Monthly Archives: October, 2010

Delivering transformation: Down at the Executive Leadership Conference

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So what exactly is the Executive Leadership Conference? Well its a gathering of about 850 federal managers and private industry representatives in Williamsburg, VA both today and tomorrow. There are panel discussions related to IT issues, sustainability, management as well as special speakers. Keep reading the website for stories related to this conference, so that you can get a bit of that information yourself. Of course, we know how busy our readers are, so we will be condensing and covering a lot of this on your behalf. Some key themes so far. 1. Collaboration. Almost every speaker has touted the…

TechAmerica to release IT reform ideas

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Next week, the TechAmerica Foundation will release its recommendations for reforming the procurement and management process for federal information technology. The recommendations follow the Obama Administration’s decisions last June to freeze spending on all large financial systems modernization projects and launch reviews of high risk IT projects. A group of 32 senior IT and federal aquisition experts from industry and academia collaborated to propose reforms, which will be released at a press conference on Monday.  The hope is to have the recommendations factored into the administration’s 2012 budget planning.

OSC issues Hatch Act reminder

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Yes, political passions are at fever pitch this election season, but federal workers are risking their jobs if they cross in the line into activity banned by the Hatch Act, the Office of Special Counsel warns in a news release. The agency is responsible for enforcement of the act, which generally bars partisan politicking on government time. As evidence, the agency cites two cases that it took to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Both involved workers who in 2008 sent fund-raising e-mails while at work on behalf of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. In one of those cases, involving an IRS…

2 postal workers killed in West Tennessee

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The FBI is one of several local, state and federal agencies looking into the fatal shooting of two women postal workers on Monday morning at a post office in Henning, Tenn., according to a CNN report. A dispatcher from the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department told CNN that the shooting occurred at about 9 a.m. on Monday. The names and ages of the victims have not been released. The Commercial Appeal, a community newspaper in Memphis, is reporting that the women were working at the front counter of the post office when a robbery attempt occurred. But the attorney general of the state’s 25th judicial…

Washington Post survey to feds: You make too much

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Attention feds, if you have read the Washington Post recently, a new poll there delivers a message in the form of a survey. Stop making so much money and working less hard. I know, I know. The survey results are here if you want to see. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/17/AR2010101703866.html The survey of 1,002 adults found 52 percent think federal employees are “overpaid for the work they do” while 33 percent think they are paid the right amount, and 9 percent think they are underpaid. According to the Washington Post poll, 49 percent said feds work less hard than peers in the private…

OPM leads cyber workforce focus groups

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The Office of Personnel Management is hosting a series of focus groups to garner solutions for beefing up the government’s cybersecurity workforce. Starting today, OPM called on dozens of cybersecurity professionals and hiring managers to discuss strategies and best pratices for recruiting and retaining highly skilled workers. During the three-hour sessions, participants were given a list of potential solutions and asked to rank them as being the best or worst options for attracting cybersecurity workers. Possible areas of focus include: -Establishing a governmentwide cybersecurity certification process -Mapping a governmentwide cybersecurity career path -Create a new occupation definition, classification,  qualification and standards -Invest more in…

Guffey to lead Postal Workers Union

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Cliff Guffey will be the new president of the American Postal Workers Union after capturing 69 percent of the ballots cast in a three-way race, the union announced in a news release. Guffey, APWU’s vice president since 2001, will succeed retiring President William Burrus. As he moves up to the top job, his immediate challenge will be nailing down a new contract with the U.S. Postal Service, which is seeking to loosen work rules. The existing contract expires Nov. 20; Burrus recently described progress on its successor as “slow.” More broadly, Guffey’s three-year term is likely to be dominated by…

Al-Qaida: Strike D.C. restaurants to kill feds

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The NY Daily News reports that the terrorist group Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is now calling for strikes on federal employees. In the second issue of the organization’s magazine, “Inspire,” AQAP propagandist Yahyim Ibrahim suggests wannabe terrorists open fire at crowded restaurants in Washington during lunchtime to kill feds. “Targeting such employees is paramount and the location would also give the operation additional media attention,” Ibrahim wrote. AQAP is the Yemen-based franchise of al-Qaida and is thought to have provided training and support to the alleged Christmas Day bomber. The Obama administration says American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is…

193 policies for securing DoD's networks

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Good luck trying to decipher the Defense Department’s color-coded chart of policies it uses to “build, operate and secure” its networks. The two-foot-long IA policy chart outlines 193 documents (including directives, strategies, policies, memos, regulations, strategies, white papers and instructions) that many information assurance professionals “may not be aware of,” Noah Shachtman points out on his Danger Room blog. Designed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Identity & Information Assurance, the chart is supposed to help these workers familiarize themselves with the policies that govern how they do their job. I guess the legend may be a good place to start, but even…

Happy … General Pulaski Day?

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The vast majority of the federal workforce has today off for Columbus Day, but Ed O’Keefe at the Post notes that in many other places, the tradition is falling out of favor. Some cities have canceled parades, or given workers a floating holiday in lieu of Columbus day. It’s not only the perennial controversy over Native Americans’ post-1492 treatment sinking the holiday — cash-strapped California dropped it entirely last year as part of a budget-cutting effort. O’Keefe’s got a poll that shows respondents are, by a nearly two-to-one margin, against the second Monday in October being a federal holiday. (But…