Friday, December 14, 2018
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of December 10-14, 2018.

John Kamensky

Finding a Needle in Haystack. The Government Accountability Office released a new report that identifies 5 key practices for transparently reporting government data. It recommends several steps to better align with key practices and other requirements.

Starting Small. Federal News Network reports: “The General Services Administration presented vendors with its current thinking on how to implement the new e-commerce portals on Wednesday. The focus, officials said, is on getting the process right, not necessarily on moving quickly. . . . Because of that, GSA wants to start small [with] multiple commercially-operated portals online and available for government use in a pilot stage by late 2019.”

Re-skilling the Workforce. Federal News Network reports: “As agencies look outside the traditional classroom setting when it comes to reskilling their workforce, the National Science Foundation is looking to build a “market” for technology aimed at lowering the barriers for federal employees today to get the jobs of the future. . . . the Career Compass Challenge looks to reshape what constitutes training and reskilling in government.”

More Consensus Than One Might Think. Federal News Network reports: “The Senior Executives Association is no different, but it did alter its approach. It gathered some SEA members, along with representatives from a wide swath of good government groups and think-tanks across the ideological spectrum, to develop a series of ideas and starting points for the next iteration of civil service modernization. . . . The result is SEA’s “10 Considerations for Civil Service Modernization.”

Creating a Culture of Fairness. In an op-ed for Government Executive, Stuart Liff writes: “Organizations can take a number of actions to build a culture of fairness and trust.” He offers five specific actions leaders can take.

Employee Engagement Declines. The Partnership for Public Service reports its 2018 Best Places to Work rankings, details how nearly 60 percent of federal agencies experienced a decline in employee engagement: “These results represent a stark contrast to the previous three years when more than 70 percent of federal organizations experienced gains in how employees viewed their jobs and workplaces.” The Partnership says the largest declines were in agencies with no or poor leadership.

Two Formats for GEAR. Federal Times reports: “A White House research center proposed to bring together government, industry and academia to improve the work of the federal government will likely take one of two forms, according to officials who spoke at a Dec. 12 briefing. . . . a networked model that has priorities set by a federal government board and a centralized model that has priorities set by a cross-sector board.”

From Many into One. Federal Times reports: “Members of the private sector and industry-representing groups applauded the General Services Administration’s decision to consolidate the 24 multiple award schedules into a single acquisition vehicle, but cautioned that the agency would have to do much more than just consolidation to affect real change.”

Michael J. Keegan

Lawmakers irked by lagging CIO authorities. While applauding the best-ever progress made on the FITARA scorecard, oversight lawmakers are frustrated with slow progress in some aspects of IT modernization.

White House preps to change the way agencies go online. Federal CIO Suzette Kent is set to issue a draft of a new Trusted Internet Connection policy, to try to eliminate bottlenecks in online access and improve cybersecurity.

D.C.’s CTO Tackles Legacy Systems, Smart City Projects. The city has state-scale IT challenges, said Barney Krucoff.

GSA plans pilot on e-commerce platform by end of 2019. A recent request for information details some of how the General Services Administration's e-commerce platform will work and seeks comment from stakeholders.

Fun stories -- some involving tech -- from Sweden. Steve Kelman finds shifting influences, a domain-name dispute and some questionable marketing campaigns.

The Benefits of Leaders Asking Powerful Questions. Powerful questions will help you learn both about the person you’re speaking with and the subject you’re discussing. You can find out how the person thinks and what is important to them, based upon what they say and don’t say. The more you continue to ask powerful questions, the more you will accomplish both. This confirms George Bernard Shaw’s point: “The problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.”

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.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED.


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