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House chairmen question air cargo security efforts

December 12, 2003 The chairmen of two House committees that oversee aviation security have raised concerns about how the Homeland Security Department will screen cargo aboard commercial aircraft. House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., and Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., who heads the panel's subcommittee on national security, sent Homeland Security Secretary...

Rumsfeld: New personnel system could help avoid increase in troops

December 12, 2003 A new Defense Department personnel management system could help the Pentagon avoid an increase in the size of the military, which some lawmakers want but Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld opposes. Addressing the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington on Friday, Rumsfeld was asked whether the U.S. military is large...

Commerce, Treasury step up contracting efforts in Iraq

December 11, 2003 The Commerce and Treasury Departments are stepping up their efforts to help companies get contracts in Iraq, despite concerns about limits on which countries can bid for the contracts and criticism that laws issued under Saddam Hussein's regime to prevent government workers from unionizing remain on the books. While the...

Air traffic controllers agree to two-year contract extension

December 10, 2003 The National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Federal Aviation Administration have reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension for more than 15,000 workers, the organizations announced Monday. The agreement binds more controllers than ever to a performance-based pay system and allows the FAA to adjust staffing levels at airports...

Agencies get failing grades on cybersecurity

December 9, 2003 Federal efforts to secure critical computer systems and sensitive information are improving, but more than half of all agencies are still doing very poorly at the task, lawmakers said Tuesday. Overall, the federal government received a grade of D for cybersecurity, up from a grade of F a year earlier,...

White House appoints acting TSA administrator

December 8, 2003 Retired Navy Rear Adm. Dave Stone has been tapped as the new acting administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Homeland Security Department Secretary Tom Ridge announced Stone's appointment last week. Stone became TSA's deputy chief of staff in August, after serving as the first federal security director for Los Angeles...

Park Police chief suspended after citing budget, staffing problems

December 5, 2003 The National Park Service has placed the chief of the Park Police on administrative leave after she made comments to the media about budget and personnel shortfalls at the agency. The suspension follows a gag order the agency instituted after Chief Teresa Chambers was quoted in a Tuesday Washington Post...

Homeland Security defends privacy review of visitor tracking system

December 5, 2003 A Homeland Security Department official on Friday deflected an accusation that the department violated the law by failing to assess how a new immigration tracking system would impact personal privacy. The department is not only complying with the law, but doing more than it is legally required to do, said...

Homeland Security standardizes acquisition policy

December 4, 2003 The Department of Homeland Security issued an interim rule Thursday requiring all agencies and contracting agents within the department to abide by a uniform code when buying goods and services. The sweeping rule is intended to immediately establish a departmentwide acquisition policy for agencies that previously used different contracting vehicles,...

Bush administration to cut, realign forces abroad

December 3, 2003 The U.S. government is consulting with other countries about realigning U.S. military forces abroad so they can be deployed more quickly, a top defense policy official announced Wednesday. The Bush administration intends to create a military force that is based more on strategic capabilities than raw numbers and equipment, said...

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