Friday, January 18, 2013
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of January 14, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

This week: The "Wish I had thought of that" edition.


Dan Chenok


John Kamensky

  • Mobile-Friendly Web Tools.  David Stegon at FedScoop reports that the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has made it a point to create mobile access to some of its most popular tools, such as its job finder, salary comparison finder, and training finder.
  • New FDA food safety strategy: prevention, not response. Blogger James Marsden outlines the FDA’s proposed new food safety regulations to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011.  He observes “The proposed regulations represent a major change in approach for FDA. The emphasis is on prevention of foodborne hazards versus audits of food safety records and investigations of foodborne disease outbreaks.”
  • GSA Sets New Mission, Priorities. Acting Administrator of the General Services Administration, Dan Tangherlini, announced a new mission statement and set of six priorities he says the agency will focus on in the coming year.
  • OMB Tells Agencies to “Plan for Uncertainty.”  OMB released a guidance memo to agencies instructing them to plan for a potential sequester whereby agencies will have to absorb a $85 billion cut in the remaining six months of the fiscal year.  Bottom line guidance:  “act in a prudent manner” and, of course, “closely coordinate” with OMB if contemplating anything rash!
  • Performance Champion Appointed to House Appropriations Committee. Government Executive’s Charles Clark reports that Cong. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), sponsor of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, has been appointed as a member of the House Appropriations Committee.  For years, observers complained that Congress, and especially its appropriations committees, has not paid attention to the use of performance information when making decisions.  Cong. Cuellar will likely change that conversation!


Michael Keegan

Agencies tackle cloud, mobile, big data convergence 
Agencies are facing a perfect storm of cloud computing and mobility. And it's causing departments to struggle in managing all the data that is coming from it. But help is on the way. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is leading a new effort to help integrate the cloud and mobile with big data. NIST, which is holding a three-day workshop in Gaithersburg, Md. this week, is asking agency, private sector and academic experts for their help in tackling the challenges that come with integrating big data and cloud services.

NIH searches for chief data officer 
Another agency is joining in the recent hiring spree of chief data officers and is looking to name its first associate director for data science. In a Jan. 10 statement, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins announced plans to fill the new senior position. The data officer will lead NIH-wide strategic initiatives that intend to make the most of the increasing amount of biomedical research data. 

OMB tells agencies to 'intensify' sequestration planning 
Agencies across government should "intensify" their planning for across-the-board sequestration cuts, according to a Jan. 14 memo to the heads of executive department and agencies from Jeff Zients, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. The memo — which reiterates that agencies should not yet take steps to implement any budget reductions — directs agencies to continue planning for budgetary uncertainty. That uncertainty stems in large part from from sequestration, which is slated to lop some $85 billion from the budget at the beginning of March unless Congress intervenes. 

GSA's Tangherlini sets new priorities as part of reform efforts 
Dan Tangherlini, the General Services Administration's acting administrator, seems to be indicating he's in for the long term. Tangherlini, who took over in April after a conference spending scandal rocked the agency, detailed in a memo to employees, which was posted on his blog, Monday afternoon a new mission and new priorities for GSA. 

8 Tips For Leading Those Who Don't Want to Follow 
Want to test your leadership mettle? See how well you do when leading those not inclined to follow. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people may be comforting, it might even seem like a good idea, but it’s not the stuff of great leadership. The best leaders are not only capable of effectively leading those who hold differing opinions and perspectives – they thrive on it. In today’s column I’ll share 8 Tips for transforming tough relationships into productive relationships. 


The Business of Government Radio Show: Dr. Phil Joyce

 Federal News Radio 1500-AM 
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.

How does federal budgetary uncertainty impact government agencies and other sectors? What is the affect on the efficiency and effectiveness of government? Are we facing a fiscal cliff or slope? We will explore these questions and much more with Professor Phil Joyce, author of the new IBM Center report, The Costs of Budget Uncertainty: Analyzing the Impact of Late Appropriations.

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.