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Weekly Round-up: April 27, 2012

This post has been updated to include Dan Chenok’s contribution

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

  • Big Apps Contest Yields New Tools for Residents. The third Big Apps Contest winners were announced last week, and this infographic tells the story of the apps that were submitted. The overall winner of the contest was an app called NYCFacets, which seeks to solve the problem “how do I make sense of all the data released by New York City”?
  • But Gov 2.0 Is More than Tools. Kieran Harrop writes about a strategic approach to Gov 2.0 in British Columbia and exhorts readers not to succumb to the “Tool Syndrome,” writing, “People get stuck on the tools. Should we use Facebook or Twitter. . . a blog or a wiki? . . .The tools question is one that needs to be addressed at some point in the process, but it is not the first thing that should be considered. The first thing that should be considered is the business need. What do you want to do? Why?”
  • Using Old Tools and New Ones. In an interview with Gov 2.0 Radio, Amanda Eamich discusses how USDA incorporates new media tools into their existing communications practices.

Dan Chenok

  • Transparency legislation passes the House.
  • DOD to expand cybersecurity public-private information sharing program.
  • Agile and cloud still have a ways to go in gaining support among the workforice.

John Kamensky

  • GSA Overhaul in Store? Judi Hasson, with AOL Government, reports that “Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said he’s now considering a “top-to-bottom” restructuring of the agency in an effort to regain accountability and integrity after a rogue band of employees went on the now infamous spending spree. . . “ One of his first steps was to remove budgeting and contracting authority from his regional offices.
  • Digital Accountability and Transparency Act Passes House. A significant piece of legislation, which is modeled on the oversight and transparency provisions of the Recovery Act, passed the House. The bill had been stalled because of the $500 million cost to agencies to implement it, but the GSA scandal created political impetus to act, and the bill cuts agency travel and conference budgets to fund the implementation costs. Transparency advocates are delighted, but according to Federal News Radio, states, localities, non-profits, and government contractors are not because their implementation costs are not covered by the bill. The bill creates a permanent version of the IG-lead Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RAT Board), to be re-named the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board (FAST Board, a much better acronym). . . .The bill has bipartisan, and Senate, support, along with support from the Vice President, so there may be further action on it!
  • Performance Improvement Training in the Works. According to Jason Miller, Federal News Radio: “Over the next seven months, the Office of Personnel Management will finalize guidance and training standards for feds who work to improve their agency’s performance.” He interviewed Andrea Bright, OPM’s lead on this project, who said OPM will work with each agencies’ chief learning officer to help develop this initiative, required by the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010.
  • VA Accused of Gaming Performance Data. Washington Post’s Steve Vogel reports “VA Goals Skew Vet’s Mental-Health Care, Senate Panel Told,” . . . “The Department of Veterans Affairs’ mental-health care system suffers from a culture where managers give more importance to meeting meaningless performance goals than helping veterans, according to testimony before a Senate committee Wednesday. . . . VA’s Assistant Inspector General Linda Halliday reported the findings from a recent report. . . “VA facilities used practices that “greatly distorted” the actual waiting time for appointments, Halliday said, enabling the department to make claims that 95 percent of first-time patients seeking mental-health care received an evaluation within 14 days when, in reality, fewer than half were seen in that time. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairman of the committee, described the findings as showing a “rampant gaming of the system.”

The Business of Government Radio Show: Seth Diamond

Federal News Radio 1500-AM
Mondays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays at 12 p.m., Fridays at 2 p.m.

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations.

Seth Diamond is the Commisioner of New York City’s Department of Homeless Services. In his role, he directs the City’s efforts to prevent homelessness, and provide short-term emergency shelter and re-housing support for New Yorkers who need it.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday, April 30, at 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 02, at noon, and Friday, May 04, at 2:00 PM 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 businessofgovernment.org and by searching our audio archives.

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