On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- Feedback — it is so important to accomplishing your mission, but we all hate it… to give feedback… to get feedback. But there are ways to deliver that feedback effectively. Click here for the full recap. Click here for the full recap.
- Bone marrow — most of us don’t fully understand what it is, let alone why it fails. Dr. Neal Young is the world’s leading expert in the field of bone marrow failure. He told us why NIH is the only place where this type of research can be done. Click here for the full recap.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- GOP puts forward compromise plan to avoid gov’t shutdown. The Hill Newspaper reports House Republicans are expected to approve the bill later this week to keep the government running through next March. The continuing resolution, H.J. Res. 117, would ensure discretionary spending at a rate of $1.047 trillion, which GOP leaders said is $26.6 billion lower than last year’s level. But that’s also more than what many Republicans wanted to spend — the House passed seven spending bills earlier in the year, many of which would have put the government on a pace to spending below the $1.047 trillion cap for 2013 that was agreed to last year.”
- Shorter leases for government buildings is becoming more normal. Federal Times says the General Services Administration is hoping to extend its 15-year lease for a 142,000-square-foot building in Lakewood, Colo., for the Interior Department — but only guarantees it will remain there for two years, according to the lease prospectus. The GSA is looking at a similar lease situation for the Treasury Department building in DC. Federal Times says shorter-term leases are becoming more typical. The average term for a GSA-leased building was 8.2 years in fiscal 2011, less than half of the 16.7-year term in 2010. It is the lowest average in the 10 years GSA has tracked the data.
- Hotel spending could dip 20 percent next year. Federal Times says agencies spent less on hotels in 2011 than in the previous year and are likely to spend even less in 2012. Federal spending on hotels for the first three quarters of 2012, at $171 million, is about $44 million less than for the same period in 2011. If agencies spend at the same rate in the final quarter as they did in the first three, the government will finish fiscal 2012 having spent $57 million less on hotels than in 2011.
- Agencies are looking strengthen and streamline contractor past performance evaluations in an online system. The Washington Business Journal reports, the Defense Department, NASA and General Services Administration have published a proposed rule that would require past-performance reports to include specific components to help agencies decide whether a contractor is responsible. Beside providing a clear description of the contract, agencies will note evaluation factors for quality of product or service, cost control, timeliness, management or business relations and small business subcontracting efforts.
- But the Defense Department was forced to forgo registration requirements for contractors after bugs in the system were found. The Washington Business Journal reports An Aug. 21 memo from Richard Ginman, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, pointed to issues with the System for Award Management in announcing that contractors would not have to adhere to the registration requirement before bidding on government work.
- Sometimes it pays to be a whistleblower. CNBC reports former Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld announced that the IRS will pay him $104 million as a whistleblower reward for information he turned over to the US government. Birkenfeld revealed the inner workings of the secretive private wealth management division of the Swiss bank UBS, where the American-born Birkenfeld helped his US clients evade taxes by hiding wealth overseas.
- And on GovLoop, have you signed up for our virtual conference — the Government Innovators Online Summit. The summit features 5 separate online webinars that focus on social media, technology and program management. The free conference kicks off at 11AM ET. You can still sign up here.
A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
- Save our economy, oh iPhone 5. ”The conventional wisdom holds that we shouldn’t expect too many tech miracles from the iPhone 5. The latest iteration of Apple’s popular smartphone will mainly just be an incremental upgrade over previous versions. Ho-hum. But what about an economic miracle? In a new research note, JP Morgan’s Michael Feroli estimates that iPhone 5 sales could boost U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter by up to 0.5 percentage points. That could mean the difference between a disappointing economic expansion and a half-decent one.”Brad Plumer in The Washington Post.