Friday, March 22, 2019
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending March 22, 2019

Michael J. Keegan

IT spend is flat in White House budget. The White House proposes a very slight dip in overall IT spend while pressing on modernization priorities and workforce development. 

With looming budget cuts, DHS S&T looks to CISA. With possible cuts on the horizon, S&Tis increasingly looking to the newly formed Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency for synergies, top agency officials said. CISA and S&T have been melding their public-facing outreach in the last few months, teaming up for a booth on the exhibit floor at the high-profile RSA conference in San Francisco at the beginning of March.

White House seeks $50 million to push OPM-GSA merger.The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a plan to merge the Office of Personnel Management with General Services Administration and the Executive Office of the President and is exploring what can be done without congressional approval. Margaret Weichert, the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, said the administration is currently "finalizing some of the legal authorities" to carry out what can be done without Congress.

OMB sets goals for category management. The White House is tasking federal agencies with deliverables and reporting requirements to institutionalize category management practices across the government. Category management, implemented widely by the General Services Administration during the Obama administration, sets best in class contracts and other procurement practices designed to leverage the federal government's massive purchasing power. The goal is to obtain widely used goods and services at better prices and more efficiently. In a March 20 guidance memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies, Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, wants agencies to show progress under the category management regimen. 

Tech officials huddle to implement new data laws. As the President's Management Agenda turns a year old, federal agency IT leaders are considering how data legislation passed just after the partial federal shutdown will impact their modernization efforts under the PMA.

"We saw a flurry of legislation passed at the end of the last Congress that that are relevant to our community," said Margie Graves, federal deputy CIO at the Office of Management and Budget. In remarks at an FCW IT modernization event March 21, Graves said she planned a "listening session" at the General Services Administration on the new laws that afternoon.

How to Improve Team Effectiveness. Simon Mac Rory’s new book, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: The Imperative of Teams, takes us on a journey to deliver improved team effectiveness. Simon to share more about his perspectives of teams in the workplace

John Kamensky

What Do You Do?  NextGovreports:“Congress has imbued the Defense Department’s chief management officer with significant powers, putting the position third in line to the secretary of defense. But the position has not been effectively using its authorities, according tothe Government Accountability Office.”

Civil Service Reform.Federal News Networkreportsthat the President’s: “. . .  2020 budget request, which the White House released with more detail Monday morning, is packed full of recommendationsdesigned to modernize the decades-old civil service system and acknowledge the nature of changing work.”

FY2020 Budget Highlights. Government Executiveprovides budget snapshots, including:“The proposed reorganization of OPM, the budget notes, supports six of the administration’s 14 cross-agency priority goals tracked on Performance.gov,including building the workforce of the 21st century, information technology modernization, improving customer experience, sharing services, shifting form low-value to high-value work and realigning security clearances.”

NYC Data Analytics.  Governing reports:“. . . the New York City Council approved legislationguaranteeing the continued support of the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics (MODA). . . . By amending the city charter to make MODA a permanent part of its government, "we will ensure that the effective, responsible use of data remains a fundamental part of how New York City operates," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

Government-to-University Partnership LaunchedFederal News Network reports:“The state of the current talent pipeline from colleges and universities is what’s prompting the Volcker Alliance, in partnership with the Office of Personnel Management and Office of Management and Budget, to launch a network of “government-to-university”regional councils across the country. . . . Each council will serve as a “marketplace”to bring together federal, state and local government agencies and colleges and universities. The goal is to build a stronger talent pipeline from academia into government careers —and set a shared research agenda between the two entities.”

Expanding Centers of Excellence.  FedScoop reports: “The General Services Administration hopes to bring its IT Centers of Excellence model to three more agencies by the end of the year, with the next announced as soon as April. . . . Anil Cheriyan, head of GSA’s Technology Transformation Service, alluded to the expansion Wednesday as part of the work the agency has undertaken to build and sustain momentum around the goals of the President’s Management Agenda.”

PMA Turns One.Terry Gerton and Alan Balutius co-authored an op-ed in Government Executive:“Working with government agencies at every level across the country, the National Academy of Public Administration and its distinguished fellows have developed valuable insights and expertise in effective, innovative and transformational management strategies. The academy today released a collection of essays on the [President’s Management Agenda].

New OMB Category Management Guidance.  OMB issued new guidanceto agencies, requiring five specific actions on their part, including developing annual plans on spending.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour - Visions of Government in 2040: What will government be in 2040? How will it operate? The IBM Center for The Business of Government convened a panel discussion envisioning government operations 20 years into the future. Join host Michael Keegan for a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour as he explores the vision of government in 2040 and beyond.

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