On today’s program for Wednesday May 2nd 2012
- How would you rate leadership in your organization? A new assessment from the Partnership for Public Service shows -- not great. We’ll find out why and what can be done.
- Doing more with less -- that is the mantra these days. What does it mean for federal CIOs? An early look at the findings from TechAmerica’s 22nd annual Federal CIO survey.
- The government is trying to reach out and work with more small business contractors -- how is that going? What should agency leaders be looking for?
There has been much discussion about government conference -- and what impact the GSA 2010 Western Regions Conference will have on conferences over all. Jered Serbu of Federal News Radio notes that the Defense Department has called off its annual procurement conference scheduled for later this month. On the DOD Web site announcing the change, officials say that the event will be rescheduled for later this year. And, using good passive voice, they say, “More time was needed to ensure that the training courses to be provided at the conference were aligned with the Department's Better Buying Power Initiatives.”
With all the bad press public servants have seen in recent weeks, it’s good to see people making a difference... and saving the government money. The nation’s highest civil service awards -- the Presidential Ranks of Distinguished Executive and Distinguished Professional -- were announced last week at the Senior Executive Association’s 27th annual awards banquet. The Senior Executive Association notes that the 2011 award winners’ nominations show that they saved the federal government more than $36 billion.
- Lawmakers are asking for more time to pass a final bill to restructure the postal service. And they’re asking to delay the first round of post office closures to make it happen. The Postal Service has put more than 3,000 post offices on the chopping block, but it has agreed not to close any of them until May 15. Backers of a bill that just passed the Senate say they need more time than that to convince the House to go along with their plan. Congress.org says senators don’t want the Postal Service to try to get some closures “in under the wire” while the House deliberates.
- Three marines are accused of injuring a Brazilian stripper after a night out. The Daily Beast says the three Marines and a civilian staffer were assigned to the U.S. embassy. In an embassy van, the men drove to a nightclub called Apple, known for music, cocktails, and sex-for-hire. According to those familiar with the venue, it was not the first time U.S. government personnel had visited the club. The incident is the third sex scandal in a string of incidents involving the secret service in Colombia and El Salvador.
- Protests on the NetCents II contracts have the Air Force rethinking its awards decision. The Air Force has asked the Government Accountability Office to dismiss a group of bid protests over its Network-Centric Solutions-2 contract. Washington Technology says the Government Accountability Office has received protests from nine companies who failed to win spots on the $6.9 billion Network-Centric Solutions-2 contract. The program supports the Global Information Grid architecture, the Defense Information Infrastructure, the Air Force, and the Defense Communications Systems' info-structure for computer networks and telecommunications network mission areas.
- The Interior Department has selected Google Apps for Government for their cloud email and collaboration services. The move is part of a major efficiency initiative that will leverage modern technology to save up to $500 million in taxpayer dollars by 2020. We talked about that IT transformative initiative with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology, Information and Business Services -- Andrew Jackson. You can find the hour long conversation on our website dorobekinsider dot com.
- It was a mixed month for the federal retirement plan funds. For April, only three of the 10 Thrift Savings Plan funds showed gains, while the others showed negative returns for the month. F Fund, which is made of of U.S. bonds, had the strongest showing in April, up more than 1 percent. The G Fund, which never has a bad day, was up 0.15 percent; and the L Income Fund, the most conservative of the lifecycle funds, was almost unchanged, up 0.01 percent. All of the other funds were in negative numbers, with the I Fund, made up of international stocks, showing the biggest decrease of 1.87 percent. For the year to date, however, all the funds are showing significant returns -- many in double digits.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency has deployed a new tool to help the United Statesbecome a more "weather-ready nation." Federal News Radio says Rapid Refresh tests of the new tool has delivered more accurate predictions of fast-developing weather emergencies, like heavy rains that pummeled the Midwest last summer. It updates every hour with an forecast for the next 18 hours. NOAA says that's important for pilots, as well as weather forecasters.
- And over on Govloop, we’re talking about 3-D. And graphics aren't the only thing that come in three dimensions. When you think of Open Gov, what comes to mind? Transparency and accountability? Greater access to data? As if turns out, Open Gov isn't that easy to define, and everyone seems to have their own opinion on which dimension is most important. We want to know what you think. So head over to GovLoop to check it out.