Friday, September 7, 2018
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of September 3-7, 2018.

John Kamensky

VA’s Priority: Customer Service.  Federal News Radio writes: “As one of the leading agencies in the Trump administration’s campaign to improve customer service, the Veterans Affairs Department sees potential in using artificial intelligence to get a handle on the hundreds of thousands of calls it receives daily from veterans seeking care.”

Accounting for Performance. Howard Risher, in a column for Government Executive, writes: “ . . . federal executives and managers cannot be accountable when transformation initiatives fail. They can only be accountable for what they truly control. No other sector imposes similar constraints on their managers. . . . Government’s answer to this problem has been to add senior level jobs across government with titles that suggest accountability for something. . . .”

A Guide to Reorg. Federal News Radio reports: “The Trump administration proposed a major reorganization of the federal government on June 21. . . . Federal News Radio has narrowed this reorganization down to 13 distinct proposals that federal employees should stay aware of, and which agency, department or mission of government they affect.”

Who Asks What Works?  Robert Shea, in a column for Government Executive, writes: “Without a focal point for evidence-building, there’s little way of ensuring that evaluations are well-designed to answer the key questions most important to programs or policymakers. A chief evaluation officer should have responsibility for collaborating with mission-focused partners across the agency to identify the major questions that need answering, as well as driving a learning agenda and evaluations that answer those questions.”

Little Progress. Federal Times reports: “Over the past 20 years, the federal government has accomplished “little change” in increasing management’s use of data in decision-making, according to a Sept. 5 Government Accountability Office Report.”

OMB Issues Guidance to Centralize Grants Reporting. Government Executive reports: “Seeking to ease paperwork burdens on agencies and grant recipients, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Thursday issued new guidance aimed at standardizing and centralizing reporting formats and processes.”

Michael Keegan

GAO: Data-driven management is stuck in neutral. The Government Accountability Office says agencies haven't really improved on data-driven decision-making since 2013. The government has work to do to translate data-driven management from a talking point into reality, according to a new oversight report. In a new set of findings, Government Accountability Office reported agencies' use of performance information to make decisions "generally has not improved since GAO's last survey of federal managers in 2013."

VA looks to stabilize tech team. Senators stressed the importance of the coming electronic health record modernization project at the confirmation hearing for James Gfrerer, the nominee to lead the Office of Information and Technology at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Project management vs. product management. Steve Kelman argues that government innovation needs more of the latter.

CAC is staying around for a while. Defense Department CIO Dana Deasy said DOD is keeping the common access card, but is open to modernizing ID managemen

5 Ways a Leader Can Learn More About Themselves. Insight is a key to increasing your confidence, effectiveness, and, since your power increases as you connect what you do to who you are, deepening your self-understanding through insight will deepen your power. Insight can come from the simplest experiences and from the places you least expect it. Always be on the lookout for gems of insight that can guide your path in life. There are five ways a leader can learn more about themselves.


Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Her Excellency Dr. Rauda Al Saadi , Director General, Abu Dhabi’s Smart Solutions and Services Authority. What is Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation strategy? How is Abu Dhabi’s Smart Solutions and Services Authority changing how citizens engage with government? Join host Michael Keegan next week on a special edition of The Business of Government Hour - Global Thought Leadership series with Her Excellency Dr. Rauda Al Saadi, Director General, Abu Dhabi’s Smart Solutions and Services Authority.

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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