Friday, June 21, 2019
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of June 17-21, 2019.

John Kamensky

Joint Governance – At Last!  Federal News Network reports: “The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs said they’ve finally settled on a joint management structure to make sure the multibillion-dollar electronic health record systems they’re buying are integrated and interoperable.”

Return to Core. FCW reports: “The White House tech team that was formed to save in 2014 is returning to its roots as a 911 squad for government tech. That's the message coming out of a planned cut of about $6.75 million to the U.S. Digital Service funding level for fiscal year 2020.”

Performance Updates.  OMB released its quarterly progress updates to the 14 cross-agency and 85 agency-level priority goals. They cover the first half of FY 2019 (separate reporting for the first quarter had been skipped because of the government shutdown).

Axing Advisory Committees.  The New York Times reports: “Trump signed an executive order Friday that directs every federal agency to evaluate the need for all of its advisory committees created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. And it gives agency heads until September to terminate at least one-third of current committees created by agency heads.”

Low-Cost Experiments. Andrew Feldman, in an op-ed for Government Executive, writes: “What’s one of the least known success stories in recent years, in terms of evidence-based decision-making within the federal government? It’s the more than 70 rigorous, often rapid experiments conducted by agencies since 2015.”

NYC Continues Participatory Budgeting. Steve Goldsmith, in an article for Governing, writes: “In April, the New York City Council completed its eighth annual cycle of participatory budgeting, a process through which city residents vote directly on how they would like to see a designated portion of the city's discretionary spending divvied out to community projects. The council's participatory budgeting program, known as PBNYC, and its nonprofit partner, the Participatory Budgeting Project, won the Harvard Kennedy School's innovation award for public engagement in 2015, and the program has since expanded in a number of ways.”

Michael Keegan

Lack of approval of planned OPM-GSA merger could lead to layoffs, furloughs. If Congress fails to approve the controversial planned merger of the Office of Personnel Management with the General Services Administration, more than 100 employees could be furloughed or laid off.

Government needs to get serious about IT modernization. Despite bountiful evidence of wasteful IT spending, Congress has yet to get serious about retiring the nation's antiquated IT.

USDS budget cut forces focus on core capabilities. The White House tech team that was formed to save in 2014 is returning to its roots as a 911 squad for government tech. That's the message coming out of a planned cut of about $6.75 million to the U.S. Digital Service funding level for fiscal year 2020 -- part of an overall $13.5 million reduction to the Information Technology Oversight and Reform budget sought by the administration.

DHS pushes on centralizing access to biometric data. DHS is looking for contractors to help develop, integrate and implement capabilities for a host of software systems, that collect biometric and share biometric data.

Where AI factors into DHS election security. Artificial intelligence's profile is rising but humans need to remain in the process to take on high-level problems, according to the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Thinking of a Leadership Position? Six Questions to Help You Decide if It’s for You. There’s a funny thing about leaders. You can’t tell by looking who the good ones will be. Effective leaders come in all shapes and sizes and colors and temperaments. Here are six questions you should ask before you take on a leadership role…

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour – SPADE Interview Series with Dr. John Zangardi, chief information officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. What are the IT strategic priorities for DHS? How is it working to modernize its IT infrastructure? What is DHS doing to improve its network connectivity and resilience while maturing its cybersecurity posture? I explored these questions and more with Dr. John Zangardi who joined me and my cohost Don Fenhagen, IBM, from the SPADE conference for an insightful and in-depth discussion.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Network 1500AM WFED

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