Weekly Round-up: April 11, 2014
- DATA Passes: After the Senate unanimously passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (often called the DATA Act, but that's like saying "ATM Machine,") Alex Wilhelm of TechCrunch reports that "The original version of the bill passed the House by a vote of 388-1. Given that, the chance of it failing to pass the House this go-round is incredibly low." Alex Howard has a good write-up of the House Bill passing, back in November.
- FCC CIO on 18F, OPI, and more: Luke Fretwell of GovFresh has excerpts from FCC CIO David Bray's conversation on GitChat. Related: GSA CIO Sonny Hashmi will be taking questions for a GitChat today at noon.
- Mobile Apps: Not Just for Federal Agencies.State Tech Magazine has an article on how municipalities are using mobile apps for service delivery and public safety.
- Getting a New Program Off the Ground. Patrick Mallory, in Governing, has compiled a useful “list of 10 questions [that] can be used to chart a path for a new initiative, identify how a faltering program can get back on track, or look back and see why a program hit the mark or failed short of the finish line.” He starts basic: “Do you really understand the outcome you are trying to achieve?” But it is important to start there. . . .
- Financial Shared Services Revisited. OMB is making a second push for agencies to migrate their $8 billion in financial management needs to one of five governmentwide shared service platforms. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, has a three-part series exploring the pros and cons of making the leap:
- Part 1: Familiar questions, few answers so far for OMB’s latest financial systems effort
- Part 2: Financial management providers ill-equipped to take on large customers
- Part 3: Treasury figuring out how the shared services piece fits into the governmentwide puzzle
- GAO’s 4th Annual Duplication Report. GAO is required by law to annual report on fragmentation, duplication, and overlap among federal programs. Charlie Clark, Government Executive, writes that in releasing its 2014 report, it identified 11 new areas, adding to the 162 areas it had identified in its previous reports. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testified that OMB needs to do more. OMB’s Beth Colbert writes “We appreciate the valuable work that GAO continues to do.” She reports that that agencies are making good progress and provides a 13-page list of specific actions taken (which, of course, has not risen to the attention of headline writers!).
- Unintended Consequences of Integrated Systems. Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, writes an eye-opening story about how hackers gain access to agency and company networks. In once case, starting with Chinese menus: “Unable to breach the computer network at a big oil company, hackers infected with malware the online menu of a Chinese restaurant that was popular with employees. When the workers browsed the menu, they inadvertently downloaded code that gave the attackers a foothold in the business’s vast computer network.”
- OMB Asks for Budget Increase – for Itself. Ryan McDermott, FierceGovernment, writes that OMB director Sylvia Matthews has asked Congress for a 4.5 percent budget increase – to hire 10 people – so OMB could return to its 2009 staffing level of 480. She says new legislative responsibilities have increased demands on staff.
DoD's latest efficiency push revolves around service contracting
"Efficiency and Effectiveness" — a common phrase across all of government. But at the Defense Department, it's taking on a new meaning. DoD no longer can spend more of its time worrying about the effectiveness of its acquisition programs at the expense of efficiency. The Defense Department's goal is to use strategic sourcing to improve how it buys services across 12 categories.
Treasury figuring out how the shared services pieces fit into governmentwide puzzle
Over the next few months, answers to some of the most pressing questions about how financial management shared services will work must be clarified. The Office of Management and Budget, the Treasury Department and the CFO Council are trying to plug the holes in the shared services process that thwarted the effort a decade ago. Whether it's ensuring the four current civilian agency shared service providers or the new ones OMB expects to name in the coming weeks have the capacity to take on large agencies, or whether it's the role of the private sector in this latest effort, or whether it's the process by which Treasury will work with customer agencies to determine which shared service provider is most suitable and make sure there is lasting governance, reducing the amount of uncertainty about how version 2 of financial management shared services will work is among the administration's top priorities over the next six months.
Catalysts for Government's Big Data Revolution
What are the infrastructure underpinnings of big data and big databases. Users of big data have been concentrating on the tools to mine the information in big data. In this conversation, we will discuss what it takes to house, maintain and serve up big data. Such data stores are characterized by a mix of relational/structured data and non-structured files such as video, images, PDFs, and office documents. A number of new solutions are emerging - different types of storage, different approaches of optimizing the data center to handle big data.
The Business of Government Radio Show: Mary Davie
The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government.
Mary Davie is the Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Integrated Technology Services (ITS) in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). What are the strategic priorities for the GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services? How does ITS maximize the value of government IT while also lowering its cost? What is ITS doing to improve its operations and become a more efficient and agile? Join host Michael Keegan as he explore these questions and more with Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Integrated Technology Services (ITS) in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS).
Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED