Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Of speaking out & missing deadlines...

Two unrelated bits of news about the federal government...

First, the story of Teresa C. Chambers, the chief of the U.S. Park Police. Chief Chambers, a fairly new federal employee who had served as the Chief of Police in Durham, recently spoke out during an interview. Her topic: suggesting that her department needed more sworn law enforcement officers. The gall of her. What was she doing, speaking straight and speaking her mind?

The second is the story of the deadline for merchant vessels and maritime facilitities to comply with new requirements for providing to the U.S. Coast Guard maritime security plans. The plans, required as a part of the recently enacted Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. Seems that nearly half the vessels required to submit plans, along with nearly 80% of the shoreside facilities required to submit plans, missed the deadline. I'm shocked that an unfunded mandate on commercial interests, with seemingly little pay off, would have such a huge percentage of missed compliance, particularly since the law gave people, oh, half a year or so to comply.

What do these two stories have in common? Not much, aside from the similarity they are both about federal agencies acting in a new world, a world we don't yet fully understand.

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