On today’s program
- Times are changing — and that is true for chief human capital officers. What are the challenges ahead? Click here for the full recap.
- And everybody has been there — where you feel like nothing is going right. How can you take your organization from so-so to WOW!? We’ll talk to the author of the book “Team Turnarounds.” Click here for the full recap.
- And in the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… What impact will IT investments by the Chinese government have on you? And a look at the Internet from back in 1995.
It is election season — and there is a real debate about the size of government going on. But The Washington Post reports that the debate about the size and scope of government has put feds in middle as there is a battle over the value of their work and how much they are paid.
A program note: This will be our Friday issue of the week and we’ll get analysis from the Washington Post right here on GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER.
We’re often talking about deficits and cutting the pay of government workers. Get this — a pay increase for government workers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia finished the fiscal year with a nearly $450 million surplus — allowing Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to announce that state workers their first pay increase in five years. The surplus is a result of higher-than-projected revenues and agency savings, the Governor said.
- The Washington area has survived the recession fairly well, but that could change if the across-the-board spending cuts happen in January, that could change. That according to new analysis by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. The Washington region could lose 65,000 federal jobs and 96,000 federal contractor positions in the short term. WTOP reports that the region would be significantly impacted, mainly because of the federal payroll and procurement dollars the area receives from the federal government.
- Qualified applicants for jobs with federal contractors are actually walking away from those jobs. Why? According to a new report by CleananceJobs.com, it is because of the amount of time it takes to get a security clearances. The Washington Business Journal reports hiring managers and recruiters have lost highly qualified applicants who withdrew from consideration because of the extended wait. Most businesses are opting to hire people who already have clearances to avoid the hassle of putting them through the process. Of those surveyed, 17 percent said they only recruit people with current, active security clearances and 56 percent said the majority of professionals recruited have the active clearances in hand.
- Defaults on municipal bonds for decades have been far higher than reported by rating agencies, bringing into question the true risk of a common investment widely considered to be safe. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says economists at the agency counted 2,521 muni bond defaults since 1970, whereas ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service, for instance, reported 71. Muni bonds often act as an investment haven for ordinary Americans, and the new findings reveal they may be more risky than previously thought.
- NASA has chosen a project to test “green” rocket fuel. Ball Aerospace & Technologies will lead a team demonstrating a non-toxic propellant. The fuel is cheaper and safer. If all goes well, it could replace hydrazine currently used on spacecraft. Ball Aerospace will receive $45 million for the test. NASA has slated the mission to happen about three years from now.
- Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs has married old with new to save cash and go green. The department has installed a new Environmental Management System at its 94-year-old central office. The system can monitor electricity and water usage among other things. VA said it would collect 3,000 data points every 10 seconds. That information will help the department find usage patterns and save up to $3.5 million. VA said the system might also work for other agencies.
- Experienced federal employees who want to take a phased retirement will have to get buy-in from their supervisors. Federal News Radio says that provision is among the rules issued by the Office of Personnel Management. In a memo detailing how phased retirement works, OPM said both CSRS and FERS employees must be 55-years old with 30 years of service, or 60-years old with 20 years of service. Under phased retirement, employees can work part time without spoiling their annuity. But they agree to mentor and train younger employees.
- And on GovLoop, agencies are under pressure to do more with less — reduce the costs and increase the efficiency of their data centers. How do you do that? GovLoop is hosting a Webinar focusing on that issue at 2p next Thursday.
A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
- Maybe my favorite story of the day: Ron Paul Backer Owns RomneyRyan.com – and is willing to sell it. Roll Call reports, “the man behind the site, which highlights the controversy around presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s tax returns, is an enterprising young supporter of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Peter Crowley of Queens, N.Y., said in an email that he bought RomneyRyan.com along with dozens of other variants of potential Republican presidential tickets in 2010. Registration logs show RomneyRyan.com was created in February 2010. Crowley seems most interested in generating a financial return on his investment, welcoming bids from both ends of the political spectrum. He said he plans to start the bidding for the domain name at $5,000.”
- Healthy growth in information technology (IT) spending in China will stimulate adoption of technologies including desktop and server virtualization, software as a service (SaaS) and media tablets, according to the new “2012 Hype Cycle for ICT in China” report from Gartner, Inc. According to Gartner, IT spending by Chinese end users (organisations and consumers) grew by nearly 14 percent in 2011, compared with just over five percent in the U.S. Gartner expects spending by IT end users in China to grow from US$277 billion in 2011 to US$312 billion in 2012, an increase of 12.6 percent, presenting substantial opportunities to technology and service providers.
- Kids In 1995 Predict The Internet – back in 1995 PSA
This Public Service Announcement (PSA) was produced in 1995 by the 5th grade students at Ray Bjork school in Helena Montana. The production equipment was made available by the Myrna Loy Center. Cindy Gaffney mentored the students in all phases of production and she also wrote the script. All the Internet possibilities mentioned in the script are today a reality. The production won a local ADDY Award in 1996 for Best PSA.