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Bug Government

Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex 124

Posted by timothy
from the something-to-be-indignant-about dept.
McGruber (1417641) writes In Atlanta, an electrical problem in a "Buss Duct" has caused the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center to be closed for at least a week. 5,000 federal employees work at the center. While many might view this as another example of The Infrastructure Crisis in the USA, it might actually be another example of mismanagement at the complex's landlord, the General Service Administration (GSA). Probably no one wants to go to work in an Atlanta July without a working A/C.
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Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

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  • Re:Earthshaking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Z00L00K (682162) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @03:44PM (#47539921) Homepage

    This is only newsworthy because it was a big building with a single point of failure.

    What we all can learn is to avoid single.points of failure in large systems.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @06:06PM (#47540451)

    No. Bus ducts are installed because of their high current and extremely low maintenance requirements.

    Most bus duct systems I've worked on are on 10-20 year inspection regimes, and I have yet to encounter one, even some which are 50+ years old that actually needed maintenance. They are, or at least should be, sealed systems without so much as a spec of dust to cause problems.

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @06:25PM (#47540503)
    Many of the effected people are not government employees, they are hourly contractors doing clerical and office work. They either have to take vacation or go without pay, and not getting paid for a week when you are making maybe $15/hour is not pleasant. Some can work from home but since the outage was unexpected they may not have their work laptop at home. How do I know this? I have a friend who works there.
  • Re:Earthshaking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TWX (665546) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @03:04AM (#47541749)

    The fiber optic cables carrying the data had no problems being immersed

    For the immediate emergency, no, they didn't.

    Long-term, fiber is susceptible to water damage. I had a site that needed fiber replaced because the Christy vault was placed too low in the ground and got inundated with irrigation water. The fiber didn't even splice in the vault; it was just a pull-point where the conduit stubbed up into the vault and a new conduit dropped back down, but the conduits filled up and the fiber degraded fairly quickly despite being gel-filled OSP. For awhile we kept testing and moving to different strands as the ones we were on failed, but it didn't take long before it had to be replaced. Fortunately the contractor was able to eliminate that particular vault entirely, splicing the conduits together after getting the moisture out, and we haven't had a problem since.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @09:50AM (#47543041)
    You ask a very good question, and it is a very good one. If the contractor screwed up, he should get fired. However, the failure to fire the private contractor is not a problem with privatization, but with government. As an example, the VA administrators who went beyond screwing up to active misconduct not only did not get fired, they received bonuses...and their bosses initially attempted to claim that those bonuses could not be withdrawn.

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