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Inauguration is coming are you ready?: Plus the DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • As the world has become dependent on IT, so has the federal government. Leveraged effectively, technical tools can engage the public, create cost savings, and improve outcomes. These benefits are obscured by regular reminders that federal IT is fundamentally flawed. It is too big to succeed,” said Zachary Bastian. Find out his 3 solutions. Click here for the full recap.

Technically, President Obama will be sworn in on Sunday in private as required by the Constitution. The public oath will take place next Monday — MLK Day… and yes, it means that feds, who normally get inauguration day off every four years, will “lose” a holiday because the Martin Luther King Jr. and inauguration fall on the same day. And the dress rehearsal apparently went off without a hitch.

That being said, transitions are naturally a time of change. Government workers are used to a certain degree of change — elections come and go; the revolving door of political appointees. But presidential transitions are significant — a quadrennial opportunity to take a look at what is working — and what isn’t.

We are going to do that later this week with this month’s DorobekINSIDER LIVE. We are billing it as the Presidential Transition Survivors Guide.

The details…
When: Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 12n ET
Where: We’ll be LIVE online here... and it will be posted immediately on GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER.

And the DorobekINSIDER’s Guests:

  • Dan Blair, President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration. Blair has served in top leadership positions in the executive and legislative branches as well as the regulatory sector. He has received successive Presidential appointments to the Office of Personnel Management and the Postal Regulatory Commission and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. The National Academy of Public Administrator helped lead the Memo to National Leaders initiative, which looked at issues around the transition. Hear the DorobekINSIDER conversations about the Memo to National Leaders project:
  • Molly O’Neill, fellow at the CGI Initiative for Collaborative Government and the former Assistant Administrator and Chief Information Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency. O’Neill was the co-chair of the 2012 Quadrennial Government Technology Review conducted by the Industry Advisory Council and the American Council on Technology. Hear the DorobekINSIDER conversation about the 2012 Quadrennial Government Technology Review:
  • John Palguta is Vice President at the Partnership for Public Service. He was a career member of the federal senior executive service as Director of Policy and Evaluation for the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the culmination of a federal career spanning almost 34 years of experience in federal human resources management and public policy issues. In early 2008, the Partnership for Public Service launched Ready to Govern to offer recommendations for the presidential transition and introduce a framework for effective management in the new administration. The centerpiece is a strategy to build and lead a first-rate federal workforce. The Partnership has also published Ready to Govern: Improving the Presidential Transition.
  • Alan Balutis – Senior Director and Distinguished Fellow Business Solutions Group Cisco. Balutis is a founding member of the Federal CIO Council. His 28 years in the federal sector were spent at the Department of Commerce, where he headed its management and budget office for over a decade and was its first CIO. Balutis was chair of the Memo to National Leaders paper on Information Technology (IT) and Transparency.

We would love to get your thoughts about the challenges of transition.

Meanwhile, as Washington prepares for the 2013 inauguration, yes, there is an app for that.

Finally, regular readers know I’m a big fan of the movie Argo, and I recommended it in October. It was a big winner at the Golden Globe awards last night. (President Clinton introduced Lincoln, but cohost Amy Poehler follows Clinton with a breathless exclamation and ode to a certain secretary of State she used to imitate. The line of the night: “That was Hillary Clinton’s husband.”) It is refreshing to see a movie that portrays movies in such a positive way — as doers rather than rule makers.

Another movie that is spuring a government discussion is Zero Dark Thirty, starring Jessica Chastain, which topped the box office this weekend. CBS This Morning reports that the film — based on the experience of a real person — shows one example of how women are rising stars in the world of intelligence.

“The movie is credited with highlighting the more prominent role women have played in the intelligence community over the last three decades. According to a U.S. Executive Branch progress report on women in peace and security careers, women make up 13 percent of the ‘senior intelligence service” and between 21 percent and 29 percent of “key agencies responsible for national security and foreign policy.’”

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Navy was expected to award a contract valued at about $5 billion for its Next-Generation Enterprise Network by the end of last month. But Nextgov reports, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command has not yet announced when it expects to make an award. One of the managers of NGEN, Capt. Shawn Hendricks, said in October 2011 that he could not afford to miss the December 2012 award deadline in order to have NGEN ready to go when the contract for the current network runs out in 2015.
  2. The Wall Street Journal reports a defense contractor’s $5.28 million payment to settle allegations that it tortured Iraqis at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison underscores the legal risks for U.S. military contractors operating in war zones. The settlement, paid in October by Engility Holdings Inc. and disclosed in a recent company earnings filing, marks a turning point for prisoners allegedly abused by contractors at Abu Ghraib and other detention sites during the Iraq war.
  3. Hackers have a new target: nuclear and power plants. CNN reports, the number of attacks reported to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity response team grew by 52% in 2012, according to a recent report from the team. There were 198 attacks brought to the agency’s attention last year, several of which resulted in successful break-ins.
  4. FCW reports, Paul Brubaker, a veteran of Capitol Hill and a former Defense Department deputy CIO, will be returning to Defense on Jan. 14 in a new role as director of planning and performance management.
  5. The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Treasury: The Treasury Department will not mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to get around the debt ceiling. If they did, the Federal Reserve would not accept it. That’s the bottom line of the statement that Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, gave me today. “Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” he said. The inclusion of the Federal Reserve is significant. For the platinum coin idea to work, the Federal Reserve would have to treat it as a legal way for the Treasury Department to create currency. If they don’t believe it’s legal and would not credit the Treasury Department’s deposit, the platinum coin would be worthless.
  6. The Office of Personnel Management is asking for major changes to the Combined Federal Campaign. The CFC has had declining participation and fundraising levels for several years. Federal Times reports, OPM is recommending eliminating local chapters in favor of larger, regional ones. It would alter the open season schedule and require charities to pay a non-refundable fee to cover overhead. OPM has sent a detailed plan to the White House for approval. If the administration approves, the proposal gets listed in the federal register for comment. Separately, Federal Times reports the Greater Washington CFC fired its contractor, Global Impact and has hired EarthShare to run the 2013 campaign.
  7. And on GovLoop, are you looking for a job in the federal government? Having a hard time breaking in? We’re here to help. In February GovLoop will be hosting our first ever Virtual Career Fair. Find out more details here.

The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • The White House’ official petition site, We the People had an unusual petition: the construction of the death star. The petition netted a huge response and the administration fired back. Unfortunately for Star Wars fans the administration says right now budgets cuts are holding back the creation of a death star.
  • Mashable: Here’s How Obama’s Autopen Works

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