Jonathan Marino

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DHS tech chief wants broadband for first responders

March 15, 2007 The Homeland Security Department's technology goals extend beyond ensuring that first responders' equipment is up to date and compatible, an agency official said Thursday. Jay Cohen, the head of DHS' science and technology directorate, said all first responders should have broadband Internet access so they can get mass broadcasts and...

Coast Guard cancels patrol boat contract

March 15, 2007 The Coast Guard announced late Wednesday that it has terminated a shipbuilding deal with two high-profile defense contractors, and will exercise more control over acquisitions for its $24 billion Deepwater fleet modernization project. The deal to develop 12 patrol boats was worth an estimated $600 million to Integrated Coast Guard...

Lawmaker probes contract oversight at DHS agency

March 13, 2007 The conviction of a Homeland Security Department worker earlier this year for accepting bribes from a contractor he was supposed to be evaluating objectively is one of several "disturbing" issues a House member highlighted in recent letters to top agency officials. The letters, sent last week by Rep. Bennie Thompson,...

Rule broadens DHS post-employment lobbying limits

March 9, 2007 A new rule issued this week further restricts where senior Homeland Security officials can lobby for the first year after they leave the department. In a rule posted in the Federal Register, the Office of Government Ethics announced that it will prohibit Senior Executive Service and non-General Schedule employees who...

Coast Guard aims to hire more contract oversight officials

March 8, 2007 Coast Guard officials said Thursday they want to hire more personnel to prevent potential lapses in contract management similar to those that have been exposed in the Deepwater fleet modernization project. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen told lawmakers at a House hearing that he is seeking a senior manager...

Rail representatives rip DHS grants bureaucracy

March 7, 2007 The Homeland Security Department's grants process remains mired in bureaucracy, slowing the delivery of money and hindering security, witnesses told lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday. William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association, told members of House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittees that DHS has created "an incredible bureaucratic process"...

Lawmakers say TSA whistleblower rights provision goes too far

March 6, 2007 Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee repeatedly expressed concern Tuesday that if Transportation Security Administration employees gain enhanced whistleblower rights, they might use them to intimidate managers. The rights would be granted as part of the 2007 Rail and Public Transportation Security Act. It would grant TSA and Transportation...

TSA head says collective bargaining would be costly

March 5, 2007 Legislation granting Transportation Security Administration workers collective bargaining rights would be costly and would hinder managerial flexibility, the agency's chief told senators Monday. Kip Hawley told members of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee focusing on workforce issues that costs associated with implementing collective bargaining rights would be...

DHS lacks timetable for monitoring visitor departures

March 1, 2007 There is no estimate yet for when a Homeland Security Department program to track visitors to the United States will be able to verify departures, one of the program's managers said Thursday. Robert Mocny, deputy director for US VISIT, said officials are slowly and deliberately tailoring the program to meet...

FEMA urged to improve grants management

February 28, 2007 The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Homeland Security Department's emergency preparedness division need to improve oversight and management of grants, lawmakers told agency officials Wednesday. The calls for improvement come about a month before FEMA is slated to receive more responsibility for distributing grants. Matt Jadacki, DHS deputy inspector...

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