Thursday, February 14, 2013
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of February 11, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda


John Kamensky

  • Off the List, On the List.  The Government Accountability Office is checking its list of 30 “high risk” programs in the government and has removed two – IRS’s business systems modernization program and the management of interagency contracting – and added two new ones – NOAA’s weather satellite program and the fiscal risks of climate change.  Congress promises oversight.
  • HHS Reduces Medicare Fraud.  According to Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times, the Obama administration says it recovers $4.2 billion, a one-year record, from Medicare providers and others who falsely billed the government.
  • State of the Union:  We Need a Smarter Government. Kellie Lunney, Government Executive, reports that President Obama’s State of the Union address included a focus on the need for the federal government to move into the 21st century. He proposed fixing existing processes, such as immigration, and not massive reorganization efforts.  This seems to  be a change in emphasis from his earlier State of the Union addresses.
  • Where’s the Federal FY 2014 Budget? According to Federal Times’ Sean Reilly, the president’s proposed FY 2014 budget – which is delayed because of the uncertainties posed by the potential sequester – should be released by mid-March.  


Michael Keegan

  • GAO removed two programs from its biennial High Risk List 
    Interagency contracting and the IRS Business Systems Modernization program are no longer considered high risk initiatives by the Government Accountability Office. GAO removed these two programs from its biennial High Risk List released today. The multi-billion dollar IRS program made it off the list after 18 years of constant challenges around technology and financial management controls, and other management weaknesses. 
  • Social Security head: Program fraying from neglect 
    Outgoing Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue has some parting shots for Congress, the White House and advocates for seniors. They have all "really walked away from Social Security," he says, leaving the program "fraying because of inattention to its problems." Instead of making the hard choices to fix Social Security's financial problems, policymakers "use it as a tool of political rhetoric," Astrue said. 
    Related: A Conversation with Michael J. Astrue Commissioner, U.S. Social Security Administration
  • DOD, VA shift medical record strategy  The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, after several years of working toward a single, integrated electronic health record program, are changing their approach in the short term, the secretaries of both agencies said in a joint press conference Feb. 5.
  • Is Werfel humorless about the budget? 
    During a Feb. 13 presentation at Association of Government Accountant’s National Leadership Conference, Werfel explained to the audience why he did not have a funny anecdote, which is his usual way of kicking off an AGA keynote. 
    Related: A Conversation with Danny Werfel, Controller Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget
  • How measurement motivatesWhen Steve Kelman teaches about the use of performance measurement to improve government performance, one of the central ways he suggest managers and leaders use the metrics is through their ability to motivate employees to work toward a goal.
  • The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (and how to improve YOUR results) 
    The overall scores have declined by 1% to 3% from their high in each category. Most troubling, if you look at the category which is probably of the greatest interest to the general public --- Results-Oriented Performance Culture --- even under the best of circumstances, almost 800,000 Federal employees have consistently given this area the lowest score. With Sequestration looming, it is unlikely that most agencies will have an enormous amount of money to throw at this issue. That is simply the current reality. However, there are several things that can be done…. 


The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversation with Authors: David S. Ferriero 

Mondays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 12 p.m.

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.


David S. Ferriero was sworn in as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 13, 2009.

Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). In this position he was part of the leadership team responsible for integrating the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seamless service for users; and was was in charge of collection strategy; conservation; digital experience and strategy; reference and research services; and education, programming, and exhibitions.


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

If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at and by searching our audio archives.