Weekly Round-up: July 26, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

John Kamensky

  • The Future of the SES. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports: “More than two-thirds of all senior executive service members will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. And few agencies are doing enough to ensure the next generation of leaders are prepared for the SES ranks.” A new study by the Partnership for Public Services offers examples of what cutting edge agencies are doing to prepare and recommends a governmentwide framework be put in place.
  • DOE Management Challenges and Shuffle. Melissa Dawkins, Federal News Radio, reports that the Department of Energy is undertaking a large-scale reorganization to cut costs and improve security. DOE is creating a new Undersecretary for Management and Performance, and placing fragmented mission support functions under that new leader. NASA CFO Elizabeth Robinson is being nominated to fill that role. The DOE reorganization responses, in part, to a recent GAO report
  • Progress Report on Health IT Implementation. Colby Hochmuch, FedScoop, reports that the federal coordinator for implementing a nationwide electronic health record (HER) information system has released a progress update that shows: “More than 85 percent of eligible hospitals and 74 percent of eligible professionals have registered for EHR incentive programs as of April 2013.”
  • Linking Planning and Budgeting at VA. Cogan Schneier, Federal News Radio, reports that the House Veterans Committee is considering legislation to “take a more strategic view of its short- and long-term spending plans.” The legislation would also include the creation of a new Chief Strategy Officer to lead the effort.
  • Is There a Poet in the House? Tom Shoop, Government Executive, opines on a recent trend in Congress to give cutesy names to serious legislation in hopes that it will get recognized. So instead of “The Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act of 2013,” we now see bills named “The Take the Time, Save the Dime Act,” instead. The real question is: will the bill pass?
  • GAO Takes on IT Investments. A new GAO study reports: “IT projects too frequently incur cost overruns and schedule slippages, and result in duplicate systems while contributing little to mission-related outcomes. Additionally, projects sometimes fail or operate inefficiently, at the cost of billions of dollars.” It complements agencies and OMB for its TechStat and PortfolioStat reviews, but notes that so far only about one-third of high-risk IT investments have been subjected to these reviews.

Michael Keegan

House passes Defense spending bill, says no furloughs in fiscal 2014
DoD officials are figuring out whether they can reduce the number of days employees have to take without pay this year. The officials briefed House Armed Services Subcommittee members on the challenges DoD is facing and warned that furloughs could easily turn into layoffs if sequestrations continues into fiscal 2014.

OMB says PortfolioStat's impact measured by billions in savings
Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel is testifying this morning before the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on the progress of several IT reform initiatives. He says agencies are on track to close or consolidate more than 850 data centers in 2013.

DoE restructures to cut waste, improve security
The Department of Energy is reshuffling its management deck in order to cut costs and improve security. The restructuring, approved July 12 by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, reallocates responsibilities of the three undersecretary offices. DoE will expand the role of undersecretary of science to include the energy technology portfolio, establishing the Office of the Undersecretary for Science and Energy. This new office will expedite the process of translating scientific discovery into accessible technologies, Daniel Poneman, deputy secretary of energy, said at a House Energy and Commerce hearing Wednesday.

DoD analyst recommends dropping QDR
On today's Pentagon Solutions, sponsored by DRS Technologies, Francis Rose discusses Quadrennial Defense Review with Doug Wilson, senior fellow in residence at the Truman Project and Center for National Policy

The Business of Government Radio Show: Dr. Dorothy Robyn

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.

Dr. Dorothy Robyn leads The Public Buildings Service, one of the largest and most diversified public real estate organizations in the world. She is responsible for providing superior workplaces for federal customer agencies at good value for the American taxpayer.

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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