Friday, March 10, 2023
Articles & insights in public management & leadership that we have found of interest for the week ending March 10, 2023

Biden releases a $6.9 Trillion Budget Proposal. President Biden unveiled his $6.9 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2024 that is proposing a total of $1.7 trillion in base discretionary funding, with an increase of 7.3% or $46.9 billion in non-defense discretionary spending from fiscal 2023 and a boost of 3.3%, or $28.1 billion in defense funding.

Senate confirms Danny Werfel as IRS commissioner. The IRS is bringing back a former leader experienced at helping the agency overcome challenges and congressional scrutiny. Werfel will be the first IRS commissioner to spend a significant portion of the nearly $80 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act meant for the agency to rebuild its workforce and modernize its legacy IT over the next decade.

IRS CIO moving to Treasury CTO post.  Nancy Sieger, chief information officer at the IRS, is leaving for the job of chief technology officer at the Treasury Department, the agency confirmed to FCW. Current deputy CIO at the Treasury Department, Jeff King, will be taking on the role of acting IRS CIO.  Sieger had been in the role in an acting capacity from June 2019 to February 2021, when she was selected to serve as CIO permanently. Before that she was a deputy CIO for filing season and tax reform in the IRS.

Air Force looks to zero trust in securing its financial management network.  Air Force Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger may be leaving in June, but she still has ambitious goals for the year, including shoring up cybersecurity and pushing the department closer to zero trust. Moving to a standardized system remains a top priority, but the service also has pilots in place to implement zero trust on its financial management systems.  Knausenberger said the last six months brought significant innovation to the department and put it much closer to the goal of implementing zero trust by 2027.

DoD has a new plan to apply enterprise-wide talent management to its cyber workforce.  The Pentagon rolled out a new plan to build and develop its IT and cyber workforce — an employee population that spans across at least 150,000 military and civilian positions, but as of now, suffers from a 25% vacancy rate. The new cyber workforce strategy extends to 2027 and lays out at least some initial details on what the Defense Department thinks it needs to do to overcome four separate challenges the strategy’s authors identified. 

GAO Offers Fresh Recs to fix DoD’s Financial Management Systems. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is taking a fresh crack at trying to guide the Defense Department (DoD) toward fixing the agency’s business and financial systems so that it can finally produce a clean annual audit.

NEW OMB GUIDANCE: What does “collaborative governance” look like in action? OMB describes how the cross-agency #infrastructure permitting process promotes “timely and sound delivery” of major projects under the Bipartisan Infra Law + a tracking dashboard. 

Are We There Yet? The Evolution of the US Federal Performance Management Framework: 1993–2022.  The adoption and use of organizational performance management techniques has evolved in the US federal government over the past three decades. John Kamensky, author and Emeritus Fellow at the IBM Center has written a very insightful article that focuses on the evolution of the “Performance Movement” at the federal level since it oftentimes sets the tone for states and localities.

Government Reform Isn’t Dead. It’s Just Changed. There isn’t much appetite for large-scale governmentwide reforms right now, but there’s still movement at individual agencies.  Very insightful article in @GovExec by Center Former Executive Director @markaabramson & Emeritus Fellow @JMKamensky. 

OPM lays out hybrid ‘future of work’ vision for agencies. The Office of Personnel Management has outlined a vision for what that future of work should look like. “We endeavor to position the federal government as a model employer that empowers the workforce to solve our nation’s toughest challenges,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said a March 7 memo to agency heads. “OPM’s new strategy for the federal future of work emphasizes the role of remote work and telework, as well as the increasingly common hybrid work environment, which incorporates a mix of in-person and virtual employees. 

This agency got so much extra funding; it has to reorganize.  The National Science Foundation, as listeners of this podcast heard from director Sethuraman Panchanathan the other day, received a new billion dollars in funding from the Chips Act. To help deal with a record budget, NSF is adding a new office called the Office of Business Information Technology Services, or BITS.

Are We Ready for an AI Tech Revolution? Hill Witnesses Say Not so Fast. Witnesses at a House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee hearing on March 8 urged lawmakers to be proactive about artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and establish guidelines and protections so that AI-based systems are developed and deployed responsibly.

Versatility is rare among leaders, but can be learnedVersatile leaders are those who can sense when different styles of management are called for -- such as taking charge or allowing others to lead the way -- depending on the specific challenges they're facing, write Robert B. Kaiser, president of Kaiser Leadership Solutions, Ryne A. Sherman and Robert Hogan, chief science officer and president of Hogan Assessment Systems, respectively. Such leaders are rare, they write, but the meta-skill can be developed through understanding how you behave in certain circumstances and getting comfortable with doing "what does not come naturally." Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model)