What does the Internal Revenue Service have in common with celebrity Paris Hilton? More than you would think, according to IRS Commissioner Mark Everson.
During tax season, the average number of visits per day to www.irs.gov is more than 1 million, which means the tax agency approaches Hilton in popularity as a search engine term, Everson said.
E-mail abuses are growing in Canada, Germany and the United States, according to a new survey called E-mail Threats in the Workplace. The survey found that more than half of the 4,500 respondents regularly receive jokes via e-mail and forward them to others.
"The circulation of offensive content leaves companies open to litigation and damage to reputation," said David Guyatt, chief executive officer of Clearswift, which conducted the survey. Clearswift provides content security software for e-mail and the Web.
In the mail
Office of Personnel Management officials recently introduced a way for people to subscribe to an e-mail list for notices about whether the federal government is open, closed or having a liberal-leave day.
Subscriptions are available to anyone, and about 11,000 people have signed up. Sign up for the e-mail messages at www.opm.gov/status/subscribe.aspx.
A leaking report
We may never know if Homeland Security Department officials would have released their report outlining more than a dozen doomsday scenarios to spur state and local preparedness against security risks.
"We have not released the report," said Katy Montgomery, a DHS spokeswoman. "It is not final. It will be released in a few months."
It seems, however, that the cat got out of the bag last week when the report was posted on Hawaii's Web site. And it included draft reports of what would happen in the event of attacks with deadly material such as nerve gas, anthrax or pneumonic plague.
Change is in the air
Nothing stays the same, especially at DHS. Michael Chertoff, the department's new secretary, said last week he has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the 180,000-employee department. And he wants it quickly.
"Old categories, old jurisdictions and old turf will not define our objectives," Chertoff said in a speech at George Washington University less than two weeks after he took over DHS.
"Bureaucratic structures and categories exist to serve our mission and not to drive it," he said.
There's a new acronym on Capitol Hill these days. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) is chairman of the Government Reform Committee, or GRC, for those in the in-crowd, instead of the House Committee on Government Reform.
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