Dorobek Dose: Behind the scenes of the new

Happy Tuesday! Chris Dorobek is off celebrating his birthday this week. So I will be filling in. We are going to do the show a bit differently this week. Each day we will feature a Dose of Dorobek — a shorter five minute interview that focuses on helping you do your job better and navigate around GovLoop. A little behind the scenes snooping.

On today’s program

  • We’ll take you behind the scenes here at GovLoop and tour our new site.
  • And in your watercooler fodder — we’ll tell you about the first State Dinner for kids at the white House.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 21st of August, 2012

  1. Afghan militants fired rockets into a U.S. military base in Kabul, damaging the plane used by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey. The Associated Press reports the general was not near the aircraft at the time of the attack. A Taliban spokesman told the AP the insurgents had “exact information” to target Dempsey’s plane. The incident comes one week after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a helicopter crash that killed seven American soldiers. No one was seriously injured in this attack.
  2. Federal employees filed fewer complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in fiscal 2011 than they did a year earlier. Among the nearly 17,000 complaints that were filed, about half concerned retaliation or reprisals. Federal News Radio says non-sexual harrassment complaints came in second. EEOC is processing discrimination claims a little faster. They’ve reduced the wait time by two weeks.
  3. The Defense Department’s plan to rapidly buy new cyber tools has been delayed. Defense News reports, the delay is due to concerns that bureaucracy would slow the purchasing process. The plan calls for the creation of a “senior-level” committee to oversee cyber acquisition, called the Cyber Investment Management Board (CIMB). But Defense News says most of that framework is still being developed.
  4. The General Services Administration is leaning toward splitting its next big multiple award IT contract into two parts. One of those parts would be set aside for small business. That’s how GSA’s program manager is thinking about One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services, or OASIS. In a blog post, Jim Gholini said both contract vehicles would share a ceiling of $48 billion. Federal News Radio says GSA is expected to release a draft request for proposals in mid September. OASIS will eventually let contracting managers buy both equipment and professional services in one vehicle.
  5. The Commerce Department is taking the plunge into cloud computing. NIST is leading the Commerce-wide effort to use cloud-based software tools. Federal News Radio says the agency is looking to buy them under the Software as a Service model. Commerce wants to increase employee productivity while maintaining cybersecurity. It says bidders must offer cloud solutions that include email, calendars, instant messaging and desktop video conferencing. Commerce is looking to use standard commercial products.
  6. New details are emerging about the Department of Veteran’s Affairs conference in Orlando Florida last year. Federal Times says the VA allegedly spent $52,000 to produce an 18-minute video parodying the movie “Patton” as part of two training conferences. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa says the VA conferences “bear eerie similarities to the now infamous 2010 General Services Administration conference in Las Vegas.” But Issa says the $5 million tab for VA’s two conferences was “significantly more than the 2010 GSA conference.”
  7. And on GovLoop, Please join us at the Your Data Center Blueprint Training. The webinar will help you consolidate data centers and bring new efficiencies into your agency. The webinar kicks off this Thursday at 2pm.

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Do you know any mini-west wingers? The White House may have been built in the 1800s, but yesterday it hosted the first state dinner just for kids. Federal News Radio says it was presided over by First Lady Michelle Obama. The menu was chock full of items dreamed up by chefs all under the age of 12. Fifty-four recipes were chosen out of more than 1,000 entries. Among the dishes: Kickin’ Chicken Salad and Secret Service Super Salad. President Obama stopped by to say hello. (Federal News Radio)
  • And you know how much we love the Mars Rover. NASA is flexing its muscles on Mars. Its Curiosity rover first obliterated a rock over the weekend just to show what it could do with its laser. Federal News Radio says then it literally flexed its muscle yesterday by stretching its 7-foot-long robotic arm for the first time since launch. It uses that arm to wield a camera, a drill and other tools. The maneuver was part of a check-up to make sure the machine is in good working order. It passed with flying colors. NASA said everything worked as planned. The rover plans to make its first drive in the next few days. (NASA)

Coming up tomorrow on GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER.

  • We’ll take a look at how Gen Y is changing the workforce — the good, the bad and the transient.

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