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GovManagement Daily
Management in the public sector: news, analysis and more

TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS: GovManagement Daily will not be published tomorrow due to the New Year's holidays. GovManagement.com's news page will be updated.

NEWS: Dec. 30, 2010

Truck plowing snow
Emergency Management | New York City
Mayor: We Blew It on the Blizzard
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg admitted that his administration's response to the blizzard that buried New York had been inadequate and pledged to hold himself and others accountable. The mayor said city officials would not fully understand what went wrong until they had time to analyze their actions.
>> New York Times
At Issue: NYC's Decision Not to Declare Emergency
Any post-mortem of New York's snowstorm response seems likely to scrutinize the city's decision not to declare a snow emergency, the transit agency's delay in invoking a full-scale emergency plan, and the seemingly late and limited bid for outside help.
>> New York Times
DHS Slams Texas County over Ike Cleanup Funds
A scathing audit by the federal Department of Homeland Security questions whether some $45 million in public money was properly spent to remove debris in the cleanup of Chambers County, Texas, which was devastated by Hurricane Ike two years ago.
>> AP/Houston Chronicle

Public Officials | The Nation
Congressional Free-Car Perk Won't End
Republicans taking control of the House in January say they'll trim congressional office budgets by 5 percent, but members will keep a few perks, including taxpayer-paid leases for vehicles--ranging from compacts to SUVs to offices on wheels--for their personal use.
>> Detroit Free Press
Ohio Governor-Elect Names New I.G.
Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich chose Randy Meyer, chief of the state auditor's office's special investigations unit that specializes in cases involving public corruption and misspent taxpayer dollars, to be the state's next inspector general.
>> Cleveland Plain Dealer
Massachusetts Governor Ousts Two Top Officials
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick forced out the head of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency a day after he asked for the resignation of the state's veterans' services secretary.
>> Boston Globe

Public Pensions | California
University Execs Ripped for Pension-Boost Demand
Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, state lawmakers and others condemned high-paid University of California executives who are threatening to sue UC unless it spends millions of dollars to increase their pensions at a time when UC faces $21.6 billion in unfunded pension obligations and is reducing benefits for its workers.
>> San Francisco Chronicle

IRS logo
Administration | The Nation
I.G.: IRS Not Detecting
Fraudulent Nonresident Returns

The Internal Revenue Service risks losing millions of dollars in government funds if it does not improve processing practices that fail to detect fraudulent tax returns filed by nonresident aliens, according to an inspector general's report.
>> Government Executive
Auditors Find $8 Million in Equipment Missing from CDC
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost or misplaced more than $8 million in property in 2007, losing track of items including computer and video equipment, auditors say.
>> AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Education | DeKalb County, Ga.
Schools May Outsource Hundreds of Jobs
Between 700 and 900 DeKalb County school workers could lose their jobs to outsourcing. The school system is considering privatizing custodial and maintenance jobs, including grounds-keeping, heating and air-conditioning, and equipment repair.
>> Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Flawed Va. Textbooks Prompt Push for Approval Changes
Reports of extensive errors in Virginia social-studies textbooks prompted state education officials to propose revamping the approval process to prevent the issuing of flawed books.
>> Washington Post
New Fla. Ag Chief: Let Schoolkids Have Chocolate Milk
Adam Putnam, who will soon take over as Florida's agriculture commissioner, has put a halt to the state's effort to ban chocolate milk and most other high-sugar drinks in schools.
>> Orlando Sentinel

Christine O'Donnell
O'Donnell
Politics | Delaware
O'Donnell: Probe Is 'Thug Tactic'
Defeated tea party U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell defended herself against a report that the federal government was investigating her for misuse of campaign funds, calling the probe a politically motivated "thug political tactic."
>> ABC News
Two California Officials Freeze
Developer's Campaign Contributions

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Controller John Chiang froze nearly $150,000 in campaign contributions raised by a low-income-housing developer accused of bilking government agencies.
>> Los Angeles Times

Contracting | The Nation
Some DoD Contracts Exempted from Conflict Rules
The Defense Department plans to narrow the scope of contracts it will subject to tighter conflict-of-interest rules, exempting information technology and professional services contracts while keeping major weapon systems and other contracts subject to the rules.
>> Federal Times
Oregon Official on Leave in Contract-Steering Probe
Mark Long, interim director of Oregon's Energy Department, has been put on paid leave following a criminal investigation into allegations that the department tried to steer business to Gov.-elect John Kitzhaber's girlfriend.
>> The Oregonian

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DATAPOINT
5.2%
Increase in the third quarter of 2010, compared to the same period a year ago, in state- and local-government tax revenues, to $284.3 billion, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report
>> Wall Street Journal

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Spending | Robert J. Samuelson
Sock It to the Boomers
There has been much brave talk recently, from Republicans and Democrats alike, about reducing federal budget deficits and controlling spending. The trouble is that hardly anyone admits that accomplishing these goals must include making significant cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits for baby boomers.
>> Washington Post

We Can Do It! poster
QUOTABLE
She didn't have big, muscular arms. She was 5-foot-10 and very slender. She was a glamour girl.
Stephanie Gregg, daughter of Geraldine Hoff Doyle, who died Sunday at the age of 86 and was believed to be the unwitting model for the iconic "We Can Do It!" World War II poster of a woman flexing her biceps in a factory
>> New York Times

UPCOMING
Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education
Online Program on Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards
Jan. 3-Feb. 25

INPUT
Government Services & Technology Summit
Jan. 6, 8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.

Brookings Institution
Policy forum on Building a Long-Term National Strategy on Growth through Innovation
Jan. 12, 8:30 a.m..-3 p.m. ET | Washington, D.C.

International City/County Management Association
Web conference on Community Resilience: Strategies to Weather the Bad Times, Thrive in the Good Times
Jan. 13, 1 p.m. ET

U.S. Conference of Mayors
Winter Meeting
Jan. 19-21 | Washington, D.C.

National Association of State Energy Officials
Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference
Jan. 28-Feb. 3 | Washington, D.C.

Governing magazine
Outlook in the States & Localities Conference
Feb. 1-2 | Washington, D.C.

American Society for Training and Development
TechKnowledge Conference
Feb. 2-4 | San Jose, Calif.

Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education
Program on Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies
Feb. 2-25 | Cambridge, Mass.

Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education
Program on Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage
Feb. 6-11 | Cambridge, Mass.

>> Full events listings