Helping Vets Transition to Private Sector: Plus the DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Budgets and time are tight, so one of the trickle down effects has been the evolution of the program manager. Now more than ever, people are taking on the role of program manager with little or no training. So how is it working? Click here for the recap.
  • Helping returning vets transition to new careers one suit at a time. Returning vets face a significantly higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country. One organization is trying to combat the problem head on. Click here for the recap.

But up front: Last night was the annual Operation Jump Start.

In short, Operation Jump-Start is a charity event sponsored by the government IT community that seeks to help soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom “jump start” their careers… to transition to civilian careers.

The event each year collects hundreds of suits — both men and womens — but also thousands of dollars. And it is one of my favorite events of the year. As I have said in years past the event is particularly remarkable because you can actually see people being helped — the military personnel themsleves. There are young men — and women — who proudly try on suits near the end of the evening.

Innovative? Ready for a challenge?

The White House announced the opening of applications for the second round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows. The White House is seeking applications to be a Round 2 Fellow from February 5th through March 17th, and are looking to put together a dynamic, diverse, innovative class that will produce tremendous results for the American people.

The new projects:

  • Disaster Response and Recovery will collaboratively build and “pre-position” critical tech tools ahead of future emergencies or natural disasters in order to mitigate economic damage and save lives.
  • Cyber-Physical Systems will work with government and industry to create standards for a new generation of inter operable, dynamic, and efficient “smart systems”—an “industrial Internet”—that combines distributed sensing, control, and data analytics to help grow the economy and new high-value American jobs.
  • 21st Century Financial Systems will work to move the financial accounting systems of Federal agencies out of the era of large-scale, agency-specific implementations to one that favors more nimble, modular, scalable, and cost-effective approaches.
  • Innovation Toolkit will develop a suite of tools that empowers our Federal workforce to respond to national priorities more quickly and more efficiently.
  • Development Innovation Ventures will help enable the US government to identify, test, and scale breakthrough solutions to the world’s toughest problems.

Speed reads:

  • GovExec: Feds anticipate the worst as spending cuts loom. Most federal workers believe their agency will have to furlough employees if sequestration happens and remains in effect, according to a poll of Government Executive readers. Nearly 70 percent of more than 4,000 respondents expected furloughs as a result of the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts — despite the fact that the Office of Management and Budget has said they are a last resort. Thirty-eight percent said they believed they would be furloughed, while 35 percent considered it a possibility, and 27 percent did not think they would be affected. If Congress does not act to further delay or reverse sequestration, it will go into effect on March 1.
  • National Journal: Can Washington Break Its Addiction to Crisis Economics? The country has lurched from one emergency to the next since 2007. Amid a rare lull, here’s a modest plan of action for Congress and President Obama. “The economic timeline since 2007 has conditioned us to think this way. We’ve become adrenaline junkies for the meltdowns and slap-dash solutions: from the credit crisis to the collapse of Lehman Brothers to the housing market dive to the recent battles over taxes and the budget.
  • DOD spending: Michèle Flournoy, former undersecretary of defense for policy, has an Wall Street Journal op-ed pushing cuts to DOD’s civilian workforce and military health care programs as the best way to downsize the Pentagon. Flournoy also recommends new rounds of BRAC and a streamlined acquisition process. “Failure to find substantial savings in these areas could result in some very unpalatable and dangerous trade-offs,” Flournoy writes, “from reducing the military’s capacity to prevail in more than one theater at a time to cutting its readiness to deter adversaries or respond effectively in crises.”

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. For the third year in a row, President Obama missed the deadline for submitting his budget request to Congress. The Washington Post reports, the administration’s refusal to say when Obama would release his 2014 spending plan was unusual. Congressional aides in both parties said they expect to see the budget in mid- to late-March — a delay of more than a month, unmatched by any other incumbent president except, on one occasion, Ronald Reagan.
  2. The Energy Department has been hacked and several hundreds of employees personal information was compromised. The New York Times reports, in an e-mail sent to employees Friday evening, the agency confirmed that hackers penetrated computers and servers at the agency’s Washington headquarters and stole the personal information of hundreds of employees and contractors. The agency said it was working with federal authorities to investigate the attack. It said that, based on its findings, “no classified data was compromised.”
  3. Lockheed Martin is offering voluntary layoffs for its IT business. The Washington Post reports, the move comes as defense contractors are struggling to show growth in their information technology businesses. Falls Church-based competitor General Dynamics, for instance, said last month it was devaluing its information technology business by $2 billion in response to falling government demand.
  4. Wall Street Journal reports, the European Union will propose new cybersecurity rules Thursday, requiring search engines, energy providers, banks and other companies to report disruptions to government authorities.Transit hubs, stock exchanges and a host of other entities would be covered by the proposal, which has been seen by The Wall Street Journal and which the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, drafted after a decade of failed voluntary measures.
  5. The debt ceiling has been averted. Yahoo News reports, President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill raising the government’s borrowing limit, averting a default and delaying the next clash over the nation’s debt until later this year. The legislation temporarily suspends the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing. Experts say that will allow the government to borrow about $450 billion to meet interest payments and other obligations.
  6. Washington Post: The Postal Service paid death benefits to Postal Service survivors. In some cases, the benefits were paid late, as much as 25 years late, according to McKinney’s complaint. The Postal Service, making several legal arguments, sought unsuccessfully to have her complaint thrown out, saying her claims are outside of the court’s jurisdiction and “should be dismissed.” McKinney doesn’t have an estimate on how much the cash-strapped Postal Service could be on the hook for if it loses the case.
  7. And on GovLoop, have you registered for the next DorobekINSIDER live: BYOD. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) continues to shape the government workforce. Like any new technology initiative, one of the core concerns about implementation surrounds security. Today, technology exists to allow government agencies to fully leverage BYOD strategies and protect information and data.

The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • FedNewsRadio: Will federal pay freeze rear its head again? http://bit.ly/WXDLto
  • New York Times’ David Brooks: The Philosophy of Data – http://nyti.ms/XeTd2 Our ability to gather and process huge amounts of data does many things, including correcting intuitive biases and illuminating patterns of behavior.

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