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State Department’s Kindle plan offers a lesson in diplomacy

August 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story was first published in the August issue of Government Executive magazine. The initial reaction was stunned outrage. After Nextgov first broke the news on June 11 that the State Department was mulling a $16.5 million contract with tech giant Amazon to purchase 2,500 Kindle Touch e-readers for overseas...

Read It Here First

August 1, 2012 The initial reaction was stunned outrage. After Nextgov first broke the news on June 11 that the State Department was mulling a $16.5 million contract with tech giant Amazon to purchase 2,500 Kindle Touch e-readers for overseas programs, one particular calculation started making its way around the Internet: $6,600—the amount...

Down by the Schoolyard

July 1, 2012 The Education Department’s Deborah Temkin is fighting a bullying epidemic in American schools. But she will not fight bullies. “We try not to call the kids who are bullying others ‘bullies.’ That says they cannot change,” says Temkin, who remembers her own encounters with bullying in middle school. One thing...

Around Government

July 1, 2012 Battle of the Blaze Crews stand by for another dangerous wildfire season. Federal wild land managers predict another volatile forest fire season in 2012, particularly in the Southwest, where states experienced record-breaking blazes in 2011 and Texas remains gripped in a tinder-producing drought. New Mexico battled another epic fire this...

Report: Army soldier shot, killed commander at Fort Bragg

June 29, 2012 An Army soldier allegedly shot and killed his battalion commander at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Thursday. The soldier had been facing court martial and possible discharge, NBC News reported. The shooter, who had been an Army specialist for eight years and had been a member of the security detail in...

Supreme Court: Lies about military honors protected as free speech

June 28, 2012 In the shadow of a historic decision upholding the heart of health care reform, the Supreme Court unveiled another, lower-profile decision Thursday: Lying about receiving military honors is protected by the First Amendment. A 6-3 ruling found the Stolen Valor Act, signed into law by President Bush in 2006, to...

Crackdown on government travel advances to full House

June 27, 2012 The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved two bills Wednesday aimed at curbing excessive government spending, including a measure to cut agency travel spending by 30 percent. The panel passed by voice vote a substitute amendment for the 2012 Government Spending Accountability Act (H.R. 4631). The bipartisan bill, introduced...

Government overcomes security clearance backlog

June 22, 2012 The Obama administration has made noticeable strides in streamlining security clearance, according to auditors and officials. Initial investigations take an average of 44 days to complete, down from 189 days in 2005, and the application backlog has been eliminated, according to Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who spoke at a hearing...

OSC sends a stern warning about reading employees’ emails

June 21, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In a fiercely worded bid for whistleblowers’ rights, the Office of Special Counsel released a memo Wednesday to all executive departments and federal agencies strongly urging them to evaluate their policies on monitoring employee emails and other communications. “Agency monitoring specifically designed to target protected disclosures to the OSC and...

Dempsey maps sequestration cuts at Defense

June 19, 2012 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said Tuesday that automatic cuts to the Defense Department’s budget resulting from the sequestration deal struck by the Obama administration and Congress would have to come from military operations, maintenance, training and modernization. If lawmakers do not avert sequestration and the...

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