On today’s program edition of the DorobekINSIDER
- Making cloud computing count. How GSA is making it a reality from agencies. Insights from GSA’s Dave McClure. Click here for the full story.
- The IBM Center of Business of Government has a new Executive Director. We’ll talk to Dan Chenok about his hopes for the future and where he sees government cloud computing. Click here for the full story.
Sequestration: There has been much talk about the impact sequestration will have on the Defense Department, but Politico reports that there will also be steep cuts to domestic programs — $500 billion in reductions coming from programs like Head Start, child care and AIDS programs. Those domestic programs are also subject to those across-the-board cuts.
More critical reports for GSA: this time about team building cooking classes. CNN’s AC 360 with Anderson Cooper last night had a report of cooking classes for employees that cost as much as $3,350 per class. CNN reports that for years, the GSA paid to send employees to these cooking classes to build team spirit, part of a spending pattern that the agency now says was inappropriate. Employees based in Kansas City, Missouri, attended classes at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, located in suburban Overland Park, where they cooked meals. GSA officials confirmed that there were nine classes beginning in June 2007, with the last class in June 2011. The total cost to the GSA was $20,701.
And he has cut travel and conference, and just this week, Tangherlini canceled the 2012 GovEnergy Conference, which had been scheduled Aug. 19 in St. Louis, saying it didn’t meet his standards for conferences and contracts surrounding conferences.
The latest bad news from GSA — coming from a GSA employee, apparently — won’t help moral at an agency that has been reeling from the allegations about the 2010 Public Building Service Western Region Conference.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Thursday day the 19th of July, 2012
- If sequestration happens — and that is still being debated — where will the cuts actually come from? The Obama administration hasn’t said. The House has now voted The House easily passed a bill requiring the Obama administration to provide details on how it would implement sequestration. The automatic budget cuts would occur January 3rd unless Congress comes up with a better budget plan. Federal News Radio reports, the Sequestration Transparency Act passed with only two members voting no. The Office of Management and Budget has resisted coming up with a plan for how it would deal with $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years. The House already passed an alternative deficit-reduction plan. But the Senate hasn’t taken it up.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs is promising an automated system to process disability claims will be up and running by the end of next year. Federal News Radio says sixteen regional offices will have the system by the end of September. The VA hopes to tackle its growing backlog of claims. VA has 843,000 claims waiting to process. Two thirds of them have been sitting for more than four months.
- Senator Mark Warner plans to introduce a new version of federal spending transparency legislation. NextGov reports it would do away with the independent Government Accountability and Transparency Board. The current bill would require agencies to report their spending to the GAT Board. The board would post spending data on a public website.The White House has argued, that adds too much expense and complexity to financial reporting.
- The TSA is headed to the London Olympics. Government Executive reports a few dozen agents will be on site in London to help bolster security. The announcement comes after reports that a private company, G4S, hired by the British government, is vastly underperforming with its contract requirements to provide security forces for the games.
- The military has sanctioned 10 former secret service agents for their involvement in a prostitution scandal in Colombia. The Washington Post reports, three of the men will fight the actions through a formal court-martial proceeding. The scandal has engulfed two dozen members of the military and the Secret Service. The roles of the 13 Secret Service employees have been well-documented in media reports, but less is known about the involvement of the military members, who were noncommissioned officers from several branches of the service.The Postal Service says without congressional action, it will default on a legally required annual $5.5 billion payment, due Aug. 1, into a health-benefits fund for future retirees. The Wall Street Journal says Congress isn’t likely to take action, as the House prepares to leave for its August recess. The agency said a default on the payment, for 2011, wouldn’t directly affect service or its ability to pay employees and suppliers. But “these ongoing liquidity issues unnecessarily undermine confidence in the viability of the Postal Service.
- The Postal Service says without congressional action, it will default on a legally required annual $5.5 billion payment, due Aug. 1, into a health-benefits fund for future retirees. The Wall Street Journal says Congress isn’t likely to take action, as the House prepares to leave for its August recess. The agency said a default on the payment, for 2011, wouldn’t directly affect service or its ability to pay employees and suppliers. But “these ongoing liquidity issues unnecessarily undermine confidence in the viability of the Postal Service.
- And on GovLoop, we are just seven days away from our Next Generation of Government Training Summit. You can still sign up to hear from more than 100 speakers including Todd Park the Federal CTO and the founder of WordPress. It’s an amazing conference. Head over toNextGenGovt to sign up.