Using Data to Improve Citizen Services – Plus the 7 Gov Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • We depend on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect our health by providing information and regulation for drugs and medical devices. But sometimes when times get tough, the FDA needs to depend on someone as well. Marcia Crosse, Director at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for the Healthcare team, is that pillar. She believes that the role of the government is to provide responsible production and oversight of our medicine.

You can find all of our programs online: and GovLoop Insights at

But up front: Using data to improve citizen services

Applying Moneyball techniques to customer and citizen services — that is, essentially, our topic for GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER LIVE on Wednesday, July 16 at 2p ET.

Of course, today there is so much data available. But what data do you look at? And how do you use it effectively?

We have a great panel to discuss these issues:

Among the topics we will discuss:

  • How do you use data to improve citizen services?

  • Is all data created equal — or are some data better and more important than others?

  • What tools are out there to help?

  • Lessons learned about using data

What are some of your challenges? We will include as many as we can.

Looking forward to it. I hope you will join us.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Government Executive: Air Force to Offer Separation Incentives to Thousands of Civilians- “The Air Force will soon begin offering incentives to reduce its workforce by nearly 3,500 employees, the service announced Monday. As part of a Defense Department-wide effort to reduce the number of employees at headquarters offices by 20 percent, the Air Force will offer early retirements and buyouts to civilian employees. The Air Force will resort to involuntary reductions in force if the voluntary programs do not entice a sufficient number of workers to separate. Employees in the Washington, D.C., area would be the first to receive layoffs, according to an Air Force spokeswoman.”

  2. Military Times: VA cites progress on backlog; Congress disagrees- “The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has made “tremendous progress” in reducing a disability claims backlog that reached above 600,000 early last year. Members of Congress and the department’s assistant inspector general don’t believe it. Allison Hickey, the VA’s undersecretary for benefits, told Congress that at the insistence of officials from President Barack Obama on down, the benefits backlog has been whittled down to about 275,000 — a 55 percent decrease from the peak.”

  3. FCW: Panel recommends NIST declare independence from NSA- “Memos leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the intelligence agency was behind efforts to create and preserve a backdoor in an encryption algorithm promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.”

  4. Nextgov: FBI Explores Commercial Cloud Capabilities- “The FBI is pondering a move to online storage of criminal records, fingerprints and other biometric data, partly to expedite rap sheet searches, according to bureau contracting officers and consultants. The relocation of criminal justice data would not be without challenges, but could ultimately lower costs and leave crooks with less room to hide.”

  5. Army Times: Prosthetics for the brain could restore memory after TBI- “The Pentagon’s research arm is exploring the development of brain implants that might one day reverse memory loss caused by traumatic brain injuries, the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”

  6. Government Executive: Buyout Watch: Air Force and TSA Join the List- “After a brief lull, more federal agencies are starting to offer buyouts or early retirements again as a means of cutting costs. Activity is likely to pick up even more as the temporary reprieve from sequestration draws to a close.”

  7. Federal News Radio: GAO: Pentagon needs to connect dots between workforce planning, budget needs- “The Defense Department is getting smarter about workforce planning — making sure it has the right people with the right skills in the right positions. But DoD’s five-year strategic workforce plan, released last fall, is short on details in a few key areas, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too…

  • Delaware Considers Fate of Personal Digital Assets [Government Technology] Legislation gives executors legal rights to manage online accounts as a part of a deceased person’s estate

  • Here’s How to Know What Edits Governments Are Making on Wikipedia [Slate] The more transparent a government can be, the better, but sometimes it’s hard to even think of all the things you would want to know about what those in charge are doing. A group of new Twitter accounts is looking to shed light on a niche but surprisingly meaningful government action: Wikipedia edits. Parliament WikiEdits (@parliamentedits) is a tweetbot that started last week to anonymously tweet out any Wikipedia edits made from U.K. Parliament IP addresses. And the developer, Tom Scott—who is also a co-creator of the emoji-only social network Emojli—made the bot’s code open-source so others could set up similar accounts.

  • A new industry of ‘post-password’ products is making inroads to lock out cybercriminals [The Wall Street Journal] Beyond Passwords, Behavior Looms A New Industry of ‘Post-Password’ Products Is Making Inroads to Lock Out Cybercriminals: As new advances in password security struggle to keep pace with cybercriminals trying to crack them, a new industry of “post-password” products is making inroads. Its promise is to add a layer of security to the traditional username-password combination, or replace it completely. It is sorely needed. Cybercrime is rampant and even the smartest passwords can be vulnerable to attack. A string of high-profile cyber breaches into the data servers of retailers such as Target , eBay and others show that vendors who store user passwords can also be exposed.

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