Friday, February 3, 2017
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of January 30 – February 3.

John Kamensky

One-In, Two-Out Rule. Federal Times writes: “President Trump made good on one of his campaign promises on Jan. 30, signing an executive order that would require for every regulation proposed by federal agencies, two more current regulations would be eliminated. . . . The move is seen as a way for the administration to scale back regulatory costs, and it has one example to look to for previous success: the United Kingdom.”

A Regulatory Budget. Federal News Radio expands on the Federal Times piece, “Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said: “The cost of all new regulations finalized in fiscal 2017 must be no greater than zero for each agency,” he said. “Beginning in 2018, each agency will have an incremental cost cap set by the director of OMB beyond which they could not issue regulations.”’

50 State Assessment on Use of Evidence.  RouteFifty reports: “Evidence-based policymaking—the systematic use of findings from program evaluations and outcome analyses to guide government policy and funding decisions—is growing in popularity in state capitols, but information is limited about the extent to which states employ this approach. In a new report, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative identifies five states—Washington, Utah, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Oregon—as leaders in this field.”

Pending Cybersecurity EO.  FifthDomain reports: “In the wake of his draft cyber review memo leaking last week, President Donald Trump met with cybersecurity professionals Tuesday afternoon before a planned signing of an executive order detailing federal agencies’ responsibilities for protecting the nation’s networks. . . . . “I will hold my cabinet secretaries and agency heads accountable, totally accountable for the cybersecurity of their organizations which we probably don’t have as much, certainly not as much as we need,” Trump said Tuesday.”

Hiring Freeze: Close Door, Open WindowsThe Washington Post reports: “President Trump’s federal hiring freeze order leaves room for agencies to continue filling vacancies under a number of circumstances and also allows for some movement of current employees inside the government, according to guidance issued Tuesday. . . . The scope of the freeze has been under debate since Trump ordered it as one of his first official actions, while allowing for exceptions that were not defined.”

Freeze Exemptions, Defined:  Jeff Neal, in a Federal News Radio piece, details 20 specific exemptions from the hiring freeze, based on the new guidanceFederal Timeshighlights 5 “unexpected” exemptions. Federal News Radio details 16 Defense Department exemptions.

Michael Keegan

Shulkin pledges no 'learning curve' as VA secretary. Dr. David Shulkin sailed through his hearing, earning plaudits from both sides of the aisle. Shulkin is currently that department's undersecretary for health, and in charge of leading VA's massive system of hospitals and medical centers.  (Also, you can listen to my interview with Dr. David Shulkin on The Business of Government Hour). 

OMB lists agencies exempted by Trump hiring freeze. The Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management have more details about how they expect agencies to implement President Donald Trump’s short-term hiring freeze. In a Jan. 31 memo to agency and department heads, OMB acting Director Mark Sandy and OPM acting Director Kathleen McGettigan listed several exemptions to the President’s short-term hiring freeze, as well as more concrete instructions for exempting other agency positions.

Pentagon moves to implement retirement overhaul, starting with exhaustive education campaign. The Defense Department started to move this week into the implementation phase of the new military retirement system Congress ordered it to set up just over a year ago, including through an exhaustive education campaign designed to make sure service members understand how the new system works.

Sec. Mattis begins to build Donald Trump's bigger, deadlier military. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has directed Pentagon budget planners to lay the groundwork for an ambitious rebuilding effort, one that will, in the near term, address President Trump's desire to bring more military force to bear on the Islamic State while also growing the United States' capacity to oppose "high-end competitors" such as Russia and China.

As administration drafts new cyber order, experts call for more action, fewer policies. Cyber experts say the nation’s challenges are well known and another set of reviews, as proposed by the Trump administration, is delaying the real work to fix vulnerabilities and mitigate risks.

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This Week’s The Business of Government Radio Show.  What are the strategic priorities for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service? How has category management benefited federal acquisition? What is the Making it Easier (MIE) initiative? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these and so much more with Kevin Youel Page, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service, at GSA.

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

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