Archive for the ‘Security’ Category
Don’t waste your time looking up this term, because it doesn’t exist.
Recently, I was asked if I knew what a Finite State Machine was. I confessed I didn’t know, it got me curious to find out. I was imagining something out of a sci-fi movie, involving artificial intelligence and a battle to save the earth.
This article originally appeared on Bloomberg.com:
The arrests of U.S. Transportation Security Administration employees on charges of accepting bribes from drug-smugglers is escalating calls from Republicans to overhaul an agency under fire for patting down young children and senior citizens.
The following article is from an issue of the Security Letter:
Security guard companies have a duty to screen out applicants with felony convictions. Similarly, some with misdemeanor convictions should also be dropped form consideration. But the surest way to determine if an applicant has a relevant criminal conviction record is through an FBI criminal background check.
On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an updated Enforcement Guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Authored by: Bob McCrie
The following article is from the March 2012 issue of Security Letter:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is looming with a major change. Of course, thousands of contract security guards have access to healthcare insurance provided directly by their employer, through their spouse, or self-funded. But a great majority doesn’t have coverage. That will change.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act that was signed by President Obama a couple weeks ago contained a provision that should make it easier for airports to use private companies to perform passenger and baggage screening. While not widely known, since TSA was created airports have been able to “opt out” of using federal screeners and instead us a “qualified private screening company under the “Screening Partnership Program” (SPP).
Since last summer, it has been reported that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) is planning to revise its well established guidelines for employers on the use of criminal background checks (CBC’s) in employment screening. The Democrat controlled commission is concerned that the use criminal background checks are a form of employment discrimination because a disproportionate number of African Americans and Hispanics have criminal records. Such revisions could severely limit the use of CBC’s by employers (in contravention to existing workplace safety requirements and other laws) and subject employers to greatly increased liability in the hiring process and for any possible incidents. Furthermore, the EEOC can release the guidance without a formal notice and comment period (as the formulation and release of such guidance is not governed by the Administrative Procedure Act).
The White House claims the cap on executive salaries that may be charged to government contracts “has soared to unreasonable heights.” Indeed, the benchmark has risen from $250,000 in 1995 (the first year the cap was effective) to just shy of $694,000 in 2010. OMB did not update the benchmark in 2011 even though it’s a requirement of the OFPP Act (41 U.S.C. 435) which imposed the cap.
It actually took significant research to discover that the current cap is actually $693,951. Apparently, $694,000 is just so much more impressive in print.
As originally enacted, the law imposed the cap only on the top five contractor executives. Over time, this has been interpreted to mean the top five executives in each business unit of a multi-segment contractor. This introduced an interesting paradox in very large corporations where the compensation of the number six person (and others) might significantly exceed the cap, but be completely allowable – or at least not capped by law.
Fiscal 2012 saw a number of proposed changes to this provision including one by the White House as part of the President’s deficit reduction proposal to drop the cap to $200,000. This is the amount earned by the most senior federal executives (cabinet secretaries). That proposal never went anywhere, but the Senate included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to drop the cap to $400,000, an amount equal to the President’s salary. The House included a provision in its version of the NDAA that left the current benchmark in place, but extended it to all contractor employees instead of just the top five.
In the end, the NDAA bill the President signed on December 31st included the House language. So, the cap remains at the benchmark set each year by OMB, but is now effective for all contractor employees.
And, the saga is not over yet. Senior Government officials are concerned the overdue OMB update of the benchmark may push it over $750,000 and the White House is once again calling for a dramatically lower cap. On January 31st, the acting head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) posted an entry to the OMB Blog entitled “Ending the Overpayment of Federal Contractor Executives.” In it he called the current executive compensation benchmark “far in excess of what can be justified” and called on Congress to “abolish the outdated statutory formula” and tie the cap to the top salary of the Government executive pay schedule – $200,000.
Legislators from Senator Charles Grassley (R-IO) to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) have echoed this call and in the current Congressional environment, it could happen!
As they say in the advertising business, “Watch this space.”
According to an article in The New York Times, lawmakers are pushing to revive a proposal that would allow the 450 or so commercial airports in the United States to use private security companies to handle passenger screening. Currently, screening is handled by Transportation Security Administration employees.
According to an article in The Security Letter, the trend toward contracting-out in the security guard industry is growing. They report, “At an industry conference recently, some participant felt the industry was becoming ‘mature.’ They felt that business was becoming harder to obtain, exacerbated by the relentless pressure to reduce hours and cut cost.