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But up front: Todd Park makes his new gig official – and floating names for a new CTO?
Todd Park, the now former White House chief technology officer, made it official over the weekend via Twitter: He is back in The Valley, as Silicon Valley calls it, with a new role of helping to recruit Valley thought (and people) to Washington.
Am back home in Silicon Valley, and very excited to continue to serve our country in a new role!
And the White House also made it official in a blog post: President Obama Asks Todd Park to Continue Administration Service in New Role after Returning to Silicon Valley:
Park’s focus will be recruiting more top tech talent like Mikey Dickerson into government and identifying innovative ways to improve the quality of government digital services, two central goals of the President’s Smarter IT Delivery agenda. He will also help ensure that the Administration has an on-the-ground sense of how technology is evolving and can craft policy and initiatives accordingly.
And the President offered his assessment of Park’s tenure:
President Obama said today, “From launching the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, to opening up troves of government data to the public, to helping spearhead the successful turnaround of HealthCare.gov, Todd has been, and will continue to be, a key member of my Administration. I thank Todd for his service as my Chief Technology Officer, and look forward to his continuing to help us deploy the best people and ideas from the tech community in service of the American people.”
There is also discussion of Google’s Megan Smith as the next White House CTO.
Google’s Smith is top candidate for U.S. CTO [BloombergNews]: Megan Smith, a vice president at Google Inc.’s X lab, is a top candidate for the role of U.S. chief technology officer, Bloomberg reports. She would become the third person to hold the position. Google, the White House and Ms. Smith all declined comment.
Google executive Megan Smith is close to heading to the White House. Smith, 49, who was most recently a vice president at Google’s X lab, is a top candidate for the role of U.S. chief technology officer, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Smith would become the third person to fill the CTO job, after Aneesh Chopra and Todd Park, who recently resigned and is returning home to California this month. Park will take on a new role for President Barack Obama’s administration as a technology adviser based in Silicon Valley, the White House said yesterday.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
Federal News Radio: “Obama calls for 1 percent pay increase for feds starting Jan. 1”— In two letters addressed to Congress Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama requested a 1 percent pay increase for federal workers, including civilian federal employees and individuals in the uniformed services. Obama also called for “locality pay percentages” to stay at their 2014 levels. Although the new fiscal year begins October 1, these proposed pay raises would not go into effect until January 1, 2015. Congress can block these pay increases and has not yet passed a fiscal budget for 2015.
Government Executive: “Can You Apply for Phased Retirement This Fall? It Depends on Your Agency”— According to reports from many federal agencies, federal workers that want “phased retirement” will have to wait until 2015 to apply. Over two years after Congress passed legislation for phase retirement, the Office of Personnel Management issued final rules on the subject in August. On November 6, government employees can submit applications, but in truth, most federal workers will have to wait longer as each individual agency has its own procedure for implementing phased retirement.
Government Executive: “The Federal Agencies Most Often Accused of Discrimination”— In fiscal year 2012, over 15,000 federal workers submitted complaints regarding discrimination. This is a 6.7 percent decrease in discrimination claims from the year before. According to a report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the 2012 complaints resulted in over 10,000 investigations. The investigation-average was 187 days, with the EEOC holding more than 8,000 hearings itself. One in four complaints were due to racial discriminations, while slightly less than half were due to reasons of retaliation or reprisal. Overall, agencies were able to resolve half of discrimination concerns before they reached the formal process for complaints.
FederalTimes: “IG questions contractor oversight in Healthcare.gov rollout”— The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services is concerned with the oversight of the multiple contractors hired to work with Healthcare.gov. Over $800 million has been obligated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services to 60 contracts for maintenance and building of the federal insurance marketplace and Healthcare.gov. According to one report, the agency has spent over $500 million already, and much more is to be spent on investigating the launch and formation of Healthcare.gov. The IG wrote, “CMS relied—and continues to rely extensively—on contractors to operate the federal marketplace. The troubled launch of the federal marketplace on Oct. 1, 2013 raised serious concerns about the department’s management and oversight of the project.”
FederalTimes: “Strengthening the workforce: DoD acquisition, requirements and results”— The Under Secretary for Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall, has been making large strides with the acquisition system in recent years. Kendall and his staff’s most notable improvements largely focus on initiatives on workforce professionalism, education and training taken on by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). Kendall stresses the importance of workforce people in acquisitions for the Department of Defense, which is be particularly challenging in a sequestration environment. The DoD’s Better Buying Power (BBP) mandate requires more requirements regarding professional qualification for all acquisition specialties. With the release of BBP 3.0 in a few months, Kendall expects the new version will eliminate some barriers to entry.
DefenseNews: “LED Lighting Making a Mark on US Navy Ships”— Traditional fluorescent lighting will soon be a thing of the past on US Navy Ships as they convert to using LED technology. Fluorescent bulbs are less efficient and require more maintenance than LED lights. Additionally, they have sometimes-inconsistent, flickering lighting and can emit a large hum, which disrupts the sleeping of sailors. These old-school lights are in almost every space on board Navy ships. A company focusing in LED lighting, Energy Focus, has partnered with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to develop LED bulbs and fixtures for the naval vessels.
fedscoop: “Dave McClure headed to cyber firm Veris Group”— Dave McClure, former associate administrator of the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, is joining the Veris Group team as its chief strategist. In his new position at the cybersecurity provider, McClure will work with federal and states agencies to put cloud solutions into effect. While working at GSA from 2009 to 2014, McClure took part in employing the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which was created for the development of USA.gov and to standardize agencies’ cloud efforts. McClure has over 25 years of federal IT experience.
DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too…
Hillary Clinton Talks Tech in San Francisco [WSJ] Hillary Clinton, Thursday, emphasized the importance of technologies such as Big Data and cloud computing in helping to drive economic recovery in the U.S. Speaking at a technology conference in Silicon Valley, Mrs. Clinton addressed a wide range of subjects including HealthCare.gov, government surveillance and the challenges the government faces in its use of technology. Hillary Clinton speaking August 28, 2014, at a technology conference sponsored by Nexenta Systems. Advances in technology are helping businesses operate more efficiently and effectively, she said. “They’re better serving their own customers, but at the same time increasing productivity and profits and helping to drive our economic recovery.” Mrs. Clinton acknowledged, though, that not enough people were sharing in the gains of that economic recovery, wrote VentureWire’s Deborah Gage. Despite the promises of technology, “the historic link between productivity gains and wage gains” has been lost in the U.S., and “too many are losing ground and losing hope,” said Mrs. Clinton.
The Procrastination Doom Loop—and How to Break It [The Atlantic]: Productive people sometimes confuse the difference between reasonable delay and true procrastination. The former can be useful (“I’ll respond to this email when I have more time to write it”). The latter is, by definition, self-defeating (“I should respond to this email right now, and I have time, and my fingers are on the keys, and the Internet connection is perfectly strong, and nobody is asking me to do anything else, but I just … don’t … feel like it.”). When scientists have studied procrastination, they’ve typically focused on how people are miserable at weighing costs and benefits across time.