Weekly Round-up: March 14, 2014
This week, the Web turned 25. To me, these articles, taken together, tell a story: of where we are, the direction we're headed, and how far we've already come. They also point to hazards we need to avoid and steps we should take to protect values we are in danger not of losing, but of surrendering.
- From the Washington Post: "36 ways the Web has changed us" details elements of life profound and ridiculous that the internet has changed. Further: DigitalGov anticipates "Anytime, Anywhere, Anything: The Effect of Mobile on the Web in 25 Years" Caveat: As one might imagine, the Internet of Things plays a big part in that, and Thomas Wendt discusses what might be lost in "Internet of Things and the Work of the Hands"
- All the way back in 2010, danah boyd gave a speech titled "Privacy and Publicity in the Context of Big Data," which, in the Web's 25th year bears re-reading. Related, Yo Yoshida writes in Government Technology that "Open Data is a Civil Right," which would have seemed a preposterous statement a quarter of a century ago.
- Finally, in a nod to how design must be an intregral part of technology, Civic Plus asks "Can citizen-friendly design double digital engagement?" (spoiler: it can and it already has)
- Former OFPP leader (and my once-Kennedy School professor/current good colleague) Steve Kelman opines on the evidence-based agenda in the FY 2015 Budget.
- Current OMB DDM Beth Cobert discusses performance goals in Budget and new Management Agenda.
- How to run a successful R&D program for government.
- Senate Hearing: Management Matters. Charles Clark, Government Executive, writes that a Senate hearing to explore how management matters in federal agencies shifted focus to a discussion of developing a better inventory of federal programs. During the hearing, OMB deputy director for management, Beth Cobert, described the four pillars of the new President’s Management Agenda, and GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro described GAO’s work on issues related to the four pillars, as well as GAO’s work on identifying duplication and overlap among government programs.
- Obama’s Refreshed Management Agenda. Charles Clark, Government Executive, writes:
- “The White House on Monday released a batch of documents that flesh out last week’s fiscal 2015 budget, spelling out a new set of agency-specific priorities and broader cross-agency goals.” These documents can be found on a newly-refreshed Performance.gov.
- Tracking Morale: Watch for Mood Swings. Jack Moore, Federal News Radio, reports on new Obama Administration initiatives in the FY 2015 budget related to personnel: “The Obama administration is calling on agencies to get smarter about tracking employee morale and engagement. . . The administration plans to roll out an "engagement dashboard" this year that agency supervisors can use to track the mood of their workforces.”
- Bills to Eliminate Mandated Reports. According to Dena Levitz, Federal News Radio, a bipartisan Senate bill would eliminate or consolidate more than 300 congressionally-mandated reports. A related House bill was marked up in committee the same day. . . . My favorite report for elimination in the Senate bill? - “Sec.2906. Reduction in frequency of elimination of unnecessary agency reporting reports.”
- How Agencies Dealt with the 2013 Sequester. Eric Yoder, Washington Post, writes that 800,000 feds lost $1.4 billion in salary as a result of the 2013 sequester, according to a new GAO report that assessed the impact of the sequester on services and personnel in various agencies. In addition, the report says: “19 agencies reported curtailing hiring; 16 reported re-scoping or delaying contracts or grants for core mission activities; 19 reported reducing employee training; 20 reported reducing employee travel; and 7 reported furloughing more than 770,000 employees from 1 to 7 days.” Federal News Radio displays this agency-by-agency in a helpful table.
- Fixing the Regulatory Process. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports on a Senate hearing that explored the need to make the federal regulatory process work better. The Administrator of the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Howard Shelanski, described initiatives underway to reduce the backlog of reviews of draft regulations. However, various bills would address other long-standing issues, such as engaging stakeholders earlier in the regulatory development process.
The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government.
What are the challenges of acquiring complex products? What lessons can be learned from the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program? How can government executives most effectively manage complex acquisitions? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions through the works Trevor Brown and David Van Slyke authors of several IBM Center reports on federal acquisition.
Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED