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Gone Rogue — Why being a rebel is a good thing and should the gov. make the move to alternate fuels

On today’s program

  • Are you a rebel in your workplace? Can you be? And what does that mean? We’ll hear from a former senior executive at the CIA — who professes being a rebel in the workplace. We’ll hear what that means… and how you can be a rebel. Click here for the full story.
  • Could alternate fuels really save the government billions? The American Clean Skies foundation says yes. They’ve unveiled their new plan at our Next Generation of Government Training Summit. Click here for the full story.

It is post NextGen for GovLoop and big kudos to the GovLoop and Young Government Leader team for a remarkable event. There is all sorts of content about the Next Generation of Government Leaders Training Summit on GovLoop — great insights and knowledge… if you were not able to be there… or if you did attend but just couldn’t make all of the sessions.

We will also be brining you highlights from NextGen all week here on GovLoop Insights’ DorobekNSIDER.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Monday the 30th of July, 2012

  1. Congress is one step closer to reaching a funding deal that would avert government shutdown on September 30th. Politico reports that this six-month funding resolution would avert a messy budget fight right before elections in November. The expiration of Bush-era tax-cuts and automatic defense reductions that are set to go into effect in December, however, have still not been addressed.
  2. General Service Administration’s FAS Commissioner, Steve Kempf, will be taking a 60-day medical leave. Mary Davie will take over as the Acting Commissioner in the interm. Insiders tell the DorobekINSIDER that Kempf’s decision is not related to recent questions about FAS spending on a performance award conference.
  3. The Pentagon is continuing their effort to reduce costs and promote efficiency through better program design. The Washington Post reports that while some advances are being made, industry is having trouble adapting to some of these changes. One trend emerging is consolidation, with smaller companies being bought up by larger contractors to increase their profits and maintain overhead costs.
  4. An internal watchdog at the Justice Department has found cases of nepotism. The Wall Street Journal reports, eight current or former officials at one of its divisions steered jobs to children and other relatives, violating laws and regulations that forbid nepotism. This is not the first time the Justice Department has been hit with charges of nepotism. Similar allegations of improper hiring practices at the department’s Justice Management Division, which oversees administrative and back-office staff, have been the subject of repeated investigation by the department’s inspector general. The Justice Department said it takes the report’s findings seriously and will make changes to hiring practices, including tightening disclosure requirements.
  5. There are now more feds with security clearances than ever before.Secrecy News reports that list now tops more than 4.8 million people. The total clearance figure is composed of cleared government employees and contractors, at all clearance levels — Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. The number of Top Secret clearances alone was over 1.4 million. The annual report on security clearances is now required by Congress since the FY2010 Intelligence Authorization Act. The Act represents a new degree of transparency in national security classification policy.
  6. When it comes to figuring out the rules for cyberwar the Pentagon is a bit behind. The AP reports, the Defense Department told Congress that its still grappling with how to write the rules of cyberwarfare, such as when and how to fire back against a computer-based attack. Congressman Mac Thornberry told military leaders that there likely won’t be time for Congress to pass a declaration of war if or when a computer-based attack happens, so the DoD will need a defined list of cyberwar rules. The current ground rules for cyberoperations were written in 2005, but are not adequate for the current technologies.
  7. And on GovLoop, we are still reeling for the AWESOME Next Generation of Government Training Summit. There were some fantastic speakers like Deloitte’s Carmen Medina and WordPress’s Matt Mullenweg. It was a fantastic conference and if you couldn’t make it in person we’ve recapped it here on GovLoop. You can see all our posts, photos and audio commentary by searching nextgen.

Before we finish up a few items in for your watercooler fodder

Fed pay, yes, it is an ongoing debate. The Government Accountability Office has issued a report analyzing pay for public and private sector employees — is it less expensive to do something in-house or contract it out… and the report doesn’t bring much clarity to the subject. GAO looked at the studies that tried to compare government pay to the private sector and found that the studies vary — vary widely — depending on how the studies were conducted, the approach that they used, the data they used. And GAO found that each of the studies offered some insight, but that none were wholistic in their view.

I seems that the most common sense way to look at the issue is where workers go — and, by-and-large, they aren’t flocking to government. If government pay was so amazing, why aren’t people lining up at the doors for available jobs? The fact is that the government workforce is better educated then the population over all, and therefore the mean pay is probably higher, but when you look at job to job comparison, it doesn’t match up.

Finally, do you swear at work? A survey by the job-search website Career Builder is out with a new survey that places D.C.’s workforce atop a very distinguished list. According to the report, DC leads the nation in swearing at work.
Nationwide, 51 percent of respondents told Career Builder they let slip dirty words in front of their colleagues, but in D.C., that number goes up to 62 percent. How naughty are we by comparison to other cities?
Denver came in second, at 60 percent, followed by Chicago, where 58 percent of Windy City denizens freely admit to cursing up a storm at the office.

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Chris Cairns

There’s nothing wrong with nepotism, IMHO, as long as he/she meets the positions requirements and performs. That’s what accountability and performance plans are there for.