the army banks? >> the assurance i can give to my honorable friend as the chancellor was intimate, yes, of course we've had to make difficult efficiencies in the ministry of defence but there will be no further reductions in the size of our army, our navy or air force and we will continue with an equipment program that i think is second to none in terms of the capabilities will be giving our brave armed service personnel. >> mr. speaker, mr. speaker, you will recall that it was over a
12:30 am
year ago and you were probing of the exact date -- [laughter] when the prime minister announced the inquiry to be held by the lusciously named laura gold into a cash for excess skin on which major conservative party donor and were richly if not royally entertained at downing street and chequers. wind is the prime minister plan to produce the results and published the results of this inquiry? >> i'm very happy to set out for him all of the things that border gold recommend and all the steps that will be taking, but as we do so, perhaps he could impose on his front bench on the issue of donations, and he could ask them when they're going to pay back the taxes that they managed to dodge from their donor. >> thank you, mr. speaker. school dinners provide important in ensuring children eat healthily and in helping to tackle childhood obesity. would not right honorable friend the prime minister join me in welcoming the launch of national school meals week which is
12:31 am
taking place this afternoon? >> i certainly join my honorable friend but i think it's a very important cause because we have several problems over the years with school meals. they are not being attractive enough for young people wanted to take them on, and also having problems with the bcs will. for getting this right which is something that has been happening over recent years is extremely important and i speak as someone with children who enjoyed a school meals and it was a school to go on winning the battle for school meals rather than having to do the pact to launch. >> mr. speaker, the revelation that the metropolitan police may have withheld evidence from the inquiry is quite rightly been met with public division. but the prime minister's own answer earlier on you didn't go far enough. the public are not satisfied by the police investigating the police. norwell inquiry that is held in secret, no matter how imminent
12:32 am
the qc satisfy public opinion. so why not give an undertaking held a public inquiry with power to summon people and hear evidence under oath? >> as i said earlier i will absolutely -- we got to get to the bottom of this but to be fair this is not the metropolitan police investigate the metropolitan police. it to inquiry underway, one is mark allison qc who played a very major role in prosecuting some of those responsible who met with the home secretary day, and the second is the chief constable. we need to make sure that all the powers and everything they need. but as i said very clear, if we need to go further to get to the truth, we will. >> mr. markey spencer. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as it's been run is published with the prime minister usher the house that will be given the resources to clamp down on tax was like 700,000 pounds avoid by the party opposite and? >> i think i will bring mexican
12:33 am
appointed as a symbol to mention this in every prime minister's questions. i've managed to get in was and is a great pleasure, mr. speaker, to get in a game. they '07 hundred thousand pounds of tax that could be going into schools confident going into hospitals and it's about time they realize what hypocrites they are and paid up the money. >> thank you, mr. speaker. with over 400,000 housebuilding plots with -- remaining and build on in this country does the prime minister agree with me that we should note that pressure on companies to start building and creating jobs rather than to simply waiting for the profits to increase? >> i agree with you on believe that we need to do more to encourage businesses to build of the plots that they already have. that's why we've taken unprecedented steps with schemes like the health device scheme that a making of able mortgages and people. all those initiatives are asked to make a difference and housing start are radically up compared with two years ago but i don't
12:34 am
rule out taking further steps as well. >> mr. john baron spent the government deserves credit for having introduced the cancer drugs fund which is held over 30,000 cancer patients. since 2010 but can i share with the premise of there's growing concern about the lack of clarity regarding its replacement at the beginning of the year? we look at this as a matter of urgency? >> i am looking at this as a matter of urgency. i'm proud of the cancer drugs fund as my friend says, it is saved many lives but it is made of able drugs to over 30,000 people. it's been expanded to include some treatments as well as drugs and they certainly want to see this record that we build on and in the way put at risk. >> thank you, mr. speaker. last week the prime minister said the people on this bench effort and about the contact and i can assure my constituents certainly have not. in my city, in my city last week only 23, one bedroom homes were unavailable for rent.
12:35 am
of those, four of them had over 200 applicants. when is the prime minister going to admit that this is not the best way of reducing the housing benefit bill? >> the point i would make to the honorable lady, we are removing the spam subsidy because it's right to be there between people and private rented accommodation and people in socially rented accommodation. but this in a way is the perfect prelude to the spending review we're about to hear about. labour have told us they are not going be responsible about spending. are going to accept the cuts that have been made, and we here week after week backbencher after backbench, front bench after front bench accompanied by the >> you've been watching prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. it airs live every wednesday
12:36 am
when the house of commons is in session and again at 9:00. watch anytime at where you can find video of past prime minister's questions and other public affairs programs. next, a house hearing on the contracting practices of the internal revenue service. and remarks by jeb bush. then after that, comments on cracking down on chinese hacking. >> she was talking about the things she gave george, but that going to camp every winter was huge. it wasn't just valley forge. it was every winter of the eight long years of the hated ionary war and she
12:37 am
it. it was dangerous. the roads br -- were dangerous. she was a prime object of hostage taking, but it was key to troop morale. she felt that very strongly and she would organize the other officers' wives and they would cook for the soldiers, sew, pray for the soldiers, put on entertainments for the soldiers. and we've heard that during the war washington's genius was keeping the army together. washington would say he couldn't have done it without martha, and he would beg her to come every winter. the troops adored her. "lady washington it here." >> as we continue our series on women and the white house, discussion of first ladies from martha washington to michelle
12:38 am
obama. c-span. ght on cpsc -- he house oversight and government technology committee the government of awarding contracts with bad practices. the hearing is little over three hours. >> the committee will come to order. the oversight committee mission statement is that we exist to secure two fundamental -- fundamental principles. americans have a right to know that money taken from them is well spent. second, americans deserve a government that works efficiently for them. our solemn obblegation is to
12:39 am
hold government accountable to taxpayers, because taxpayers have a right no know what they et for their government. our committee works as cities watchdogs. a few days ago the acting i.r.s. commissioner issued a 30-day assessment on his plan of action for the future of the i.r.s. the report stated that in many instances across the i.r.s., we had efficient, effective anagement, or mtv -- effective managent that's leading possive organizational performance. unfortunately we're here today because failures in the i.r.s. e not isolated to just the tax-exempt division. the revelation that a companying strong castle, was able to acquire more than $500
12:40 am
million in potential contracts, or contracts with potential sales, would no prior experience undermines the idea that just one branch failed the american people. our report, we believe shows a cozy relationship between strong castle's president and the deputy director for acquisitions, greg roseman. it's the heart of this issue. in our in the -- report are exchanges of text messages that we believe are shockingly inappropriate and in some cases offensive. futhermore, the fact that mr. castillo was able to successfully manipulate the system and we are not alleging a crime, but successfully manipulate the system to exposes ontracts
12:41 am
staggering vulnerability in the i.r.s.'s acquisition process and jeopardizes billions of taxpayer dollars in this situation. quite frankly, we are not sure that we have criminal element here, that we have criminal violations. what we are sure of is that the intent of congress and the ated intent of this and each administration before has been thwarted. the intention of without a doubt that disabled military veterans receive preference flies in the face of a small injury in 1984 while attending the military academy prep school. one so minor that it had no effect on college football participation for years to follow and that took 27 years
12:42 am
to conveniently ask to have this put in as a disability, not because of the true disability or inability to perform a job, but in fact in order to qualify for a preference statement. additionally, the use of hub zones and in this case one that was a legacy hub zone that actually the verizon center and the other parts of washington, d.c. are moving out of that into thriving areas, the use of that in order to gain a contract and then creating absolutely no jobs within that district that were directly related to or in support of this $500 million contract. our investigation is still in its infancy. to date we are working with the i.g. and hope to work with others within the i.r.s. to end this problem.
12:43 am
as we speak,ing -- many of these contracts continue to be in force and perhaps that's the most distressing is that the i.r.s. officials initially denied and then repeated their denial that there was a problem. they failed to take action after this was brought to their attention and the i.r.s. is still allowing $266 million contract with strong castle to stand. the action by the inspector general when he was notified of these allegations almost a year ago was a lack of urgency that the american taxpayers deserve. in our valuation we find no value added performed by strong cast. i repeat, no value added performed by strong castle, although profits flow to that company over and above the full payment to the companies that actually provide the i.r.s.
12:44 am
with those services. no hearing related to the i.r.s. would be complete without mentioning that under obama care the task of the plent at reliminary least -- implent at least 47 expected to s, raise $1 trillion over the next decade and the need for hiring of new employees, the need for computer systems to work and work accurately begs the question of can we accord to implement obama carr if we cannot get the controls in place for existing of new emplo requirements? we are not trying to say that
12:45 am
one is exchange for another but 2 or 3 of money that or 4% savings could be passed on to the american peep. often on this dais we applaud, appropriatey, federal workers. i want to take a moment to make it clear the vast majority of people in the federal work force take contracting seriously. they scrutinize the cracts as -- and most often try to get the best value for the american taxpayer. because the best value is not ols -- always the lowest price, this is a difficult job, and it prirs -- requires absolute integrity. if we do not have full confidence in our procurement integrity, then we must choose the lowest price. not always the best value for the taxpayer buttle analytics
12:46 am
f best price versus best value depends on an independent, noncozy relationship between contractors and their contracts. most have that -- those characteristics. they're not always awarded the way most contractors would like but they are based on the best value for the taxpayer. in this case, we don't believe that occurred and that's the reason we are continuing this investigation the i'd now like to recognize and thank the ranking member for being my full partner in this investigation. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank you very much for calling this hearing. it is indeed a very important hearing ond -- and it's interesting, this hearing is to
12:47 am
examine allegations against a company named strong castle inc that has been awarded $51 million in obligations under information technology contracts with the internal revenue service. the first allegation made against strong castle last december was that the company's owner, a local businessman from northern virginia named -- how do you brouns that? -- castillo, took improper advantage of the struggling underutilized small business program, the hub zone, while setting up his companies here in washington, d.c. let me say i have a tremendous interest in hub zones. i've lived in what was
12:48 am
considered to be a hub zone for 32 years, in the same house, where i would imagine that black unemployment, male unemployment is probably 35% unemployment. where businesses struggle trying to become a part of this economy and trying to do well and i have lived long enough and seen enough to be able to tell you that i have worked with a lot of those small business people who have felt quite often that they weren't on the playing field. as a matter of fact, they felt that they weren't even in the stadium. and they have lived long enough and struggled long enough and now i've seen many of them die, asing a dream, trying to get there, looking for a playing field that is simply level.
12:49 am
but they can't even get on the field. and so the purpose of the hub zone program is to help small businesses increase employment, investment, and economic development in historically underutilized business areas. as part of this program, which is overdoctor overseen by the small business administration, companies may receive preferred status when bidding on federal contracts. in order to qualify, mr. castillo opened one small office in a hub zone near chinatown, the chinatown neighborhood of washington, d.c. he then worked with the head football coach at catholic iversity, his former college roommate, to hire college students living in a different hub zone near that school. mr. castillo's former employer and current competitor, government acquisitions, inc.,
12:50 am
filed protests with the s.b.a. and the government accountability office. the company accused mr. castillo of accusing in, quote, shell games," end quote, with multiple businesses and employees. it also accused him of, quote, manipulating the facts to gain the preferred status. end of quote. s.b.a. investigated these evaluations and decertified mr. castillo's company as a hub zone contractor on may 23, 2013. ask unanimous consent that the s.b.a. decertification letter be entered into the ecord. >> without objection, so ordered. >> the s.b.a. investigation said mr. castillo submitted records that were false and mes
12:51 am
leading the despite these findings, i credit mr. castillo for appearing before the committee today. nine-hour ted in a interview with committee staff. he provided documents to us and to s.b.a. and he is here to explain his actions. committee staff also conducted extensive interviews with almost all of his employees. another major allegation involves mr. castillo's personal relationship with an i.r.s. employee named greg roseman. mr. roseman did not disclose his relationship to the contracting officers who awarded contracts to strong castle. to his direct supervisor at the i.r.s., or to the i.r.s. office of general legal services. this certainly concerns everybody on this dais. mr. roseman was not the
12:52 am
contracting officers ultimately responsible for awarding the contracts to mr. castillo's company, but he participated in the contracting process as a voting member of the contract review board for two of these contracts. no i.r.s. officials reported having any knowledge of mr. castillo's relationship with mr. roseman. in addition, no contracting officials or other i.r.s. employees interviewed by the committee reported any inappropriate influence from mr. roseman on the contracting process. nevertheless, the evidence obtained by the committee indicates at least an appearance of impropriety because mr. roseman did not disclose this relationship or recuse himself from the contracting process regarding their personal relationship. his stillo stated during interview with committee staff,
12:53 am
and i quote, greg roseman and i are friends. end of quote. for tax the treasury reported that mr. castillo and mr. roseman had exchanged text messages on their personal cell phones that, quote, contained inappropriate language and lacked professional decorum." 300 of these text messages included both work-related and personal communications. they obviously included both -- inappropriate communications with juveniles, offensive homosexual slurs, and mocking references to another i.r.s. employee. mr. roseman has been reassigned ending the completion of the inspector-general's review and is no longer overseeing procurement matters. the committee was informed that mr. roseman is invoking his
12:54 am
fifth amendment right not to testify today. i'm not here to defend his actions but we are bound to respect that right. the chairman talked about the tremendous responsibility that the i.r.s. will now or has been facing with regard to the affordable care act. and i've said it from this dais before but i'll say it again. we, all of us, everybody up here, has fired people. all of us. and bad actors does not stop the show. this is the united states of america. we have problems in an institution and if people are not doing their jobs, they have to go. but that doesn't mean that the law, the affordable care account, should not and administered by that agency. we are a can-do nation.
12:55 am
we are a can-do nation and it is part of our obligation. all of us, to make sure, as the chairman has said, that we put right this ship and make sure that it sails so that it can accomplish the things that congress had voted for and that we have stood up for and that is the law. and with that, mr. chairman, i look forward to hearing from my witnesses and i yield back. >> i thank the gentlemen. all members will have seven days to submit statements for the record. i now recognize the panel. brad flor is senior vfer -- advisor for compensation at the veterans administration. mr. michael chotis is associate administrator of the office of entrepreneurial development at the u.s. small
12:56 am
businessstrations. -- herzlich missed last season as he was busy beating cancer administration. peth tucker, mr. gregory roseman, the deputy director or enterprise networks and tier system support at the internal revenue service. i believe that's a previous title but we'll use it for now. -- civic. aciss and mr. castillo is president and chief executive offer -- officer of strong castle. pursuant to the committee regulations would you please all rise and raise your right hands to take the oath. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? >> i do. >> let the record reflect that all witnesses answered --
12:57 am
answered in the affirmative. before i cannot -- continue and because this committee is acutely aware that one or more to e panel may choose assert their fifth amendment rights and because this chair does not want to have anyone waive that right accidentally, involuntarily, or in eye -- any other way, does anyone here at this time intend to invoke their fifth amendment rights? >> yes, sir, i do intend to waive my -- i intend to invoke my fifth amendment right to be silent. >> mr. roseman, you have not provided any written testimony today, is that correct? ok. i understand from your counsel that you may want to assert
12:58 am
your constitution privileges and you've already said that's correct. mr. roseman, today's hearing will cover topics including waste, fraud, and abuse in government contracting set-asides. as deputy director of enterprise and ti. r systems support at the i.r.s., you are uniquely qualified to provide testimony that will help the committee better understand technology acquisition practices at the i.r.s. to that end i once again must ask you to consider answering questions that will wear on that subject with us. mr. roseman, what is your title at the i.r.s.? > mr. chairman, my title is, was deputy dorve -- director of enterprise network and systems procurement. >> mr. roseman, to whom do you
12:59 am
eport at the i.r.s.? >> i respectfully decline to answer my -- any questions and invoke my -- >> would you do that once again? i apologize. >> mr. chairman, on the advice of counsel i respectfully decline to answer any questions and invoke my fifth amendment privilege to remain silent. >> mr. roseman, when did you first become aware of a company known as strong castle inc.? >> mr. chairman, on the advice of counsel i respectfully decline to answer any questions and invoke my fifth amendment privilege to remain silent. >> mr. roseman, are you currently employed by the i.r.s.? >> mr. chairman, on the advice of counsel i respectfully
1:00 am
decline to answer any questions and invoke my fifth inmate privilege to remain silent. >> lastly, mr. roseman, are you prepared to answer any questions here today about your role in the i.r.s. acquisition of technology products and ervices from strong mr. comings do you have any questions before i dismiss the witness? >> i have no questions as we to ect the witness' right remain silent consist president with the fifth amendment, i have no objections with the chairman dismissing this witness. ecpwhrp given that the witness


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on