Friday, September 30, 2016
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending September 30, 2016.

Michael J. Keegan

Obama signs continuing resolution to keep agencies running through Dec. 9. The president signed the continuing resolution Thursday, which Congress passed yesterday. The measure keeps the government functioning through Dec. 9.



Obama nominates new DOD IG. President Barack Obama has nominated acting Defense Department Inspector General Glenn Fine to be the permanent IG.

AI is coming. Steve Kelman looks at the potential -- and potential risks -- of letting algorithms drive government decision-making.

Blockchain gains congressional support. Blockchain now has its own congressional caucus to raise awareness among lawmakers and advance policy discussions around the technology for tracking bitcoin transactions.

Innovations lead to savings for largest health care payer. At a cost of over $1 trillion per year, accounting for one-sixth of the U. S. economy, the federal government — and everyone else — is looking for the key to innovating in health care. One thing we’ve learned with respect to innovation more broadly is that in order to have an innovative solution that has a high chance of success, the way in which you understand, define, and characterize the problem against what you’re innovating is critically important.

Administration appoints first head of NBIB. The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

John Kamensky

Pew Trusts Announces . . .the launch of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Collaborative: “The Collaborative brings together researchers from a diverse group of organizations, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, and the Urban Institute to promote resources to help support the growth of evidence-based policymaking at all levels of government. . . . . “Over the next several months, the Collaborative will develop a series of briefs highlighting evidence-based policymaking tools, principles, and practices.”

Data Is Changing Government.  Government Executive reports on how a wide range of federal agencies are opening up more data to the public.  Many of case examples were featured at the White House Open Data Innovation Summit held this past week.

Smart Cities Grants FedScoop reports on the latest awards of Smart Cities grants by the Department of Transportation - $80 million to Chattanoga, TN.  Columbus, OH was also a recent recipient of a separate $40 million grant. 

Congress and Transparency.  Federal Computer Week reports: “[Cong. Darrell] Issa and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), co-chairmen of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, called for greater implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.”

Program Management Bill Clears Congress.  Government Executive reports: “A Senate-passed bill to bring private-sector performance standards to federal program management cleared the House on Thursday by voice vote. . . . would create a formal federal job series and career path for program managers, spur development of a standards-based program management policy governmentwide, and highlight the key role of executive sponsorship by having each agency designate an official to be in charge and share best practices through the new interagency body.”

Payment Accuracy Revamp.  Government Executive reports:  “ . . . the Office of Management and Budget will revamp the website to improve agency reporting on efforts to curb improper payments, according to Controller David Mader.”

IT Modernization Act Passes House.  NextGov reports that the Modernizing Government Technology Act passed a week after its introduction. “The bill calls for the creation of working IT capital funds in CFO Act agencies, allowing agencies to bank savings from modernization efforts afoot. As a whole, government spends approximately 80 percent of its $90 billion IT budget on legacy systems. Agencies that are able to show savings from modernization efforts would be rewarded under this bill, allowing them to use savings to fund other modernization efforts, such as moving to the cloud. . . . The bill also would create a federal-wide modernization fund that agencies—led by chief information officers—could build business cases for to seek out money for modernization efforts.”

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The Business of Government Radio Show: Kevin McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionWhat are the key strategic priorities for the US Customs and Border Protection? What is CBP doing to be more efficient and effectively in meeting its mission? How is CBP pursuing innovative security strategies? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Kevin McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the next The Business of Government Hour. 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