VA’s CHCO resigns in wake of conference scandal – DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Sick of going to one government bureaucracy for a service only to get passed along to another and yet another? Wonder why government doesn’t communicate across agencies to provide a centralized service to you? New Zealand came up with a solution. You’ll meet the man behind it. Click here for the full recap.
  • Can collaboration help you do your job better? A The Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment panel says yes. Hosted by Chris Dorobek the panelists outlined their perspectives on the use of new and innovative open government strategies for policy developments. Click here for the full recap.

You can find all of our programs and GovLoop Insights.

But Up Front:

It is debate week— the first of the Presidential debates takes place Wednesday night from Denver.

Among the topics that will be discussed: The role of government and the broad topic of “governing.”

Conservative commentator David Fromm has posted 10 Questions that he’d like to see President Obama asked at the debates.

We’d love to hear the questions you would like to ask the candidates.

Some of Chris Dorobek’s:

  • How will you set priorities for your administration?
  • How will you measure change, progress, performance and results?
  • Does openness and transparency into government matter? Why? How will this be demonstrated in your administration?
  • Government employees have been called everything from overpaid to overworked and underqualified. What is your view of the career government employee?

Does e-mail matter? Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano surprised many people Friday when she acknowledge that she doesn’t use e-mail. No — not at all.

Nice get by @shanewharris: Napolitano: I Don’t Use E-mail.

See the video for yourself:

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Monday the 1st of October, 2012

  1. John Sepulveda, the chief human capital officer at the Veterans Affairs Department, resigned Sunday — one day before the agency’s inspector general is to release a final report on two human resources conferences last year that cost the department $5 million.Federal News Radio reports, preliminary findings from the IG’s office revealed attendees of the Florida conferences may have received lavish gifts. Among the gifts were spa treatments and concert tickets. The House Veterans Affairs Committee also released a 15-minute training video parodying Gen. George Patton that cost $52,000 to produce for the conferences. Here is our interview on the scandal.
  2. Agencies could be liable for certain costs under sequestration. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports, agencies will be liable for many of the costs coming from the termination of contracts, including legal fees and employee compensation costs, if sequestration happens Jan. 2 and if vendors do not issue layoff notices this fall. The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance Friday detailing what types of costs vendors could charge back to agency customers under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
  3. A plan to close hundreds of postal facilities would not save as much as the U.S. Postal Service has projected. Government Executive says the Postal Regulatory Commission advised USPS to delay its Mail Processing and Network Rationalization initiative until it considers the report’s recommendations — including alternatives that would avoid cutting back services such as overnight mail. USPS has said the plan to close and consolidate 229 of 461 processing plants to match declining mail volumes would save approximately $1.6 billion. PRC estimated the plan’s savings could be as low as $46 million annually unless further measures were taken.
  4. One in eight federal employees observed or experienced workplace violence in the past two years, according to a new report from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Government Executive reports, the findings are part of MSPB’s 2010 Merit Principles Survey, which asked 71,910 full-time, permanent, nonpostal federal employees for their perceptions of their jobs, work environments and supervisors. The board received 42,020 responses — a 58 percent participation rate.
  5. The General Services Administration is proposing massive an overhaul of Southwest office buildings into a new Federal Triangle South. The Washington Post reports, five buildings near the National Mall in Southwest D.C. — some of them considered the most block-like and dull properties downtown — could be subject to a massive redevelopment plan. GSA issued a “Notice of Intent” to private sector developers interested in redeveloping a cluster of five buildings on 22 acres along Independence Avenue immediately south of the National Mall.
  6. ABC News reports, a convicted TSA security officer says he was part of a “culture” of indifference that allowed corrupt employees to prey on passengers’ luggage and personal belongings with impunity, thanks to lax oversight and tip-offs from TSA colleagues. Speaking publicly for the first time after being released from prison, Brown told ABC News his four-year-long crime spree came to an end only because he tried to sell a camera he stole from the luggage of a CNN producer on E-bay but forgot to remove all of the news networks’ identifying stickers.
  7. And on GovLoop, we are celebrating Customer Service Week. We have compiled all of our Customer Service resources including our guide, data, and 22 ideas to help you improve your agency customer service. You can find all of our resources here.

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Government Technology reports cities and counties try Facebook for government: “Evidence suggests that the investment in Face has paid off. In Sommerville, Massachusetts, the Facebook page had 5,248 likes, which Denise Taylor, Somerville’s new media manager, believes has contributed to a 15 percent reduction in calls to the 311 center.
  • Today, the White House honored 13 local government officials for “creating a more open and innovative government through entrepreneurship.” The officials were named “Local Innovation Champions of Change” through a White House program that recognizes innovators in various sectors of the economy. Award recipients worked to build a better future for their citizens, create jobs in their community, and ensure more efficient and effective government by making information and public data more accessible, the White House said. For the full list of winners, click here.
  • The first presidential debate comes up on Wednesday. One of the topics: The role of government. Check out CPD’s preview.

And always online… you can get more information about the program — our e-mail newsletter, archives, discussions, resources and, of course, follow us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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