Friday, December 20, 2019
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of December 16-20, 2019.

Snubbing Anti-Deficiency Act Rulings. Federal News Network reports: “Back in September the Government Accountability Office released a 25-page report to House and Senate leaders describing nine new violations of the Antideficiency Act, some dating back to spending in 2000.” But: “Six weeks later, OMB General Counsel Mark Paoletta sent a letter to agency general counsels” stating: “When an agency of the Legislative Branch interprets a law differently than the Executive Branch, the Executive Branch is not bound by its views.”

Best Places to Work. Government Executive reports: “Governmentwide, federal employee engagement . . . dropped 0.5 points from last year to 61.7 out of a possible score of 100. . . .The highest ranked agencies for 2019 in terms of engagement were the following: NASA (among large agencies), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (among mid-size agencies), U.S. International Trade Commission (among small agencies) and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Office of Inspector General (among subcomponent agencies).”

It's Time to Scale. NextGov reports: “The United States’ chief information officer expects federal agencies to scale up their promising IT modernization pilots and projects in 2020 and reap agencywide benefits from the investments made and groundwork laid in 2019.”

Funds for Tech Fund. FedScoop reports: “The Technology Modernization Fund is set to get $25 million more in funds in the current version of the proposed 2020 spending bill. . . . This latest infusion would bring the fund’s total to $150 million . . .  The fund, which is housed within the General Services Administration and overseen by both GSA and the Office of Management and Budget, gives agencies money for long-term IT modernization projects.”

Seeking Data Help. FCW reports: “As data -- from vehicle safety to highway construction -- mounts in importance at the Department of Transportation, the agency is looking for a new chief technology officer to help manage information at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). . . . "You see all those trucks and buses with DOT numbers on the sides?" . . . "That's us."

Aligning Measures, Goals. The Government Accountability Office has released a new report: “Community Services Block Grant: Better Alignment of Outcome Measures with Program Goals Could Help Assess National Effectiveness,” that recommends that “HHS provide information on how data collected from the states aligns with program goals in its new performance management plan.”

State-Local Fiscal Outlook. GAO has released a report that is its annual “update to our annual outlook on the fiscal condition of states and localities suggests that the sector will have an increasingly tough time covering its bills over the next 50 years. Although our model shows revenue will increase, spending will likely rise faster—driven largely by health care costs. . . “