Friday, March 8, 2013
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of March 04, 2012

Dan Chenok

Improving security of cloud computing:


John Kamensky

  • GSA Innovation Continues. “Innovation“ isn’t always a word associated with the General Services Administration, but an article in FedScoop by David Stegon who shows that the word is not misplaced when it comes to a small office in GSA which is on the cutting edge of tech issues – working with the Presidential Innovation Fellows (see below), developing the open data policy with OMB, and most recently posting a set of social media metrics so agencies can gauge their effectiveness. 
  • Characteristics of Political Appointees Who Do Not Require Senate Confirmation.  GAO releases a report with descriptive information about the 321 positions classified as “presidential appointments” or PAs.    According to GAO: “Overall, PAs differ from other types of political appointments in three key areas:  number of positions, rate of pay, and level of responsibilities. Out of the four major categories of politically appointed positions—PAS [presidentially appointed, Senate confirmed], PAs, politically appointed Senior Executive Service, and Schedule C appointees—PAs represent the smallest number (9 percent).
  • VA-DOD Health Care Initiatives Floundering?  Another GAO report reports that after a 15 year effort, in “February 2013, the Secretaries [of VA and DOD] announced that the departments would focus on modernizing their existing systems, rather than developing a single system. They cited cost savings and meeting needs sooner rather than later as reasons for this decision. Given the long history of challenges in achieving interoperability, this reversal of course raises concerns about the departments’ ability to successfully collaborate to share electronic health information.”  Interestingly, last year, there were a number of news reports about how the program was ahead of schedule and under budget. . . .what a difference a year can make!
  • And Just How Serious Are Cybersecurity Problems?   187,000 attacks a day on the State of Michigan’s websites, reports The Detroit News. According to reporter Gary Heinlein: “The state said it spends $10 million a year on 23 technicians who staff an around-the-clock electronics security center . . . .Like other states and the federal government, Michigan is dealing with online hacker attacks that are more frequent and sophisticated.


The Business of Government Radio Show: Tracy Wareing

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.

Tracy L. Wareing is the Executive Director of American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a bipartisan, nonprofit membership organization representing the state and local human service agencies through their top-level leadership. APHSA houses nine affiliate organizations, whose members administer program-level and system-support operations in the states. Building on the expertise and experience of the APHSA membership, Wareing is leading the Association's efforts to drive transformation of the health and human services system to a more sustainable path that is both effective and cost efficient.

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