NEWS: Jan. 6, 2011
Technology | The Nation
Judge Halts Interior Dept. Microsoft Contract
In a key victory for Google, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Interior Department from contracting to use Microsoft's e-mail and collaboration tools for its 88,000 employees. Google had accused the agency of improperly favoring Microsoft.
Wall Street Journal
I.G.: IT Issues Confront Social Security Administration
While the Social Security Administration faces well-known problems with insufficient data-center capacity, its inspector general says the agency has many other technology problems, including outdated systems, applications and phone systems.
New Facebook Rules Aim to Shield Governments
Facebook has tweaked its terms of service to address concerns by state and local governments that they would have to pay legal fees if Facebook were sued over content posted by agencies.
Taxing and Spending | New York State
Governor: Cut Agencies, Taxes
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, saying New York needs to rethink the services it provides and face up to its overspending problem, proposed reducing the number of agencies by 20 percent and capping government's growth. In his first State of the State address, Cuomo mentioned taxes 21 times, mostly to denounce them and promise to lower them.
New York Times
North Carolina Governor Vows Speedier Tax Refunds
North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue ordered state revenue officials to make sure taxpayers receive faster refunds, promising that people owed money will receive it within 30 to 45 days.
Raleigh News & Observer
Efficiency | The Nation
New Law Boosts Agency Performance Efforts
President Obama has signed into law a bipartisan bill to strengthen the tracking of federal agency performance and prevent overlapping programs. The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act requires all agencies to designate a chief operating officer and a performance improvement officer.
Federal Computer Week
Ethics | Miami
Mayor Accused of Interfering
with Police Gaming Raids
Mayor Tomás Regalado, who had successfully championed a city licensing ordinance favored by the gaming industry, twice sought in October to delay police raids targeting video gaming machines, according to a police major and a former city manager. Regalado denied the allegations, saying "No, no, no, no, not at all. Never, ever, ever."
Houston Set to Tighten Ethics Regs
Houston is is poised to significantly tighten its ethics rules, closing loopholes that allow lobbyists to avoid registration and criminalizing some violations of a stricter code of conduct for city officials.
Transportation | New Jersey/Pennsylvania
Bistate Agency Eyes Divesting Commuter Rail
Could the region's commuter trains be run by an agency other than the Delaware River Port Authority, or by a private company? DRPA, which loses about $20 million a year on the Port Authority Transit Corp. line, is seeking opinions on a possible divestment.
The Military | The Nation
$14 Billion Landing Craft Project Faces Shutdown
A long-troubled $14 billion program to build a landing craft for the Marine Corps is destined for the chopping block, part of $100 billion in savings that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has pledged to squeeze from the Pentagon's budget.
Education | Detroit
Deficit Plan Would Split School District
The school system's emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb, is considering a restructuring plan that would divide the district in two to deal with a $327 million deficit. The plan would place the school system's debt obligation with an "old district" and use state revenue to pay it off.
Report: D.C.'s Special-Ed System Improving
A court-appointed evaluation team says Washington, D.C., has made significant strides in serving its special-education students but that "lingering core problems" keep the city from meeting all the requirements of a 2006 agreement.
Washington Governor Seeks Single Education Agency
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposal to create a single education department covering preschool through college would make Washington one of the only states to put all those areas under a single umbrella.
Public Officials | New York City
EMS Chief Ousted over Blizzard Response
Facing mounting criticism for a poor response during last month's blizzard, the chief of the Fire Department's Emergency Medical Service, John Peruggia, was stripped of his command. Peruggia was first person to be reassigned in the wake of criticism over the way EMS and sanitation workers performed during the storm.
New York Times
California Governor Names 21 to Top Posts
California Gov. Jerry Brown made 21 top appointments for his administration, including several people who served during his previous time as governor. Brown appointed his wife as an unpaid special counsel, and replaced seven state school board members.
San Francisco Chronicle
Public Safety | Omaha, Neb.
Suspended Student Kills Assistant Principal
A high-school senior who had been suspended shot two school administrators, leaving Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar mortally wounded and Principal Curtis Case in serious condition. The student, the 17-year-old son of a police detective, later was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.
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“You see that strip outside installations — the pawn shops, the tattoo parlors, the shady auto dealers. I once heard those businesses described as bears lined up at a trout stream.”
Holly Petraeus, the wife of Gen. David Petraeus and the choice of Elizabeth Warren, who is establishing the new federal consumer-protection agency, for a position working to protect military families from predatory lenders
and Richard Greene
What ARRA Has Wrought
Almost anything you read about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a matter of debate. But two things seem clear: The stimulus has done a great deal to change the federal government's relationship with states and localities. And it is transforming the way many in government think about transparency--a culture change.
Number of Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers remaining in New Orleans out of the more than 23,000 that were in use in the city after Hurricane Katrina, which city officials, citing the remaining FEMA trailers as blight, are ordering residents still living in them to vacate
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
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.
Outlook in the States & Localities Conference
Feb. 1-2 | Washington, D.C.
American Society for Training and Development
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.
National Association of Secretaries of State
Feb. 11-14 | Washington, D.C.
Conference on Human Capital Management For Defense
Feb. 14-17 | Alexandria, Va.
Conference on Social Media for Government
Feb. 14-17 | Washington, D.C.
>> Full events listings