On the program today for Tuesday May 22, 2012
- Karen Evans, the OMB administrator for e-government and IT, talks about the departure of Howard Schmidt as the first White House cyber-security coordinator and we’ll talk about his replacement.
- We’re also going to start our series looking at groups that are helping Veterans -- the Warrior Foundation.
- The Congressional Budget Office says letting feds partially retire could save the government more than $420 million in the next 9 years. Under the bill, a fed could work part time while taking a partial salary and get a part of a civil service retirement annuity. CBO said the bill would save money for agencies because they'd contribute less to employee retirement accounts. The bill has bipartisan support. CBO said the savings would start next year and go through 2022.
- The Office of Management and Budget says agencies need to cut more. The memo directs agencies to reduce their budgets by another 5 percent in fiscal 2014. OMB says the 5% cut should happen even if Congress moves to stop the planned across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. The Federal Times says the memo contains also instructs agencies to give it a list of programs that have been cut in the order in which they should be revived if funds become available.
- Integrated e-health records are moving a little closer to becoming reality for Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department. Federal News Radio says the two departments are installing EHR technology at hospitals in San Antonio and Hampton Roads, Va. They plan to do it by 2014. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said the goal is an integrated EHR system for all of DoD and VA by 2017. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said when it's completed, it will be the world's largest.
- It’s back to basics for the General Services Administration. In the wake of the 2010 Western Region’s Conference in Las Vegas, new GSA administrator Dan Tangherlini has implemented new reforms. Federal Times says Tangherlini has put an immediate clampdown on employee travel and conferences, with the exception of last week's GSA Expo. And a new chain of command for finance officers at the GSA regional offices, who now report directly to headquarters instead of to their regional administrators.
- The government has a foreign language deficit. Senator Daniel Akaka says agencies “continue to experience shortages of people skilled in hard-to-learn languages due to a limited pool of Americans to recruit from.” The Washington Post reports just 61 percent of the State Department’s “language-designated positions” were filled with fully qualified personnel in 2009.
- A billion-dollar project to digitize immigration paperwork has taken a significant step forward. NextGov says the online form is for certain visa-holders who want to extend or change the status of their stays now can create Amazon-like accounts to securely file the application. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services program, known as Transformation, is intended to computerize the paper-based process of obtaining legal U.S. residency. The project has been criticized for taking too long and going over budget.
- And over on GovLoop, we’re asking you...why did you become a government employee? Did you hear the call for government service? It’s been a rough couple of years for government workers so why do you stay? We want to know what inspires you. Let us know by chiming in on our homepage.
One Closing Item
- The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Ohm, a law professor and privacy expert at the University of Colorado, is expected to join the Federal Trade Commission in August as a senior policy adviser focusing on Internet and mobile markets. The Journal says the appointment signals the agency’s continued commitment to bringing privacy and technology related cases. In the past year, the FTC has forged 20-year privacy agreements with Internet giants Google, Facebook and MySpace. Ohm is a former federal computer crimes prosecutor and an expert in information privacy. His 2010 paper, “Broken Promises: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization” sparked a global reassessment of privacy standards.