Friday, July 12, 2013
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of July 08, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

Another international edition!

  • Across the Pond: iCity aims to "open up public infrastructures in urban spaces promoting the co-creation of services of public interest"
  • Teutonic Cyberspace: TechPresident reports: "In the run-up to the German national election in September, Electronic Arts has arranged for three German members of the Bundestag to play the German edition of SimCity and will feature their progress online over four weeks."
  • Goings on Down Under: On GovLoop, Craig Thomler asks, "Will the Australian Government take an open government approach to developing its Open Government National Action Plan?" 
  • And Back at Home: The Department of Interior makes an excellent example of how Twitter's Media Grid.


John Kamensky

  • Timeless Testimony.  Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testified before the House oversight committee on GAO’s recent work on both financial and performance issues:  “To operate as effectively and efficiently as possible and to make difficult decisions to address the federal government’s management and fiscal challenges, Congress, the administration, and federal managers much has ready access to reliable and complete financial and performance information.” 
  • Telework Tempest.  According to NextGov’s Eric Katz: “Federal agency leadership has not committed to implementing and tracking new telework policies, according to a new audit. . . . In a report, the Government Accountability Office found the Office of Personnel Management has insufficiently assessed the use of telework across government. OPM, however, said agencies did not deliver their data due to management resistance and a lack of resources.”  However, a week later, OPM announced that it will release a Telework Toolkit this Fall to help managers!
  • POTUS pledge.  President Obama announced “We’ll leverage technology to better the government” at a cabinet meeting.  Federal Times reports:  “Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, Obama cited three goals: better and faster delivery of government services, reducing waste and fraud, and providing more and better government data to help business owners solve problems and hire more people.” . . . Government Executive also notes that he repeated his call for reorganization authority and noted that the President seems to be placing his bets that private sector tech leaders will provide the needed innovation in government.
  • Tour of Duty. GovLoop did a nice profile on 7 of the 43 Presidential Innovation Fellows that President Obama highlighted in his reform speech.  The program: “pairs top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, and academia with top innovators in government to collaborate during focused 6-13 month “tours of duty” to develop solutions that can save lives, save taxpayer money, and fuel job creation.”


Michael Keegan

Hagel warns of possible DoD layoffs in 2014 if sequestration continues 
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a letter to Congress that if spending caps continue under sequestration, marked cuts in DoD's budget would possibly lead to reductions in force. Hagel also said there could be severe cuts in operations and maintenance. 

DoD, VA reassure Congress of continued growth of health data sharing 
House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees inserted a provision in the fiscal 2014 Defense Authorization Bill requiring DoD and VA to have an interoperable health record system by 2017. 

Obama to reinvigorate management agenda 
In a Cabinet meeting this morning, the president will ask new OMB Director Sylvia Burwell to lead this reinvigorated effort to help agencies find more innovative ways to deliver better results.

The Doctor Is In - A profile of Dr. Francis Collins, Director of NHI 

Largest Obstacle to Clean Federal Books Is the Pentagon, GAO Chief Says
One of the key challenges to curbing wasteful government spending, lawmakers say, is that no one knows exactly how much is being wasted. An estimated $107.7 billion made in improper payments last year, for example, does not include faulty payments by the agency with the most problem-plagued finances -- the Defense Department, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said Wednesday at a House hearing on agencies’ difficulties tracking and documenting spending. Answering questions on topics ranging from intergovernmental communication to performance measures to use of information technology in implementing the Affordable Care Act, Dodaro summarized recent Government Accountabilty Office critiques of agency financial statements and called for heightened congressional oversight as the best single way to help clean them up.


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