Weekly Roundup: April 13 - 17, 2015
A Commitment to Be Nicer to Feds? Government Executive reports that “Lawmakers vowed to change their rhetoric to show their appreciation for the federal workforce during a congressional hearing on Thursday on low employee morale.” GAO: Employee Engagement Can Improve. At the same congressional hearing, GAO weighed in. Recent declines in employee engagement has been documented through annual governmentwide surveys. But a new GAO report identifies six practices that contribute to better engagement. New Guidance on Use of Social Media. What is the applicability of traditional standards of conduct in the on-line world? Can federal employees on their own time solicit funds for candidates? Job hunt? Use their official titles? The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Office of Government Ethics has issued a new guide on the appropriate use of social media by individual federal employees. Basically, the old rules still apply in the new world. Customer Satisfaction InfoGraphic. Government Executive highlights an interesting infographic that shows in five charts the decline in customer satisfaction with government services – but also shows the silver lining of where some agencies are doing well. IRS Customer Service Declared Poor. According to Federal News Radio, the Taxpayer Advocate, an independent official in the IRS, declares the 2015 tax season to be the “officially worst” season for taxpayer service in 14 years. The IRS commissioner had earlier warned the public this would be the case after Congress cut the IRS budget by more than $1 billion and 13,000 staff in recent years. Evidence-Based Policy Commission Bill Re-Introduced. The Social Innovation Research Center notes that Cong. Ryan and Sen. Murray have re-introduced legislation to “establish a bipartisan commission to make recommendations to Congress and the president on how best to expand the use of data to evaluate the effectiveness of federal programs and tax expenditures.” Regulating the “Sharing Economy”. An interesting op-ed by Kevin Desouza in Governing asks: “How will local governments adapt to these new ways of doing business that are disrupting traditional business models? All we know now is that governments are a long way from even contemplating and accepting this new reality.” * * * * * The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Leaders. What is the DOT’s information technology strategy? How is the DOT keeping pace with transformative IT advances? What is the DOT doing to advance its use of enterprise services and collaborative work options? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and so much more with Richard McKinney, Chief Information Officer at the US Department of Transportation. Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at businessofgovernment.org.