Gov 2.0 Roundup (Week of October 8)

The EPA helps declare war on bedbugs, state government officials give the iPad a thumb’s up, the tide is turning toward telework, and a former OMB administrator has some insightful words about collaboration, all in this week’s version of the Gov 2.0 Roundup.

–If the thought of a tiny bug crawling out of your mattress and biting you during the night totally grosses you out, you are not alone. With reports of bedbug infestations on the rise, consumers, businesses and even government agencies have been trying to figure out the best way to get rid of the nasty beasties. Thankfully, the EPA has set up an interactive that may offer some relief. The Bed Bug Search Tool, available at the EPA website, allows users to find appropriate pesticides to help battle the bed bugs in their specific situation. The site also provides best practices for ensuring that pesticide treatments are more effective.

–While there’s no doubt that many government employees would like to have an Apple iPad, is there actually a place for the slick new gadget in government? According to some, the answer is a resounding yes. State and local government officials seem to be embracing the keyboard-less technology, including New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bob Woolley, the chief technologist and strategic planner for the state of Utah. Woolley, who did extensive testing of the iPad and even developed a series of government use cases (PDF) for the device, gave the device kudos in almost every category he considered. Lucky enough to have an iPad at your agency already? Check out OhMyGov’s list of the must have iPad apps for any government employee.

–Finances, employee happiness, sustainability and security. According to General Services Administration chief Martha Johnson, the presence of the four aforementioned elements signal that the tipping point for telework is near. “The business case is not just finances and it’s not just employee happiness–it’s also sustainability, and it’s security. Those four together really make a robust argument that it’s hard to back away from,” said Johnson. While you probably don’t need to start packing up your desk just yet, many government workers will be excited to know about a recently passed Senate bill that mandates agencies to expand telework opportunities. We’ll keep our eye on how the bill does in the House and will keep you posted.

–The former Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and IT, Mark Forman has some insightful commentary in this week’s Federal Computer News. In his post “4 steps toward better collaboration in government”, Forman briefly outlines a handful of ways that agencies can capitalize on today’s technology in order to improve intra- and inter-office collaboration. His first piece of advice? Learn how to separate transaction processes (like writing a purchase order) from knowledge processes (like awarding a grant) and automate accordingly. By doing so, Forman asserts, agencies will be able to see where automation has benefited the agency and the public, and where automation may have been inappropriately applied. Interesting thoughts that are worth a few moments on your Friday afternoon.

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