"The Buyout/Early Out window is open beginning today, Monday, November 30, 2009 through 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Employees who are approved for the Buyout/Early Out must be off the rolls by April 3, 2010 and may retire/resign as early as December 31, 2009. Eligible employees who voluntarily leave GSFC by no later than April 3, 2010 with an approved buyout will receive an amount equal to their calculated severance pay entitlement, up to a maximum of $25,000."
Personnel News: November 2009 Archives
"Dec 9, 2009 11:30 am - 1:30 pm"
Keith's note: Looks like you have to pay $70 to hear Charlie Bolden speak. Word has it that he is going to use this venue to make some major announcements regarding NASA. Given that most people cannot afford a $70 lunch or work at a NASA center hundreds or thousands of miles away, I wonder: will NASA PAO record and broadcast his comments for the rest of us to hear? All it takes is a laptop and a webcam. Stay tuned.
"Paul Martin, formerly of the Justice Department, is re-launching his career. Sort of. Martin was confirmed by the Senate on Friday as the inspector general for NASA. Since 2003, Martin had been Justice's deputy inspector general, serving under Inspector General Glenn Fine. The OIG investigates, among other things, allegations of fraud, abuse and integrity laws that govern DOJ employees, operations, grantees and contractors."
Our View: Keep the joy in JPL's joystickers, Pasadena Star News
"In a world wracked by recession, one in which it's easy enough to be cynical about government, the work by the geniuses at NASA's JPL is a bright beacon of hope showing what government can do at its best: explore the universe. So what's the reward the United States Justice Department has decided to once again visit upon JPL staffers? A deep intrusion into their personal, romantic and financial lives, ostensibly for purposes of "national security."
"A high-level team from the Pentagon and NASA HQ will provide information to assembled community leaders - including Federal, State and local elected officials - on business opportunities that may be made available in the repair and refurbishment of military hardware returning from Iraq over the next two-to-five years. The estimated value of refurbishment activity is $25B. This team has previously funded pilot projects through the NASA Shuttle Logistics Depot (NSLD) in Cape Canaveral to demonstrate its capability to perform this type of work."
Lift the cloud over JPL, opinion, LA Times
"The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately found merit in the suit's objections and, last year, halted imposition of the presidential directive on the lab. There matters remained, and the plaintiffs hoped that the Obama administration would let the matter die. However, last week -- just five minutes before the government's right to appeal the 9th Circuit ruling would have expired -- Solicitor General Elena Kagan asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. Kagan argues that the government does not violate the right to privacy by collecting information on an individual, only by disseminating it. Further, she contends that the 9th Circuit's ruling threatens the whole regulation of the civil service. Both contentions are patent nonsense."
Keith's note: Visit hspd12jpl.org for more information.
Previous HSPD-12 postings, NASA Watch
JPL employees criticize government for pursuing background checks, Pasadena Star News
"JPL employees Wednesday criticized federal authorities for seeking a U.S. Supreme Court review of an appeals court decision blocking the government from requiring mandatory background checks. The U.S. Solicitor General's Office wants the nation's highest court to review the ruling, arguing that it could affect the government's ability to conduct background checks of contract employees. Robert Nelson, a JPL scientist and the lead plaintiff in the case, said he was disappointed by the government's decision to pursue the case to the Supreme Court level. "We particularly had hoped that the Obama administration would take a closer look at the unwise national security decrees of his predecessor," Nelson said."
NASA's Adviser Talks Security During Annual Salute To Veterans, Tyler Morning Telegraph
"Phillip Bounds, NASA's National Security advisor in Washington, D.C., spoke Monday, calling cyber threats against this country alarming. "There are hidden cyber warriors out there that intend to put our forces in harm's way and (the cyber threat) is more real than what you realize," Bounds told a crowd estimated by officials at "500-plus" at an early Veterans Day observance at the International ALERT Academy."
Keith's note: I just checked NED and no one named Phillip Bounds is listed as being employed by NASA. Yet Bounds clearly works at NASA. In this org chart he is listed as Director, Security Management Division. Isn't it just a little weird to not have such a person listed? How do you find him if you have a security issue? Isn't that what NED is supposed to do - help find NASA people? Or is this part of the whole security thing (i.e. stay hidden)?
"A former top NASA official has been sentenced to three years probation, six months of electronic monitoring and a $2,500 fine for breaking ethics laws. Courtney Stadd, of Bethesda, Md., was convicted of helping a consulting client get nearly $10 million of the space agency's funds."
Keith's note: Word has it from people who were in the courtroom today that someone from the JSC IG's office flew up from Houston so that he could be sitting in the front row in the courtroom as Stadd was sentenced.
Keith's note: With the "no change" period soon coming to an end 120 days after the swearing in of Charlie Bolden and Lori Garver, a number of people are worried about their jobs and/or the structure of their organization. True to form, Ed Weiler is trash talking people again - people who he fears might be considered as replacements, sacking advisory committee members (notice the change in science chairs on the NAC), etc. And with the soon-to-be-announced new MSL cost overruns and technical problems (possible bad batch of Titanium used and bad arm actuators) someone needs to get fingered as being at fault.
Given Charlie Bolden's personal code of conduct and the gentlemanly way that he seems to treat absolutely everyone he encounters, one has to wonder how long he is going to put up with this sort of "inside Washington" behavior - once word of it gets back to him. Stay tuned.
Keith's note: At the upcoming HQ PAO All hands (no big secret) it will be announced that Alan Ladwig will become a new Deputy AA for Public Affairs for Public Outreach. Bob Jacobs will resume the other Deputy AA job for News, PAO, etc., and Morrey Goodman is the new AA for Public Affairs.
Morrie Goodman is the NASA PAO AA Front Runner, previous Post
"The Shuttle program is going to come to an end in the not too distant future. We are already transitioning to a new architecture that will enable us to once again leave our home planet. When the program does end, a significant portion of our team is going to be out of work. The International Space Station will most likely have a life beyond 2016 to probably 2020. NASA is going to support the development of commercial options to service the International Space Station; we have already been doing this through the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program. We are going to build a spacecraft to take humans beyond low Earth orbit; its name is Orion, and it is going to be built here at KSC."