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Jonathan Marino

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DHS officials grilled on vacancies in high-level jobs

May 18, 2006 Lingering senior-level job vacancies at Homeland Security Department agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration and two bureaus involved in border control are worrisome, lawmakers told witnesses at a hearing Thursday. "Recruitment is probably our highest priority right now," K. Gregg Prillaman, DHS' chief human capital officer, ...

Defense agency resumes processing some clearances

May 17, 2006 The Defense Security Service late Tuesday announced it has located enough funding to partially resume processing of security clearances. In a brief statement posted on its Web site, the agency said it has started processing initial requests for secret clearances. It still has not resumed its work on Top Secret ...

Border security initiative means more work for DHS

May 16, 2006 President Bush's call Monday night for beefed-up border security put the National Guard in the spotlight, but Homeland Security Department officials said their workload will be boosted as well. Various elements of DHS will work with the Defense Department to maintain the U.S.-Mexico divide, officials said Tuesday, as details about ...

TSA plan to charge port workers for ID cards draws fire

May 15, 2006 A Transportation Security Administration proposal to charge port employees for required Transportation Worker Identity Cards is likely to be challenged during a 45-day comment period. As many as 850,000 port workers would have to pay between $105 and $139 for the identity cards aimed at better security at ports under ...

Defense agency unsure when clearance processing will resume

May 12, 2006 Despite assurances nearly two weeks ago from the Office of Personnel Management that the Defense Security Service was days away from restarting the processing of security clearance applications, the program has not gotten back off the ground. Meanwhile, as applications continue to pile up, government contractors are concerned that the ...

Bipartisan bill would boost rank of FEMA chief

May 11, 2006 Legislation unveiled Thursday by a bipartisan team of House members and senators would give the Federal Emergency Management Agency direct access to the White House during catastrophic events--and a new identity. FEMA still would fall under the Homeland Security Department, but it would get additional grants oversight responsibilities and its ...

More personnel sought for post-Katrina fraud investigations

May 10, 2006 Federal investigators from several departments, along with state and local officials on the Gulf Coast, will spend years combing through thousands of tips for possible contracting fraud in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, witnesses told a House panel Wednesday. Already, more than 260 people - including some government employees - ...

House panel signals opposition to dismantling FEMA

May 9, 2006 The House Homeland Security Committee is weighing a legislative proposal aimed at bolstering the Federal Emergency Management Agency rather than dismantling it as the panel's Senate counterpart has recommended. A Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee investigation rapped FEMA officials for mismanagement, waste and susceptibility to fraud after Hurricane ...

Hurricane drills catch local officials by surprise

May 8, 2006 The Homeland Security Department last week kicked off a series of regional hurricane preparedness exercises, but some local officials have yet to be notified about the drills. "I haven't heard anything," said William Smith, emergency planner at the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, on Friday. "I'm getting questions from a ...

House committee rips lack of oversight in Katrina contracting

May 4, 2006 Government agencies responsible for disaster preparedness and recovery need to enlist more local workers, exercise more discretion to ensure contracts are being adequately fulfilled and expand the number of bids gathered, House Government Reform Committee members said at a hearing Thursday. Lawmakers from both parties criticized officials from the Homeland ...