Thursday, August 18, 2011
Articles we found interesting, the week of August 15, 2011
Articles we found interesting, the week of August 15, 2011

Gadi Ben-Yehuda

August is a long and ecclesiastical month.  In its second full week, we find:

John Kamensky


  • Budget chaos.  Federal Times’ Sean Reilly writes that agencies are in a state of disarray as they prepare their 2012 and 2013 budgets.   There’s been no guidance, he writes.  Well the traditional Spring Budget Guidance Memo came out from OMB earlier this week, finally.  It tells agencies to prepare two budgets for FY 2013 – one with a 5 percent cut, and one with a 10 percent cut.  They’ll decide later.  Meanwhile, agencies still wait for the budget preparation guidance (A-11) which provides the deadline for when they’ll need to submit their budget proposals (normally about mid-September).  Sure glad I’m not a budget officer! 
  • HUD Stat helps improve program success.  HUD’s Peter Grace was interviewed on Federal News Radio about HUD’s progress review sessions.  He showcased several initiatives where the sessions have made a difference, such as the department’s homelessness initiative being done jointly with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Note: the IBM Center will soon be releasing a “how to” guide for conducting progress reviews, and HUD is one of the case studies! 
  • Open Government Partnership Goes International. The federal government’s Open Government initiative has inspired a global push.  Next month the US will join its counterparts at the United Nations to launch a global effort.  Meanwhile, the White House has invited federal employees to suggest ways to improve public services and public integrity to bolster a national plan 
  • Running list of agencies offering buyouts.  As a sign of the times, Government Executive has created a running list of federal agencies offering buyouts (as a potential prelude to RIFs), with several added during the course of the week. 
  • Jobs system outage drops 70,000 applications.  The government’s main job application system – USAJobs,gov, operated by the Office of Personnel Management, went down for a couple days last week and about 70,000 applications submitted during that time period were lost.  The beauty of a single portal. . . . Apply again! 
  • OMB releases implementation guidance for GPRA Modernization Act. OMB this week released a 40-page guide, “Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government,” to help agencies implement the new GPRA Modernization Act. It includes a timetable for when agencies will have their Agency Priority Goals developed and submitted to OMB, concurrent with their budgets.



The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Authors: Joseph Nye

The Business of Government Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations. Past government executives include Administrators, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Commissioners, Controllers, Directors, and Undersecretaries.

Joseph Nye is a distinguished service professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the author of The Future of Power.  In this radio show, he explains how, a decade into the 21st century, the U.S. is encountering many unforeseen challenges and seemingly unimaginable opportunities. In the midst of these shifting dimensions, many are questioning the proper use of power, leadership, and security among the relations of nations to meet the demands of an ever complex world. He addresses issues such as:

  • What is smart power?
  • How do the challenges of the 21st century demand a reshaping and a redefining of leadership? 
  • How best can national security leaders transform the intelligence enterprise to meet the security needs of today?

Each week, The Business of Government Hour interviews government executive who are changing the way government does business. The show airs four times a week on two radio stations in the DC Metro Area. If you can't wait, though, we also put it online. You can also search our audio archives for your favorite interview.