- By Aliya Sternstein
- Oct 02, 2006
Springer’s subconscious goofs
Office of Personnel Management Director Linda Springer’s slips of the tongue stirred up a little confusion on Capitol Hill last week. Testifying before a Senate subcommittee about OPM’s Senior Executive Service pay-for-performance plan, she twice said, “Quotas are not prohibited.”
Many executives think their agencies are using quotas and preventing high-performing leaders from getting automatic raises.
Springer did not notice her apparent affirmation of some SESers’ worst fears about the program until she began to utter the phrase a third time. That’s when she caught herself and quickly asserted, “Quotas are not allowable. They are prohibited. Quotas are bad.”
DOD disses its customers
Anyone planning to call the Defense Security Service’s Defense Information System for Security (DISS) Oct. 20 through Oct. 23 will find all circuits dead.
A note on the service’s Web site states that the entire system — including the Joint Personnel Adjudication System, the Industrial Security Facilities Database and the Defense Clearance and Investigation Index — will be unavailable during that time, and users will be unable to access any DISS system. The note adds that the Defense Department welcomes e-mail comments and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t bother clicking on the site’s Search button. That’s defunct, too. A blank page informs you that “a new search program is under development and will be available soon.”
New Web site posts Hill staffers’ salaries
Last month marked the arrival of LegiStorm.com, a free Web site that reveals the salaries of congressional aides. Previously, anyone who sought that information needed to trek to House and Senate document rooms.
Nosy, jealous and outraged people can now search a database of staffer salaries by last name, representative, senator, committee, leadership office, administrative office or state.
Here’s the site’s perspective on the pay scale: “A few aides are well-paid by any measure. Many others make an embarrassing sum, especially in an expensive city such as Washington, D.C., at jobs that can have a ferocious intensity to them.… Of course, their value in the private sector is sometimes enhanced not by their skills but by the personal connections they make while working for Congress.”
White House joins the real world
The White House’s Anti-Drug Office has begun posting anti-drug advertising and national drug policy announcements on the video-sharing Web site YouTube.
The office became the first Cabinet agency to use YouTube, one of the fastest-growing sites on the Web.
John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the president’s drug czar, said “there has been an explosion in the number of Americans using emerging technologies to publish their views, learn about important issues and to communicate with each other. We know that in order to remain effective communicators in this new Information Age, public institutions must adapt to meet the realities of these promising technologies.”
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