The Pay Debate is back – do you make more or less? Plus your Debate Prep Guide

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Iran’s recent state-sponsored denial of service attacks on US Banks are just the latest cybersecurity threats making the news. So what’s new? What the Defense Department’s role? And how do you get ahead of the innovative hactivisits? Insights from the director of security strategies at Imperva – Rob Rachwald. Click here for the full recap.
  • Many agencies have been prepping for the “retirement wave” hitting the Federal Government, including the Office of Personnel Management with new reforms to the Pathways Program. In addition to recruiting a talented workforce, however, agencies face the additional challenge of retaining young employees. Click here for the full recap.

Tonight is the third and final presidential debate.

After tonight, it is 14-day sprint to the finish line.

As with the previous debates, we will be live tweeting the event using the hashtag #DebateGov. We’ll be watching for government focused questions or comments… And we’d love to hear your thoughts as the debate goes on.

As always, we remind feds about the Hatch Act.

Some pre-debate reading:

NPR: The Foreign Policy Debate: What To Expect

The Washington Post: Presidential debate: 7 foreign policy questions that should be asked … and probably won’t

The New York Times’ David Sanger:A primer on major foreign policy issues: Libya, Iran, cyberspace, Afghanistan, and China

@ForeignPolicy: The Foreign Policy Superbowl: Questions experts would ask

@washingtonpost: #Debategov prep: Six essential reads on foreign policy

Politico: Presidential debate: 5 things to watch Monday

Another look at Argo

I mentioned that I’m a big fan of the movie Argo: Dorobek’s “review” of Argo

The Washington Post has a great piece: What then-U.S. national security adviser for Iran says about ‘Argo’

And from Al-Monitor:Iran Hostage Crisis Insider Reviews Hollywood Thriller ‘Argo’

Finally,Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency(ICE) said will end its contract with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion in favor of Apple’s iPhone

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Federal Salary Council used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to say federal employees earn 34 percent less than their private sector counterparts. The council said that was up 8 percentage points compared to last year. But, the Washington Post reports pay gaps seem to depend on whose data you use and who is doing the figuring. A Congressional Budget Office study in January found federal employees make slightly more than their private sector counterparts. The Federal Salary Council makes recommendations to the President’s Pay Agent. In 2010, President Obama froze federal salaries for two years
  2. The role of the CIO is changing. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports, OMB is preparing to mandate changes to how agencies designate both the title and the role of their chief information officer. He said CIOs need “to have the authority, the seat at the table in the Investment Review Board and then reach down and look at that. We are looking at starting to institutionalize that. This office put out a memo about a year ago — the first one that was issued by me on this topic — and we’ve been really working hard to drive that behavior.”
  3. Does your agency website rank among the best? FedScoop says the General Services Administration released a report from web analytics firm comScore on the usage of federal websites. The top five government sites, based on comScore’s metrics, are,,, and was named top interactive site, while and were named top research sites, and was named top directional site.
  4. Michigan Budget DirectorJohn Nixon was honored by Governing magazine for rebalancing the state budget while making strategic technology investments designed to make the state government more efficient and effective. Government Technology says Nixon was named Public Official of the Year.
  5. A new report on the “State of the Congressional Workplace” shows a significant increase in discrimination and other complaints in the legislative branch. The Washington Post says the report, issued last week by the congressional Office of Compliance, attempts to resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment and other violations of workers’ rights. The document, which is the agency’s report for fiscal 2011, says 196 claims were filed that year, compared with 168 the year before. Of that 196, more than half, 101, were complaints about discrimination or harassment based on race or color. “Sex/gender/pregnancy” was the next highest category, followed by disability.
  6. The Transportation Security Administration is firing 25 employees at Newark Liberty International Airport and suspending 19 others. The agency said the employees were not screening checked luggage properly. Federal News Radio says the job actions result from surveillance videos showing employees failing to look inside luggage that had been tagged for inspection. Eight employees were fired in June on the same grounds. The Newark moves make it the largest disciplinary action taken by TSA at a U.S. airport. The American Federation of Government Employees, which recently began representing TSA screeners, is likely to appeal.
  7. And on GovLoop, have you seen our new Path to PMF guide. The interactive website and guide designed to support prospective PMF applicants. Through 100% free online and downloadable resources (no, there is no catch!), the site pulls together insights from more than 60 current and former PMFs, 10 career advisors and agency program coordinators with blogs, videos and discussion forums that help prospective PMF applicants gain information and assistance to navigate every stage of the prestigious PMF application process. Check it out.

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Delaware’s first state Chief Information Officer – Thomas Jarrett has died. Government Tech News says Jarrett, Appointed Delaware CIO in 2001 by then-Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, was tasked with creating the state’s Department of Technology and Information. He spent more than seven years as state CIO and was named one of Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in 2005.
  • Italian scientists could be heading to jail for failing to predict a quake. CBSThisMorning reports, a verdict is expected Monday in Italy in a closely watched trial that has unfolded over the last year. The prosecution is seeking to hold a group of Italian scientists accountable for not adequately warning residents about an earthquake in the town of L’Aquila. The seven scientists involved stand charged with manslaughter for failing to predict the quake and alerting residents to evacuate their homes. If convicted, each scientist could face up to four years in prison.
  • Demand is high for online tools to skirt around internet censorship. The Washington Posts reports, U.S.-funded programs to beat back online censorship are increasingly finding a ready audience in repressive countries, with more than 1 million people a day using online tools to get past extensive blocking programs and government surveillance.

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