Friday, June 12, 2015
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting, June 8-12, 2015.

DATA Act Implementation Status. FedScoop sums up interviews with Treasury and OMB staff regarding the progress and upcoming deadlines for the implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act. Federal Computer Week shares the enthusiasm of participants at a recent conference on the implementation of the DATA Act. Evolution of Federal Chief Operating Officers. Federal News Radio says a new report on the evolving role of agency chief operating officers, by the Partnership for Public Service, examines their challenges and priorities. The Partnership held a forum when releasing the report. One point raised in the forum was whether the President’s Management Council – comprised of the COOs – was still effective. Legislating Better Program Management. Federal Times reports that Sen. Joni Ernst (R) and Heidi Heitkamp (D) are co-sponsoring the “Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act, which would create a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government in order to improve how agencies manage projects. . . The bill also requires that the Office of Management and Budget develop and adopt governmentwide standards, policies and guidelines for program and project management at federal agencies, as well as chair an interagency council on program management. . . .OMB would also conduct annual reviews of agency projects and programs to see if they were being managed correctly.” A similar bi-partisan bill (HR 2144) is pending in the House. Uncle Sam’s Club? The head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Ann Rung, is calling for each agency to create a “Buyer’s Club,” reports Federal News Radio. According to FNR's interview: “the Buyers Clubs are a safe space to innovate because they utilize non-traditional contracting or acquisition processes such as asking for a short concept paper and then going through a bake-off based on prototypes.” Go HTTPS! On the heels of the OPM database hack, NextGov says the White House has ordered all federal websites to implement higher security access procedures. According to NextGov, HTTPS “provides site visitors more privacy and confidence they are looking at official government websites. The secure protocol also prevents a lot of Web surfing behavior from being watched or toyed with. . . Come Dec. 31, 2016, every public federal site must be protected with HTTPS.” Ten Fears About Allowing Employees to Collaborate. Government Executive’s Danielle Blumenthal writes: “In every single organization I have worked for, some variation on these themes has come up.” She then lists ten excuses as to why the use of social media tools at work may be problematic, such as “They will complain non-stop.” Progress on FITARA implementation. OMB released its final guidance on the implementation of the Federal Information Technology and Acquisition Reform Act which was passed last year. According to NextGov, Congress says that it will ensure strong oversight in the implementation phase, and in his testimony, federal CIO Tony Scott promised to support strong implementation. Exempt from FITARA? While some in Congress are aggressively pushing implementation of FITARA, others are trying to avoid it. According to Federal Computer Week, “Senate legislation to fund the Department of Energy includes a provision giving the National Labs a broad exemption from IT reform legislation that concentrates budget and hiring authority with department-level CIOs.” Tech Leaders Focus on Culture Change. FedScoop reports that “Raphael Majma of the General Services Administration's 18F digital services team said he and his colleagues are focused on solving problems rooted in culture rather than putting out new code.” DOD HR Plan Due August 19. According to Federal News Radio . . . The Defense Department's new personnel chief says the entire military personnel system is in "desperate" need of reform. . . . Brad Carson, who is serving simultaneously as the undersecretary of the Army and the acting undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness . . . Carson said he's optimistic that he'll be able to make some headway during his remaining time as DoD's personnel chief: Ashton Carter, the new Defense secretary declared the creation of what he called a "force of the future" a top priority when he came into office in February and has directed Carson to deliver a reform plan by Aug. 19.” In an article in a similar vein, Roy Wallace, the Army’s assistant deputy chief of staff for personnel, told DefenseOne that “Working with 53 different pay and personnel systems, powered by 7 million lines of undocumented Cobol code, makes managing U.S. Army forces a rather large challenge.” And the Navy’s is more complicated! Michael Keegan Senate Committee, Stakeholders Look To Address Health IT Issues. Yesterday, lawmakers on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard testimony from stakeholders on issues surrounding the meaningful use program, electronic health record interoperability and patients' access to data. The meeting marked the first in a series aimed at identifying solutions to health IT problems. FierceHealthIT et al. Study Finds Disparities Between Early, Late EHR Adopters. A study published in Health Affairs finds that early adopters of electronic health records are more likely to continue participating in the meaningful use program than those who did not use EHRs until after the program began. The research looked at meaningful use participation among more than 26,000 physicians in New York between 2011 and 2012. EHR Intelligence et al CIO survey: Agile breaking through; data analytics not so much. Federal IT executives said cybersecurity, workforce, IT modernization, acquisitions and mobility are their top priorities, according to 25th annual CIO survey Ground rules for improving federal cybersecurity. In today’s complex cybersecurity environment, these three elements form the foundation of agencies’ ability to defend networks and data. OFPP to issue acquisition lab guidance. Using HHS Buyers Club as a model, the procurement office wants to encourage other agencies to launch acquisition innovation labs. * * * * * The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Leaders. What are the key priorities for National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC)? How does NITAAC assist federal agencies to accomplish their mission? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and much more with Rob Coen, Director, Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center at the National Institutes of Health. 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