Friday, July 31, 2020
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of July 27-31, 2020.

What Is Frictionless Acquisition?  Federal News Network reports: “The Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s new cross-agency priority goal isn’t about changing the acquisition rules or processes. . . . Instead, the goal of frictionless acquisition is about how contracting officers, program managers, industry and so many others view what it takes to buy a product or service. . . . Michael Wooten, the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said frictionless acquisition is part of his plan to reduce complexity through leadership.”

Taking Care with CARES Payments. Federal News Network reports: “The problem with finding out you’ve sent money to ineligible or deceased people is that it’s too late. Much of the money can be nonrecoverable. Gary Shiffman, who teaches security studies at Georgetown University, argues that the right screening applied at the right time would prevent the improper payments in programs like those under the CARES Act.”

The End of Open Plan? Amanda Mull writes in Government Executive: “Personal space is finally back in style, but re-creating it after two decades of its destruction is hardly a straightforward task.  . . . Over the past few decades, the formerly subdivided interior spaces of work and home got a lot more open. . . . But this spring, walls both partial and permanent got the advocate they needed: the pandemic.”

Capabilities Agencies Must Master.  Bill Eggers writes in Government Executive: “As outlined in our recent report, as new technology, demographic shifts, natural disasters and pandemics lead to an increasingly uncertain future, these three skills [foresight, agility and resilience] have become indispensable to government institutions.”

Saving Dollars.  Government Executive reports: “An average federal employee could save up to $4,000 a year by teleworking, according to a recent analysis. . . . That was one finding lawmakers on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard during a hearing on Wednesday about how the federal government could potentially expand telework after the pandemic.”

DOD to Extend Telework. NextGov reports: “For employees already able to use [The Commercial Virtual Remote Environment], the benefits may stick around beyond the pandemic. [DoD’s chief information officer Dana Deasy] said there is “an active conversation” about sustaining telework into the future, in part to reap cost savings from not having to maintain physical office space. . . .“We’ve now built this amazing robust infrastructure so there’s no doubt that we’re going to be able to leverage that in the event that the future requires us to.”

OMB Circular A-11 – 2020 edition.  The Office of Management and Budget’s guidance to agencies for preparing their submissions for the development of the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget – to be submitting in early 2021 – is now available for perusing. . . All 1,022 pages of it!