On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- It may sound odd, but constraints can and usually are a catalyst for innovation. Think back to the industrial age here in America, importing goods was costing too much money and taking too much time - insert the American Industrial Revolution. The industrial revolution was a time of extreme growth and innovation in our country.
But up front: Federal Computer Week has released the list of 2013 Federal 100 Award winners.
In a world where there are scores of award programs, the Fed 100 awards are one of the best ways to assess what is going on in government IT over the past year. As I repeatedly noted when I was FCW’s editor-in-chief, the Fed 100 awards recognize work done in the past calendar year. The goal is not lifetime achievement awards. They focus on people, not groups (with an understanding that nobody stands alone.) And they focus on the impact that a person has on government IT -- the question I always asked the judges is, ‘Was the world a different place because of this person?’ That is a pretty high standard -- and it is remarkably competitive. The Fed 100s are determined by judges -- it isn’t an editorial judgement. And it is more competitive then you can imagine. (A multi-Fed 100 winner who was judging one year said that he was going to go home and oggle at his Fed 100s because he had no idea how competitive it was.)
You can read the full list here.
We at GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER are proud that we have featured the work of some of these luminaries. Yes, the obvious winners like federal CIO Steven VanRoekel. We were the only organization to be at CES Government for his launch of the then mobile government strategy, which became the Digital Government Strategy and we brought you his speech from FOSE last year.
- Federal CTO Todd Park. A GovLoop member, Park spoke at GovLoop’s Next Generation of Government Training Summit http://goo.gl/cstwr
- Others we have featured on GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER:
- One of my personal favorites: DHS’s Brent Bushey on the challenges with agile development.
- EPA’s Jeffrey Levy talking about the EPA’s innovative guides for using social media as a government employee.
- Tom Suder joined the DorobekINSIDER LIVE to talk about mobile in 2012... and look forward to 2013.
- Stan Soloway, the head of the Professional Services Council, has joined us regularly, most recently talking about the challenges to for the acquisition community in the ‘age of austerity.’
- Congratulations to all the winners of Federal Computer Week’s Fed 100 Awards. The Fed 100 gala is on March 20.
Other stories worth reading:
Economy shrinks as federal spending cuts trump private sector’s growth-- The American economy shrank at the end of last year for the first time since the recession ended, according to new government data, as deep cuts in federal spending torpedoed what otherwise looked to be a modest recovery. Consumers did their part, spending more and opening their wallets for bigger-ticket items such as automobiles. Companies invested in new equipment and software. Housing continued to climb. But those gains were overshadowed by the massive decline in government spending, especially in defense. - The Washington Post
As sequestration looms, contractors don’t fret--The next few months could look even scarier than the last few for defense contractors already battered by federal budget cuts, thanks to the threat of automatic reductions looming in March. But industry executives had a surprising message for shareholders this week: Don’t worry about it. In call after call with investors, officials at some of the area’s largest contracting firms refused to guess how much it would cost them if Congress allows the “sequester” to kick in on March 1. Even as their lobbyists keep warning how much the cuts would hurt the industry, the executives are projecting confidence that the sequester will not happen. - The Washington Post
And in cyber-security news...Hackers in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months. The timing of the attacks coincided with reporting for an investigation that found that the relatives of China's prime minister had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings. - New York Times.
John Kerry defends Senate, bidding farewell to a ‘great’ institution--In an unusually emotional speech, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) bid farewell to his colleagues Wednesday by rejecting criticisms of a “broken Senate,” forcefully defending the chamber and all its unique rules as an institution that is meant to forge great compromise among competing personalities. The next secretary of state — once considered aloof and always searching for a promotion out of the Senate — tearfully sketched out a 50-minute rebuttal to the growing cacophony that deems the Senate’s customs and procedures outdated in today’s political environment. He declared the current version of the chamber “a lasting memorial to the miracle of the American experiment.” Paul Kane reports.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- Furloughs might not be coming to the Defense Department right now. Government Executive reports the DoD’s top policy administrator assured colleagues in a memo that media reports of coming furloughs in the civilian workforce “included many inaccuracies,” reiterating that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is working closely with the White House and Congress to avoid furloughs.
- The debt ceiling debate could end today. The Associated Press reports the Senate is expected to approve a temporary lift of the borrowing limit. The measure already passed the House. It would extend the limit only until May 18. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that it would add $450 billion in new debt. But without it, the Treasury has warned, it could default on its bills as early as next month. It has suspended payments in the Thrift-Savings-Plan G-Fund in the meantime. But officials promise that the fund will be made whole and participants' accounts will not be impacted.
- Could big data help you predict illnesses? The Veterans Health Administration thinks so. NextGov says the VA plans to test how advanced clinical reasoning and prediction systems can use massive amounts of archived patient data to help improve care, efficiency and health outcomes.
- NASA Chief Information Officer and frequent DorobekINSIDER guest Linda Cureton is retiring at the end of April. Federal Computer Week reports Cureton has served in government for more than 30 years. As CIO she ushered in cloud computing and took on cybersecurity at the space agency. Hear Cureton talk about the year in government IT: 2012 and hear her talk about her book, The Leadership Muse.
- Federal News Radio says the nominee to be President Obama Defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, is taking questions from the Senate Armed Services committee this morning. He'll be introduced by two former chairmen of the committee, Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and Republican John Warner (R-Va.) Twelve Democrats have already announced support for Hagel, a former Republican Senator from Nebraska. Six Republicans have voiced opposition. If confirmed, Hagel would be the first enlisted man and first Vietnam veteran to become Defense secretary.
- The Labor Department is in the cloud. NextGov reports, Labor has awarded a $50 million contract to InfoReliance. That company will manage Labor's move to Microsoft cloud services. Besides email, the contract covers e-discovery, records management and software-as-a-service tools. Labor began its search for a cloud provider in August. Other agencies that have already moved to cloud email include Agriculture, Interior, GSA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- And on GovLoop, looking for a new federal job? Need help moving up the ladder. Check out our Virtual Career Fair on February 28th. It’s free and will offer secrets from the C-Suite.
The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder