DHS CIO takes a leave of absence – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • If you’ve ever had the privilege to visit Arlington National Cemetery you know the grounds are vast. In fact there are more than 290,000 soldiers buried throughout the 624 acres of hallowed ground. The terrain can make it difficult for families to locate the headstone of their loved ones. So Arlington National Cemetery has gone digital. Click here for the full recap.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  • NextGov reports, The long-time chief information officer of the Homeland Security Department is on leave, according to a DHS official who requested anonymity. Richard Spires, who also serves as vice chairman of the Federal CIO Council and co-chair of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, has overseen the department’s $6.4 billion information technology portfolio since September 2009. The typical turnover for a federal CIO is about two years.

  • Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told the Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry to hunt down and fire those who don’t work or who don’t show up. Federal News Radio reports, Coburn says too many employees are AWOL, or absent without leave. He also says thousands of essential federal employees are in fact on the job, doing critical work like inspecting food. But he says getting rid of no-shows could let agencies avoid furloughs. Coburn also took a swipe at so-called official hours, the millions of manhours federal workers spend on union activities.

  • Associated Press: Airport operators are suing the Federal Aviation Administration to stop the spending cuts to 150 air traffic control towers. They say it violates a federal law and could erode safety. The head of one of the affected airports in central Illinois says there’s a “razor thin” margin of error in aviation and the FAA needs to study the effect of the cuts more closely. Airports in Florida and Washington state have also joined the lawsuit. FAA officials say because of sequestration, they have no choice but to furlough air traffic controllers at small airports with lighter traffic. Pilots flying into those airports would have to communicate with other pilots themselves, instead of through a control tower.
  • Federal News Radio: The White House says President Barack Obama will release his 2014 budget proposal on April 10. That’s two months late. By law, he was supposed to deliver the blueprint to Congress in early February, shortly after the State of the Union address. The White House blames budget uncertainty and sequestration for the delay.
  • GovExec reports, Customs and Border Protection is “weighing its options” regarding the necessity of furloughs this fiscal year, according to union officials involved in negotiations. CBP had previously planned to furlough all 60,000 of its employees due to the across-the-board spending cuts from sequestration.

  • Meanwhile, the Justice Department is still debating the need for furloughs. Attorney General Eric Holder says he’s waiting a few weeks to decide. In a memo to staff, he says the department is still finalizing its sequestration strategy. He already has backtracked on planned furloughs of federal prison staff. They’ll stay on the job because the department was able to shift $150 million from eight other accounts.

  • And on GovLoop. You can now register for the April edition of DorobekINSIDER Live. We’ll be talking citizen engagement. Register for the free event here.

Watercooler Fodder

  • Today was the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. You can see some pictures from the event

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