On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- Philadelphia recently hired its first ever Director of Civic Technology. The new post is part of the Mayor’s overall plan for innovation management in Philadelphia. You’ll meet him and find out what inspired this role. Click here for the full recap.
- Government Executive: The Senate hopes to have a final vote next week on legislation that extends the federal pay freeze in 2013, and funds the government through Sept. 30. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wanted to wrap up work on the continuing resolution on Friday, but tussles over 99 amendments and procedural issues have slowed momentum. The upper chamber adjourned Thursday night at 7:37 p.m., and will reconvene Monday afternoon to resume consideration of the CR.
- Federal News Radio: A powerful congressman has asked for an audit of agencies’ sequestration plans. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) wants to know whether agencies are using furloughs or reductions in force to cope with budget cuts when other alternatives exist. He asked the Government Accountability Office to review how agencies have defined programs, projects and activities. And he wants to know how they have used reprogramming or transfer authorities to move money around. GAO says it’s too early to say when it might issue the report.
- Federal workers are preparing to rally against sequestration. The American Federation of Government Employees expects about 100 rallies to take place nationwide Tuesday. The group says it is targeting federal agencies and lawmakers’ offices. They want Congress to repeal the budget cuts altogether. State employees’ unions and other labor groups are participating.
- Sequestration effects are going to hit the Washington area hardest. AOL reports, the National Archives is cutting back, too. Its exhibit spaces are usually open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day — with hours extended until 7 p.m. from March 15 through Labor Day. But this year, administrators have canceled those extra hours. The city’s public transportation system — the Washington Metro-Area Transit Authority — could also take a hit if cuts persist. Metro could lose about $8 million in federal funding, according to spokesman Philip Stewart. On top of that, with furloughed federal workers staying home instead of riding the rails, WMATA stands to lose millions more.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- Some agencies are being hurt by budget cuts more than others. Federal Times surveyed more than 600,000 feds to find the most stretched agencies. Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, Education and Commerce departments ranked among the 25 most stretched agencies. Find the full list here.
- The General Services Administration has cancelled two more conferences. Federal Times reports, it will not hold FedForum, formerly FedFleet, slated for July 16 in New Orleans, nor the SmartPay Training Forum, scheduled for Aug. 6 in Chicago, because travel budget cuts have reduced expected attendance. Check out our interview with Larry Allen about the costs of these cancellations.
- President Obama has tapped Justice Department’s top civil rights enforcer, Thomas Perez, to be his next Labor secretary. Federal Times reports, Perez has a long career in public service. Before he was appointed to run the civil rights division at Justice in October 2009, he was chosen by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to head the state’s Department of Labor. He also served on the Montgomery County, Md., Council, and spent nearly 12 years in federal government. Most of that time was spent as an attorney in the civil rights division.
- There could be another update to FISMA. FCW reports, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee introduced a bill on March 14 to update federal information security regulations to include continuous monitoring of cybersecurity threats and regular threat assessments.
- Federal News Radio reports, a coalition of federal employees’ groups is warning Congress: remember the mistakes of the 1990’s National Performance Review. Back then, one out of every six employees left the federal government. But government auditors found the review did not save as much money as it claimed. It also encouraged frontline workers, rather than mid-level managers, to leave. The Coalition for Effective Change said without strategic personnel planning backlogs rose at customer-focused agencies like the IRS, Social Security Administration and Veterans Affairs.
- Federal News Radio reports, the White House is saying no to agencies who want more office space. Real estate managers have until May 15 to submit a plan for maintaining their current square footage. Plans have to cover offices and warehouses. The Office of Management and Budget calls the policy, Freeze the Footprint. GSA gets the task of monitoring agencies to make sure they don’t bust out. Once plans are approved, any increase in space at one location will have to be offset by reductions somewhere else. Calculations of existing space will use the 2012 Federal Real Property Profile and data from leasing agreements.
- And on GovLoop, have you registered for our next DorobekINSIDER live. The virtual panel of experts will feature the debate about the future of Gov 2.0. Register now.
The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
- Huffington Post: An estimated 3 million American workers will spend one to three hours a day during work watching the 2012 NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament, according to a study from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. While 14 percent of employees surveyed said they would spend three to four hours per day watching the tournament, 16 percent said they would spend five hours or more. As workers everywhere glue themselves to their office television screens, Americans companies stand to lose at least $134 million in “lost wages” just in the first two days of the tournament alone.