Friday, June 2, 2017
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of May 29 – June 2.

John Kamensky

Risk & Reform. In an op-ed for Government Executive, Linda Miller writes: “Making decisions about which programs to eliminate or how to restructure the organizational functions of an agency is a challenge. It’s even more difficult when an agency lacks adequate information on either performance or risk or a mechanism with which to analyze it.”

Seven Principles. In an article for the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, long-time inspector general Glenn Fine writes about his experience working in different agencies and concludes: “Despite the differences in background, size, and type of federal agency, I believe there are general principles that effective IGs can and should follow.” He then offers seven principles for effective IGs.

Connected Government Act.  The mantra “mobile first” may become a mandate for federal agencies.  H.R. 2331 would: “require a new or updated Federal website that is intended for use by the public to be mobile friendly.”


Michael Keegan

What's slowing down DOD's data center consolidation? The slow pace of consolidating Defense Department data centers was one of the primary sources of frustration for former DOD CIO Terry Halvorsen. But acting CIO John Zangardi is taking a more glass-half-full approach. "There are a lot of barriers -- they are not unreasonable," Zangardi said at the AFCEA Army IT day. "Some of the barriers are related to the age of the data that they are storing, the age of the systems and modifying that and bringing it over."

Lawmakers seek answers on alleged FCC DDoS attack.  Five Democratic senators are seeking an FBI investigation into possible cyberattacks on the Federal Communication Commission's online comment system. The FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System slowed under heavy demand in the early hours of May 8 in what the agency called "deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard”the commission and render its systems unusable by legitimate commenters.

Is the performance of the procurement system improving? Steve Kelman looks back on 20 years of attempted procurement reform. 

Cyber Mission Forces poised for new gear after deployment lessons. The military’s Cyber Mission Forces are on track to becoming fully operational at the end of 2017, but there are still some kinks to work out, especially regarding technologies in the Third Offset Strategy. The Defense Department is reassessing some of the equipment cyber soldiers use and how certain equipment will fit in with the Pentagon’s goal of maintaining technological superiority over its rivals. This comes as DoD’s Cyber Mission Forces are involved in more than 50 named operations around the world providing offensive and defensive support.

DHS cancels $1.5B contract for agile services. The Homeland Security Department’s has cancelled its $1.5 billion contract vehicle for agile development services. Multiple industry sources confirmed DHS alerted the companies and the Government Accountability Office that it would no longer move forward with the troubled small business procurement known as Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland (FLASH).

Shulkin details 13 areas of improvement in his diagnosis of VA . Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin delivered his diagnosis of the department Wednesday. VA’s prognosis? A long road toward recovery. Shulkin is, after all, a doctor, and he offered a fact-filled assessment on the “State of VA,”outlining 13 areas where the department needs to improve and the legislative and administrative fixes it needs in order to see progress. Shulkin said he and his team have reviewed 137 different studies on the department from outside sources, as well as the 2016 Commission on Care report and VA’s own internal assessments.


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This Week’s The Business of Government Radio Show. 
How can these reviews inform the development of agency strategic plans? What lessons can be learned for all federal departments as they develop their strategic plans? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Prof. Jordan Tama of American University and author of the IBM Center report Maximizing the Value of Quadrennial Strategic Planning.


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


If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at