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TSA lets airport directors restrict screeners’ holiday leave

November 18, 2003 The Transportation Security Administration has issued guidance giving federal security directors at the nation's airports the ability to restrict leave and require overtime for passenger and baggage screeners during the Thanksgiving holiday. On Tuesday, the American Federation of Government Employees blasted the move, arguing that management problems at TSA have ...

Homeland Security privacy officer pushes training efforts

November 17, 2003 The chief privacy officer for the Homeland Security Department said Monday she supports some secret law enforcement and intelligence activities of the department, but that such activities must be "narrowly and appropriately construed and not abused." Nuala O'Connor Kelly said one of her greatest challenges is implementing common training about ...

Agencies criticized for lack of bioterrorism strategy

November 14, 2003 Participants at a Heritage Foundation forum on Friday in Washington criticized federal agencies for not working together to develop an adequate national strategy to counter bioterrorism attacks, and for not having a clear strategy to educate the public about potential threats and responses. "There is a fundamental lack of coherent ...

Navy to shift workers to meet shortfall in high-skilled positions

November 13, 2003 Navy officials plan to step up efforts to move around workers with highly technical skills in order to keep on top of construction and maintenance demands, officials with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said Thursday. The service needs to change its personnel practices due to a "critical shortfall" of ...

Washington postal facility anthrax-free, but psychological specter looms

November 12, 2003 Postal Service officials and two lawmakers declared Wednesday that a Washington postal facility, which has been closed since the fall of 2001 because of anthrax contamination, is ready to reopen to workers and the public. However, officials acknowledge they are waging a psychological battle to give employees and the public ...

TSA prepares for busy holiday season with reduced workforce

November 11, 2003 The Transportation Security Administration expects longer wait times at airports this holiday season due to increased passenger traffic combined with a reduction in the number of passenger and baggage screeners, agency officials said last week. "With the holiday travel season only weeks away, TSA is concerned at the increasing passenger ...

Latest anthrax scare brings call for better bioterror technology

November 10, 2003 The Postal Service reacted appropriately in response to an anthrax scare last week at a mail facility in Washington, but the incident illustrates the need for better bioterrorism technology, federal officials said Monday. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said the Postal Service had no choice but to close 11 mail ...

Sept. 11 commission to subpoena Pentagon for critical documents

November 7, 2003 The federal commission investigating the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 decided Friday to subpoena the Pentagon's North American Aerospace Defense Command because it failed to provide requested documents in a timely manner, a spokesman for the commission said. The commission, a 10-member panel created last year to investigate the events ...

DHS reviewing proposals to counter shoulder-fired missile threat

November 7, 2003 The Homeland Security Department is sifting through 24 proposals to counter the threat of shoulder-fired missiles on U.S. commercial aircraft, a senior department official told lawmakers Wednesday. At least two contract awards are expected to be made in January as part of a science and technology program to counter the ...

Defense accused of flouting travel rules and wasting millions

November 6, 2003 Defense Department employees milked taxpayers for tens of millions of dollars by purchasing thousands of unauthorized or unjustified premium class travel tickets, witnesses told lawmakers Thursday afternoon. During fiscal years 2001 and 2002, Defense Department personnel spent almost $124 million on about 68,000 airline tickets that included at least one ...