Weekly Round-up: October 25, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

John Kamensky

  • Turning the Government Back On. Sean Reilly, Federal Times, writes about how federal employees are getting back to normal operations after the 16-day shutdown. It’s more than just flipping a switch!
  • Managing the Risk of Risk Management. John Foster, writing in Government Executive, offers advice about strategically managing risk in government. He says: “The public sector faces many of the same risks as private industry in terms of needing clear strategies for deploying scarce resources when budgets are shrinking and the demand for accountability and transparency is increasing. Add in the challenges associated with unfunded pension liabilities and the loss of institutional knowledge through attrition, and recruitment and retention strategies become important components of risk management.”
  • An Angry Army. Paul McLeary, Defense News, describes a candid presentation by the Secretary of the Army and the Army’s Chief of Staff where they express frustration about ongoing and impending budget cuts, and the impact of continuing fiscal uncertainty.

Michael Keegan

OMB reduces number of financial system requirements
Circular A-127 no longer governs agency financial management systems. Instead, OMB rolled a small set of these old requirements into the new Appendix D of Circular A- 123 back in September. OMB said Appendix D went into effect Oct. 1 and therefore rescinded all previously issued versions of Circular A-127 from Dec. 19, 1984; July 23, 1993; June 10, 1999; Dec. 1, 2004; and Jan. 9, 2009. Norman Dong, the acting controller at OMB, said the goal of the rescission of A- 127 and the new Appendix D is to improve the quality, utility and the reliability of federal financial information. The new guidance features only 70 requirements that OMB hopes will drive agencies toward outcomes such as reporting timely financial data or eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.

Social media creates tricky situation for feds
Just 140 characters could cost you your job…raising some questions about what federal employees can and cannot say on social media and their rights to free speech.

Army looks to 'deep future' to ensure it stays ahead of technology curve
Following a dozen years of sustained combat, the Army has serious concerns about its ability to repair and modernize the gear it thinks it will need to get through the next few years, especially if sequestration stays in effect. But the service's leaders also say they now need to dedicate a good portion of the Army's brainpower toward the "deep future" — something they've been distracted from for more than 10 years.

NIST releases critical infrastructure security plan
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released for comment a preliminary version of a framework for improving the cybersecurity of the nation’s critical infrastructure, a voluntary set of industry standards and best practices that the administration hopes to see widely adopted.

The Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework draws heavily from guidance developed by NIST for the Federal Information Security Management Act and was produced with input from the U.S. intelligence community as well as regulatory agencies. Although voluntary, the framework could have an impact on the way key industries are regulated and how agencies procure services from them. Compliance with the framework could become a federal contracting requirement

The Business of Government Radio Show: Kshemendra Paul

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

Kshemendra Paul is the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE), charged with government-wide authority to plan, oversee the build-out, and manage use of the ISE. The Program Manager also co-chairs the White House’s Information Sharing and Access Inter-agency Policy Committee (ISA-IPC).

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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