Weekly Round-up: February 28, 2014
This week has an "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" feel to me.
- Google in new places: Google is thinking of moving Fiber service into more cities, and, as TechCrunch reports, is also opening up a Maps Gallery to make public data "more discoverable." Related: Governing asks if "The Cost of 311 Systems Worth the Price of Knowing?"
- How open is your city? Code for America has a post on "Mapping the Open Data Landscape," which ranks cities on how open their data is. Washington, DC, comes in a respectable 6th, Guess who's number one? Related: Philly, which comes in at #12, has announced its 10 Codefest hackathon project finalists.
- Discovering New Lands: FedScoop launches Technocrat, and for those going to Austin next week, here is the SxSW interactive guide.
- Border Skirmishes: "Why Daydreamers Will Save the World" vs. "The Mindfulness Racket: The evangelists of unplugging might just have another agenda"
- Sharing Services Works. Michael O’Connell, Federal News Radio, sums up a new study by the Partnership for Public Service that “looked at efforts being conducted by three federal agencies: the departments of Energy and Homeland Security and NASA. They also looked at how the City of Charlotte, N.C., and Mecklenburg County, N.C., shared parts of their support services and core functions to better serve their separate missions.”
- Reducing Building Repair Backlogs. GAO issued a report on ways that increased transparency can help federal agencies better manage their maintenance and repair backlogs. Federal real property is an issue on GAO’s high-risk list “due, in part, to deferred maintenance and repair that contributes to deteriorating assets. GAO has reported that the eventual need to address deferred maintenance and repair could significantly affect future budget resources.” In the five agencies reviewed, deferred maintenance and repairs ranged from $1 billion to $20 billion.
- County Innovators Can Now Collaborate. Government Technology reports that the National Association of Counties has launched a new website for county government workers where they can “participate in the private online community on such topics as resilient counties, smart justice, cyber for counties, and transportation and infrastructure, to name a few.”
- Stop Government Abuse Week. Eric Katz, Government Executive, reports that Congress, this week, votes on a dozen bills to increase oversight of government. Bills range from amendments to the Freedom of Information Act to IT acquisition reform legislation.
- One DHS. Dan Verton, FedScoop, reports on the first testimony of the new Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, before a House committee, where he was urged to pull the disparate agencies in the department together into “one DHS.”
DoD's 'IT Box' leading the shift toward better technology acquisition
The Pentagon is implementing most of the recommendations it made in 2010's Section 804 report to Congress. Katrina McFarland, DoD's assistant secretary for acquisition, said initial results of the change are promising.
DoD ties another round of BRAC to sizable civilian personnel cuts
Defense Department officials said reducing and realigning bases and depots will help them achieve more savings that can be put toward readiness.
DoD's 2015 budget envisions smaller military with less generous benefits
The Pentagon says its spending plan acknowledges defense spending is on a downward trajectory and reduces force structure in order to balance other priorities, such as readiness.
Takai takes FITARA to task for oversight provisions
Defense Department CIO is concerned the legislation might collide with internal Pentagon realignment efforts.
NOAA turns to industry for help in sharing its data
RFI seeks suggestions on how best to offer terabytes of weather data -- and to keep taxpayers from footing the bill.
What Pritzker wants from Silicon Valley
In first official visit to the West Coast tech mecca, Commerce secretary solicits partnerships on climate data and highlights new Census tool.
More agencies turn to targeted buyouts, early retirements
The latest rounds of buyouts and early retirements span agencies as diverse as the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management.
The Business of Government Radio Show: Curtis Coy
The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government.
Curtis “Curt” L. Coy was appointed deputy under secretary for economic opportunity in the Department of Veterans Affairs on May 9, 2011. In this role, Coy oversees all education benefits (GI Bill), loan guaranty service (VA loans), vocational rehabilitation and employment issues.
How does the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs promote employment opportunities for veterans? What is VA doing to enhance opportunities for veterans to obtain knowledge and skills to properly transition into civilian life? What programs provide opportunities for veterans to obtain, retain and adapt at home? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Curtis Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Next week on The Business of Government Hour.
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 businessofgovernment.org and by searching our audio archives.