Friday, January 3, 2020
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting between December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020.

John Kamensky

Second Thoughts?  Defense News reports: “Just three years after Congress created a new civilian position focused on Defense Department reforms and named it the No. 3 official in the Pentagon, key lawmakers are leaning toward eliminating the office.”

Federal Data Strategy Released. Federal News Network reports: “Among the 20 agency actions identified in the final one-year action plan of the Federal Data Strategy, the Office of Management and Budget has a month to launch a governmentwide Chief Data Officers Council, while agencies have six months to complete an assessment of their workforce’s data literacy and data skills.”

GREAT Act Signed. The Data Coalition reports: “On December 30, 2019, the President signed the bill into law. The bipartisan GREAT Act transforms federal grant reporting for the modern era by directing federal agencies to modernize and improve grantee reporting.”

Tech Policy Overhauls. NextGov reports: “Since joining the administration, federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent has made it her mission to revamp and revitalize the government’s aged IT policies, and 2019 was the year it all came together. . . . The Federal CIO’s Office reworked and released six policies this year, some of which had gone nearly a decade without an update.”

Feedback on GSA E-Rulemaking.  NextGov reports: “Almost three months into its new role as managing partner of the federal electronic rulemaking program, the General Services Administration now aims to engage stakeholders on its plans to modernize the government’s eRulemaking management process. . . . According to a notice set to be published in the federal register Tuesday, the agency will accept comments and host two town-hall style public meetings in early 2020.”

DOD Civilians Get Boost. Federal News Network reports: “The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act includes the largest pay raise Defense civilian employees have seen in more than a decade and a landmark provision adding paid family leave. . . . But the same bill is scattered with indications that Congress wants the Defense Department to invest in its civilian workforce in ways that go beyond pay and benefits. These include placing more civil servants in positions of authority and responsibility, and creating a more formalized training structure for future government employees.”

2020 Tech Priorities.  Federal News Network reports: “The government sector has historically been slow to adopt new technologies. While the White House reported spending over $94 billion on information technology in 2017, much of that budget went towards maintaining or updating legacy systems instead of investing in innovative new solutions. . . . But we’re entering a new decade, and change is on the horizon. Here are four predictions for technology trends in the government sector next year . . . “

CFO Act at 30. Federal News Network reports: “Chief financial officers, for decades, have kept back-office operations running smoothly at their agencies. But the rapid expansion of the agency C-suite to include chief risk officers, chief procurement officers and chief data officers — to name a few — have led some CFOs to rethink the scope of their duties.”

Hidden Story on Federal Debt.  The Peterson Foundation reports: “The U.S. added about $9 trillion of debt over the past decade. . . . Given the size of the debt today, over the next decade, the government is projected to spend about $6 trillion on interest payments.”

GAO Foresight Shop.  FedScoop reports: “The Government Accountability Office’s new team of futurists, having quickly established itself as a source of tech expertise for Congress, plans in 2020 to increase its analysis of emerging issues like artificial intelligence’s use in health care and the impact of brain-machine interfaces.

Michael J. Keegan

OPM pushes plan to fast-track hires of former feds. Under a new rule proposed by the Office of Personnel Management, agencies would be able to offer reinstatement and higher pay grades to former federal employees who are looking to return to government after acquiring new skills.

FAS won't ditch pricing tools. Even though the General Services Administration's inspector general said two labor pricing tools the agency's acquisition service uses are flawed, alternatives could be worse, a top acquisition official said.

DHS maps out data sharing with Census Bureau. Data on travel, immigration and enforcement from the Department of Homeland Security will be used by the Census Bureau as part of a plan to determine the number of immigrants and non-citizens residing in the U.S. in the 2020 population count.

Leadership has changed. Have you? The nature of work and leadership have changed over Wally Bock's lifetime as the definition of work itself evolved, knowledge workers took over and long-term planning lost its effectiveness. "We can see the shape of how things are developing, but most of us still need to dig in, learn, and think about how we should lead differently," he writes. Three Star Leadership (1/2) 

Use these strategies to overcome anxiety. Anxiety can be dealt with in a number of ways, including taking breaks when you feel stuck and writing down "your fears, uncertainties, and doubts" and contrasting them with known facts, writes CEO coach Sabina Nawaz. "Expanding the stories you tell yourself about a specific situation shows you there are multiple possibilities, many of them more positive than your initial hypothesis," she writes. Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (1/2) 

Wally Bock on Leadership: Review of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor. Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership has a book review with insights that can benefit those leading today. If you’re already familiar with stoicism, buy How to Think Like a Roman Emperor and read it. You’ll learn new thing about Marcus Aurelius and how to apply stoic principles. Robertson puts stoicism in a modern context. He gives you helpful ways to connect stoic philosophy with everyday life. If you’re relatively new to stoicism, read Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way first. It will give you a good practical overview of stoicism before you go a little deeper with Robertson’s book. You can check out some of Wally’s highlights and notes from this book on his GoodReads page.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Conversation with Dan Pelino on Trusted Healers.  What is a trusted healer? What is patient centered medical home? Does everyone need both? AND, What type of leadership is needed to propel a healthcare revolution? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Dan Pelino, author of Trusted Healers: Dr. Paul Grundy and the Global Healthcare Crusade. Next week on a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Network 1500AM WFED

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