Weekly Round Up
Friday, April 6, 2018
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of April 2-6, 2018.

John Kamensky

The Federal Workforce of the Future.  The Partnership for Public Service has released a new report that provides: “a snapshot of what the government looks like now and recommendations on how agencies can prepare for the future.”

Fixing the Civil Service System. Federal News Radio reports: “In his welcome message to the Office of Personnel Management and all federal employees, Jeff Pon, the OPM director, said it’s time to stop trying to fix the civil service in an ad-hoc manner. . . . “We’d like to do a lot of different changes, not at the piecemeal level, but as a whole,” Pon said in the video message posted March 30. “We will come up with different types of personnel systems for occupations.”

Status of Agency Deputies.  Bloomberg Government reports: “A push is underway to fill holes remaining in President Donald Trump’s lineup of deputy department heads—the managers who oversee the day-to-day work of the federal government’s 2 million civilian employees.”

Micro Services. FedScoop reports: “Officials looking for a way to begin the lift of transforming their IT infrastructures could start by applying microservices to their underlying systems, said Jose Arrieta, Department of Health and Human Services deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and senior procurement executive. . . . Microservices are software solutions structured in modular formats that are meant to agilely provide services across existing platforms.”

USAF Wages War on Bureaucracy. Federal News Radio reports: “After taking office in May, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson ordered a two year review of the instructions and policies to reduce the rules and outdated procedures airmen must follow. Wilson said the Air Force rescinded at least 100 instructions since the initial announcement last August. . . . “We are prioritizing the ones that are outdated and actually track them every month,” Wilson said during a March 30 Air Force Association event in Washington.”

Blockchained Mobile Phones. FedScoop reports: “Five months of testing are over and the results are in — the Treasury Department’s Fiscal Service is here to tell you that blockchain can enable “much better” physical asset management. . . . In September 2017, the Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation kicked off a proof of concept project aimed at discovering if blockchain can improve the oversight and management of physical assets like computers and cellphones at the department.”

Another Customer Service Bill. Government Executive reports: “In an effort to improve the government’s dismal customer experience, Reps. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga. and Gerry Connolly, D-Va., introduced legislation that would create customer service standards federal agencies would need to meet.  . . . The Government Customer Service Accountability and Improvement Act follows other customer-focused legislative efforts from Congress, including the Customer Experience Act, which awaits a House vote, and the Connected Government Act, which passed last year.”

Treasury’s DATA Lab. NextGov reports: “The Data Transparency Office went beyond the DATA Act mandate to build visualizations showing where agencies’ $500 billion in contract spending goes each year. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service on Thursday unveiled the new Data Lab, part of the relaunch of USAspending.gov, a key part of the government’s congressionally mandated transparency efforts.


Michael Keegan

Defense Department names new CIO. Former JP Morgan CIO Dana Deasy will soon take on same role at the Department of Defense. “In his position, [Deasy] will be responsible for how we manage and use information, communications and cybersecurity, ”DOD spokesperson Dana White told reporters in a  news briefing April 5. Deasy’s is the latest Trump administration appointment to move current or former industry executives into leadership positions at DOD. He retired from his corporate post in September 2017 after overseeing a $9.5 billion technology budget and pushing JP Morgan’s migration to the public cloud.

How will the CLOUD Act work? The U.S. recently updated how it handles federal law enforcement data requests for foreign info stored by U.S. companies, but the full impact remains unclear.

Bureau of Fiscal Service aims to bring more transparency to contracts, grants spending.

The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service is launching a series of new data analysis tools to let citizens, businesses, the media and maybe most importantly, so-called “data geeks ”have access to a treasure trove of contracts, grants and other spending information like never before. “We have a new initiative called data lab where we are posting analytics and visualization to help inspire researchers, data scientists and members of the public to understand what this data is and to think of own use cases for it,” said Justin Marsico, a senior policy analyst with the Bureau of Fiscal Service in an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio.

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Next Guest on The Business of Government Radio Show: Loretta Early, Chief Information Officer, at the George Washington University. The university, higher education and technology are experiencing an unprecedented time of change and opportunity. Join host Michael Keegan next week for a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour - Exploring IT in Higher Education with Loretta Early, Chief Information Officer, at the George Washington University.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. 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.

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