IBM Center’s Weekly Roundup of Stories: March 23-27

Here are some articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting, the week of March 23-27, 2015.

Dan Chenok  IBM roundup logo

  • How the new policy on 360 reviews of government #acquisitions can work — perspectives from @kelmansteve.
  • How to build great customer experiences with government — insights from the experts: @actiac
  • How the proliferation of devices is changing #cybersecurity — and what the government can do about it — ideas from @fcc_cio David Bray

John Kamensky

Tradition vs. Efficiency. Federal News Radio reports: “The Veterans Affairs Department is switching its entire disability claims and benefits process to standardized forms and moving away from allowing veterans to write their interpretation of a claim on a piece of paper and handing it to the agency.” That should help reduce the processing time backlog!

Replace the 7,000-member SES with a Public Sector Executive Corps of 400? A provocative op-ed for Federal News Radio by former career senior executive Jeff Neal says: “Since its creation, the SES has gravitated back to operating much like the GS-16/17/18 “Supergrades” that it replaced.” He says we need to replace, not reform, the existing system. He proposes a much smaller non-career, non-political Public Service Executive Corps.

Feds to Launch Yelp-Like Feedback Button. Federal Times reports: “Lisa Danzig, the associate director for performance and personnel management at OMB, said the administration will be launching a “federal feedback button” pilot in the next few months to give Americans a way to provide instant feedback on their experiences with federal services.”

Hill Considers DOD Acquisition Reform Legislation. Federal News Radio reports: “The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Monday that his first crack at defense reform legislation will zero-in on a narrow but fundamental set of topics, including building DoD’s acquisition workforce and strengthening program managers’ place in the chain of command.” Cong. Mac Thornberry introduced H.R. 1597 later in the week.

Unintended Consequences. Or Not? Lisa Rein, Washington Post, wrote two good stories on the effects on recent legislation clamping down on conferences and travel, in response to high profile abuses. She found that the restrictions have increased costs on agencies, and at the same time, reduced employees’ ability to be effective. Time to reform the reforms?

New Targets for Office Space Reductions. Federal News Radio reports: “Two years after issuing the Freeze the Footprint policy, OMB is expected to issue a follow-on memo Wednesday requiring civilian agencies and the Defense Department to develop a plan to reduce their real property footprints over the next five years.” And OMB did issue a plan.

What Is Category Management? Seems “category management” is the rage these days . . . but for the non-acquisition world, just what is it? Federal Times has a good story that explains it.

Defense Health Agency Moves to Internal Shared Services. Here’s a great leadership story of how CIO David Bowen is strategically creating a suite of shared services to enable enterprisewide collaboration in DOD’s health services functions. Federal Times conducts a Q&A session with him that provides a clear overview.

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The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Leaders. What are the key cybersecurity threats and challenges facing the nation? What is the U.S. Secret Service’s doing to combat these cyber threats? Is the cybersecurity function ready to be professionalized across the nation?
Listen to Ronald Layton, Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Secret Service.

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

IBM Center for The Business of Government

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