Congressional committee shuffles. Coolgov. Government handbook.
Who's in charge?
There's some shuffling going on in the House Government Reform Committee. Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) was recently promoted to the elite House Rules Committee, replacing Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.), who was tapped to be director of the CIA. The change leaves a vacancy on the committee's Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census Subcommittee.
Meanwhile, Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) has stepped down as chairwoman of the committee's Civil Service Subcommittee, moving to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
It's too early to tell who will fill these slots for the 109th Congress. These are decisions that Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), committee chairman, will be making during the next few months. So stay tuned for several leadership changes that will likely affect information technology policies.
A big job ahead
Last week, Homeland Security Department officials designated the Presidential Inauguration with a swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, an Inaugural Parade, an official reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue and the Inaugural Balls as a National Special Security Event.
The Secret Service is responsible for planning, directing and executing federal security operations at designated National Special Security Events and, together with state and local law enforcement partners, develops the overall security plan.
In the Washington, D.C., area, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Park Police and some federal and local agencies will play an active role in securing this event.
It's a big job, and it will certainly involve technology, although no one is talking about how.
Governing is cool
Governing the world's most powerful nation is serious business. Luckily, we now have www.coolgov.com as our guide to taxpayer-paid amusing collectibles. Such as the Centers for Disease Control-issued disease trading cards from anthrax to West Nile virus. Or a meticulously documented U.S.-issued patent for a "user- operated amusement apparatus for kicking the user's buttocks." Oh, and the entire NASA "controlled impact demonstration aircraft movie collection."
The minds behind Coolgov, Jon and Elizabeth Roig, two 20-something Web developers in Tempe, Ariz. Coolgov items tend to be absurd, but the site includes a dash of helpful links, too. A typical posting has "got to have a good picture," Jon Roig said. "That's key, a good illustration."
The big book
Never fear, the government is here. U.S. Archivist John Carlin recently announced the publication of the 2004/2005 edition of the U.S. Government Manual the official handbook of the federal government.
The new 692-page manual provides up-to-date information about federal agencies' missions, programs and activities; the names of top officials at each agency in the Bush administration; and a list of senators and representatives.
It also contains other useful information on the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the government and has comprehensive name and agency/subject indexes.
You can get it in print for a fee or for free at www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/index.html.
We don't want to be the first to tell them that some of this information will be changing in the next few months as the administration revs up for a second term. Many old hands leave and new players are appointed. Sigh.
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