NEWS: September 2, 2010
Technology | Virginia
Crashed State Computers Coming Back Online
Computer problems that have prevented the Department of Motor Vehicles from processing driver's licenses and ID cards for the past several days should be resolved by today, the agency said. Gov. Bob McDonnell's office said computer functions are being restored at 26 agencies affected by the weeklong service disruption.
New Orleans I.G.: Contracting Wasted $1 Million
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's administration wasted more than $1 million by relying on a controversial technology contractor, according to a report by the city's inspector general.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NJ Transit Seeks Wi-Fi Contractor
NJ Transit trains and rail stations may soon be Internet hot spots. The transit agency it is seeking a company to provide wireless broadband service for its 12 rail lines and 165 train stations.
Education | Newark, N.J.
School Chief's Contract
Won't Be Renewed
Clifford Janey's contract as Newark's school superintendent will not be renewed, school officials said, potentially leaving the city looking for a new schools chief days before students begin classes. Critics say Janey's record of accomplishment in Newark has been thin.
Texas Auditing Home-Schooler Numbers
In an attempt to ensure that public-school districts aren't disguising high-school dropouts, the Texas Education Agency is conducting an audit of students who withdrew under the auspice of home schooling--more than 22,000 in 2008.
Ethics | Port Allen, La.
Mayor, Police Chief Indicted for Corruption
Mayor Derek A. Lewis and Police Chief Frederick W. Smith were indicted on charges of racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud in an ongoing FBI investigation of public corruption. Lewis and Smith are alleged to have accepted bribes totalling at least $18,990.
Baton Rouge Advocate
Public Workforce | The Nation
Postal Service Seeks Wage Curbs
The U.S. Postal Service, seeking to curb wages and benefits and increase its part-time workforce, kicked off collective-bargaining talks with the American Postal Workers Union, which represents 211,000 agency employees. Negotiations with the National Rural Letter Carriers Association are scheduled to begin Sept. 13.
Furloughed Arizona Workers Get Overtime Pay
A day after a mandatory day off without pay, the Arizona Department of Economic Security called staffers back to work at overtime rates. Agency officials said they faced the risk of federal fines if they didn't process welfare requests in a timely way.
Dallas Police, Fire Unions OK Pay Cuts
In a deal that will save the city about $22.4 million in the coming budget, Dallas' police and fire unions have agreed to take pay cuts and 40 hours of unpaid leave during the next work year.
Dallas Morning News
Finance | Harrisburg, Pa.
County May Sue City over Bond Debt
Two days after the city conceded it would miss a $3.3 million September payment on its general-obligation debt, Dauphin County commissioners upped the ante in the battle over Harrisburg's incinerator debt, authorizing a lawsuit that could force the city to cough up cash for the payment.
Judge Blocks N.Y. from Taxing Tribes' Cigarette Sales
A New York state law to tax cigarettes sold by Indian tribes had barely gotten off the ground Wednesday when a state appellate court judge brought it to a temporary halt, blocking an effort that Gov. David A. Paterson said could help stabilize the state's finances.
New York Times
Transportation | The Washington, D.C., Region
$1 Billion Cost Seen
for Rail Safety Fixes
It will cost the regional transit system almost $1 billion to implement the safety fixes recommended by federal officials after the deadly June 2009 rail crash, Metro officials said. Replacement of 300 of the agency's older rail cars represents the bulk of the costs.
Corrections | Pennsylvania
Judge Halts Prison Project over Bidding
A Commonwealth Court judge halted plans to replace Pennsylvania's Graterford Prison, ruling that state officials violated bidding laws for the $365 million project. The injunction is likely to delay the March 2014 opening of a new 4,100-bed prison.
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“People in the industry are watching in horrified fascination as this unfolds.”
Robin Harris, an Arizona technology analyst, on the failure of a Virginia state-government data-storage unit--technology used by virtually every major company and government in the country--that has wreaked havoc on state agencies' computer networks for more than a week
Washington Post | More quotes
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Health Care | Michael O. Leavitt
of Medicare Reform
The Obama administration credits Medicare's seemingly healthier financial outlook to changes made by the new health-care law. In fact, the legislation has weakened the program. Worse, its changes create the perception of progress, making it more difficult to pursue the reforms that would put Medicare on a sound financial footing so future generations of seniors will benefit.
Sales of liquor in Ohio in fiscal 2010, a record that the state's Division of Liquor Control says is due not to increased consumption--more gallons of liquor were purchased in 1987--but to higher prices
Cleveland Plain Dealer | More data
Summit on the Cost of Government
Sept. 14-15 | Washington, D.C.
American Society for Public Administration
Webinar on Project Management
Sept. 15, 1 p.m. ET
Webinar on Increasing Efficiency and Cost Savings with Purchasing and Prepaid Cards
Sept. 15, 2 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.
Government Technology magazine
Government Technology Conference/East
Sept. 22-23 | Albany, N.Y.
Annual Leadership Conference
Sept. 24-25 | Anaheim, Calif.
National Association of State Chief Information Officers
Sept. 26-29 | Miami
Full events listings