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Weekly Round-up: May 27, 2011

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

  • Good thing Corridor is up and running. Due to budget cuts, Federal CIO Kundra has pulled the plug on FedSpace
  • She said to wiki this way. Syracuse University Professor Ines Mergel has published a report with the Center on using Wikis in the federal government: “Using Wikis in Government: A Guide for Public Managers.”
  • Crowdsourcing done right. Mashable reports that the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is turning to crowdsourcing to help them index their documents. Key quote: ” Since May 5, about 1,500 volunteers have downloaded Ancestry’s indexing software to tag online documents with the names, locations and other important information that make them searchable.Together, they’ve already indexed more than 124,000 records — an astounding number, considering that a museum employee dedicated to the same task indexed 1,000 records per month.”
  • Crowdsourcing done wrong. Are your friends and other members of your social graph distorting the internet you see? That’s what Eli Pariser’s new book (and op-ed) are arguing. Key quote: “if algorithms are taking over the editing function and determining what we see, we need to make sure they weigh variables beyond a narrow “relevance.” They need to show us Afghanistan and Libya as well as Apple and Kanye.” This is especially important for government agencies, as they need to be relevant to everyone, not just those who have “liked” their content already.

John Kamensky

  • CBO: Budget bill raised spending. Government Executive’s Kellie Lunney writes: “CBO: Deal to avert government shutdown increases spending for fiscal year,” She says the Congressional Budget Office concludes that the spending-cut effort, and the near-shutdown, actually resulted in an increase in spending for the year of $3.2 billion. And why is Washington surprised that the Tea Party has so many followers??
  • Lessons of Management and Leadership from the Congressional Budget Office. Former CBO official Phil Joyce writes a terrific piece for Governing magazine about the creation of CBO in 1974 and how its leadership created a mission-centered culture for the organization.
  • 23 percent of feds eligible to retire. A Washington Post article, “How many federal and postal employees are eligible to retire?,” reports that 550,000 federal employees are eligible to retire already. Typically, the government hires about 100,000 new employees a year. So, will the freeze on COLA, bans on promotions, limits on bonuses, budget cuts, and praise for their work from the President will inspire many to extend or curtail their service?
  • Federal cloud transition will save $5 billion yearly, CIO says, NextGov, Joseph Marks (05/25/2011). CIO Vivek Kundra told a Senate committee in testimony earlier this week that moving agency IT services to the cloud would save at least $5 billion a year.
  • Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenues, GAO-11-635T (May 25) GAO testimony summarizes 81 areas for potential attention, including 82 programs spending a total of $4 billion to improve teacher quality. In a related report, “Efficiency and Effectiveness of Fragmented Economic Development Programs Are Unclear” (GAO-11-477R) (May 19). GAO details the fragmentation in 80 government economic development programs, spending $6.2 billion.

Dan Chenok

  • DOD CIO IT strategy is tied to mission outcomes.
  • DOD looking at budget pressure as an opportunity to integrate and improve cyber capabilities.
  • Can Federal Data Center consolidation finally, actually happen? Most feds think so.

The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Authors Series: “An Open Government Implementation Model: Moving to Increased Public Engagement

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. Past government executives include Administrators, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Commissioners, Controllers, Directors, and Undersecretaries.

Professors Lee and Kwak present a road map — the Open Government Implementation Model — that agencies can follow in moving toward accomplishing the objectives of the Directive. The model set forth by Professors Lee and Kwak recommends that agencies should advance their open government initiatives in stages, moving from one stage to another as they mature their adoption of open government..

Each week, The Business of Government Hour interviews government executive who are changing the way government does business. The show airs four times a week on two radio stations in the DC Metro Area. If you can’t wait, though, we also put it online. You can also search our audio archives for your favorite interview.

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