DorobekINSIDER: 7 stories you need to know: White House tells Congress to do its job

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Monday the 18th of June, 2012

  1. The Highway spending bill is running out of steam. The Hill Newspaper reports that negotiations between the House and Senate have stalled. Lawmakers have until June 30 to reach a deal on transportation spending before the current funding mechanism for road and transit projects runs out. If Congress does not reach an agreement the government’s ability to collect the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax that supports it – will run out.
  2. Meanwhile, the White House is challenging Congress to “do its job” and prevent the automatic spending cuts that are looming for the Pentagon. The Hill Newspaper says Republican lawmakers have criticized the Obama administration’s decision to include funding for the war in Afghanistan in the “sequestered” budget cuts that are on tap for 2013. The White House fired back at the criticism, arguing the war funding was never off the table for the automatic budget cuts.
  3. The Defense Department has released the second version of its mobile device strategy. Signal Magazine says the new version includes three main goals: Advanced 4G mobile service, the use of personal mobile devices and its own dedicated apps.
  4. Northrop Grumman is taking a step back from technology services, including military base operation support, to focus on higher-margin opportunities. The Washington Business Journal says the shift is part of the Defense Contractor’s decision to better align with Pentagon priorities. But Northrop Grumman still plans to pursue the highly secretive long-range strike bomber, which has an estimated price tag of $6 billion, or $550 million per unit.. The company also plans to compete for the new fire control radar for the F-16.
  5. The Secret Service’s prostitution scandal in Colombia was not a one-time event. Yahoo says hundreds of documents dating back to 2004 describe allegations that agents not only used prostitutes but also leaked information, committed sex assault, published porn and more. The most recent complaints were just last month. All are detailed in more than 230 pages released Friday to media organizations under the Freedom of Information Act. Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman says the public should withhold judgment until the agency’s inspector general finishes investigating. It’s not clear how many of the accusations were found true.
  6. The Postal Service wanted postmasters off its payroll, but now it wants them back. The agency is offering part-time work to employees eligible for retirement. Government Executive says it will consider others, but it needs postmasters for their knowledge and community connections. The Postal Service wants to reduce hours at thousands of post offices. That’s where the part-time postmasters would work for about $12 an hour. They would still be able to receive their retirement pay. The Postal Service has offered buyouts to 21,000 postmasters as part of its recovery plan.
  7. And on GovLoop, last week we spoke about streach goals — and whether they spur people to do things they might not do otherwise, maybe things that aren’t good for the organization. And we got a lot of comments. Joe Williams said he disagrees that stretch goals are bad — and he said he felt the author seemed to “either-or” proposition between the kinds of goals that provide direction, are rewarding, are inspiring, are vivid, and are eventual (DRIVE), versus pursuing the low-hanging fruit of quick victories. Any team or project needs both, and to ignore one or the other is to the peril of the team or project’s success.

Today on the DorobekINSIDER:

  • Re-thinking government innovation with San Francisco’s Chief Innovation Officer.
  • How to make the most out of your next apps contest. We get insights from the Information Diet’s Clay Johnson.

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