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Top 5 Government Stories of 2011

Lots of events happen this year in government, from fears of government shutting down to federal hiring reform. I took a look back at 2011 for the biggest stories in government this year. Many of this events will carry on into 2012 and some have potential to shape the events of 2012.

Budgets will grow increasingly tighter and the public sector will continue to be strapped for cash – but there is a lot of room for innovation and changes that can improve government, providing better services to citizens.

Here is the list of the top stories in government for 2012.

Shutdown Threats

Shutdown threats loomed throughout 2011 and will likely be a story that unfortunately will flow into 2012. With increasingly tight budgets and a very partisan congress, finding consensus on spending cuts and trimming the deficit will continue to be a story in 2012. The state level was also hit especially hard by tight budgets. We saw a government shutdown actually occur in Minnesota.

GovLoop had a lot of conversations surrounding the shutdown, providing the need to know information for government employees. We’ll keep on providing you the right information, but hopefully we can steer clear of any shutdowns.

List of Government Shut-Down Activities
Pre-Shutdown To-Do Lists
Shut-Down News: Latest and What Have You Heard?

New Federal CIO Named

A big story in federal IT this year was that Steve VanRoekel was named the Federal CIO. VanRoekel laid out numerous initiatives as he takes over his position. Heading into 2012 VanRoekel wants to Do More with Less, Maximize ROI on IT Investments, Close the Productivity Gap, Improve Citizen and Business Interaction with Government, Enhance Cyber Security and change the way government invests in IT.

The GovLoop community had a lot of suggestions for VanRoekel, you can read through the threads down below. Ultimately, our community recommends that VanRoekel streamline processes and directives, focus on true risk-based security, provide technology that is as good as what you have at home and culture changes through IT initiatives. All great ideas as head into 2012.

White House Announces Steven VanRoekel as Next U.S. Federal CIO

Federal CIO VanRoekel Asks: How Do We Put Our Best “Future First” Foot Forward?

What Should be #1 Focus of New Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel)?

Osama Bin Laden

This was one of the biggest news story in 2011. I want to again thank our intelligence officers and troops for all their work. Osama’s death is a relief and glad that he’s no longer with us, but there was some debate regarding how much America should brag and gloat about it. Take a look at the discussion thread here on GovLoop:

Osama Bin Laden Dead…Thoughts?

USAJOBS 3.0 & Pathways Program Announced

In August, OPM released the proposed regulations for the Pathways Program. The legislation hopes to “offer students and recent graduates more uniform and transparent pathways to public service” and “improve recruiting and provide for training, mentoring, and career development opportunities.”

OPM also went after improving federal hiring practices by doing a significant site redesign of USAJOBS. GovLoop helped facilitate a discussion on ways to improve USAJOBS by hosting a forum and sending some feedback over to OPM to help with future site iterations. Keep on the lookout for 2012 and more improvements to USAJOBS.

Understanding the New Pathways Program [Awesome Infographic]
What Do You Think of OPM Pathways Program
NASPAA Analysis of the Pathways Programs Proposed Regulations
PMF Guide: Managing the Application Process
USAJOBS 3.0: What Do You Think?

Move to the Cloud

This year we saw many local governments make the transition to the cloud, in an effort to save costs and increase productivity. Privacy and security risks continue to be challenges related to the cloud, but I am excited to see how 2012 unfolds and if we can push through some of the challenges.

Cloud Computing: Coming to State and Local Governments
Cloud Power is Here for State and Local Governments

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