Weekly Round-up: November 14, 2014
John Kamensky Transforming Government Acquisition for the Future. An op-ed column by Kymme McCabe and Dan Chenok in Government Executive has sparked a lively on-line debate. They offer, on behalf of a grassroots “Acquisition of the Future” initiative, a roadmap forward, and say: “acquisition transformation, not just reform, is critical to enable the federal government to effectively lead in the Collaboration Age. Now it’s time to chart a course forward toward such transformation.” Their column has generated more than 40 comments! Customer Service is Bleak. Camille Tuutti, NextGov, reports: “The overall customer experience for half a dozen key federal services was rated “very poor,” according to a new report from Forrester. . . ‘Compared with dozens of auto, banking, retail and retail companies we also ranked," federal customer experience "looks downright bleak,’ the Nov. 7 report concluded.” VA Vows to Focus on Customer Service. Matthew Daly, AP reports, and Dan Verton, FedScoop, expands on Sec. Bob McDonald’s proposed reorganization of the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a new focus on customer service – led by a new chief customer service officer -- and align field offices from the different VA administrations so they have common boundaries. Incoming Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chair. Andy Medici, Federal Times, reports that Senator Ron Johnson, incoming chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is beginning to outline an agenda. Medici writes that “some of his top priorities would be beefing up border security, improving the government’s cybersecurity practices and streamlining regulations, but he also sees a chance to make major changes to agency management and the federal workforce.” Michael J. Keegan GAO: Agencies not using performance data to decide policy, budget changes. In a government-wide survey of performance improvement officers, the Government Accountability Office found that agency managers aren't using performance data as well as they should be. In an report to congressional leaders, GAO said agencies aren't living up to the standards of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Reform Act of 2010. HHS adds four more 'Entrepreneurs in residence'. The Department of Health and Human Services has signed up the latest cohort of experts for its program to tap outside know-how for a host of forward-looking IT projects. In a blog post on the HHS Idea Lab website, Chief Technology Officer Bryan Sivak said the four new participants in the department's Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program were matched with project teams of HHS employees to work for a year on "high risk high reward projects." The "Road to Veterans Day" initiative, the review of department practices and policies by Secretary Robert McDonald, promises improvements to customer service, and a vet-focused organizational structure called "My VA." The goals are to rebuild trust, improve service delivery, and set a course for long term reforms. It could also further centralize IT. Commerce to hire chief data officer. The Commerce Department is partly responsible for the explosion of data from the government. The Census Bureau alone conducts about 80 different surveys a year. NOAA produces 29 terabytes of data a day. So the department is focusing on accessibility and education about its data to rescue public and private sector users from drowning in its information. Internally, Commerce is close to naming a new chief data officer and starting up the Data Advisory Council. Together, they will focus on making websites and data easier to use. The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Authors Series with Prof. Bob Behn on The PerformanceState Potential. What is the PerformanceStat Potential? How is PerformanceStat a leadership strategy for producing results? What are the core leadership principles and key operational components of this leadership strategy? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions with Prof. Bob Behn, author of The PerformanceStat Potential: A Leadership for Producing Results. 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.