The SEVEN government stories you need to know for Wednesday April 18, 2012:
- 21 — that’s the number of prostitutes federal investigators say the Secret Service brought back to their hotel room in Colombia. The Washington Post says 11 Secret Service and nine military personnel are suspected of the misconduct that took place in advance of President Obama’s trip to the country for an international economic summit. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey told reporters, “We are embarrassed and we let the boss down, because nobody is talking about what went down in Colombia other than this incident.” All 11 secret service agents have had their top-secret security clearances revoked.
- The GSA scandal could be heading to a courtroom. The Washington Business Journal says California Congressman Jeff Denham sternly warned Public Buildings Service event planner Lisa Daniels that she should retain legal counsel to defend her role in putting together the Public Buildings Service event. Daniels was set to testifying before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management…but was dismissed shortly after the hearing started. Daniels is currently administrative leave.
- The Republican ruled House has deemed the budget passed. The Hill Newspaper says the GOP used the “deeming resolution” so that they could set guidelines for the spending bills for the next fiscal year. The House Rules Committee says that the deeming resolution “provides that the House-passed budget resolution shall have force and effect until the adoption of a conference report on the budget resolution. Meaning basically the deemed budget is the model until the real fiscal 2013 budget can be passed. This is the sixth time in the last decade that the House has deemed a budget.
- The mail carriers have their own plan for fixing the Postal Service. “The nation’s largest mail-carriers union wants the U.S. Postal Service to raise stamp prices and expand mail delivery. The Wall Street Journal says the Union sharply criticises the agency’s rescue plan and argues the Postal Service will become profitable only if it restructures itself like a business. The Postal Service’s proposal would close thousands of post offices and cut back on the number of days that mail is delivered.
- The Federal Reserve says there is a limit to its transparency. They’ve released heavily redacted transcripts that don’t include any mention of economic policy. The Wall Street Journal says the Fed isn’t required under law to release details of its policy deliberations, but decided in 1993 to begin releasing nearly full transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee meetings after a five-year lag. That was in response to pressure from Congress on the central bank to be more open about its deliberations. Few major central banks release transcripts of their policy meetings.
- The House has made substantial changes to its cybersecurity bill in hopes of quieting privacy advocates. The House Intelligence Committee made changes to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The Wall Street Journal says the new draft uses a different definition for a ‘cyber threat’ that leaves out any reference to intellectual property infringement. Critics had warned that the bill’s definition was so broad that it could include people illegally downloading music and movies.
- Over on GovLoop we asking you…why do projects fail? We’ve got some enlightening answers. Like GovLoop member Chris Hamm who says the number one reason projects fail is a lack of effective project control & inclusion which allows participants to ride along without commitment.