Weekly Round-up: December 17, 2010
It is tempting to talk about "the year winding down," and perhaps it's natural to look outside our windows at the frozen ground under a patina of snow (as it is here in DC) and think that the next couple of weeks will be quieter, less eventful, slower. But as recent years have shown, plenty can happen in the back nine of December. Nonetheless, we at the IBM Center will be taking a brief hiatus from the Weekly Round-up and will resume our Friday tradition in January.
On behalf of all of us at the Center, I want to wish our readers a festive holiday season. If you are staying home, you can't go wrong with these ginger cookies--they are so good the FDA might need to regulate them. If you're traveling, I hope that you have safe journeys and that the new year sees you safely home, no worse for wear, and perhaps improved in spirit. Our community has a lot of work do to next year; let's rest up so we can dig in.
- Half-Empty Government. Two years into the Obama Administration, 20 percent of the top jobs are still vacant. Two Brookings scholars -- William A. Galston and E.J. Dionne Jr.—published: "A Half-Empty Government Can't Govern: Why Everyone Wants to Fix the Appointments Process, Why It Never Happens and How We Can Get It Done.” Hope springs eternal!
- Testing All Agency Websites! According to a story in Government Executive magazine, GSA’s Office of Customer Service Excellence (is this an oxymoron?) is sponsoring an informal “First Fridays Product Test Program” to help agencies to develop more user-friendly websites. Probably worth a visit just to see what someone with a job title of “user experience evangelist” actually does!
- Integrated Technology Governance Works! The Department of Veterans Affairs is the only department in the federal government where the CIO actually has some authority to make things happen. And a recent IG report confirms that VA CIO Roger Baker has used that new authority to get projects back on track and kill wayward projects – to the tune of $1.2 billion in savings!
- Government Performance and Results Modernization Act Passes Senate. The bill requires agencies to create high-priority goals and to quarterly track their progress publicly; create agency Performance Improvement Officers and a government-wide council of these officers; and allows cross-agency performance goals.
- Commerce Privacy paper is not so inconsistent with FTC after all.
- New approach to supply chain security, IBM deeply involved.
- White house wiki for soliciting expert ideas: Expertnet.
Business of Government Radio Show: Casey Coleman
The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations. Past government executives include Administrators, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Commissioners, Controllers, Directors, and Undersecretaries.
Ms. Casey Coleman is the Chief Information Officer for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), responsible for managing the agency’s $600 million IT budget and ensuring alignment with agency and administration strategic objectives, information security, and enterprise architecture.
Each week, The Business of Government Hour interviews government executive who are changing the way government does business. The show airs four times a week on two radio stations in the DC Metro Area. If you can't wait, though, we also put it online. You can also search our audio archives for your favorite interview.