Weekly Roundup: April 10-14, 2017


Weekly Roundup: April 10-14, 2017

Friday, April 14th, 2017 - 8:32
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of April 10-14.

John Kamensky

Better Program Management. Government Executive ran an op-ed by several advocates for better program management: “About a decade ago, the five authors of this article began meeting as a group over breakfast (with the self-imposed moniker the “Breakfast Club”) to discuss the need for better program management. We all have served, or currently serve, in senior government management positions. Our focus then and now has been on mission outcomes and results. We believe results begin with effective management, which is built on a legacy of successful practices often referred to as portfolio, program or project management.”

Shared Services at Commerce. Federal News Radio reports: “Glenn Davidson, Commerce’s executive director of enterprise services, said earlier in the week that Commerce will be the first agency to move to shared services for all back-office functions — human resources, financial management, technology and procurement.”

Selling IT at FDA. Federal News Radio reports: “The Food and Drug Administration may have just broken the code around cost allocation and recovery for IT services. . . . FDA Chief Information Officer Todd Simpson said . . . that his office is maturing a charge-back model for the mission areas.”

Tech one-on-one. Federal News Radio
reports: “Federal chief information officers from every Cabinet agency, large agency and a select few small agencies made a trip to the White House over the last month to provide a 30-minute brain dump to the Trump administration. . . . Multiple sources say Chris Liddell, the assistant to the president for strategic initiatives, and Matt Lira, the special assistant to the president for innovation policy and initiatives, brought in CIOs one after another to get a handle on priorities, challenges and opportunities in each agency and governmentwide.”

Government Restructuring: “Start from Scratch.” The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to agencies earlier this week that provides a framework for a two-year restructuring and reform effort. Here are some links and reactions:

· Link to the OMB Guidance.

· Link to OMB Director’s Press Briefing on new guidance

· Link to public input forum.

· Federal News Radio’s story.

· Government Executive’s story.

Massive Program to Upgrade IT. NextGov reports: “President Donald Trump wants to revamp federal IT because the cost of preserving old computer systems is “so high, it’s not even a believable number,” he told a group of prominent business executives Tuesday. . . . Trump said he was planning a “massive program to modernize our equipment—ideally, get brand-new equipment,” according to that transcript.”

GAO on IDIQs. A new GAO report says: “The federal government obligated over $130 billion annually during fiscal years 2011-2015 on indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts—which are used when the exact quantity and timing of products or services are not known at contract award. . . . We found that the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs were the main users of these contracts. DOD used these contracts more than all other federal agencies combined. DOD officials cited flexibility as the main advantage of these types of contracts, noting that they were faster and easier to use.”

Michael Keegan

White House taps old policies for new government makeover. New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

Putting yourself in others’shoes can help you too! Steve Kelman suggests that organizational behavior research can have practical (and powerful) applications for federal managers.

VA mulls cloud-based version of Vista. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has promised a decision by July 1 about whether to retain the agency’s homegrown Vista electronic health record system, or to move to a commercial version. But VA is also charting a middle ground that would allow it to retain Vista, which is popular among agency physicians and highly rated in surveys, but outsource the work of maintaining the code while negotiating the knotty problems of keeping multiple versions of the software working harmoniously. Call it “Vista as a service.”

OPM looking to rebuild trust. For anyone who was not inclined to trust the federal government with their data before June of 2015, there were 21.5 million more reasons not to afterwards. The biggest casualty of the 2015 Office of Personnel and Management breach was public trust, said the head of the National Background Investigations Bureau. Speaking at the INSA counterintelligence symposium, Charles Phalen said the NBIB is doing everything it can to secure its legacy IT systems and that people can trust it with their data.

IG: Federal Reserve should standardize its continuous monitoring. Supervisory groups at Federal Reserve Banks are not consistent in their continuous monitoring practices, and can have trouble finding data on information systems due to unstandardized approaches to data uploading, according to a recent inspector general report. The Federal Reserve System Board of Governors is in charge of issuing guidance for the supervision of its regional reserve banks. To measure the efficacy of its continuous monitoring, and to follow up on its 2014 recommendation for the board to improve its supervision, IG assessed the practices at four Federal Reserve Banks

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This Week’s The Business of Government Radio Show. What is strategic intelligence? What does it mean to be a strategic, operational, or networking leader? How do you employ smart motivation? What is the relationship between personality and leadership? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Dr. Michael Maccoby, authors of Strategic Intelligence: Conceptual Tools for Leading Change.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED.

If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at businessofgovernment.org.