Could 1917 Congress Help Solve Sequestration Battle? Plus DorobekINSDIER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Should countries govern the internet? That’s the question the creators of the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai are trying to answer. It’s the only conference of its kind in 24 years. Click here for our full recap.
  • We talk about social media and citizen engagement all the time, but some agencies CIOs are doing better than others. MeriTalk ranked the federal CIOs in terms on online social media savviness. Click here for the full recap.

But First Your Fiscal Cliff Update: Days to Sequestration – 20

Talks have once again stalled over the fiscal cliff, with both sides hitting the campaign trail to drum up support.

The AP reports President Obama was in Michigan yesterday where he told supporters that if their taxes will rise on Jan. 1 without action by the Congress. “That’s a hit you can’t afford to take.”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “We continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he’s willing to make as part of the `balanced’ approach he promised the American people.”

With all this turmoil the Washington Post’s Walter Pincus’ finds lessons learned from debt and deficit turmoil from the 1917 Congress.

Pincus writes: As some Republicans again threaten to use the debt limit statute next year to leverage protection of tax rates for the wealthy, it’s worth going back 95 years to see how Americans viewed taxes and spending when that law passed. The statute was born out of the need to pay for government spending from our entrance into World War I. George W. Bush’s White House didn’t consider such an issue when it launched its war on terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks or undertook the more costly invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Supreme Court has streamlined the appeals process for federal employees challenging Merit Systems Protection Board rulings. Federal News Radio says it has overruled a lower court decision that forced appeals to separate courts. As things stood, appeals on the merits of cases could go to federal district court. But appeals on procedural grounds had to go to the D.C. Court. The Supreme Court called this an obscure path to a simple result. Its ruling applies to mixed cases and complaints involving allegations of both wrongful dismissal and job discrimination.
  2. The General Services Administration wants to consolidate the support functions of several offices. Federal News Radio says it’s asking for bids to take on running the CIO, chief finance officer, chief people officer and administrative services offices. The RFQ said the consolidation was the result of a top-to-bottom review of GSA operations by the acting administrator, Dan Tangherlini.
  3. Nearly one in eight postal workers eligible for an early retirement offer are taking it. The American Postal Workers Union told Federal Times more than 23,000 of its members are saying goodbye at the end of next month. They’ll get $15,000 for calling it quits. The Postal Service’s offer to APWU members was its largest of several early-out incentives this year. It is trying to cut more than 100,000 workers from its payroll. It’s also reducing retail hours at hundreds of post offices. (Federal Times)
  4. USGS gets a site upgrade. Government Computer News reports, USGS and the Association of American State Geologists, AASG, have just launched a redesigned website that is significantly more advanced in terms of the technology and information now available to the public. The new system improves the integration of publication citations, stratigraphic nomenclature, downloadable content, and unpublished source information, greatly improving public access to this archive, according to the USGS website.
  5. Government Executive writes, the Defense authorization bill now headed for House-Senate conference negotiations includes an amendment to pressure the Pentagon to step up its ongoing effort to produce its first auditable financial statements or to face the consequences. The Senate last Thursday approved provisions of the Audit the Pentagon Act (S. 3487) as an amendment to the Defense authorization bill. The language would intensify an existing congressional mandate that the Defense Department obtain its first clean audit by 2017.
  6. The Interior Department said it made $12 billion in revenue from energy production on federal lands. More than half of that goes to federal coffers, making the program one of the biggest non-tax money makers. States and tribal governments get the rest. The total figure is $1 billion more than in fiscal 2011. The department said that was mostly because of bonus bids received for new oil, gas and coal lease sales. It also credited reforms within its Office of Natural Resources Revenue. It said employees came up with solutions like a data-mining effort to find companies in real time that were making reporting errors.
  7. And on GovLoop, have you seen our new Technology Guide. The report features the top technology trends in 2012 and previews the hot topics in 2013. It is a must read. Check it out here.

The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • MeriTalk and FCW look at how agency CIOs rank on social media. No big surprises, GSA’s Casey Coleman and Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel both top the list. For the full results click here.

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