Gov Reacts to the Boston Marathon – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • We are on day 47 of the dreaded sequester and the new budget realities are starting to sink in for many agencies. More than half of the federal workforce will be hit with some for of furloughs. So how do you keep your team motivated? And how do you keep up with all the work? Insights from the Partnership for Public Service.

But up front: Boston

Of course all of our hearts and minds are with the city of Boston — and the visitors who were there for the Boston Marathon.

New England, of course, is known for the ‘shot heard ‘round the world.’ But yesterday, the Boston Police used Twitter to make official the death toll at the time:

22 injured. 2 dead

No hashtag was necessary. In many ways, it was a tweet that was heard around the world.

In some way, social media offered updates and support after the Boston Marathon bombings. But Twitter shows how the news is made, and it’s not pretty — but it’s better that we see it.

In the aftermath of events like the Boston Marathon bombings, Twitter is often criticized for the way it indiscriminately distributes lies as well as facts — but as chaotic as that process is, we are better off for having it.

And there were other ways that technology was used to help.

Google created a Google person finder: Boston Marathon Explosions to helps people look for and find loved ones who might be missing in an emergency like this one. The site was tracking some 5,200 records.

Google set up a Google project page in Google Person Finder, which helps people look for and find loved ones who might be missing in an emergency like this one, specifically for the Boston Marathon Explosions.

Read more.

And one heartwarming moment: People just helping other people. Somebody created a Google spreadsheet of people offering places for people to stay if they were stranded — and it collected thousands of entries.

And @SamCmlaid tweeted: Never seen a more powerful spreadsheet.

Finally, we have been covering how gov 2.0 is changing emergency management.

Some of those interviews:

  • No more yellow tape— Did Twitter kill emergency management?
  • #Sandy – Did the 20 Million Plus Tweets Help or Hurt Emergency Managers?

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. We are starting to get a clearer picture on why DHS CIO Richard Spires is on leave. FCW reports, Spires’ leave was precipitated by a fundamental disagreement with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano over the CIO’s authority over department-wide budgeting and purchasing of commodity IT. According to a source familiar with the dispute, Spires was attempting to centralize such purchasing as instructed by the Office of Management and Budget in an August 2011 memo on CIO authorities.
  2. In your furlough update: NOAA announced it proposes 4 furlough days for workers across the agency, including the National Weather Service. NOAA is currently in talks with the labor unions. The Washington Post reports, the consultation process will give labor unions the opportunity to provide alternatives to the possible furloughs. NOAA will take these alternatives into consideration before formalizing a furlough plan.
  3. The number of people who are cleared for access to classified information continued to rise in 2012 to more than 4.9 million, according to a new annual report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. This is only the third official tally of government-wide security clearance activity ever prepared, and it is the largest reported to date, reports Secrecy News.
  4. Congress is scrambling to find a solution to the ongoing issues at USPS. Federal Times reports, following the collapse of plans for ending Saturday mail delivery, the U.S. Postal Service will explore the possibility of an emergency rate increase and seek additional cost-cutting concessions from its employees. But as both options quickly came under attack, the odds of success on either front seemed dim.
  5. The IRS is facing something of a delayed tax season. Just before the filing deadline, returns were running 3.4 percent less than a year earlier. Refunds were off 4.5 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports, that’s because of the January budget deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. It occurred so late, the IRS had to postpone the opening of the filing season. It needed time to reprogram its computers to account for tax law changes. Experts predict that eventually, the numbers will return to normal. Tax receipts are up this year thanks to rate hikes and more people working.
  6. Fewer than three in 10 Americans like the federal government. A Pew Research Center survey shows that percentage has dropped steadily over the past dozen years, from a high of 81 percent just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Democrats, predictably, have more favorable views of the federal government than Republicans do, at 41 percent to 13. But this is the first time since President Barack Obama took office that more Democrats are more likely to say they have an unfavorable view of Washington. There’s better news for state and local governments.
  7. And on GovLoop. You can now register for the April edition of DorobekINSIDER Live. We’ll be talking citizen engagement. Register for the free event here.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • The Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen: A perfect Marathon day, then the unimaginable –

  • The Atlantic: The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On: It is easy to feel scared and powerless in the wake of attacks like those at the Boston Marathon. But it also plays into the perpetrators’ hands.

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