Briefs

Bill offers veterans tech ed

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) last month introduced legislation that would allow veterans to use their GI Bill benefits to pay for courses leading to a job in the high-tech industry. The bill (S. 1088) would allow accelerated payment of the basic educational assistance allowance to veterans.

Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said the bill would help ensure that veterans get access to quality education, which often is unaffordable for them.

OPM nominee looks ahead

Kay Coles James, President Bush's choice to be director of the Office of Personnel Management, said at her Senate confirmation hearing last month that technology can help agencies capture a new generation of federal employees. "We must harness technology to make the application and hiring process easier," she said in prepared remarks.

Better compensation will also help, James said, adding that she is "committed to developing incentives necessary to retain experienced and high-performing workers and to prevent further brain drain."

Rumsfeld creates committees

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last month formed two internal management committees that will help the Defense Department modernize and improve business practices.

The Senior Executive Committee—which will include Edward "Pete" Aldridge, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics—will act as a business board of directors. The Business Initiative Council, to be headed by Aldridge, will recommend good business practices and adopt cost-saving efforts that could offset the funds needed for personnel programs, infrastructure recapitalization and equipment modernization.

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