Friday, April 19, 2024
Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending April 19, 2024

IRS seeks $104B for multi-year modernization fund maintain high level of customer service. The IRS is telling lawmakers that billions of dollars in multi-year modernization funds are helping the agency provide a level of customer service that taxpayers expect — and is asking for more funding to keep up with that demand. The IRS exceeded its customer service goals for the second year in a row, providing an 88% level of phone service during this year’s filing season. That’s compared to only 15% of callers getting through to the agency in 2022.

OMB Looking to Scale FedRAMP Marketplace, Create New Authorization Paths. FedRAMP aims to provide a standardized, government-wide approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services used by Federal agencies. OMB released draft guidance in October to modernize FedRAMP – which is run by the General Services Administration (GSA) – and replace existing policy created for the program when it began in 2011. 

Army has burned the software development bridges behind them. The Army has seen enough from its testing of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework to know what its future looks like. And that future is around six pathways that moves the services away from a one-size-fits all approach to buying and managing technology. Margaret Boatner, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for strategy and acquisition reform, said these six pathways outlined in the Defense Department’s released in 2020 have shown enough promise to force the service to change its approach to how it buys and develops software.

DARPA Aims to Boost ‘Velocity’ of AI Tools Effort. Jason Preisser, director of the Mission Services Office at DARPA, discussed how the agency is increasing the velocity of its AI work during a webinar hosted by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and GovExec. “The main thing that we’re focused on is increasing velocity through the process, from ideation to getting performers or contractors on contract and doing national security research. The way we’re looking at AI from a business process automation and machine learning perspective, as well as leveraging large language models (LLMs) … is to where in that process … can we increase that velocity,” he said.

Facing billions in facility backlogs, DoD looks to new pilot for ‘livable communities’. A lot of DoD facilities — from barracks to office buildings — are in pretty bad shape, and because of consistent maintenance shortfalls, things are generally getting worse. So as part of a new strategy for its bases, the department is trying a new approach, seeking permission from Congress to test a series of pilot projects that would demolish old buildings and consolidate the people who live and work in them into “livable communities.”

GAO: New DoD EHR System Needs Further Improvements. From poor user satisfaction to integration challenges, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) new multi-billion dollar electronic health record (EHR) system faces several barriers that affect its implementation and efficiency, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Without goals for improving user satisfaction, the department will be limited in its ability to measure progress, plan for improvements, and ensure the system meets users’ needs,” the report reads. GAO does acknowledge that DoD’s Program Executive Office implemented an issue management plan to address key issues affecting MHS GENESIS. However, the plan does not sufficiently address all the challenges DoD’s EHR system faces.

Crisis Leadership Lessons from Polar Explorer Ernest Shackleton. Harvard Business School professor and historian Nancy Koehn analyzes Shackleton’s leadership during those two fateful years that he and his men struggled to survive.

Disruptive Innovation in the Era of Big Tech. Harvard Business Review editor Amy Bernstein and a panel of expert scholars discuss the legacy of disruptive innovation, and how the common perception of disruption has drifted away from its original meaning.

5 Networking Tips for Introverts (and Anyone Else). Research by the Lehigh@NasdaqCenter, a partnership between Lehigh University and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, identified make-or-break factors for developing networking skills. They include: the ability to adapt your thinking swiftly in response to changing situations; combating a tendency to focus more on avoiding errors and negative results and instead striving for positive outcomes; consciously trying to have faith in your networking prowess; being persistent; and focusing more on the future.

Procurement flow-downs can’t be one-sided. Flow-down requirements impact prime contractors, subcontractors, customer agencies, contracting activities, and contracting officers. Procurement policy flow-downs cannot be one-sided. The government rightly expects compliance from its industry partners regarding contract clause flow-down requirements. Likewise, industry partners and the public have a right to expect sound, effective flow down of acquisition policies to the federal acquisition workforce. Unfortunately, the record is this regard is mixed, at best, and the General Service Administration’s (GSA’s) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program serves as a case in point.


ICYMI – Putting Veterans First: Exploring the VA’s Customer Experience Strategy. This week Michael Keegan welcomed John Boerstler, Chief Veterans Experience Officer at VA, to discuss the department’s customer experience (CX) strategy, how the VA has increased its Trust Index, and what VA is doing to enhance its employee experience.