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Archive for October 14th, 2009

DorobekInsider: GSA administrator nominee watch — developments on the Kansas City federal center

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Yes — more than 10 months into the Obama administration — and Martha Johnson, the nominee to be the administrator of the General Services Administration, is still awaiting Senate confirmation.

The issue: Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) has put a hold on Johnson’s nomination because of a Kansas City federal property, as we told you back in August — and Federal News Radio 1500 AM spoke with the Kansas City Star reporter Kevin Collison.

Collison has an update:

GSA puts twist in downtown project’s plan

The Kansas City Star

Downtown Kansas City can have a new federal office building and 1,200 employees, but under a different development plan than first envisioned.

A top General Services Administration official has given the Missouri congressional delegation the green light for the $175 million project — but only if the federal government owns it.

The plan that had been pitched locally since 2006 called for a building to be developed privately and leased to the GSA. The 430,000-square-foot project would be filled with federal workers moving from the Bannister Federal Complex in south Kansas City…

Peck’s letter is the latest twist in a political battle that has stalled President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the GSA. Bond has placed a hold on the appointment of Martha Johnson to apply pressure on behalf of the Kansas City project…

Bond’s office greeted Peck’s latest offer with caution, and the senator will continue to hold up the Johnson appointment until more information can be obtained.

Read the full story here.

Read GSA’s letter to the Missiour congressional delegation here:

View this document on Scribd

As the Kansas City Star reports, it remains unclear if this will resolve the stand-off… and how quickly that be resolved.

Written by cdorobek

October 14, 2009 at 1:01 PM

DorobekInsider: Wolf warns to protect your PDAs — a good reminder. Read the CIO Council’s 2008 memo

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Last week on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) about a letter he sent to President Obama essentially saying that the government was not taking proper precautions for their PDAs — BlackBerries and the like.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today called on the president to hold a confidential cabinet briefing on the topic of cybersecurity and to make the protection of federal data a top administrative and policy priority.

Wolf, whose office computers were compromised in August 2006, continues to express concern that not enough is being done to protect critical data.

“The continued vulnerability of computer and telecommunications networks remains the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of U.S. national security in the 21st century,” Wolf wrote in a letter dated today to President Obama. “I hope you will lead our executive agencies by demonstrating to your cabinet the seriousness with which you consider this issue.”

Hear Wolf discuss this topic here.

In fact, this issue was addressed by the Federal CIO Council more than a year ago. Here is the memo:

View this document on Scribd

This afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief, we’ll talk to Karen Evens, who signed that memo, about the issue.

I certainly don’t think anybody is suggesting that this issue not get full attention — so we’ll take a look at it and why it is important.

Written by cdorobek

October 14, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Posted in Policy, security, Technology