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STOCK Act ruffles the SES, The Secret Sauce to Presidential Leadership and the Plight of Public Libraries

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Emily Jarvis


STOCK Act ruffles the SES, The Secret Sauce to Presidential Leadership, the Public Libraries Plight by GovLoop Insights

We have a good program for you today Tuesday April 10, 2012.

  • The STOCK Act…this is the law signed by President Obama last week. Did you know it has some real implications for federal senior executives? We’ll get insights from Bill Bransford apartner at Bransford and Roth and the attorney for the Senior Executives Association.
  • Leadership lessons from presidents. We’ll talk to the author of a new book that looks at 5presidential leadership tactics.
  • Libraries. They have always played a unique role in communities, but that role is changing — and quickly. We’ll talk to somebody who has looked at how libraries are doing more with less… and are remaining relevant… and surviving.

We start with the stories that impact your life…your government world in 120-seconds…

  • Yet another GSA official has been put on leave. The second in command of GSA’s Public Building Service has been placed on leave in the wake of the 2010 conference. The Washington Post reports that David Foley is the fourth senior official at the agency to get swept up as a result of the incident. Desa Sealy was appointed interim deputy commissioner. Linda Chero is acting commissioner, coming in from the Mid-Atlantic region. And lawmakers in both parties are calling for hearings.

The Washington Post’s Joe Davidson says “all feds pay the price for the GSA scandal. Workers throughout the government will pay a price, too, and it will continue long after the news releases stop, Unfortunately for those of us in agencies where a. we don’t have money for conferences to begin with, and b. we aren’t even allowed funds to buy coffee when we have on site meetings, the result of the GSA excesses will be increased scrutiny of all travel and training requests. So all of us, honest thrifty agencies included, will have to jump through more hoops and spend more time justifying everything we do.”

  • Just to further Joe Davidson’s point: Bloomberg has a story about a Justice Department event, including one in Instanbul on drug enforcement, that cost almost twice as much.
  • You’ve heard it all before, the public thinks that government workers have it easy…you make more money and work less. That’s not surprising. But a new poll by Rasmussen Reports says many public sector workers believe the same thing. Government Executive reports the government workers also saw eye to eye with their private sector counterparts about job security with 62 percent of government employees saying they have more security.
  • A security breach in the state of Utah is growing bigger. Utah Department of Health confirmed that the number of people who had their personal data compromised is now more than 255,000 people. Attackers were able to compromise the Utah Department of Health’s server because an authorization component was not configured properly. SC Magazine says, an additional 350,000 people may have had other sensitive data lifted, like names, birth dates and addresses. The state is notifying the affected individuals by mail, starting first with those whose Social Security numbers were involved. The agency will also provide victims with one year of free credit monitoring services.
  • The hacker group Anonymous is targeting cybersecurity bill supporters. Several top tech-industry groups say they were the target of cyberattacks because of their support for controversial cybersecurity legislation. The National Journal says Anonymous has claimed responsibility for taking down the websites of US Telecom and Tech America, which both back the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011.
  • Pentagon to fast-track cyberweapons acquisition. The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon is planning to dramatically speed up the development of new cyberweapons, giving it the ability in some cases to field weapons against specific targets in a matter of days. According to a new Pentagon report to Congress, the rapid acquisition process is designed to respond to “urgent, mission-critical” needs when the risk to operations and personnel is unacceptable if threats are not addressed quickly. Congress required the Pentagon to prepare the report on how it could accelerate acquisition of cyberweapons.
  • Open Government 2.0. The White House is celebrating the release of the second phase of its plan to make the government more transparent. Cass Sunstein, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, says you can see how far open government has already come… with the smart disclosure initiatives, the redesign of regulations.gov, the launch of ethics.gov, the Open Government Platform, and the signing of the STOCK Act. Sunstein says the administration is committed to the long-term effort.
  • Soon it will be one stop shopping for military mobile apps. The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to have a mobile applications store up and running within 15 months. Government Computer News says this is just one in a series of steps DISA is planning over the next few months to set up standards and processes for handling mobile devices through the military.
  • Your remember the Department of Homeland Security failed virtual fence? It was supposed to help curtail illegal immigration along the Arizona border. Now DHS has issued a solicitation for sensor-studded towers to replace a $1 billion virtual fence. NexGov says DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano killed the Secure Border Initiative network amid congressional backlash that the networked fence was over budget, behind schedule and not working. The new eight and a half year endeavor aims to start small, first stationing a single tower in Nogales and then adding up to five more towers in Sonoita, Douglas, Casa Grande, Ajo and Wellton.
  • Contractors hope big data is big business. The Washington Post says after the Obama administration announced a $200 million big data initiative meant to help the government better analyze large collections of information, information technology contractors are hoping for more opportunities. Take MarkLogic, for example. The California based company has long specialized in organizing what it calls “unstructured” data, which could be anything from e-mails to geospatial information that doesn’t fit into typical databases.
  • Every major government agency is using Twitter and YouTube and all but one is using Facebook. NextGov says that the Nuclear Regulatory Agency was the only major agency not using any of the three major social networking sites in a June 2011 — but they joined Twitter in August 2011 and launched a YouTube page a month later.

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