Weekly Round-up: November 02, 2012

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

We had a little weather on the East Coast:

Dan Chenok

John Kamensky

  • All Hands on Deck. Can the federal government do anything right? Hurricane Sandy will be a live demo. And so far, according to Federal News Radio, it looks good!
  • Saving the Postal Service. USPS projects a $15 billion loss for this year, and it has already exhausted its $15 billion line of credit. So what’s next? The Postmaster General hopes the lame duck Congress acts quickly, he tells Federal News Radio.
  • Old Idea Resurrects. Federal Computer Week reports a recycled idea – creating career Chief Management Officers in federal agencies – is gaining some momentum. FCW’s Frank Konkel writes about a recommendation championed by distinguished retired career fed Dwight Ink in a memo to the presidential transition teams developed in conjunction with a joint project between the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration.
  • Dealing with Morale Problems at Homeland Security. A new GAO report examines why DHS has lower employee survey-reported morale problems than most other agencies: “DHS employees had 4.5 percentage points lower job satisfaction and 7.0 percentage points lower engagement in their work overall.” The report notes that DHS has not adequately identified the root causes of these problems and “DHS risks not being able to address the underlying concerns of its varied employee population.”
  • What Is Text Analytics? Here’s an interesting 4-part series on text analytics by Patrick Marshall for Government Computer News. It shows how NASA, Homeland Security, IRS, and health and safety agencies are using these new analytics tools to uncover hidden relationships in unstructured data that had not been previously possible.

Michael Keegan

  • Agencies initiate IT cut-and-invest strategy. The Office of Management and Budget got its first glimpse into whether agencies would be able to cut 10 percent of their IT budgets, and how they would like to reinvest at least 5 percent of it in fiscal 2014.While the White House still is creating next year’s budget, agencies used the initial round of PortfolioStat sessions to identify 98 areas where they thought they could save real money by consolidating IT systems or by implementing better buying processes. Steven VanRoekel, the federal chief information officer, said agency PortfolioStat strategies focus on a discreet set of commodity IT investments, but the spirit of cutting to invest is coming through.
  • 10 tips to keep data secure. Despite recent high-profile incidents shining a light on the problem, reports show that agencies continue seeing a dramatic upward trend in cyberattacks – and hackers are bent on stealing sensitive information, information useful to identity thieves and anything else they can get their digital hands on.
  • Lessons about managing team by Steve Kelman. Steve Kelman has expanded the material on managing teams for his introductory management course for Kennedy School master’s students.
  • Agencies must better define roles of acquisition leaders Agencies have until Jan. 15 to update the definition of the roles of their two most senior acquisition leaders. Joe Jordan, the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, sent a memo to chief acquisition officers (CAO) and senior procurement executives (SPE) last week asking them to renew their internal policies to more clearly define their roles and responsibilities.

The Business of Government Radio Show: Kathy P. Conrad

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

Kathy P Conrad the primary advisor to the OCSIT Associate Administrator on citizen services/engagement and innovative technology programs and strategic direction. She oversees OCSIT program management, including policy development, oversight and implementation of OCSIT operations and stakeholder outreach. Initially, she is focusing on high priority OCSIT areas, including open government, mobile technology and cloud computing.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday, November 05, at 11 a.m., and Wednesday, November 07, 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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