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How the country views sequestration – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • How exactly do you bring Silicon Valley innovation to government? Silicon Valley guru Ryan Allis gives 12 realistic tips for bringing innovation to government. Click here for the full recap.

But First: Sequestration Update

The Washington Post: Americans’ sequestration shrug — in two charts

And if you haven’t been following the Bradley Manning case, here’s what you need to know:

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Pentagon will take another major hit in the second, deeper round of automatic federal budget cuts. According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon is already reeling from a $34 billion budget blow this year and is scheduled to feel an additional $20 bullion punch in 2014. In total, the Defense Department’s budget will be cut by about 10 percent below levels approved just six month ago. Currently, the Washington Post reports that the Pentagon has not made decisions on more furlough reductions.
  2. In a new memo, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell told agency heads to seek funding only for programs that work in their 2015 budgets and be able to back up their requests with evidence. The Federal Times reports that to comply with President Obama’s goal of “a smarter, more innovative and more accountable government,” agencies will need to strengthen their ability to improve program performance by applying existing evidence of what works, generating new knowledge, and using experimentation and innovation to test new approaches to program delivery.”
  3. The Department of Veterans Affairs canceled its five-year, $36 million cloud-based enterprise email contract with HP Enterprise Services early this month. According to FCW, the agency is not abandoning plans to harness cloud-based solutions as a strategy to improve efficiency and service delivery. Currently, the VA has been systems in place that take advantage of cloud technology, including the Veterans Benefits Management System. In other cloud-based software news, the Federal Times reports that Amazon has filed a lawsuit over a $600 million cloud computer contract with the CIA that was not approved by the Government Accountability Office.
  4. The Transportation Security Administration has not been consistently discipling workers accused of misconduct, penalizing some with little evidence and not imposing minimum sanctions on others. According to the Washington Post, the Government Accountability Office reported that half of TSA agents accused of sleeping on the job received less than the lowest penalty called for by agency policies. Further, agents were accused of taking bribes from drug traffickers and stealing from passengers.
  5. As members prepare for the August recess, the House is stepping us its cybersecurity, especially as recent events occurring in the White House unfold. Roll Call reports that beginning Saturday, users will be locked out of computers on the House network after 20 minutes of inactivity and requires to re-enter their passwords to regain access. These changes were announced in an email to members and staff on Tuesday.
  6. Last Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) turned on two new supercomputers that are expected to improve weather forecasting. According to Computerworld, the supercomputers are based in Reston, VA., and Orlando, FL, and cost the U.S. about $20 million a year to operate the leased systems. It was a complicated process to turn on the new systems as the NWS had to ensure that the software was producing scientifically correct results.
  7. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has added his name to the list of officials who have pledged to donate a portion of their salary to furloughed federal employees. Government Executive reports that the Senator is donating 20-percent of his salary from now through September to the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund. Other lawmakers and public officials donating their salary include Representation Amu Bera (D-CA), Senator Mark Begich, (D-AK), Treasury Department’s secretary Jack Lew, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

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