Friday, August 24, 2018
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of August 20 - 24, 2018.

Pentagon’s First CDO. FedScoop reports: “In a move highlighting the importance of data within the federal government’s largest agency, the Department of Defense recently hired its first chief data officer. . . . Michael Conlin, former CTO for U.S. public sector at DXC Technology, has stepped in to fill this role. He started the job July 30.”

Supervisors Matter. In a commentary for Government Executive, Howard Risher writes: “The plans to reform government “to be more efficient, effective and accountable” ride largely on the commitment of federal employees and civil service reform. Yes, strategies and metrics are important; technology is important. However, research by Gallup and others shows that employee performance—both good and bad—depends more on the effectiveness of supervisors than any other factor.”

Under-prepared.  Federal News Radio reports: “One year after 2017’s historic hurricane season, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) faces an uphill battle to properly staff up and train its employees in preparation for this year’s potential storms. . . . In looking back on its response to 2017’s disasters, FEMA says its workforce was well understaffed, under-trained and ill-prepared to respond at the start of last year’s hurricane season. . . . That’s due, in part, to a lack of investment in FEMA’s employees, said Peter Gaynor, the president’s nominee to be the agency’s deputy administrator.”

Strategic Planning Best Practices.  Adrian Evans-Burke posted a nice piece on the website: “I analyzed the 21 CFO act agency Strategic Plans published during the fiscal year 2018 reporting period; 13 non-CFO act plans; and interviewed staff from 14 agencies, to identify content trends, best practices, and lessons learned. These findings may inform future planning activities and may be applicable to other public-facing GPRAMA reports.”

GEAR Center Priorities. Federal Times reports on an OMB open conference call regarding the GEAR Center: ““The two areas of focus that we have out of the gate revolve around reskilling the workforce for the jobs of the 21st century and commercialization of federal data,” said OMB Deputy Director of Management Margaret Weichert during an Aug. 23 call.

NextGov’s reporting adds: “While it aims to bring together the best and brightest to grapple with longstanding government issues, Weichert stressed the GEAR Center is not a “think tank.” Its success will be based on whether agencies can implement the solutions it delivers, she said.”


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