The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Monday the 6th of August, 2012
- Senior executives and political appointees get a temporary reprieve from the STOCK Act. Federal News Radio says Congress has delayed by a month parts of the new law aimed at preventing high level federal officials from using official knowledge for stock trading. The House and Senate both agreed to the halt just as the American Civil Liberties Union prepared a lawsuit. Plaintiffs included the Senior Executives Association. The law requires posting of executives’ financial information to a public web site.
- After the Senate’s cybersecurity bill failed to pass in the House the president is considering issuing an executive order to strengthen cybersecurity. The Hill Newspaper says the White House has emphasized that better protecting vital computer systems is a top priority. And the president urged Congress to pass the Cybersecurity Act, which was offered by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). The bill would have encouraged private companies and the government to share information about cyber threats and would have required critical infrastructure operators to meet minimum cybersecurity standards.
- Cass Sunstein — the president’s adviser on regulations is leaving the White House. The Washington Post says Sunstein, the director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is headed back to Harvard Law School. The New York Times reports Sunstein personally edited most of the rules proposed by agencies, since joining the Obama administration in 2009. He rewrote 80 percent of the EPA’s proposed rules. The Office of Management and Budget’s General Counsel Boris Bershteyn will become the acting OIRA director.
- Former members of the armed forces trying to register their businesses under a new certification system have met mountains of red tape, legislators and veterans activists said. The antifraud system was instituted by the Department of Veterans Affairs back in 2010. Bloomberg news reports one veteran had to deal with automated messages telling him to wait long periods—in one case 4,116 minutes—on the phone as he tried to clear up an issue regarding his construction company’s eligibility to bid on contracts for disabled vets. The law, which followed reports of fraud in the program, requires the agency to do more to ensure small businesses receiving the bidding preference are in control of their companies and manage the day to day operations.
- TSP funds had an OK July. All the TSP funds showed gains in July except for the S-Fund, which dropped by about six-tenths of one percent. For the first seven months of the year, all TSP funds are up… and for the past 12-months, only the International fund is struggling — you may have heard of all those issues in Europe. Well, the I-fund is off by more than 11 percent over the past 12-months
- The government’s employment website USAJobs.gov has passed its first independent cybersecurity test. Federal News Radio says this was the first test for USAJobs.gov since the Office of Personnel Management transferred the system to an internal data center. OPM assumed control of the federal jobs portal from Monster Government Solutions in October 2011, after two security breaches in 17 months compromised job-seeker information housed in the system.
- And on GovLoop, if you have Olympic fever like I do then you need to check out a post by GovLoop’s Pat Fiorenza. Pat asks what management lessons we can learn from the 8 disqualified badminton players. If you haven’t been glued to the TV, the 8 players tried to throw a match in order to get a more favorable pairing in the next round. So what can this tactic teach us? Find out by checking out our homepage.
On today’s program
- Telework — many organizations talk about it. One has done it — and in a big way. It’s the Patent and Trademark Office. And an amazing statistic for you — more than 8,000 people at PTO are eligible to telework. Of those, more than 80 percent of them actually do it. We’re going to talk to the person who has made that happen, Danette Campbell. Those statistics — and others — have earned her a place as a finalist for the Service to America medals — the SAMMIES. We’ll talk to her about telework… and what may come AFTER telework.
- And speaking of telework… and telecom… You may have heard of the Nextworx contract. This is GSA’s big telecommunications contract. In In fiscal year 2007 alone, federal agencies spent approximately $960 million on services acquired through the contracts under GSA’s telecommunications program. The transition has been arduous. Federal Computer Week has looked at the process — and we’ll find out what has worked… and what hasn’t.