Friday, May 10, 2013
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of May 06, 2013

This post has been updated to include Dan Chenok's contribution.


Gadi Ben-Yehuda

This week has seen a lot of stories about Data--Big, Open, and Social.


Dan Chenok




John Kamensky

  • OPM Launches Re-Write of HR Policies.  Jason Miller, at Federal News Radio, reports that the Office of Personnel Management is proposing a major re-write of human resource policies:  “Acting OPM Director Elaine Kaplan outlined the plans in an April 26 memo to chief human capital officers.  The initiative focuses on two broad objectives:  (1) Implement workforce strategies that advance each agency's mission, and (2) Streamline core federal HR policies, procedures and technology to support hiring, engaging and retaining employees, while reducing time and costs.”
  • White House, OMB Release New Open Data Policy.  Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, also reports that President Obama signed an executive order “Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information”, and that OMB followed up immediately with long-awaited agency guidance.  Interestingly, the Order also directs OMB to establish a new cross-agency priority goal under the GPRA Modernization Act to implement the Order. Miller also says:  “Along with the open data policy, OMB is updating several initiatives, including and releasing new open source data tools.”
  • White House Names Chief Privacy Officer.  According to a report by CNET’s Declan McCullagh, the White House has named Nicole Wang, a former Twitter lawyer, as the White House’s chief privacy officer, focusing on Internet policies.  She will be a senior advisor to Todd Park, the government’s Chief Technology Officer, in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
  • Harvard Launches Big Data Initiative for Cities.  The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, has launched a new website "Data-Smart City Solutions," to catalyze local government efforts to deploy data, analytics, and civic engagement technologies.

    According to a press release, “the initiative is designed to offer city leaders a national depository of working analytics methodologies and to connect leading industry, academic, and government officials in the field.. . . [It will] report fresh advances in the big data phenomenon, profiling big data technology and municipal pioneers, and will present case histories of the many community engagement and big data success stories reanimating our cities nationwide. The site will serve as a resource for government officials and others interested in this developing field.”


Michael Keegan

EPA, HUD creating bonds between new, experienced employees 
The Environmental Protection Agency will launch next week a Skills Marketplace via social media tools to connect novice and veteran feds. The Department of Housing Urban and Development is using a social media tool to connect employees with fewer than five years of experience with mentors. 

DoD's BRAC wish hitting brick wall on Capitol Hill 
The Pentagon insists it already is paying to maintain much more military base infrastructure than it needs, and the military is about to get smaller because of budget reductions. Congress is unsympathetic. 

DoD's budget reprogramming won't help with sequestration 
Pentagon says it will use its limited budget flexibility to compensate for unexpected war costs, not to blunt sequestration. Services continue to warn Congress about how budget cuts are impacting readiness. 

Do Not Pay list lacks data as implementation nears 
Senate lawmakers are promising to change the laws to let agencies have easier access to the Death Master File and other key databases. Starting June 1, agencies must check the Do Not Pay list before issuing any money. 

Fight against improper payments shows results 
The use of big data and analytics helped the federal government reduce the rate of improper payments last year, but officials think more can be done to stem the more than $100 billion wrongly paid annually. 

Why not 'functionally better' instead of 'technically acceptable'? 
IAC Chairman Dale Luddeke says fiscal pressures dictate that agencies get more from their acquisitions by shifting their focus from price to excellence. 

Easing into FISMA and FedRAMP? It's possible. 
The FedRAMP program that took effect in 2012 and a FISMA reform being considered by Congress are combining to raise agency concerns over compliance. 

NOAA seeks comment on 5-year R&D plan 
Where should NOAA put its research dollars? Now is your chance to guide the decision-making. 


The Business of Government Radio Show: Bryan Sivak

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.

Bryan Sivak joined HHS as the Chief Technology Officer in July 2011. In this role, he is responsible for helping HHS leadership harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation.

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.