Weekly Roundup: May 28 - June 1, 2018
Michael J. Keegan
GAO overturns DoD agreement for $1B in cloud computing services. The Government Accountability Office sided with Oracle Corp. in a bid protest that alleged the Pentagon ran afoul of the already-broad rules for other transaction agreements.
A Look Back: How the FITARA Scorecards Have Evolved. FITARA represented the first major legislative overhaul of Federal IT in nearly 20 years. Beginning in November 2015, the GAO has released two scorecards a year grading agencies’ performance. With Scorecard 6.0 released last week, this article looks back and sees how agencies have improved over the last 3 years.
U.S. Cyber Workforce Shortage Worsening, Agencies Tell President. The current cybersecurity workforce shortage in the United States is daunting and only due to get worse over the next few years, the Departments of Commerce (DoC) and Homeland Security (DHS) reported to President Trump in a document released Wednesday. The report was commissioned by the President as part of the Cyber Executive Order released in May 2017. The order tasked DoC and DHS to seek ways “to support the growth and sustainment of the Nation’s cybersecurity workforce in both the public and private sectors.”
The evolving role of the CIO. The CIO job has come a long way since the Clinger Cohen Act, but modernization, politics and bureaucratic sprawl continue to shape the position in ways both good and bad. The federal government spends nearly $100 billion every year on IT and has embarked on a mission of modernization that will only put technology and its ringleaders closer to the spotlight. A common observation within the community is that before the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 codified many of the CIO authorities that have come to define the role, CIOs were viewed by agency leaders as glorified versions of tech support rather than C-suite executives charged with steering critical aspects of mission delivery.
State and Local Governments Rely on Gig Economy to Fill Some Positions, Survey Says. "Positions filled via the gig economy may include those that have a high degree of independent contractors available … or which lend themselves to temporary services," according to the 2018 state and local government workforce survey.
Grants.Bot. Move over Grants.gov! Federal News Radio reports that NASA is piloting the use of AI and robots to undertake monotonous paper processing for one of its grant programs.
Evolving Role of CIO. FCW reports that, given the siloed nature of many federal agency operations, that agency chief information officers are limited in how they can create enterprise approaches to the use of technology. For example, many reported getting pushback from agency chief financial officers in spending decisions, and the proliferation of other technology positions, such as chief security, chief privacy, and chief data officers. This article provides an overview of the evolving role of CIOs in the context of new laws.
Exec Order on Removing Poor Performers. Government Executive reports a new presidential executive order: “instructs agencies to reduce the length of formal performance improvement plans to 30 days governmentwide. The order also encourages agencies to fire rather than suspend malfeasant employees, if their conduct warrants it.”
Reorg: DOD Fourth Estate. FCW reports: “The House passed the $717 billion defense spending bill for fiscal year 2019, along with controversial provisions that would cut the size and cost of the Defense Department’s supporting agencies.” The bill would study elimination of the Washington Headquarters Services and other DOD-wide functions – often called the Fourth Estate -- with a goal of cutting them by 25 percent.
Customer Service Award. Federal News Radio reports: “the Trump administration is relaunching the Federal Customer Service Awards program the Obama administration began in 2015.”
Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Interview with Mick McKeown, Executive Director, DHS Blue Campaign. What is the mission of the US Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign? How is it combating human trafficking? What can we do to combat human trafficking? Join host Michael Keegan next week on The Business of Government Hour as he explores these questions and so much more with Michael “Mick” McKeown, Executive Director, DHS Blue Campaign. That's next week on The Business of Government Hour.
Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED.