Friday, November 16, 2018
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending November 16, 2018

Michael J. Keegan

How Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation. Though we live in an ever-connected, always-on world, we somehow seem less connected to actual, real people than ever before. Is it possible that the very technology that connects us is contributing to a sense of loneliness and isolation? In Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation, Dan Schawbel answers that question.

GSA job swap. Two of the top managers at the Federal Acquisition Service are switching jobs, and there are ramifications for the $50 billion EIS contract.

Are we at an inflection point for IT modernization? Former DHS CIO Richard Spires sees real momentum and top-level focus, but says the challenge now is to translate that into agency-specific action.

GAO: Four big agencies still lag on FITARA. The congressional watchdog warns that CIOs still lack visibility into IT spending four years after the passage of landmark procurement legislation.

Lawmakers balk at $350M addition to VA's health record deal. The $16 billion, 10-year electronic heath record software upgrade at the Department of Veterans Affairs is barely past the starting gate, but lawmakers are already worried about management and budgeting missteps that could put the project over budget and behind schedule.

John Kamensky

Jobs of the Future. Government Executive reports: ‘as job titles get more and more nebulous (what is it that project managers do anyway?) a new report from the World Economic Forum suggests that we ought to also look at skills. . . . Skills are actionable. They can guide workers toward understanding their unique value, where they are deficient, and what they want to learn. Especially as more of the workforce shifts toward freelancers, it will be skills—not job titles—that will help workers differentiate themselves.”

Are You Really You? Fifth Domain reports: “The NIST digital identity guidelines help to ensure that an employee or contractor "is who they claim to be,” but these rules lack widespread adoption inside the federal government, according to a new report from software company One Identity. . . .The survey found 41 percent of government agencies have met the federal guidelines for identity and access management.”

Staggering Numbers. Government Executive reports: “Is the backlog in security clearance background investigations finally getting better? The 2018 third quarter progress report released by the White House notes the National Background Investigations Bureau is on track to reduce the number of pending investigations to a steady state by 2021.”

Vacancy Announcement: Pentagon Chief Management Officer. NextGov reports: “Pentagon Chief Management Officer John “Jay” Gibson announced his resignation Friday after less than nine months on the job as the Defense Department’s third-ranking official. . . Gibson’s final day will be Nov. 30, after which his deputy, Lisa Hershman, will serve as acting CMO until a replacement can be confirmed by the Senate.”

GAO on CIO. A new report by the Government Accountability Office reviews the implementation of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act and concludes: “none of the four departments had yet established procedures for ensuring that the CIO had reviewed whether the IT portfolio includes appropriate estimates of all IT resources included in the budget request.”

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce. How is Maryland attracting and retaining businesses in all regions of the state? What industries are growing in Maryland? How does the Maryland Department of Commerce promote the state and enhance its economic prosperity? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce. That's next week on The Business of Government Hour. 

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