Thursday, September 12, 2013
Articles from across the Web that we found interesting, the week of September 09, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

It's a reflective time of year for me, so this week what stood out were tips and lists and such:


Dan Chenok


John Kamensky

  • New OMB Deputy for Management.  Federal Computer Week’s Adam Mazmanian reports that President Obama announced his intention to nominate Beth Colbert, a senior executive at McKinsey Consulting in San Francisco, as the next Deputy Director for Management.  The position has been filled by an acting deputy since January 2012.  Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, interviewed previous management leaders, who recommend she use a “Goldilocks” approach to her job, when she is confirmed. 
  • Industry Group Calls for Procurement Reform.  Jim McElhatton, with Federal Times, writes that the Professional Services Council had produced a report recommending “ ‘fundamental’ acquisition reforms across government, including expanding the reach of the White House procurement office and exploring ways to decrease bid protests.”
  • Ideas for Open Government? Nick Sinai blogs on the White House website that that the Administration wants your input into what it should include in the coming year’s National Action Plan for Open Government.  Comments are due by Monday, September 23rd.
  • More Transparency Will Cost $100 Million.  Eric Katz, Government Executive, reports that a new bill pending in Congress: “would require federal agencies to identify and describe each program they administer, the costs to administer them, the number of program beneficiaries and the number of both federal and contract staff involved for each service.” Implementation of the bill would cost $100 million over five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
  • Budget Cuts Produce Collaboration.  With budget cuts in the air for years to come, agencies – especially in the Defense Department – are forging new collaborative approaches to getting work done.  Federal News Radio reports that the Air Force will save $1 billion by joining the Army when upgrading their IT network architecture.  And Federal Times reports the 17 intelligence agencies have also agreed to share common IT services, as well.
  • Three Times When Using Teams Make Sense.  Oftentimes, teams and committees are derided as a way to get things done.  However, a great piece in Government Executive by Brookings’ Jack Nicholson describes the three times using teams makes sense when trying to get something done.  Can you guess what they are?


Michael Keegan

Size of the federal workforce dips as number of new hires tumbles 

Federal hiring declined last year, with new government hires dropping to fewer than 90,000 in fiscal 2012. The dip in hiring caused the size of the federal workforce to retract slightly to about 2.1 million federal workers - about on par with 2009 levels, according to new government data compiled by the Partnership for Public Service. 

House CR gives agencies flexibility to avoid furloughs 
The House Appropriations Committee unveiled a stopgap spending measure late Tuesday that would fund agencies slightly below current budget levels through Dec. 15. The bill gives agencies some additional spending flexibilities and includes a measure that could help agencies stave off furloughs in the first few months of fiscal 2014. 

Analysis: New management chief must avoid second term pitfalls 
Experts say Beth Cobert must take the Goldilocks approach to developing management priorities for the next three years. President Barack Obama nominated Cobert to be OMB's deputy director for management Wednesday. Performance management observers say she needs to bring energy and new ways of looking at old problems.

Health care data hub gets authority to operate 
A key piece of technology needed to enroll applicants in the insurance marketplaces created by the 2010 health care overhaul has received authorization to operate, setting the stage for the exchanges' Oct. 1 launch. News of the authorization stunned many observers, given that a  report from the Health and Human Services Inspector General revealed that testing for the data hub had fallen behind schedule, and that security authorization wasn't due to be completed until Sept. 30, one day before the hub is scheduled to go online.

Obama nominates deputies for VA, Navy 
Jo Ann Rooney is the president's nominee for Navy undersecretary. Obama nominated Sloan Gibson, president and CEO of the United Services Organization, as deputy secretary at the VA. 


The Business of Government Radio Show: Farzad Mostashari, M.D., 

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government

What are the benefits of using Health IT? What does “meaningful use” mean as relates to electronic health records? How has the nationwide adoption and use of health IT, especially EHRs progressed? And what more needs to be done?Join host Michael Keegan and he explores these questions and so much more with, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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.