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Indian-American Engineer Karun Sreerama to lead Public Works and Engineering (PWE) department in Houston

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Engineer Karun Sreerama (Fourth form Left), Twitter ,
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Washington, March 18, 2017: Indian-American engineer Karun Sreerama has been named to head Houston’s Department of Public Works and Engineering by the city’s Mayor Sylvester Turner.

If confirmed, the 53-year-old Hyderabad native would start work from April 3 and would become the city’s first Asian department director in the process, reported the Houston Chronicle newspaper on Friday.

Sreerama would replace retiring director Dale Rudick as chief of Houston’s $2 billion and 4,000-plus employees operation. He said that the organisation, which for decades has been viewed as “rigid” and “allergic to feedback”, must improve its outreach and develop a “servant” mentality.

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“That means always notifying residents before a work crew shows up on their street,” he said.

“It means asking businesses affected by a road project whether most of their customers come during the day or at night, and scheduling road closures accordingly.”

Sreerama said he plans to meet in short order with all public works staff about his vision for the department as part of a broader, communications-driven plan for his first 100 days.

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“We can be more inclusive of the people who are actually going to use public works’ products and treat them as customers, treat them as the people that we work for,” Sreerama said.

“We can’t sit there as engineers and plan things and then give it to them. We need to talk to them, ask them what their ideas are. I’ll never start an answer with, ‘You don’t understand.’ We are a service organization.” (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)