Friday, September 19, 2014
The IBM Center's Weekly Round Up highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending September 19

John Kamensky IRS’s Big Data and Analytics Go-To Guy. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports that IRS’s Dean Silverman “s going beyond predictive analytics to improve its business outcomes.” Silverman joined IRS two years ago to create an analytic capability to detect fraud and improve compliance with tax laws. His pioneering efforts have drawn attention in other agencies, given his success in helping his colleagues save $2 billion with state-of-the-art approaches. IGs Overburdened by Congressional Mandates. Emily Kopp, Federal News Radio, reports that a new survey of Inspectors General shows many are frustrated that they cannot focus their limited resources on key areas of risk because Congress has mandated they oversee issues that have been in the headlines recently, such as conference spending and potential mis-use of government credit cards. Vet Hires in Federal Government. According to Lisa Rein, Washington Post, “Last year, veterans made up 46 percent of full-time hires, the Office of Personnel Management said. They now represent a third of the federal workforce, holding positions well beyond the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments.” The article raises a potential culture class, with civilian employees saying that veterans are not independent thinkers, and veterans saying that they bring a “can do” attitude to the job. PTO Telework Review. Lisa Rein, Washington Post, says the Patent and Trademark Office is committed to reviewing its telework policy and management approaches, in response to reports of systematic abuse of the process. A Focus on People, Not IT. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports: “The Obama administration has spent a lot of the last five years talking about and experiencing some of the long-standing problems with federal technology.” But in the second term,“Steve VanRoekel, the federal chief information officer, detailed two specific initiatives under the agenda's smarter IT delivery area to address the technical expertise of federal employees. One is around flexible hiring, and a second is trying another employee exchange program.” Venture Capital for Government Technology. In an interesting article, Jack Moore, NextGov, writes: “Over the past 15 months or so, a California-based venture capital fund has been quietly raising millions of dollars for a handful of technology startups designed to make the government work more efficiently. . . It’s called the GovTech Fund, and it’s the first-ever venture capital fund to specifically fundraise for startups dedicated to improving and empowering government technology.” Michael J. Keegan Air Force needs more strategic planning to meet budget constraints. The Air Force's top officer says it's time to reexamine priorities, with a realistic view of the funding it will get from Congress. Diplomats recount stories of crisis and survival. In the inaugural edition of Federal Voices, we hear from diplomats about their experiences abroad and how they survived to tell the tale. Intel agencies push shared IT services from concept to reality. Three years after the intelligence community's leaders agreed it that it was time to consolidate their IT systems into a shared infrastructure, the project has moved beyond PowerPoint slides and scattered pilot projects. The Intelligence Community Information Technology Environment (ICITE) has services up and running now, with thousands of users consuming them, several of the IC's top technology officials said Thursday. CMS sets deadline to fix two dozen cyber shortfalls. Some lawmakers say a year into the Affordable Care Act, the website still has basic cybersecurity challenges that should have been fixed. Federal CIO VanRoekel leaving post for new role at USAID. Federal Chief Information Officer Steve VanRoekel will serve as the chief innovation officer at USAID and help with the administration's response to the Ebola outbreak. Check out my interview with Steve about his work as federal CIO over the last three years. See below. Dan Chenok CR passed through December: Recovery data could be limited after Sep 30 given contract issues: Security clearance reforms making progress: The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversation with Steve VanRoekel, Federal CIO, OMB. How are federal agencies delivering smarter information technology (IT) services? What are agencies doing to deliver value in federal IT investments? How are agencies using data-driven reviews to enhance IT performance? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Steve VanRoekel, Federal CIO & Administrator for E-Gov, Office of Management and Budget. 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.