Weekly Round-up: April 26, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

This week: Securities.

Dan Chenok

  • Major step forward for privacy legislation — the Senate will consider updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act:
  • OMB gets a confirmed Director after 15 months, Sylvia Burwell who served as Deputy Director in the Clinton Administration:
  • How to secure social media? A guide to handle social-media hacks

John Kamensky

  • Senate Performance Task Force Renewed. The new chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Patty Murray, announced the renewal of the committee’s Government Performance Task Force. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) was re-appointed chair. He notes: “The Task Force provides oversight and recommendations on ways to increase the performance and reduce the cost of federal agencies and programs.” In 2010, the Task Force was a key player in the modernization of the Government Performance and Results Act in 2010. He says the Task Force will pursue “reforms that will reduce duplication, break down agency silos, build a more collaborative culture across government, and modernize how we use technology to improve transparency and accountability.”
  • Customer Service Legislation Reintroduced. Both Cong. Henry Cuellar and Sen. Mark Warner have introduced legislation to create customer service standards in federal agencies (H.R. 1160; S. 760). Cong. Cuellar’s earlier bills had passed the House but not the Senate. The bills amends the GPRA law to include governmentwide customer service improvement goals and agency-level standards to be set by agency Performance Improvement Officers.
  • GAO on Field Coordination. GAO issued a new report examining how various federal agencies have developed counter-terrorism and anti-drug centers across the country, but found that they do not do a good job in sharing information among themselves. GAO found that co-location of staff was the most effective way to improve the sharing of sensitive information.
  • GAO on Priority Goals. GAO issued another report in its series on the implementation of the new GPRA law, examining how the largest 24 agencies developed their first set of agency priority goals, totaling 103, and examined in detail 21 of these goals, which had been developed by five of the 24 agencies. It found agencies were making progress on implementing the new law and complimented the support given by OMB and the cross-agency performance council in implementing provisions related to developing good goals with good measures. It offers a series of recommendations to fine-tune the priority goal process.

Michael Keegan

Agencies applying threat intelligence to stem tide of cyber attacks
The idea behind cyber threat intelligence is to understand more about the attack and the attacker than ever before by matching up patterns, anomalies and other characteristics of the bad guys. Energy, DoD, Commerce and DHS are all analyzing cyber attack data to develop this more complete picture.

White House open to ending FAA furloughs
Under growing pressure, the Obama administration signaled Wednesday it might accept legislation eliminating Federal Aviation Administration furloughs blamed for lengthy delays affecting airline passengers, while leaving the rest of the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in place.

Two states overhaul IT to boost social services
The health and human services departments of Arkansas and South Carolina are joining a growing list of states seeking to overhaul the IT infrastructure that supports citizen services, scrapping older systems for cloud-based technologies and tools that offer big data analytics. Officials with the Arkansas Department of Human Services are looking to transform an IT infrastructure composed of more than 30 discrete systems in an aging architecture, according to department CIO Dick Wyatt.The department is beginning an enterprise modernization initiative with a service-oriented architecture to fully integrate all of the department’s programs, and relevant programs from other departments, into one re-useable and scalable platform. The new system will support a wide array of the state’s social programs, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Over time, the state plans to integrate social programs across multiple agencies.

How the Rise of Telework Is Changing Our Cities
Technology has blurred the walls of the workplace in at least two dramatic ways. People who once worked inside the clear confines of a cubicle, inside an office, within an office tower in a commercial district, can now work from nearly anywhere. And because the spatial distinction has been disappearing between work and home (and everywhere in between), neat divisions in time are now eroding, too.Even if you do still have an actual office where you commute every day, you have probably experienced how these lines have softened simultaneously: You’ve walked out of your building and into the subway, pulled out your phone, and gone right back to triaging email.
what comes to mind, it may be time to revise your thinking.

Inside the Reporter’s Notebook: A deeper dive into the 2014 budget
Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed this week.

The Business of Government Radio Show: Leaders Speak on Mission and Making a Difference

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations.

Leaders Speak on Changing the Way Government Does Business with Gene Dodaro, Danny Werfel, Bob Hale, Beth McGrath, Kshemendra Paul, Richard Boly and Kathy Conrad

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, 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 businessofgovernment.org and by searching our audio archives.

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