Friday, January 13, 2017
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending January 13, 2017.

Michael J. Keegan

Obama appointee to lead VA under Trump. Dr. David Shulkin, the Department of Veterans Affairs current undersecretary for health, was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the agency. Check out my interview with Dr. Shulkin on The Business of Government Hour.

Giuliani to head cybersecurity group within White House. President-elect Donald Trump picked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head a White House committee tasked with tackling cybersecurity challenges.

Why risk management is critical in cybersecurity. If you're a federal cyber official, the advice in a newly revised handbook on corporate cybersecurity might sound familiar. The new National Association of Corporate Directors' cybersecurity handbook says cybersecurity is a risk management issue, not an IT matter.

An IT moonshot: Can government IT development come to look like SpaceX?. Steve Kelman outlines the changes needed to truly transform IT acquisition.

Outgoing DOD CIO says agility is key. The outgoing CIO of the Department of Defense says the Pentagon is making progress on achieving Joint Information Environment goals, but technological change continues to outpace the ability to reform procurement and tech deployment.

 Improper payments rose to $144B in 2016.  For the fourth straight year, the federal government increased the amount of money described as improper payments. The Government Accountability Office is reporting that agencies exceeded $144 billion in improper payments in fiscal 2016, up from $137 billion in 2015. This increase translates to a higher improper payment rate as well, up to 4.67 percent of all outlays from 4.39 percent last year. Despite the increase, the rate still is half a percent lower than when President Barack Obama took office in 2009, GAO said.

John Kamensky

Army Forces Closure of Data Centers.  According to Federal News Radio, “Saying the Army has dragged its feet for too long in implementing its share of the now seven-year-old Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, Army Secretary Eric Fanning has issued highly detailed orders to three-and-four star generals in the Army’s headquarters and functional and geographic commands, telling them precisely what must be done to close 60 percent of the service’s 1,200 data centers by the end of 2018 and 75 percent by 2025.”

Defense Innovation Board Offers Ideas.  Federal News Radio reports: “After spending the last three months visiting military bases and command centers, the Defense Innovation Board made its first attempt to pull the Defense Department’s processes and culture into the modern era. . . . The board, filled with Silicon Valley eggheads, an astrophysicist and multiple high powered executives, offered 11 ways the Pentagon can promote experimental thinking, hire talented cyber experts and protect weapons systems from hackers.”

Federal CIO Exit Interview.  Federal News Radio reports: “Tony Scott, the federal chief information officer, said the government is better off than it was eight years ago when it comes to technology and serving the citizens. . . . Scott, whose last day at OMB will be Jan. 17, said whether it is around cloud or cybersecurity or digital services, the government has taken important steps on the path toward better citizen services and back-office efficiencies.”

Nominees Can Serve as SES.  Government Executive reports: The Office of Personnel Management announced on Monday the authority to place nominees into agency positions while they await confirmation, which will enable Trump appointees to serve in temporary Senior Executive Service positions before the Senate votes on their nominations.”

Plain Language Report Card Is Out.  Federal News Radio reports: “According to the Center for Plain Language’s 2016 Plain Language Report Card, the State and Defense departments, the lowest scoring agencies in 2015, showed the most improvement in 2016 with State moving from a “C” to “A” and DoD going up from a “C+” to an “A-.”

House Passes Travel Modernization Act.  The House passed a bill allowing federal employees to use local travel services such as Uber and Lyft.

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The Business of Government Radio Show:Developing a Management Roadmap for the New Administration. Join host Michael Keegan as he explores this effort and how presidential transitions work with David Eagles, Director, The Center for Presidential Transition, Partnership for Public Service and Dan Chenok, Executive Director, The IBM Center for The Business of Government.   

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