Every year at the end of August nearly 70,000 people descend on Black Rock Desert in Pershing County, Nevada to take part in the celebration of radical self expression known as Burning Man. And for many people it’s synonymous with drug use and burning a giant wooden man in the middle of the desert. But according to the Bureau of Land Management — which has jurisdiction over government land and the Burning Man festival grounds in particular — the number of people cited or arrested is quite low for its size and duration. In 2013 only 6 people out of…

Braulio Castillo first became famous when he was the subject of a House investigation into how he parlayed a 30-year-old prep school ankle injury into getting $500 million in contracts in the form of a special service-disabled veteran status for his company Signet Computers. He suffered the injury while attending the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School in 1984 but played football the next year at the University of San Diego. In 2012 he filed a claim with the Veterans Affairs office to get the special status as a service-disable veteran. His special status helped get his company Signet Computers (renamed…

Sylvia Burns took over the reins Monday as Interior Department’s acting chief information officer, following Bernie Mazer’s decision to step down as CIO and retire this summer. Mazer’s last day as CIO was March 28, but “the department has asked Bernie to stay on for several months to assist in the selection of a successor, in addition to advising on several time-sensitive and high priority projects,” Andrew Jackson, Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for technology, information and business services, said in an email to employees. The department could not confirm Mazer’s new title. Federal News Radio first reported Mazer’s departure and said…

Century Link, HP and CA Technologies are among the companies with cloud solutions awaiting final approval under a governmentwide security program. Specifically, these companies are working to obtain a  Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authorization for a specific cloud offering. That’s basically a seal of approval from an interagency board of chief information officers at the General Services Administration, Homeland Security and Defense departments, acknowledging that companies have met minimum federal standards for securing cloud solutions. See a complete list of companies awaiting JAB approval here. As required by the Federal Risk and Authorization program (FedRAMP), the cloud vendors first hired an independent assessment organization…

So lets have a little bit of fun today. It seems that every group, school and town is getting a list, so lets add federal employees to those groups! Feel free to add your own at the bottom of the blog. 1. When people shout “high five!” and your first thought is “over my dead body. 2. Jan. 1 doesn’t even hold a candle to Oct. 1. Its the cleanest slate you can imagine. 3. You give your children 180 days to respond to a new rule you are proposing. Corollary: You refer to your family as “stakeholders.” 4. You…

On March 7 22-year-old Taylor Blake Martin and Seth Andrew Stephenson pleaded guilty in court to harassing an endangered species by luring an adult manatee and its calf to a dock and then “cannonballing” on top of them. Martin and Stephenson then posted a video of the incident on Facebook, which brought it to the attention of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Martin and Stephenson face a year in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine. After the video was posted on Facebook, several people commented on it.  In response to a post that expressed displeasure with Martin’s actions, Martin…

By all accounts, pledges to the 2013 Combined Federal Campaign are going to be down by tens of millions of dollars in comparison with the 2012 CFC. This is, of course, money that mostly goes to charities. But which charities benefit from federal employee giving (and could thus see a falloff in contributions)? The Office of Personnel Management does not collect that information. Instead, the Workplace Giving Alliance, a Massachusetts-based coalition of CFC federations, decided to do the job on its own, compiling pledge information for the last three years from most local campaigns and then extrapolating to fill in…

For anyone familiar with last fall’s disastrous rollout of the healthcare.gov website (and that presumably includes most of the adult population of the United States), it will come as no surprise to hear that the Obama administration is again working to get smarter delivery of information technology services. “We’ve learned a tremendous amount from the challenges the administration’s recently faced and have worked  diligently to address this past year,” Beth Cobert, a senior Office of Management and Budget official, said at a recent Association of Government Accountants gathering. “But we know that information technology is important to how the government…

After getting a snow day Thursday, federal employees in the D.C. region can arrive up to two hours late at  their offices Friday, and also have the option of unscheduled leave or telework, the Office of Personnel Management has just announced. With Monday a federal holiday, some feds may have been hoping for a five-day weekend. That’s still an option, but for tomorrow, it will have to be on their own time.

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