Friday, February 16, 2024
Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending February 16, 2024

VA watchdog warns EHR issue puts 250,000 veterans at risk of medication mix-ups. The VA Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) told members of the House VA Committee that if veterans see treatment at one of five sites using the department’s new Oracle-Cerner EHR, then receive care at a VA facility using its legacy Vista EHR, their medication information may be incorrect. Among the risks, VA providers may be checking for drug interactions and allergy checks based on inaccurate or outdated information. 

CISA Consolidating Zero Trust Functions in Single Office. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is moving to consolidate disparate zero trust security policy functions into a new single office at the agency. The unified structure will be named CISA’s Zero Trust Initiative, and will give the agency a single, coordinated vision in its efforts to help Federal agencies migrate to zero trust security architectures, and to promote the adoption of zero trust more generally beyond the government realm. 

USPTO Stresses Human Contributions in AI Inventions. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a new policy out that embraces the use of AI in innovation, while also stressing the importance that a human contributor is named on a patent. “Inventorship Guidance for AI-Assisted Inventions” provides instructions to examiners and stakeholders on how to determine whether the human contribution to an innovation is significant enough to qualify for a patent when AI also contributed.

WEST 2024: Warfighters Need Simple, Consumable Data at the Ready. Speaking as part of a panel discussion, Naval and defense leaders keyed on the need for the military to leverage available technologies and tools to support the forces across disparate environments to maximize results. Panelists included Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Jane Rathbun, chief information officer for the Department of the Navy, Jennifer Edgin, assistant deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, and Lt. Gen. Matthew Glavy, the deputy commandant for information of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC)

Air Force introduces ‘sweeping’ changes to force structure. In one of the most significant reorganizations in recent history, the Air Force is reshaping its service’s structure in an effort to meet the security challenges of an increasingly complex global landscape. Among the biggest changes is the creation of a new command center, which will play a crucial role in centralizing the planning process for the service’s future requirements and capabilities. The Integrated Capabilities Command will allow other command centers to focus on daily operations rather than independently determining their own requirements or planning for the future.

DISA expects migrations to DoDNet to pick up steam in 2024. The Defense Information Systems Agency network consolidation effort is called DoDNet. Two years after making the $11 billion contract award under the Defense Enclave Services initiative, DISA is preparing to expand the number of users and capabilities DoDNet provides. Carissa Landymore, the DoDNet program manager for DISA, said over the next year, the service provider will migrate more defense agencies to the platform and it will launch generation two with new capabilities.

DoD wants to ‘popularize’ data patterns to leverage AI. Before the Defense Department can even start leveraging artificial intelligence at scale, it needs access to data. But barriers ranging from policy constraints to organizational silos to technical domain challenges to acquisition pathways to lack of understanding and trust continue to hinder effective implementation of the nascent technology across the department. The DoD’s Chief Digital and AI Office wants to “popularize” data patterns and establish common practices for organizing and structuring data. 

Cyber Command Gains Federal Lab Status, Creates Research Office.  U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) has been awarded a new designation making it an official Federal laboratory and conferring on the command unique privileges to advance the creation of new technologies. Following up on the laboratory designation, USCYBERCOM has established the Office of Research and Technology Application (ORTA) which will work to implement recent technology transfer agreements outlined in DoD Instruction 5535.08.

New DoD strategy gets after housing on military installations. A new strategy for resilient and healthy defense communities, unveiled Thursday, represents a shift in how the Pentagon thinks about improving community infrastructure and approaching future military construction projects. “The challenge that we have in front of us is significant. We have been underinvesting in infrastructure. For decades, we have been prioritizing the mission readiness aspects and taking risks in the areas that have installations,” says Brendan Owens, assistant secretary of Defense for energy, installations and environment.


NEW BLOGS. Along with releasing our new book, Transforming the Business of Government: Insights on Resiliency, Innovation, and Performance, we concluded our blog series that excerpts the 15 chapters that compose this book. This week we post a summary of the blog series, New Book: Transforming the Business of Government -- Summary and Resources, which reiterates  the book's core themes as well as provides links to the chapters. 

ICYMI – Turning the Power of Mindset into Action This week Michael Keegan welcomed Eduardo Briceño for very engaging discussion on his book, THE PERFORMANCE PARADOX: Turning the Power of Mindset into Action, exploring the performance paradox, difference between learning while doing and learning by doing, and how overcoming the performance paradox make government executives more effective.