The Senate Judiciary Committee continued its consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act May 14, adopting 15 amendments as it worked through the border security section of the bill and into the section on nonimmigrant visas.
Despite reports saying the State Department will not furlough employees due to sequestration cuts, a State Department spokesperson said no decision has been made on whether to furlough employees.
The State Department's analysis was lacking because, among other problems, it didn't clearly address how oil sands crude can cause more damage than conventional oil, the EPA said in a letter to the State Department. The EPA said it learned after a 2010 spill in Michigan that oil sands crude requires a different level of response.
Federal employees are feeling less empowered by agency leadership in 2012 than they were in 2011, according to a Partnership for Public Service report (.pdf). Perception that agencies have effective leadership dropped 2.1 points to 52.8 percent, employee feelings of empowerment dropped 2.7 points to 45.8 percent and belief in agency fairness dropped 1.3 points to 53 percent.
Records of admission will now be generated using traveler information already transmitted through electronic means," says Customs and Border Protection. "This change should decrease paperwork for both the officer and the traveler."
The State Department needs to consolidate its worldwide information technology and communications support centers and improve the coordination of its IT maintenance and troubleshooting services, says the department's Office of Inspector General. The recently-released OIG report, dated February 2013, also calls for better training for technical staff and developing a centralized ticketing and management system for IT support requests from U.S. embassies and consular posts.
Efforts at public diplomacy can still succeed in countries where drone strikes have led to outrage against the United States, said Tara Sonenshine, the State Department's undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, in a talk at the University of Maryland.
While the continuing resolution upholds the $85 billion in sequestration cuts across the board, funds were moved around within departments, something that agencies can't do on their own.
The department is particularly keen on spreading the idea that the theft of intellectual property is not acceptable behavior in cyberspace, said Christopher Painter, coordinator of the State Department's office of cyber issues. Painter specifically called out Russia and China for their "different worldview."
The update , posted by the Office of Management and Budget March 12 on performance.gov, shows mixed results in those cross-agency goals and provides information on 103 agency-specific priority goals.