Weekly Roundup: January 9, 2015
John Kamensky Slow Going in Hiring Process Improvements. According to Eric Katz, Government Executive, a survey shows that less than half of hiring managers are actively involved in the process: “While the administration has emphasized getting managers more directly involved in the hiring process, the latest quarterly reports show agencies are still falling well short of their targets.” Evidence-Based Programs Rock! Ron Haskins, in an op-ed for the New York Times, writes: “A growing body of evidence shows that a few model social programs — home visits to vulnerable families, K-12 education, pregnancy prevention, community college and employment training — produce solid impacts that can last for many years. . . . As a policy analyst who helped House Republicans design the 1996 welfare overhaul and who later advised President George W. Bush on social policy, I am committed to the principle that the government should fund only social welfare programs that work. That’s why it’s imperative that the new Congress reject efforts by some Republicans to cut the Obama administration’s evidence-based programs.” A Mobile Trickle. Jack Moore, NextGov, writes: “The Obama administration has set a lofty aim of providing government services “anytime, anywhere and on any device.” But with thousands of federal websites not yet optimized for miniature screens, agencies clearly have their work cut out for them. . . That’s the takeaway of a new report from the Government Accountability Office.” A $3 Trillion Loan Portfolio. Michael Grunwald, Politico, asks how three OMB staff and an intern can effectively oversee a $3 Trillion loan portfolio. He writes about the “Credit Bank of America, which “has about 120 different credit programs but no consistent credit policy.” The article provides a useful overview of federal credit policy and how it is being used. Michael J. Keegan Air Force evolves cyber as JIE comes into focus. The Air Force is moving beyond requiring airmen to use smart identification cards to log onto its computer network. The service now is making its network security even stronger. Lt. Gen. Bill Bender, the Air Force's chief of information dominance and chief information officer, said the use of role-based authentication should be "baked- into" its IT systems in the future. Influx of employees is part of HUD's ongoing culture change. The Department of Housing and Urban Development hired 1,000 new employees in 2014. The new workers are helping the agency reverse a downward trend around morale. NASA SEWP to drop fee again, launch new customer initiatives. NASA still is five months away from kicking off its next generation governmentwide acquisition contract known as SEWP V. But that isn't stopping the space agency from rolling out a series of new initiatives to give customer agencies more data and context about their spending than ever before. The first major initiative is another cut to its fee to use the Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) contract — the second one in the last three months. Top Navy official asks Congress to strip out acquisition regulations. A top Navy official says the new Congress should focus acquisition reform efforts on doing away with existing regulations rather than adding to a process that is already overly complex. The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversation with Tom Sharpe, Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service, U.S. General Services Administration What are the strategic priorities for the GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service? What is category management and how does it benefit federal acquisition? How is FAS fully leveraging the government’s buying power and saving taxpayer dollars? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Tom Sharpe, Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service, U.S. General Services Administration 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.