Friday, July 13, 2018
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of July 9-13, 2018.

Getting Good Advice.  In a commentary piece for Government Executive, Janet Weiss writes: “Across the federal government, about a thousand committees governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act and an untold number of additional committees meet each year to offer advice to improve government performance. Federal leaders devote considerable effort to planning, scheduling and staffing these committees. What does it take to get the best results?”  She offers ten strategies.

Web-Based Customer Services. Federal News Radio reports: “According to Forrester’s 2018 Federal Customer Experience Index, only 50 percent of federal customers who went online said they were able to accomplish their goals when interacting with an agency, while 63 percent of customers who relied exclusively on physical channels, like agency hotlines or in-person office visits, reported a positive outcome.” The Department of Veterans Affairs, however, has made some noteworthy progress.

A Reorg Pony?  Alan Balutis, in a commentary for Federal Computer Week, writes about the president’s reorganization plan: “Reorganizations also can have traumatic effects on an organization and its employees. . . . So perhaps it might be better to turn our attention to other elements of the plan – those that have drawn less attention and criticism but may present the greatest opportunity to achieve the intended end stage: a 21st century American government.”  He then examines six intriguing elements in the plan.

We Don’t Have Too Many. Government Executive reports: “When the White House announced its government reorganization proposal last month, it was met with skepticism among federal employee advocates, who said the plan was a veiled effort to slash services and the workers who provide them. . . . OMB Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert said job cuts did not factor into the decision making while the administration was putting together the proposals. . . She added: “What we do not have is too many federal employees.”

Customer Experience. NextGov reports on a panel session at the Partnership for Public Service: “Federal agencies have been steadily increasing focus on providing better customer experiences, usually centered on implementing better technology. But it doesn’t always have to be about spending money on new tech.

Michael J. Keegan

Waging cyber war without a rulebook. As the U.S. looks to go on the offense in the cyber domain, critical questions remain unanswered around who will take the lead and how clearly to draw the rules of engagement.

DHS: Agencies need greater authority to protect tech supply chain. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security told a congressional committee that they would support additional authorities to better emphasize security in technology supply chain management throughout the federal government.

Draft data strategy pushes transparency, quality, privacy. The Trump administration's federal data strategy met its first milestone, the release of an initial set of draft principles.

The government reorganization plan: There may be a pony in there after all. The Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert faced significant skepticism regarding the White House's plans to reorganize the federal government during a recent House hearing, with members of both parties pushing back on key parts of the plan. Most of the attention, as has been noted, focused on the 1950s-era, box-shuffling parts of the plan -- merging the Departments of Labor and Education, privatizing the Postal Service and reorganizing the Office of Personnel Management. Yet lawmakers neglected to ask the more important questions.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Alan Thomas, Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), General Services Administration (GSA). What is FAS doing to make its operations: Easy, Efficient, and Modern? How is FAS delivering best value mission support to customer agencies? What is FAS doing to promote smarter buying and the efficient use of technology across the federal government? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Alan Thomas, Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). the General Services Administration (GSA).

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

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