Weekly Round-up: August 30, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

This week: Pushing boundaries

Dan Chenok

John Kamensky

  • Sequester Impact: Travel cuts. Andy Medici, Federal Times, reports that travel costs have dropped 17 percent so far in 2013 – after a 6 percent drop in 2012. The data are based on GSA’s SmartPay travel card program. OMB’s goal is to cut travel costs by 30 percent, through 2016.
  • Sequester Impact: Retirements Jump. Lisa Rein, Washington Post, writes: “The number of executive branch employees retiring this fiscal year, which ends next month, is on track to be nearly twice the total who retired in 2009, according to government figures. And the rate looks certain to accelerate.” She notes that the impact on talent varies across agencies, for example 44 percent of staff at the Small Business Administration will be eligible for retirement by 2016.
  • Sequester Impact: Army Medical Staff Drain. Greg Zoroya, Federal Times, reports “Nearly 3,400 military medical workers quit this year in the months when furloughs were threatened or being carried out because of spending cuts known as sequestration. The vast majority of those losses were with Army medical facilities.” He reports that most went to VA hospitals; VA is exempt from the sequester.
  • OMB Progress on Open Data. Following the presidential directive this past May to agencies to expand their efforts to make their data more publicly available, the Office of Science and Technology Policy has posted a blog with links to a number of valuable resources to help agencies. Project Open Data, on GitHUB, seems particularly helpful. Certainly not the typical OMB memo that offers implementation guidance!
  • EPA Social Media Infographic for Employees. The Environmental Protection Agency has added an interesting infographic to its webpage that provides the traditional, dry agency guidance on the use of social media by employees.

Michael Keegan

  • Agencies' FY 2015 budget planning 'tied up in knots' by uncertainty
    With the budget situation for fiscal 2014 still murky, how can agencies already be planning for the following year? Former OMB Official Robert Shea says agencies have become accustomed to widespread budget uncertainty. They will submit preliminary plans to the Office of Management and Budget next month.
  • CMS clears data-sharing hurdles for health insurance hub
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has reached agreements with key government agencies to assess information to confirm applicants' eligibility for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The agreements, required under the Privacy Act of 1974, give CMS access to information from a range of sources that will run on the Data Services Hub – the routing system that transfers information between state and federal insurance marketplaces (formerly known as exchanges) and federal agencies. The Hub is designed to quickly provide information about insurance coverage to applicants by aggregating information on income, citizenship, military service and more.
  • DLA director calls for $13B in budget cuts
    The Defense Logistics Agency plans to slash $13.1 billion in operating and material costs over the next six years. DLA Director Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek announced his 13-in-6 strategy his month. The strategy builds on last year’s efficiency efforts but extends cost-cutting measures an additional year through 2019.

The Business of Government Radio Show: Leaders on Mission and Making a Difference

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government

How are government executives meeting mission and making a difference? What are government executives doing to make a difference in the face of fiscal and budgetary realities? Join host Michael Keegan he explores these questions and more with former and current government leaders: Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Michael Astrue, Kathleen Merrigan, Linda Gibbs and a host of others for a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour – Leaders Speak – A CONVERSATION on Meeting Mission and Making A Difference.

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 businessofgovernment.org and by searching our audio archives.

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