Federal Times Front Page TSA Air Marshal Robert MacLean November 6, 2006 | Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Of The United States | Government Of The United States

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November 6, 2006 Federal Times front page, article, whistleblower, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Air Marshal Service, Transportation Security Administration, DHS, TSA, FAMS, Robert J. MacLean, U.S. Office of Special Counsel ( OSC ), Carolyn Lerner, Jason Zuckerman, lack of remorse and regret, Federal Board rules against TSA air marshal whistleblower because he wasn't sorry, Robert MacLean, Robert MacLean, Merit Systems Protection Board ( MSPB )
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  THE NATIONAl NEWSWEEKLY FOR FEDERAl MANAGERS SAFAVIAN'S'ABUSE OF PUBLIC TRUST 4 November 6, 2006 www.federaltimes.com $2.25 smar ef Interagency contracting: Establishrules forthecreation,tracking and reauthorization of interagencycontracts. '111e gov realydoesn't haY. a go04 hantIe on nat is out tlIere.' _______ IMAr.ciJLMRdJl;tlln, _ Of theAcquisitionAdvisory Panel'sSO-plus recommendations, experts 5(1oj these are most urgent ... -.- , - _ _---- - . ree wa S0 Panel's new plan ft:>r reformmg federal aCq]uisition By RISE CASTnLl PRIORITIES R equirements Cor thelengthofan ear ofcom,thefibermakeup oC towels, the minimum thickness of garbage bags - such are the minute details agencies writeintosome of their contracts (or pri· vate-..sectorservices. Thegovernment luw Uied to elimi.nale thistype of mlcromanngcmenLln its contracting Cor nl'nrly two <!C'CaL!l'lI. BUl U ( : o n g r e ~ ' l l o l l - nil a Inled FEDERAL TRAVRER Business and pleastn'e Attractions andaslzable federalpres encemake thisFlorida cityapopu lar choice tor confel'f'nces. Pafe 10 fHI faw .. ad AGENCY MANAGEMENT Fairness at State TheStateDepartment handed out aplumForeignServiceassign.mentwithoutfollowingitsown rules, n grievance says. Page4 November6,2006 Federal Times frontpage,article,whistleblower,U.S.DepartmentofHomeland Security,Federal AirMarshal Service,Transportation Security Administration,DHS,TSA,FAMS,RobertJ.MacLean,U.S.Office ofSpecial Counsel (OSC ),Carolyn Lerner,Jason Zuckerman,lack ofremorse and regret,Federal Board rules againstTSA airmarshal whistleblowerbecause he wasn'tsorry,RobertMacLean,RobertMacLean,MeritSystems Protection Board (MSPB ) November6,2006 Federal Timesfrontpage,article,whistleblower,U.S.DepartmentofHomeland Security,Federal AirMarshal Service,Transportation SecurityAdministration,DHS,TSA,FAMS,RobertJ.MacLean,U.S.Office ofSpecial Counsel (OSC ),Carolyn Lerner,Jason Zuckerman,lackofremorse and regret,Federal Board rulesagainstTSA airmarshal whistleblowerbecause he wasn'tsorry,RobertMacLean,RobertMacLean,MeritSystemsProtection Board (MSPB )  Manage the work force: Collectdata on current w o ~ forceto predict andmanagepersonnelneeds,and adequately fund training. 'The No.1 ~ ( ~ ) ... Do we have tlH! rigIII people with tlH! rWt! nil of skis, and how do .e make on agencies getthesupport th., need out of tijs woJt< ..... 1' Allan Burman PANEOMEMBER GllAPHIC BY MARCIA STAlUER Performance-basedcontracting: Dropg<wemmentwideQuota and setperformance-basedcontracting goalsto reflect eachagency's needsand abilities. 'I tIiok tile e ,, with tile ~ e goal has oot been lI1at posili'le ã.ãã ij is for goals to becomemore tlH! subject of ritlicule lI1an sumell1ing that is positive.' Steve Kelman l''olllltllll PllURIlM.ltI!OOVKRMK/{J' O l l l P . ~ Read the panel'srecommendationsat federaltimes.com O N L l N ~ The AcquisitionAdvisory Panel,which wrapped up18 months of formalde- liberationsin August, is putting flnishing touches 011 a report withmorethan 80 recommendationson howthegovemment canput theseand oth er archaic prOGurement practicesto rest. Whe plLllfIl's aim, lal(l out In Ihe 2003 Sl;lr- viers Atqultlll.lOll 11('fOl'(1I Ac'1 (SARA), IB to IlChl(lVI' nil ('mt'lt'lIl, rOlllllolltlvl' mit! bUI'lI· ncssllke cnvlrolllll('n! fit II Hnwwhonul ready overworkedcontracting Htaffs arc awarding more and moreworkto the pri vatesector. Ratherthan holding contractors to de tailed requirements, the govemmentought to be focused on business outcomes andal- low thecontractors to provide ingenious andcleverways to getthere, ~ said AllanBurman,apanelist and fanner federalpro curement policychief. See CONTRACTING, Page 6 Ask the Pay Expert Payandbenefits reporter Tim Kaulfmananswersyour questions about new leaverules and dental and vision benefits. Page 17 Agencies are cracking downon travel card abuse and delinquency, but credit checks remain W1POPU- Jar with most employees. Page 11 GEl 1218 AH£AD Choosing insurance ColumnistMikeMiles describes common mlatakt 8 to avoid thts opCnll('1l801l. Pille 16 BUSINESS REPORT ID card contract ended The General Services Admintstra tlonwill not! extendItsidentifica tioncardcontractwith BearingPoint Inc.Page18 Thegovernment is designat- ing more andmore Imclassified infonnation under similarcategories, and the .rulesgovemillg fliab data - and consequences of revealingit - areoften un clearand untested. Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of AmericanSci- See MARSHAL, Page 14 mentsays is sensitive but is not classified. Government watch dog groups say {hey think MacI:eanis the first federal employeefiredfor revealing sensitivesecurityinfomuilioll, or ssr - uncLassifKXI data onthe U.S. transportation network's secu- rity· programs, vulnerabilities and screeningequipment that is restricted from the public. arguing that the WhistleblowerProtection Act should havecov- ered him when lietoliiare porter in 2003 that the Federal AirMarshalService was eliminating assignmentsoncross· country flights. Expertssay MacLean's case raisesquestionsabouta gray area of government secrecy- information that the govern- A GannettNewsweekly ©2006 Army Times PubHshlng CompanyPeriodicals-Newspaper Handling VQI. 42, No. 38 Air marshal's firing prompts whistleblower suit A fi.l:ed airmarshal is suing to regain hisjob in acase that< could draw the line between blowing the whistle on mismanagement and protectingsensitiveinfonnation. Robert MacLeansued Oct. 30 in the U.S. Court of Appeals forthe 9th Circuit in San Francisco, By SltPHEN LOSEY o SI'OlUGIIT Naomi Earp The new chJef of the Equal Em· ploymentOppor tunity Commis sion has madea career repre- sentingthe underdog.Page 22 www.federaltimes.com/newsletters November 6,2006 Federal Times frontpage,article,whistleblower,U.S.DepartmentofHomeland Security,Federal Air Marshal Service,Transportation Security Administration,DHS,TSA,FAMS,RobertJ.MacLean,U.S.Office ofSpecial Counsel ( OSC ),Carolyn Lerner,Jason Zuckerman,lack ofremorse and regret,Federal Board rules againstTSA air marshal whistleblower because he wasn'tsorry,RobertMacLean,RobertMacLean,MeritSystems Protection Board ( MSPB )November6,2006 Federal Timesfrontpage,article,whistleblower,U.S.DepartmentofHomeland Security,Federal AirMarshal Service,Transportation SecurityAdministration,DHS,TSA,FAMS,RobertJ.MacLean,U.S.Office ofSpecial Counsel (OSC ),Carolyn Lerner,Jason Zuckerman,lackofremorse and regret,Federal Board rulesagainstTSA airmarshal whistleblowerbecause he wasn'tsorry,RobertMacLean,RobertMacLean,MeritSystemsProtection Board (MSPB )  E-mail: slosey®federaltimes.com E-mail:sklsey@federaltimes.oom threatening them with jail time. In fiscal 2006, ICE agentsarrested 716 employers forviolatingillegal labor laws - anincreaseover 2002, when 25 peoplewere arrested. hibits Ule disclosure oflnfonuation that it detenninesmay revea! a systemic vulnerability of the aviation system or aviationfacilities to attack,accordingto Transporta. tion Security Regulations. But TSA's use of SSI has beenquestionedbefore. A February 2004 report from the CongressionalResearch service repolted concerns from airlineindustry representatives that 881 was being used to mU7:lle debateover efIec tive securitymea'mrcs.And tile Government Account.'lbilityOf Gce in June 2005 said TSA did nothaverulesgoverning the lise of SSI and did not haveadequate control,,' to ensure ssr was being deiignated across the depaitmenL MacLean sees a double stan dard in the way he was treatedandthe rreedom senior Home· land Securityofficials haveto dis closeoperationalsecrets. Homell1lld Security Seoretlll:yMichael Chcrtoff tOld reporters in August, a(lerthe \Il1raveling of a London-based terrorist plottobomb U.S.-bound flights, thatair n\arshals were goingtofocus on similar fliglllS. ~ I can't disclose t h a t h ~ y ' r e tak- ingairmarshals off fOw'-p1u.<;-houJ: flights, b l l ~ Michael Oheltoff Can say[hey'reexpandingair marshal coverage of U.S,-London nights Tight afteranother foiledhijacking p I O I ? ~ MacLean said. ~ I thinkthey're hypocrites. ~ 12,349 as suchretroactively by TSA on Aug. 31, 2006. MacLean says he is beingpunished unfairlyfor doing something that was not, at the time,forbidden. MacLean has until Dec.15 tQ file anothercase wiUI the MeritSystemsProtectionBoard argu ingforwhi$Ueblowerprotections. TheProjec 011 GovernmentOversight and the Government AccountabiUty Proje<:t are helpingMacLean. ~ T S A didn't ev:en attempt to camounage its rationalefor ter minating Robert MacLeru\- theydid it becausehe blew the whis tle, GAP legislativerepl'esenta tive Adam Miles said in an Oct.30 news release, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., sent a letter Oct.20 togeneral counsels at HomelandSecurity and TSA asking them 10 review MacLeml's case. Agency rl1le$ creatinghybrid secrecy categories Ii l<c '881' donot cmlcel out theemployeeprotections underthe \YPA IWhisUe blower Protection Actl, Maloneywrof<. Governmentwatchdoggroups wmnthat se<:recyinth€'govern ment is spreading. 'A September rcpOltby OpenTheGovelTlment.org andsiln- iIar groups fOtmd that Ule nmnber of categories of sensitive but lUt- classifiea document designations incre<lSed from 50 in1iscaI 2()().t to 60 the next;year. TSA dectdeswhatis 881 a n d ~ r o - decline in apprehensions in the fourth quart.er of fiscal 2006, whencomparedwith oneyear earlier. The Homelnnd Security Depart ment also Willits to cut downon thedemand forillegal labor by prosecutingemployers and Border Patroillgents 11,269 SOlJlK:E: ~ ~ ~ n t ,000 mun' UlUllln2001, l'lwlloff sai<lHomela.nd securitywanis to have 18,000 agents by theend of 2008. Those agents havereceived support from about 6,000 National Guard soldier.> and ainnenwho took overmanyadministrativeduties,whichlet almost 400 agents return to theborderand perfonwlaw enforce'lnentduties. Chertoff S<'lid the Guard'sassis tance contJ'ibuted to a 38 percent Sensitive but unclassified MacLean'slawsuitalsochal lenges whethertheinfonnation he revealed was SSI. lieclaimslhe information was not marked SSlin July 2003 andwas designliled rooms, MacLean became angry.FAMS wnsjeopardizing the pub- lic's safety forfinancial reasons,he said. MacLean said he tried to gothrough theproperchannels 1lI1d calledHomeland secwity inspej: tor generalofficesinWashington, San Diego 1lI1d Oakland, Calif,but was transferred or rebuffedeach time. Hesaid he called MSNBC reporter Brock Meeks as his last resort. FMISreinstated long-distance flights immediately after Meeks'July 29,2003, report., which quot· eel MacLeananonymously. MacLean admitted hewas MSNBC's sourcedming a subse quent internalinvestigation. In September 2006, he was taken off flying status and told the agency plannt.·d to fire him.He was officiallyfrredApril It. In MMLean'i.l; temlination lelter,TSAacknOWledged his14 years of fedeml mId militalYservice and sat isfactoryperfol1nance apl)raisals but saidhis unallUlorized mediaappearanceand unauthorized re lease ofSSI infon:nation to the me dia raiseseJious doubts about his ju<lgment,Uldtrustwort.ltines:l. TSA said MacLean had lilUe chance forrehabilit'ltion as amarshal. SanDiego partly because hewantedto protect thecountry against lerrorists. He alsohad souredonthe BorderPatrol,where he saidpolitics were hamstringingefforts to safeguard the border.McLeanfound a new set of frustrationsafterjoining FAMS, whichis'lmrt or the T ~ ' a n s p o r t a ­ tionSecurityAdministration. Agency policieson dresscodes andboatdingprocedures UIUlCC- essarilyexposedundercoverairmarshals andput theirlives at risk, MacLean said, andcaused ll111rshals to clash Willl former FAMS director Thomas QUill1l andolher sUlXlrvisors. He said he saw theJuly 2003 cancelation of marshals' assign mentson long-distance Rights as anotherexample of poor man- agement and misguidedpriorities at FAMS, and felt c O t l l p ~ l l e d to act. Days beforemarshals were no tifiedby text message that they nolongerwould fly on Rights re qUiring overnighthotelstays, a warning lIad gone out (hat ahi jacking »IOl similar to {he devas tatingSept. II attacks might be in the works.Macliean saidthe !lew mght policy would have keptmarshalsoffexactlythetype of nonstop,cross-country flights used by hi· jackers on &>pt, II. And when his supervisor toldhim the policywas because FAMS couldn't affordhotel ftl ('IIIit' 1l1 lll'('lIl1, wr (l lIli (, Previously,HomelandSecurity did not havedetention space tohouse tensof thousands of cap tured illegal aliens from nationsother th.an Mexico. Many ofthosc aliens wereset fl.:CC with ordeI:l> lX:l appearbeforeajudge,and they promptly d i s a p p e ' l I ' I ~ d . This pemiciolls policy was ... one of themost demoralizing andirritatingthings to members of oc c('n(opOEl.,n c- mined aliens isworking. Chertofrsaidimproved numbers arc proofthathisSecureBorder Initiative is the rightstrategy to sealthe borders. But Chertoff cautioned that workhas only begunon hisbor der plan. He s..'lid it will take many more yearsto definitively solvethe illegal immlgmtionproblem. The Challenge of controlling entists' Projecton Government Secrecy, said it's not clear wheUlerfederalemployees areprotected as whistleblowerswhenthey disclosescnsitlve but unclassified infOlmation. loIe said theolltcome of MacLean'scase could prove decisive. The govemmenthas alreadyshownthey are willing to punish unaulllOri7..ed. d i s c l o s u r e s , ~ Afler goodsaid. If it'sovertulTled by a court, that couldhavesignificant ramifications. Some worry thatthe llomeland Seclllity Department'scrackdown on MacLellll could stifle future whisUeblowersfrom rcve.'\ling in- fonnaUonaboutmismanagement, security flaws or otherproblems that endangerthe public. I donlt think Congres.'1inlcnd ed fOf SSI(0 beused to hideem barrassinganddangerous mis takes, or to retaliate against fed eralagents, MacLean said in an Oct.30interviewwith Federal Times. Spokeslllllll ConanBrucesaid the F'ederalAir Marshal Service (FAMS) hadno CQmment. First-class whisUebkn¥er MacLeanbecame an air mar- shal in October 2001, partofthe lim graduating class of marshalsafter Sept. U. lie left afive-year stintas a BorderPatrolagent in Ql'1lli1l!lCdjrom Page 1 Marshal November6,2006 Federal Timesfrontpage,article,whistleblower,U.S.DepartmentofHomeland Security,Federal AirMarshal Service,Transportation SecurityAdministration,DHS,TSA,FAMS,RobertJ.MacLean,U.S.Office ofSpecial Counsel (OSC ),Carolyn Lerner,Jason Zuckerman,lackofremorse and regret,Federal Board rulesagainstTSAairmarshal whistleblowerbecause he wasn'tsorry,RobertMacLean,RobertMacLean,MeritSystemsProtection Board (MSPB)November6,2006 Federal Times frontpage,article,whistleblower,U.S.DepartmentofHomeland Security,Federal AirMarshal Service,Transportation Security Administration,DHS,TSA,FAMS,RobertJ.MacLean,U.S.Office ofSpecial Counsel (OSC ),Carolyn Lerner,Jason Zuckerman,lack ofremorse and regret,Federal Board rules againstTSA airmarshal whistleblowerbecause he wasn'tsorry,RobertMacLean,RobertMacLean,MeritSystems Protection Board (MSPB )
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