Happy Monday — I hope you had a good weekend.
And I’ve had a bunch of people ask me about the new iPad. I don’t have it… YET. Yes, it was supposed to be delivered Friday, but… we are putting on an addition at home and there was an electrical issues, so… I wasn’t home on Friday to get it. I’ll get it today and report back, of course.
On today’s program…
- Everybody is thinking mobile. And there will be a plan very soon. We’ll get a preview from the federal Deputy CIO Linda Schlosser.
- The American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council have been bringing government and industry together for decades. We’ll talk to the leaders of both of those organization about what is changing in 2012.
- Do you have a password on your smartphone? We will tell you why you just may want to do that.
All that ahead…
But after the break… we’ll start with the stories that impact your life for Monday the 19 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…
- Congress is preparing to renew its bitter fight over government spending. House Republicans are preparing an alternative budget for fiscal 2013 that would cuts the existing deal by another 2 percent.Federal News Radio says the $19 billion in cuts would come from the Education, Energy and Housing and Urban Development departments. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is spearheading the effort. Last year’s budget deal capped 2013 discretionary spending at just over $1 trillion and left Social Security and Medicare-Medicaid untouched.
- The Agriculture Department is warning people not to respond to faxed letters asking for personal information. The fake letters bear the USDA logo and the name. The letters ask for both personal and financial data. The USDA says people in Alabama, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have received them. The Agriculture inspector general is investigating.
- The White House’s National Security Staff is doing some re-shuffling. The president and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon have combined the jobs of the executive secretary and the chief of staff. The vice president’s Deputy National Security Advisor Brian McKeon has been tapped for the new position. The White House says the change will create a more integrated management approach for the staff. McKeon replaces Ambassador Broke Anderson, who is leaving government and moving to Montana.
- It’s a big political question that has a huge impact on government: How much government do people want? Pew Research Center asked that question. The response was mixed. The poll found the general public is less hostile towards government spending and raising taxes than the average tea party member. But the public is giving a higher priority to deficit reduction. The number of Americans favoring smaller government has actually declined since the mid-1990s from a high of 68 percent. But Pew says that doesn’t mean Americans don’t want public servants to pay their part in the economic downturn. The poll shows the public is generally in favor of the federal pay freeze. Government Executive says, trust in government has dropped steadily from just below 60 percent in 2002 to under 20 percent in 2010.
- The jobless rate for veterans has dropped — significantly. Analysts say that is in part due to efforts by both employers and the government, as well as the improving economy. CNN Money reports that the jobless rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has fallen to 7.6%, well below the overall U.S. unemployment rate of 8.3%, and nearly five percentage points below the 12.5% rate for veterans a year ago.
- Eight states have failed a government-wide test of transparency, accountability and anti-corruption efforts. The Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International says Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia were the lowest scoring states. New Jersey took home the prize for most transparent with the highest score a B plus.Politico says New Jersey’s strong points are clear: extensive financial disclosure requirements for the governor, a transparently-run pension fund, and an aggressive ethics enforcement agency. See how states compare to each other.
- Blackberry’s reign may be over. The National Journal says, BlackBerry’s dominance in Washington is waning, although they still have an edge over rival smartphones. Here’s some stats for you… right now roughly 77 percent of Capitol Hill staffers have BlackBerrys that’s down from 93 percent in 2009. The National Journal says just 1 percent of those surveyed who work on Capitol Hill said they were planning to buy one.
- Broadcasters fight plan to post names of political ad buyers on Web. The Washington Post reports that CBS and Fox are among broadcasters fighting a plan to post names of campaign-ad buyers and purchase prices on the Web as record election spending raises concerns over anonymous political contributions. The information is maintained in desk drawers and filing cabinets at television stations, and the Federal Communications Commission wants to bring the data to a Web site the agency would run. But CBS and Fox say that the proposal would “impose significant new administrative burdens,” In comments filed in January, CBS and Fox were joined by NBC stations and ABC. The National Association of Broadcasters told the FCC recently that the agency lacks power to make the change.
Federal IT strategy, including mobile
Lisa Schlosser, Deputy Administrator, Office of E-Government and Information Technology, Office of Management and Budget
The Office of Management and Budget is re-thinking its mobile strategy. The DorobekINSIDER was the only news organization at CES Government in Las Vegas in January year when federal CIO Steven VanRoekel first spoke about the mobile strategy. The mobile government strategy has morphed some in the time since January. They’re working on a new roadmap — due in April — that will move away from apps and to focus more attention on improving functions and engaging citizens and businesses.
Lisa Schlosser is the deputy administrator in the Office of E-Government and IT. She spoke at a mobile government conference sponsored by AFFIRM and GITEC. She said that the strategy is based on the administration’s desire to focus more broadly on how and when data is delivered, and not about the devices.
The broadening of ACT-IAC
The American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council have spent decades working to use technology to help better perform its mission. But is it time to broaden that mission?
Last week at the Excellence.gov Awards, I caught up with the leaders of both of the organizations. They are going to focus more squarely on how they tackle business challenges. Marie Davie is chairwoman of the American Council on Technology and Jim Beaupre [Facebook – LinkedIn] is the chairman of the Industry Advisory Council. Jim Beaupre and ACT chairman Marie Davie after a panel. Jim told me why the council is looking to make changes now.
Washington Business Journal: ACT-IAC looks to shake up its mission
The dangers of a lost smartphone
Have you ever lost your smartphone? And do you lock it? If not, you may want to rethink that decision. A study by Symantec, the security company, found there is a 96 percent chance that the person who finds that phone will access it for personal-related apps and information. Yep, 96 percent. The study found there is only a 50 percent chance the person who finds your phone will try to return it. Symantec actually tested this out — they lost a bunch of smartphones — on purpose… they called it the honey pot project. Kevin Haley is the director of Symantec Security Response. He told me why so many people put themselves at risk.
The Los Angeles Times: Lost phone? There’s an 89% chance somebody tried to access data
Symantec research: “The Symantec Honey Stick Project.”
The New York Times: Seeking Ways to Make Computer Passwords Unnecessary
Before we close… a few closing items…
- Police cruisers: The next generation? Carbon Motorswants to create the ultimate police car — a Next-Gen police cruiser. But they’ve hit a snag. The Energy Department has denied Carbon Motor’s application for funding under the federal Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufactoring program. Government Technology says the supped up cruiser would feature, a “forced induction” diesel. The engine would have 40 percent greater fuel efficiency than the average law enforcement vehicle. The car would also have video cameras installed in the rear compartment for monitoring and recording activity in the back seat. Carbon Motor claims they were turned down because of political posturing. The Energy department disputes that claim. The Energy Department denied Carbon Motors’ application for funding under the federal Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program this week, casting doubt on whether the company’s next-gen E7 police cruiser will be built.
- We hear a lot about the vital role of small business in the U.S., especially in election years. But the Wall Street Journal raises the question: How vital is the role of the federal government in promoting the role of small business in America? And specifically, how vital is the Small Business Administration in that promotion? The Wall Street Journal has the debate today… and it’s GovLoop: We’d love to get your thoughts… Does the SBA play a critical role helping small businesses? Or do the SBA’s loans do more harm then good?
- And we talk about big data a lot. NASA has just released a catalog and atlas of the sky. Yes… how cool is that. NASA has posted 18,000 images consisting of more than 563 million stars, galaxies, asteroids, planets… many of which have never been identified before. InformationWeek reports it is a collaboration between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California Los Angeles. NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission collected the data over the past two years… and it capturing more than 2.7 million images and processing more than 15 TB of astronomical data. In order to make the data easier to use, NASA condensed the 2.7 million digital images down to 18,000 that cover the entire sky.
Coming up tomorrow… we’re going to talk trash… specifically, all those old computers and printers… maybe a fax machine or two. What do you do with them? We’ll help you out… tomorrow… right here on the GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER.