Weekly Round Up
Friday, March 30, 2018
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending March 30, 2018.

Michael J. Keegan

President’s Management Agenda addresses key civil service issues. The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) was released last week and got the usual pro and con coverage. When I read it one thought went through my mind: it was written or at least heavily influenced by a person or people who actually understand government and the civil service. Overall, I think it is a great start. Here are my thoughts on what I believe are some essential takeaways from the document.

Marines take lessons from special forces in crafting cyber career path. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller said long-term stability is key: "Once you’re, in you’re in."

Telework cuts could make government even less competitive in hiring Your Turn. After the Department of Agriculture cut back its telework policy, and with the Department of Education’s currently up in the air, some federal employees are concerned about the future of the popular program. But agencies concerned solely with the pros and cons of letting employees work from home could be missing the bigger picture.

Congress wants Patent Office to get a handle on telework.  Once the poster child for telework, the Patent and Trademark Office was dinged by multiple oversight reports alleging time and attendance abuse.

Mobile network infrastructure at growing risk from cyber attack. The FCC's communications security advisory group warned on threats to mobile networks that are similar to those impacting industrial control systems.


John Kamensky

“Secret” Government Document Is Released.  Government Executive reports: “A few weeks ago the Treasury Department published the most important 256-page document that you’ve probably never heard of—the annual Financial Report of the United States Government. the report draws a surprisingly, if not depressingly low level of interest in the United States. The average American has no idea that such a report even exists.”

GAO on AI.  The Government Accountability Office released a new report on the potential impact of Artificial Intelligence  developments in four sectors—cybersecurity, automated vehicles, criminal justice, and financial services. It is based on a forum it sponsored.

Evidence vs. Reality. Government Executive reports: “the Bipartisan Policy Center attempted to describe the shoals on which the movement to incorporate more evidence in funding decisions could founder. Part I of a two-part “Evidence Use in Congress” report identifies 16 barriers in the categories of perception, institutional and systemic.”

USDS Makes Measureable Difference.  NextGov reports: “The U.S. Digital Service—a program-turned-office that helps agencies fix major digital problems—released its annual report to Congress Tuesday with a rundown of ongoing projects and a list of successes from 2017.

New Contracting Model? NextGov reports: ““Other Transaction Authorities” might seem like a risky new acquisition method, but it’s been around longer than the Federal Acquisition Regulation.”

Agency Reorg? – Not! Government Executive reports: “Congress has reasserted its authority to weigh in on any reorganizations the Trump administration may attempt to implement by including several provisions in a governmentwide spending bill to ensure agencies consult with lawmakers before they consolidate offices or shed workers.

Shared Services . . . Needs to Be Driven Bottom-up, not Top-down. Federal News Radio reports: “Beth Angerman, the acting associate administrator of the Office of Governmentwide Policy and the director of the Shared Solutions Performance Improvement (SSPI) Office at GSA, said the workforce will drive the success of shared services. GSA recently renamed the USSM to the SSPI.”

MGT Fund Update.  Federal Times reports: “The Modernizing Government Technology Act, signed into law in December 2017, asked for $250 million to populate a fund addressing agencies’ needs to update legacy IT systems. Under the 2018 omnibus appropriations bill released March 21, 2018, however, that Technology Modernization Fund would receive only $100 million for its first six months.

New Week on The Business of Government Radio Show: Prof. James Hendler on Artificial Intelligence and Social Networking. “What is artificial intelligence (AI) and how has it evolved? What challenges does AI present? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions & more with Prof. James Hendler, co-author of “Social Machines: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity” on the next The Business of Government Hour.

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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