Paris who?

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 is more than 1 million, which means the tax agency approaches Hilton in popularity as a search engine term, Everson said.

No joke

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

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.

Acronym alert

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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FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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