Weekly Roundup: December 15-19, 2014
Dan Chenok NIST releases metrics for assessing effectiveness of cloud by government. DOD cloud guidance gives more authority to services for buying, clarified cloud security requirements. Implications of recent cyber events for Federal agencies. John Kamensky Yes, Transformational Change Is Possible. Rajiv Shah is stepping down after five years as administrator of the US Agency for International Development. Amid bipartisan praise for his leadership efforts, Government Executive’s Tom Shoop reports: “Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S-C., described him as “a smart coalition builder who has brought a long overdue, transparent and business-like approach to USAID.” A New House Oversight Agenda. Matt Fuller, Roll Call, reports that the incoming chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), plans a different emphasis in the coming Congress. He is axing 60 percent of the existing staff, reshuffling subcommittee responsibilities, and adding a new subcommittee on IT. According to Fuller, Chaffetz also promises to have “a more collaborative approach with Democrats on the committee, though Chaffetz isn’t quite making any promises in that regard.” HHS to Be a DATA Act Pilot. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, passed in May, requires a pilot test of the standards to be set, before launching them governmentwide. Billy Mitchell, FedScoop, writes: “the Department of Health and Human Services is gearing up to lead a two-year pilot of the DATA Act to test how data standardization in a complex federal ecosystem works.” FITARA Passes, Takes Effect. Aaron Boyd, Federal Times, writes: “The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) has many components, all aimed at centralizing authority with the top department CIOs and increasing accountability over IT procurement and projects. Whether the bill helps or hinders IT programs will depend entirely on how it is implemented.” Millennials Leaving Federal Workforce. Lisa Rein, Washington Post, reports: “Six years after candidate Barack Obama vowed to make working for government “cool again,” federal hiring of young people is instead tailing off and many millennials are heading for the door. . . The share of the federal workforce under the age of 30 dropped to 7 percent this year, the lowest figure in nearly a decade, government figures show.” A Guide for Blending & Braiding Federal and Other Funding. The Association for Government Accountants has published a guide for intergovernmental policy makers at the state and local levels. According to AGA: “The Guide explains how funds from a variety of sources can serve the public in a comprehensive, coordinated and efficient manner.” IRS Budget Cuts Will Affect Service. According to Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press, “Budget cuts at the IRS could delay tax refunds, reduce taxpayer services and hurt enforcement efforts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday. . . . About half the people who call the IRS for assistance this filing season won't be able to get through to a person, Koskinen said. . . .Congress cut the IRS budget by $346 million for the budget year that ends in September 2015. The $10.9 billion budget is $1.2 billion less than the agency received in 2010.” Leadership: Who vs. What. Feather O’Conner Houstoun, in an op-ed in Governing, asks: Should a “leadership position should be filled by someone with deep content knowledge or by a person whose executive skills and proclivities embody the process sensibilities thought essential to getting something done?” She offers an answer! The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Authors Series with Victoria Gordon on “Participatory Budgeting: Ten Actions to Engage Citizens via Social Media” What is participatory budgeting and how does it work? What are the benefits and obstacles to participatory budgeting? How can we better engage citizens through social media? Join Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Victoria Gordon, author of the IBM Center report Participatory Budgeting: Ten Actions to Engage Citizens via Social Media. 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 and by searching our audio archives.