Feds resolutely return to work

Feds resolutely return to work

Federal workers responded to the terror of yesterday's attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with quiet resolve, returning today to the business of serving the nation.

Even though the attacks prompted the federal government to shut down offices and heightened awareness of security issues, most feds were back on the job today.

Clara M. Smith, director of the Transportation Department library in Washington, said she was 'pleasantly surprised to see the number of people who showed up at work [Wednesday] morning.'

'I was wondering last night how many people would show up,' she said. 'But I can say that I am very proud of federal employees. We are dedicated public servants and that is not recognized enough.'

Although the government's unscheduled leave policy, allowing workers to take the day off without prior notice, was in effect, other agencies reported similar turnout.

"It's pretty much back to work' today, said Steven R. Ditmeyer, director of the Office of Research and Development at the Federal Railroad Administration. "There is no fear."

Ditmeyer said he expected an increase in security in all transportation modes, including railroad travel.

At NASA, systems officials were closely monitoring networks for security compromises, something they're used to doing anyway.

'It's an ongoing issue for us,' said Brian Dunbar, a spokesman for NASA headquarters in Washington. 'We're under a fairly constant level of attack here, everything from sophisticated attacks to kids downloading scripts and seeing if we we've left any wide open doors for them.

'People are always trying to compromise our security systems, so it's just going to be a matter of paying closer attention to it for a while," Dunbar said.

Dunbar said he wasn't aware of any increase in network breaches in the aftermath of the attacks.


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