Weekly Round-up: September 27, 2013

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

Dan Chenok

John Kamensky

  • More Champions for Transparency. Adam Mazmanian, FCW, reports “A bill to standardize and structure government spending data, a version of which has already moved through committee in the Republican-led House, is getting an assist from a prominent Democrat.” He says Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), chair of the Senate Government Performance Task Force, sees this bill as “an essential piece of infrastructure to support a rational accounting of federal spending, and a first step in reducing waste and duplication.”
  • New Government Reform Think Tank. Charles Clark, Government Executive, reports that Brookings will launch a new Center on Effective Public Management today. It says: “The main research areas for the center will include political party reinvention, changes to electoral and primary systems, governance and institutional reforms, federalism questions, expanding civics education and reinvigorating the media.” It will be led by Elaine Kamarck, a government reformer from the Clinton Administration.
  • Travel Cutbacks Affect Innovation. Charles Clark, Government Executive, reports on a new survey showing: “Government employees are attending fewer events, with nearly 72 percent of agency respondents reporting they have traveled to fewer events this year than in 2012.” He says that “About two-thirds of agency respondents agreed that “it will be more difficult to maintain best practices in their fields and that government will become more siloed.”
  • OMB Delegates Authority to Agencies. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports: “Agencies are gaining more control over how to upgrade their financial management systems. . . . Instead of a strict set of rules around the technology requirements for federal systems, the Office of Management and Budget will rescind Circular A- 127 that governs financial systems, and, and move the regulations to another circular – reducing requirements from about 500 to about 60.
  • Exempt from Shutdown. Greg Korte, Federal Times, reports “An estimated 59 percent of non-defense federal employees would be exempt from the shutdown and would go to work as usual, according to an analysis of 119 shutdown contingency plans filed with the Office of Management and Budget.”

Michael Keegan

Contractors critique GSA's new workspace
GSA's transformation of its F Street NW headquarters in Washington into a consolidated, flexible and open workspace for its employees is causing some headaches for federal contractors. Most appear to be the kinds of short-term glitches associated with any new office, but a few of the changes have some contractors worried about longer-term consequences.

Quality not a priority in security clearance process, GAO says
Concerns over missed red flags in Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis's background have thrust the federal government's security clearance program into the spotlight. The Office of Personnel Management - and its contractors - which accounts for 90 percent of the federal government's background investigations, has faced persistent challenges with security clearances over the years, according to the Government Accountability Office

NIST puts finishing touches on critical infrastructure cyber framework
The preliminary version of the framework will be published in mid-October, followed by several months of public comment. NIST plans a final release of the voluntary framework in February.

6 sci-fi DARPA projects
1. Super-fast fiber for next-gen sensors
Fiber-optic communication is fast, but the glass fiber is actually a limiter of data-transmission speeds. In July, officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced that they have radically improved the design of "hollow-core" fiber to boost performance and have developed design and production capacity for that fiber here in the United States.

The Business of Government Radio Show: Chuck Prow and Robert Shea

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

What would happen if time became a key performance metric in government efficiency and effectiveness? What is fast government? How can we develop strategies and tools to deliver Fast Government? What are the barriers to innovation, speed, and performance? Join host Michael Keegan next week on a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour.

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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