Suspensions and Debarments on the Rise: DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Is leadership success a shot in the dark? Insights from Tox Fox from the Partnership for Public Service. Click here for the full recap.
  • TextMyBus is the latest app from the fellows at Code for America. The app takes data from the Detroit Department of Transportation to create a text messaging app. Basically a Detroit resident can text 50464 and get up to date schedule of the 3 bus routes closes to their current location. Click here for the full recap.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Contractor suspensions and debarments are on the rise. Government Executive suspensions have increased across the government over the past three years, rising from just over 1,900 in fiscal 2009 to more than 3,000 in 2011. A report from the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee says the Obama administration has made significant progress in cracking down on bad actors. Just as significant as the progress are the management actions that underlie it, and indicate an increased agency commitment to protecting taxpayer resources.
  2. The General Services Administration is looking for a new commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service. GSA posted the FAS commissioner’s job announcement on Sept. 17. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller says this means Steve Kempf, who has been on a 60-day medical leave since July 30, will not be returning to the role of commissioner. He’s expected to return to GSA as a senior adviser to the administrator at the end of September. Mary Davie, the assistant commissioner ofFAS’s Office of Integrated Technology Services, has been the acting commissioner since Kempf went on leave. Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini sent an email to staff announcing the changes at FAS, in which he said “Kempf will be taking a significant new role at GSA.”
  3. The Air Force is weighing in on the sequestration issue. The Secretary, Michael Donely, says sequestration would “leave the Defense Department without a workable strategy counter global threats.” FedScoop says despite the threat of sequestration, Donley said the Air Force must still balance capabilities against competing needs for structure, readiness and modernization. The Air Force proposed force structure reductions as part of recent budget requests, including the divestment of 286 aircraft and removing about 9,900 personnel from the ranks within the next five years.
  4. The Russian government gave the US until October 1st to close the mission, accusing it of meddling in politics.The BBC reports, USAID has worked in Russia for two decades, spending nearly $3bn (£1.8bn) on aid and democratic programmes. The expulsion follows a government crackdown on pro-democracy groups.
  5. The Government Accountability Office says agencies could make smarter training program investments. The watchdog agency says the Office of Personnel Management could do a better job guiding agencies on investing in training programs to avoid ineffective and duplicative efforts. Government Executive reports, the GAO reviewed the processes that chief human capital officers use to establish and prioritize such investments, as well as OPM’s directions. The report found that CHCOs and OPM could improve their efforts in overseeing training decisions.
  6. Experts says the new Microsoft IE patch is ‘too cumbersome,’ and users should temporarily switch browsers. Reuters reports that while Microsoft says it has created a patch for an Internet Explorer security hole discovered late last week leaving hundreds of millions of PCs vulnerable to attack by hackers, some security experts say the patch is still too “cumbersome.” The German government urged the public on Tuesday to temporarily stop using Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer following discovery of a yet-to-be repaired bug in the Web browser that the software maker said makes PCs vulnerable hacker attacks.
  7. Frustrated by congressional failure to pass a cybersecurity bill, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.), the Senate Commerce Committee chairman, is sending letters to the chief executives of every Fortune 500 company, asking them to describe their company’s handling of computer security. The Wall Street Journal reports companies won’t be required legally to respond to the letters, but it shows how lawmakers continue to press companies to step up cybersecurity measures, the WSJ reports. “The cyber threats we face are real and immediate, and Congress’s failure to pass legislation this year leaves the country increasingly vulnerable to a catastrophic cyber attack,” Rockefeller writes.

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Despite the obligatory acknowledgment of innovation’s central role in U.S. economic growth, the 2012 campaign has not yet seen a serious conversation emerge regarding the policies sorely needed to revitalize U.S. innovation-based economic competitiveness. Center for Democracy and Technology has outlined the top tech hurdles facing the next president.
  • And… of course, in case you missed this: The U.S. Naval Academy’s 22nd Company has its own, unique take on Korean rapper Psy’s viral hit, “Gangnam Style.”

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