Carpenters Union President

Resigns From Ullico Board

Douglas J. McCarron, president of the Carpenters and Joiners of America and an ally of President Bush, has resigned from his seat on the board of the union-owned insurance company, Ullico.

McCarron, who earlier announced he was returning profits from a series of controversial Ullico stock transactions, wrote in his letter of resignation that he was "disappointed" that the recommendations of an internal investigation commissioned by Ullico had not been followed by other board members and the company chairman, Robert Georgine. One recommendation was that all officers and directors return profits from the stock deals.

McCarron's resignation was reported yesterday by the Bureau of National Affairs. Georgine told BNA that the board "will miss Doug McCarron's participation."

Ullico is under civil and criminal investigation by a federal grand jury, the Department of Labor, the Maryland insurance commissioner, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

OPM Introducing Database For Background Checks

The Office of Personnel Management is moving to an electronic system of background checks that should save time and money when federal agencies and contractors try to get security clearances for employees, OPM officials said.

The e-Clearance initiative will allow officials to search a database to learn an employee's security clearance history, ending the time-consuming phone calls and faxes to agencies where the employee used to work.

The system is scheduled to be in place by June. It will replace a 13-page background form with an electronic version that can be updated periodically, removing the need for employees to fill out the entire form every time they need a new clearance.

The initiative is expected to cost $54.3 million, but save $258 million over 10 years, OPM officials said. They said they were studying how much time it would save.

For the Record

* As a war with Iraq looms, the Energy Department is ready to release oil from the nation's emergency stockpile to counter any disruption in supplies, said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.). A war with Baghdad would shut down Iraq's oil exports of 1.7 million barrels a day, and there are market fears that military action could disrupt shipments from neighboring Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

* Former senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) was in critical but stable condition from an infection after an emergency appendectomy. Moynihan, who turned 76 on Sunday, was recovering well from the surgery until Thursday, when an infection set in, said Tony Bullock, a former aide. Bullock added that doctors "now believe they have the infection stabilized."

* More than six years after the FBI crime laboratory was rocked by controversy, the Justice Department has identified about 3,000 criminal cases that could have been affected by flawed science and skewed testimony. It is letting prosecutors decide whether to tell defendants about the problems.

-- Compiled from reports by staff writers Thomas B. Edsall and Christopher Lee, the Associated Press and Reuters