Friday, September 16, 2016
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending September 16, 2016.

Michael J. Keegan 

Devil’s in the details for implementing VA Commission recommendations.The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee took on the recommendations from the VA Commission on Care’s recent report on veterans health care.

Rung to leave OFPP for Amazon. Anne Rung, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator and U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer, will be moving to Seattle to work as the head of Amazon Business where she will run its strategic supplier program focusing on the government.

4 steps to a solid management agenda for the next administration. The next president’s management agenda will be key in helping the new administration deliver on its agency priorities next year. The Partnership for Public Service offered a four-pronged road map to develop an implementation plan on the next president’s agency and policy priorities.

Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding. A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

18F, USDS lack performance and accountability measures. Although agencies are generally satisfied with the services the U.S. Digital Service and 18F have provided, the two organizations lack ways to fully measure program performance, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Sept. 14.

USPTO director to lawmakers: ‘Please, allow agency to do its work’. In the wake of two troubling reports on the work practices of patent examiners, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle Lee defended her agency’s policies and practices before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

John Kamensky

GAO Reviews Agency Digital Services.  GAO released a new report that says: “The General Service Administration's (GSA) 18F and Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) U.S. Digital Service (USDS) have provided a variety of services to agencies supporting their information technology (IT) efforts . . . [However] Until OMB updates its policy and ensures that the responsibilities between the CIOs and digital services teams are clearly defined, it is unclear whether CIOs will be able to fulfill their statutory responsibilities with respect to IT management of the projects undertaken by the digital service teams.”

Request for Comments.  The Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission has issued a Request for Comments: “Over the next year, the Commission will consider how data, research, and evaluation are currently used to build evidence and continuously improve public programs and policies, and how to strengthen evidence-building to inform program and policy design and implementation. The Commission's work will conclude with a presentation of findings and recommendations on evidence-building to Congress and the President. This request for comments seeks public input on a range of issues, including topics the authorizing law directs the Commission to consider. The public comments received from this request will be used to inform future deliberations of the Commission.”

Bureaucracies and Social Media. Dannielle Blumenthal  writes in Government Executive: “It's a question that comes up a lot when organizations consider how to use social media most effectively: "How should we present our identity to the public?" She offers a series of pros and cons for different practical approaches.

Whither OSTP?  The Baker Institute at Rice University released a white paper to the next president on the importance of the role of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): “This paper provides recommendations for the next president to consider when choosing a science advisor and establishing science and technology policy priorities. The project also offers guidance to the next science advisor for developing effective policy while serving in the White House. The recommendations are based on lessons learned from past presidential science advisors.”

New and Improved. The Office of Personnel Management updated its USAJobs.govwebsite this past week and Federal News Radio’s Tom Temin reports: “I found looking pretty good. As in, two clicks to lists of jobs in your general area of expertise, starting the ‘explore opportunities’ tab.”

Unleashing Digital Talent. Scott Gould and Jeff Neal write a pair of blog posts inNextGov about the federal initiative to an additional 3,500 cybersecurity and IT specialists by January 2017.  They say: “The use of existing flexibilities in the government’s system of hiring, training and nurturing talent could enable the government to meet that goal and improve performance today.”

The Role of CTOs. The Professional Services Council released a report that “recognizes that the CTO position is a relatively new phenomenon at most agencies and discusses the wide variance in the responsibilities of the position, where it is organizationally placed, and the authorities that the CTO has to effect change.  The report concludes with a set of recommendations on priorities for agency CTOs, organizational placement for both agency CTOs and the U.S. government CTO, establishment of a federal CTO Council and focusing any efforts to enact CTO legislation on empowering CTOs as innovation agents.”

Move to Cloud.  Federal News Radio reports that for agencies moving to the cloud, it’s a series of lessons learned:  “Herding cats, a hot item or just hype? . . . When it comes to the government’s ongoing effort to get its arms around — and data into — the cloud, it can be all three.”

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The Business of Government Radio Show: Rob Foster, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of the Navy. What are the IT priorities for the US Department of the Navy? How is the Navy leveraging mobility solutions? What is the US Navy doing to enhance its IT security? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Rob Foster, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of the Navy. Here’s a sneak peek!


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