From the daily archives: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) today released Information Policy Letter (ITPL) 10-03 for state agencies to implement secure, robust telework and remote access arrangements for state employees.

The need to implement telework and remote access solutions is becoming increasingly important. In addition to the traditional benefits of reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and increased employee productivity and job satisfaction; today’s business drivers include disaster and pandemic preparedness planning.  However, the cybersecurity risks and incidents associated with unmanaged use of remote access and telework arrangements can be costly and impact the ability to deliver essential public services.

The policy is accompanied by a Telework and Remote Access Security Standard to assist agencies with strengthening secure and robust telework and remote access arrangements, and requires agency heads to certify compliance with the standard.

The Telework and Remote Access Security Standard is now included in the State Information Management Manual (SIMM) as Section 66A and the Agency Telework and Remote Access Security Compliance Certification included in Section 70E, both of which can be found online at

Development of the Telework and Remote Access Security Standard was part of a joint effort with the OCIO, the Department of General Services (DGS) and the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA). DGS has also published a new statewide model Telework Program Policy and Procedures available on their website at

When the OCIO was established in January 2008, it was the intent of the Legislature and Governor to create an agency that, among other things, establishes policies and standards to ensure that state information technology systems run effectively. Through changes to the State Administrative Manual (SAM) and the SIMM, the OCIO creates statewide policy for the Executive Branch to ensure coordination as the agency works to oversee IT activities with a common direction and vision.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration on Tuesday asked the California Supreme Court to consolidate and review seven cases related to the governor’s furlough authority, including a recent Alameda Superior Court decision on “special fund” workers that is under appeal.

Four of the cases are at the Third District Court of Appeal, while three are at the First District Court of Appeal. The administration stated in its Tuesday petition that the California Supreme Court should consolidate the cases because lower courts have issued conflicting opinions on the extent of Schwarzenegger’s furlough authority.

“All of these appeals involve common issues of law and fact because they all present challenges to the Governor’s authority to direct furloughs of state employees by way of Executive Order,” the petition states.

Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch last week ordered the state to end furloughs for tens of thousands of state workers whose departments are financed by revenue streams outside the state’s general fund. His decision also ordered the state to pay those workers for lost wages since Schwarzenegger began furloughing them 13 months ago. But that decision was immediately put on hold when the state filed an appeal last week.

Besides seeking a consolidation of the appeals, Schwarzenegger lawyers have asked the state Supreme Court to stay all remaining trial court actions on furloughs.


Edinburg, Texas — U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector seized more than $20 million worth of marijuana during the past seven days.

click for hi-res
Falfurrias agents seized 168 bundles of marijuana totaling 3,263 pounds and valued at $2,610,400 from a vehicle.
Falfurrias agents seized 168 bundles of marijuana totaling 3,263 pounds and valued at $2,610,400 from a vehicle.

Beginning February 22 and ending Sunday, agents made multiple seizures of marijuana totaling more than 12 tons. The seizures occurred across the Rio Grande Valley Sector from Brownsville to Rio Grande City and north to the Falfurrias and Kingsville Border Patrol checkpoints and were unrelated.

Marijuana seizures for the Rio Grande Valley Sector are up 37 percent from the same time last year.

To report suspicious activity, contact the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector’s toll-free telephone number at 1-800-863-9382.


Del Rio, Texas – Eagle Pass Border Patrol agents made two drug seizures totaling more than 170 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value of approximately $137,000.

Thursday evening Border Patrol agents encountered three subjects as they were walking from the Rio Grande River toward an area south of Eagle Pass. Two of the three subjects were carrying large green military-style duffle bags on their backs. When the subjects were confronted by the agents, they dropped the bags and ran back across the river into Mexico. Agents recovered two bags containing more than 132 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of approximately $105,000. The narcotics were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Eagle Pass Border Patrol agents seize 170 pounds of marijuana in two separate seizures.

About an hour later, an agent patrolling in Eagle Pass observed two subjects on the corner of First Street and Madison carrying backpacks. When the subjects saw the agent, they began running toward the Rio Grande River utilizing a cement spillway inside of the Eagle Pass Water Treatment Plant. The agent pursued the subjects on foot while other agents began to converge on the area. Agents managed to apprehend one of the subjects; however the second subject managed to evade arrest by fleeing across the Rio Grande River. Agents recovered a backpack that contained 40 pounds of marijuana valued at $32,000 and arrested one subject. The subject and marijuana were turned over to the Maverick County Sheriff’s Department


Mariachi Singer Hector Dominguez performs at the Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta Sunday, Feb. 28.

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