Author Tim Kauffman

Sound off on carbon footprint accounting

0

My cover story in this week’s Federal Times details the federal government’s new goal to cut indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent during the next decade. The bulk of the story explains the impact on federal workers — more telecommuting, fewer business trips out of state, increased recycling and energy conservation efforts. But as I mention in the article, this is just part of a much larger undertaking to measure and shrink the government’s entire carbon footprint, including the energy used in federal facilities and vehicles. Under an October executive order from President Obama, all agencies must undertake their…

Energy Department embraces Web 2.0

0

The Energy Department today expanded its digital outreach efforts by launching a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The department already has a You Tube channel and a Flickr page, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu has more than 13,400 fans on his own Facebook page. Expanding its social networking efforts is part of a larger attempt to increase transparency, make the department more accessible to average Americans and better engage with citizens, Chu wrote in the inaugural blog post. Our goal is to use the Energy Blog and our other social media outlets to show you who we are, what…

Overhauled MMS slaps $5.2 million fine on BP

0

The revamped Minerals Management Service is wasting no time showing the oil and natural gas industry that a new day has dawned. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement — created last month in the wake of April’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — assessed a $5.2 million civil penalty on BP America for submitting “false, inaccurate and misleading reports” about energy production on Southern Ute Indian Tribal lands in southwestern Colorado, bureau director Michael Bromwich said today. BP reported incorrect royalty rates and prices to the department and also attributed oil and gas…

Interior's website goes back in time

2

Visitors to www.interior.gov might feel like they’ve entered a time warp. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill never occurred, the Minerals Management Service remains intact and the lead story on the home page is about Interior Secretary Ken Salazar commending employees for all their hard work…in 2009. So who set back the clock? It looks like Interior failed to link together the various iterations of its Web address. Visitors who type in www.doi.gov will get the current website, which was overhauled at the beginning of the year. But visitors who type in www.interior.gov will see a world that appears to have ended shortly…

Federal building evacuation a precautionary e(gg)xit

0

The 31-story Peachtree Summit Federal Building in downtown Atlanta was evacuated yesterday after mailroom workers flagged a suspicious package that turned out to be a decorative egg. Federal Protection Service authorities ordered the evacuation just before noon Tuesday after a routine X-ray spotted what appeared at first to be a grenade inside the package. The suspicious item later turned out to be a Fabergé-like egg. About 1,900 federal employees from the IRS, Social Security Administration and other agencies work at the building, which also contains a daycare center.  Employees were allowed to return to the building about an hour and…

GSA picks chief greening officer

1

The General Services Administration has tapped an industry expert to serve in the newly created career position of chief greening officer. Eleni Reed, director of sustainability strategies at property management firm Cushman and Wakefield, will oversee green building programs and strategies across GSA’s inventory of 9,600 owned and leased facilities, the agency announced Tuesday. While at Cushman and Wakefield, Reed led the effort to enhance the environmental performance of the firm’s portfolio of U.S.-managed properties. She played a key role in develping a memorandum of understanding between the firm and the Environmental Protection Agency aimed at enhancing energy efficiency, cutting water use…

USDA sustainability chief targets data centers

1

Agencies’ plans for meeting the green government mandates outlined in President Obama’s October executive order aren’t due until June 2, but the Agriculture Department’s chief sustainability officer already has identified one of her top priorities: cutting energy consumption in data centers. Robin Heard, a lifelong conservationist who joined Agriculture in 1976, said she had no idea how much energy is consumed by data centers until she took on her new role as the department’s deputy assistant secretary for administration about a year ago. Speaking Tuesday on the opening day of the GSA Expo in Orlando, Heard said she wants to consolidate the…

Former U.S. special counsel charged with contempt

0

Scott Bloch, who led the Office of Special Counsel during the Bush administration, was charged with criminal contempt of Congress on Thursday, Reuters reports. Bloch was forced out of office  in October 2008 after a tumultuous term that culminated in FBI agents raiding his office and home. They were searching for evidence that he obstructed justice during a federal investigation into whether he retaliated against employees who disagreed with how he managed the agency, which is charged with protecting federal whistleblowers and other employees from retaliation. Bloch was widely suspected of having his computer wiped clean of files that may…

Contest results in: USA.GOV Rocks!

0

A couple months ago, I told you about a contest to find the most entertaining and creative video extolling the government’s online information portal, www.usa.gov. Well, the results are in, and the winning entry might have you wondering if punk rockers Green Day have hung up their “American Idiot” creed for a pro-government bent. No, Green Day hasn’t sold out. But the rocking tune from contest winner Peter Sullivan, father of two from Nashville, Tenn., proves that it’s possible to write a song about looking up government information online that might actually appeal to the cool kids. Sullivan won $2,500 from the…

Breaking: FPS continues to face widespread problems

0

Federal Protective Service contract guards failed to detect guns, knives and other prohibited items brought into federal agencies more than half of the time during covert tests by the agency, the Government Accountability Office reveals in a new report. Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate  Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the new report shows FPS continues to face widespread problems with its contractor workforce. While it has taken some steps forward in recent months, the Federal Protective Service continues to be an agency in crisis. As I blogged earlier, the House Homeland Security Committee, which requested the…

1 2 3 11