Weekly Round-up: October 12, 2012
- It's never too late! A little more than a year ago, I wrote "I Will Leave Facebook (But not Twitter) for Good - You Will, Too" That didn't really happen. But! NASA is out with some tips on how government agencies can use Google+ more effectively. Or at all.
- The Old Silicon Valley wants to be the new silicon valley? Luke Fretwell posts a video of Silicon Valley types talking about how to make San Fransisco a smarter city. (spoiler: hipster relief not in the cards) Related: Why does civic data matter?
- Social Media: New laws and old. California has passed new social media privacy laws, and Mark Malseed and Chris Dorobek discuss how to avoid running afoul of the 1939 Hatch Act through social media.
- Have You Ever Seen the Rain? The National Weather Service wants the US to be a more "Weather-Ready Nation," and, GOV.Aol reports, "[t]o get there, 122 forecast offices across the country has developed relationships with emergency managers, first responders, government officials, businesses and the public." Related: Mass. launches free mobile app to warn of emergencies and disasters
- Agencies making progress on HSPD 12.
- NIST Fellow wins Nobel Prize for Physics.
- Cybersecurity awareness month is now.
- DOD Finally Bans Stuff. Federal News Radio reports that Defense has issued a memobanning swag (trinkets) and entertainment at conferences it sponsors. It also instituted a “tiered approval structure” for conferences in the future. This follows an OMB ban issued in May 2012 and a presidential executive order on limiting conference spending in November 2011. It takes a while for presidential directives to trickle down to the front line!!
- Obama Signs New Government Charge Card Rules. Government Executive’s Charles Clark writes: “The law tasks federal agencies with ensuring that individuals with travel cards are creditworthy and with issuing restricted cards to those with poor or no credit history. It also specifies that agency directors add internal controls and audits to reduce wasteful spending, and it creates penalties for violators.”
- Agencies ignoring billions in savings from strategic sourcing. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports on a new GAO study saying, “Agencies are missing out on billions of dollars in savings by not using strategic sourcing contracts, particularly when buying services.” The GAO study examines four agencies that comprise more than 70 percent of total federal acquisition spending and found that “. . . when strategic sourcing contracts were used, selected agencies generally reported savings ranging from 5 percent to over 20 percent." GAO found that governmentwide, agencies only spent 5 percent of their budgets through strategic sourcing with a savings of 0.4 percent. In contrast, it reports, “. . leading companies, which generally strategically manage about 90 percent of their procurement spending and achieve savings of 10to 20 percent of total procurements annually.”
- IRS Commissioner Shulman stepping down next month. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman will leave the agency when his term ends next month, the IRS announced Wednesday. Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steven Miller, will serve as acting commissioner after he departs. Shulman, who has led the agency since March 2008, indicated earlier this year he would leave at the end of his term
- DARPA seeks the next great challenges. What do putting on a man on the moon, the Human Genome Project and Wikipedia have in common? They all are examples of solutions to grand challenges – ambitious but achievable goals that captured the public’s attention and were fueled by innovation. So what will the next grand challenge be? The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency is looking to discover just that. In a new request for information, DARPA is asking for input to identify the Grand Challenges of the 21st Century -- part of a broader national innovation strategy under the Obama administration.
- CFOs remain tepid on financial shared services. Federal chief financial officers say finding efficiencies in their agency is among their top priorities. But moving to a financial management shared service provider or even to individual shared applications doesn't rank high on their to-do lists. In an exclusive Federal News Radio survey of CFOs and deputy CFOs conducted in August, 55 percent of the respondents rated spending money more wisely as their top priority. But at the same time, 36 percent rated moving to the Internet Payment Portal or other financial management shared services as their fourth highest priority, while only 9 percents ranked it as high as third overall.
- DoD, intelligence community tune in, turn off IT systems. The Defense Department and the intelligence community share a common challenge over the next several years: breaking down thousands of stovepiped technology systems and building coherent IT enterprises. And both organizations say they're working together to do it.
- Tap value of big data with strategy, infrastructure and roadmap. Government agencies have worked for years on complex, analytic projects in many domains before the term big data came along. What has changed is that the cost of computing has come down, unlocking capabilities for agencies to analyze and find hidden value in data, said Steve Mills, co-chair of the TechAmerica Big Data Commission and senior vice president and group executive with IBM.
The Business of Government Radio Show: Debbie Matz
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.
Debbie Matz was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the eighth board chair of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday, October 15, at 11 a.m., and Wednesday, October 17, at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED