News Briefs

December 30, 1996

News Briefs

The following news summaries are from OPM AM, the daily newsletter of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM AM is available on OPM Mainstreet, the agency's electronic bulletin board, at 202-606-4800.

ADMINISTRATION ON ITS WAY TO CUTTING 272,900 FEDERAL JOBS--"A recently released snapshot of the government's downsizing shows that the Clinton administration should have few, if any, problems in reaching a statutory requirement to cut 272,900 federal jobs by 1999. New figures from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) show that 254,824 federal employees left the government between January 1993 and September 1996, a decline of 11.6 percent" (The Washington Post).

STILL SUFFERING FROM 1995'S SHUTDOWNS--"Small businesses from Florida to California continue to suffer from the temporary closure of America's national parks during last year's federal government shutdowns over the budget. That is the conclusion of a study by the National Parks and Conservation Association, which found that some tourists, especially foreigners, were still avoiding once-popular destinations such as the Everglades, Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks" (The Washington Post).

AREA HOPES TO HIT STRIDE ON COMEBACK TRAIL--"Booming business in the high-tech corridors along Interstate 270 and the Dulles Toll Road could lift growth in the Washington area above the national average next year. While the national economy is expected to slow to annual growth near 2 percent, brisk demand for Internet access, telephone services, medical devices and other high-tech products could push the area's growth closer to 3 percent, several analysts said. That's up from the sluggish 1.7 percent growth induced by government cuts and shutdowns this year" (The Washington Times).

LINE ITEM VETO SET TO CHANGE DYNAMICS OF BUDGET PROCESS--"Official Washington is bracing for life under the line-item veto, which budget experts say will subtly but inexorably alter the dynamics of the federal budget process. Set to take effect on New Year's Day, the line-item power will allow President Clinton to strike specific discretionary spending from any appropriations and supplemental spending bill, as well as from any bill expanding entitlement programs or providing limited and specialized tax benefits" (Sunday, The Washington Times).

THE MAN WHO GAVE THE WORLD E-MAIL--"Like so many great innovations, it happened by serendipity. Looking for one thing, people often discover another. It was 1971, and Ray Tomlinson, a young computer engineer here was working on hardware, then software for a new system being developed....A giant parallel project was building the ARPANET, under government contract, so research information could be exchanged simply and uniformly between a few American universities....Tomlinson decided to explore an idea that intrigued him, a way to send a message from one computer system to another....What Ray Tomlinson had done was to create what would become the most profound new means of communication since the telephone: network electronic mail" (The Sun).

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