NEWS: Nov. 15, 2010
Public Workforce | The Nation
TSA Vote a Big Win for Unions
In a significant victory for federal-employee unions, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decided that some 50,000 Transportation Security Administration security officers will be allowed to vote on union representation. The decision clears the way for a campaign by the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union.
Postal Service to Slash More Work Hours
The U.S. Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in fiscal 2010 despite cutting 75 million work hours--the equivalent of 105,000 full-time employees--since 2009, and officials said the agency could find itself out of cash in 2011 even as it plans to cut another 50 million work hours.
Departing Wisconsin Governor Making Union Deals
Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration has agreed to no-pay-raise contracts with six unions covering thousands of state workers and is finishing more agreements at a time when Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker is calling for those negotiations to stop.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Public Officials | Los Angeles County
Child-Services Chief Faces Ouster
County officials, moving to address the problems of an agency they have declared to be in crisis, are planning to replace Trish Ploehn, the embattled chief of the Department of Children and Family Services. Ploehn has has headed the agency for four years.
Los Angeles Times
Absent Illinois Prison Board Member Removed
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has removed a member of the state's Prisoner Review Board, former state corrections director Roger Walker Jr., who had worked only one full day since he was appointed to the little-known but important parole board more than 17 months ago.
Military Personnel | The Nation
Pentagon Probing Leak of 'Don't Ask' Report
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates ordered an investigation to identify sources who leaked information about a forthcoming report saying the military faces only minimal risk to the war efforts by lifting the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in uniform.
Ethics | Prince George's County, Md.
Jack B. Johnson
More Corruption Arrests Expected
The arrests of County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his wife after Johnson allegedly pocketed $15,000 in cash from a developer suggest that a federal investigation of corruption in the county's government, long a subject of rumor and speculation, is reaching critical mass. Law enforcement officials said more arrests are expected, possibly this week.
Alabama Governor Seeks Ethics-Law Overhaul
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is preparing to call a special session of the legislature in December to tighten the state's ethics laws, following indictments by federal prosecutors last month of 11 people--including four state senators--in an alleged vote-buying scheme.
Wall Street Journal
Technology | The Nation
Cancellation Expected Soon
for $1.1 Billion 'Virtual Fence'
Incoming Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee expect that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano soon will cancel the stalled $1.1 billion Secure Border Initiative Network contract with Boeing. The "virtual fence" program, known as SBInet, has experienced serious cost, schedule and performance problems.
FDA Says Drug-Safety Network Is on Track
The Food and Drug Administration says it has met its first major milestone for the number of patients covered under its Sentinel Initiative, an electronic surveillance network to monitor the safety of FDA-approved drugs and medical products.
Federal Computer Week
No Federal Funds for Philly-Area Electronic Fare System
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority lost its bid for nearly $30 million in federal funds for an electronic fare system, leaving it with no clear way to finance the $100 million project.
Spending | Washington, D.C.
$60,000 Spent on Travel Despite Freeze Order
In the weeks after Mayor Adrian M. Fenty ordered a freeze on government travel, city agencies continued to charge more than $60,000 in air and rail fares, hotel rooms and other travel-related expenses to city credit cards, city records indicate.
Energy/Environment | The Nation
An Electric Future for Federal Fleet?
Federal agencies are laying the groundwork to purchase more all-electric cars and to build charging stations for them. The General Services Administration has a solicitation out for 100 electric vehicles. Contenders include the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan Leaf and the Wheego LiFe, all of which are just beginning production.
Traffic Enforcement | Houston
City's Red-Light Cameras Shutting Down
The operators of Houston's red-light cameras, rejected by 53 percent of city voters in the Nov. 2 election, agreed to shut down the system today, but questions remain about how the company will recover its costs if the city cancels a contract that was to run until 2014.
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“God bless this boat.”
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, christening the Chetzemoka, the state's first new ferry in more than a decade, and proclaiming that "she is stout, she is sound, she will sail the toughest route in the ferry system"
At least 43
Number of former Arizona elected officials, out of the 500 who have retired since 2000, who are earning more from their state pensions than they were paid when they served in office, with annual pensions averaging $40,069 and ranging as high as $216,424
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Technology | Mark A. Forman
To Innovate, Collaborate
Social networking tools allow people to collaborate by rapidly bringing together a range of expertise and data to tackle today's most pressing problems. So how can government agencies take advantage of these powerful collaboration tools? There are four broad steps to consider.
Federal Computer Week
Forum on Internet Governance and Regulation
Today, 12:30 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.
Center for American Progress
Discussion of 10 Strategies to Cut the Fat Out of Federal Procurement
Nov. 16, 1:30 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.
1105 Government Information Group
Security Conference & Exhibition
Nov. 16-17 | Washington, D.C.
Omnigov Training Institute
Webinar on Veterans' Rights in Federal Government
Nov. 17, 2 p.m. ET
International City/County Management Association
Web conference on Volunteerism in Local Government
Nov. 18, 1 p.m. ET
International Public Management Association for Human Resources
Benchmarking Survey Results Webinar
Nov. 18, 1 p.m. ET
National Governors Association
Seminar for New Governors
Nov. 19-21 | Colorado Springs, Colo.
National Association of Attorneys General
Nov. 28-Dec. 3 | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
National League of Cities
Congress of Cities and Exposition
Nov. 30-Dec. 4 | Denver
American Legislative Exchange Council
States & Nation Policy Summit
Dec. 1-3 | Washington, D.C.
Council of State Governments
Dec. 3-6 | Providence, R.I.
National Conference of State Legislatures
Dec. 8-11 | Phoenix
>> Full events listings