Countdown to Fiscal Cliff – Plus Your DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • It’s hard to peer into a crystal ball and predict what will be the top trends for government technology. But that’s exactly what the experts at IDC Insights has done. Click here for the full recap.

But up front: Countdown to the ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Market Watch has a Fiscal Cliff Countdown: Click here to check out the live stream.

  • Politico: Will they jump?—Seung Min Kim—Call them the cliff jumpers. A growing bloc of emboldened liberals say they’re not afraid to watch defense spending get gouged and taxes go up on every American if a budget deal doesn’t satisfy their priorities. Steven Sloan & Marty Kady are also available on this.
  • Washington Post: Consensus on increasing tax revenue, a wide gulf on how to do it– For the first time in decades, a bipartisan consensus has emerged in Washington to raise taxes. But negotiators working to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff” remain far apart on crucial details, including how taxes should go up and who should pay more. Neither side gave ground in an opening round of staff-level talks last week at the Capitol. As President Obama and congressional leaders prepare for a second face-to-face meeting as soon as this week, the divide over taxes presents the biggest obstacle to replacing the heap of abrupt tax hikes and spending cuts, set to hit in January, with a less-traumatic debt-reduction plan,

Business of Government

Capital Business: Government services businesses revamp– For contractors that specialize in manning and supporting government operations — commonly referred to as the services industry — the decade following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was one of spectacular growth. These businesses, such as Fairfax-based ManTech International and Arlington-based CACI International, made millions helping the military manage two wars and handle an even broader range of chores at federal agencies. These companies became the bright stars of contracting. Unlike those that produce weapons, services businesses required relatively small investments to get off the ground and could quickly ramp up as demand grew. But as the government winds down its wars and takes a harder look at what it’s spending, their shine seems to be dimming,

Filibuster Breakdown?

Politico: GOP warns of shutdown over filibuster—Manu Raju—A partisan war is brewing that could bring the government to a screeching halt as early as January—and no, it’s not over the fiscal cliff. It’s all about the filibuster. Democrats are threatening to change filibuster rules, in what will surely prompt a furious GOP revolt that could make those rare moments of bipartisan consensus even harder to come by during the next Congress. Marty Kady is also available on this.

Supercommittee Redux

Politico A year later, supercommittee cautiously optimistic—Darren Samuelsohn & Stephanie Gaskell—It’s now a year since the special congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a deficit-reduction plan. But with the dismal progress made since on its agenda, that milestone took even one of its own members by surprise. Laura McGann is also available on this.

Seven Stories that Mattered Over the Holiday

  1. Employee satisfaction across the federal government is sagging, according to the 2012 Employee Viewpoint Survey released by the Office of Personnel Management. Federal News Radio reports there weren’t any drastic drops, scores governmentwide were down in every major measure, including employees’ satisfaction with their jobs, supervisors and pay.
  2. Federal unions are pressing Congress to avoid cuts to federal pay and benefits. The Washington Post reports, the union calculates the budget savings from the federal pay freeze at $60 billion. Another $28 billion came out of employees’ pockets from a delayed 2013 pay raise that has been off until at least the spring. New hires must contribute more to their retirement, an expense estimated by the unions at $15 billion.
  3. Obama issues agencies new policies for combating insider threats. Federal News Radio reports a Presidential Memorandum provided the heads of executive branch departments and agencies the new National Insider Threat Policy as well as the minimum standards to be employed by each agency in standing up its own insider-threat programs.
  4. New technologies could be the key to Postal Service revitalization. Federal News Radio reports, Ellis Burgoyne, the Postal Service’s chief information officer, says his department is concentrating on five main projects in 2013 that will help the Postal Service cut costs while improving efficiency and customer service.
  5. $47 billion, that’s the amount of money the government has saved in improper payments in 3 years. Office of Management and Budget says the figure narrowly misses President Obama’s goal of avoiding $50 billion in improper payments by the end of fiscal 2012. Federal Times reports, the government attributed the achievement to a new initiative called the Medicare Fee-for-Service Recovery Audit Contractor program
  6. The VA-DoD health records system is ‘on track.”’ The Federal Times says the two departments have until 2017 to consolidate under one electronic system the complete health records of military service members — from their active-duty days through their veteran years.
  7. And on GovLoop – you still have time to attend our half day in-person training event going on next Thursday here in the District. NextGen plus will feature:
    1. Insights to become a brilliant communicator
    2. Launch your gov career with savviness
    3. Learn to network within and outside of your organization
    4. Training takes place next Thursday
    5. Register before Saturday and you’ll save some money!

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