Friday, April 1, 2022
Highlighting articles and insights that we have found interesting for the week ending April 1, 2022

Trust in Government: A Close Look at Public Perceptions of the Federal Government and Its Employees. America is experiencing a lack of trust in major institutions—particularly the federal government. Only 4 in 10 Americans say they trust the federal government to do what is right at least some of the time, according to a national survey conducted by the Partnership for Public Service and Freedman Consulting. This lack of trust has serious implications for how the public interacts with our government and how well federal agencies can respond to the major challenges facing the country.

President’s Budget calls for 11% boost in federal IT budget, $10.9B for cyber. The White House is calling for an 11% overall increase in federal IT spending for fiscal 2023 in addition to nearly $11 billion proposed to bolster federal cybersecurity. The 2023 budget proposal requests a total of $65.8 billion for civilian IT spending, a significant increase over the estimated $58.4 billion spent in the current fiscal year. According to White House data on IT spending, the 11% boost is the biggest in the past dozen years. The budget does not group defense IT funding or civilian grant spending with these numbers.

GAO: Cyber Command lacks metrics for assessing its weapons and platforms. U.S. Cyber Command still has not developed an outcome-based metric to support assessments of programs and staffing issues for acquisitions, according to a Government Accountability Office report. Failure to develop such outcome-based metrics to inform a second round of value assessments will lead to greater risk of not understanding how new capabilities benefit the cyber mission, GAO said.

GAO: DoD Needs More Comprehensive AI Strategy. A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling on the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a more comprehensive AI strategy to help better position the agency to ensure accountability and responsible use of the technology. The report evaluates DoD’s AI Strategy from 2018 and found that it lacked certain characteristics of a comprehensive strategy. For example, DoD’s nine AI-related strategies and plans “do not include full descriptions of resources and investments and risk associated with adoption of AI-enabled technologies,” the report says.

GAO: CMS Should Assess Telehealth Impact, Plot Next Steps. A  new report issued by Government Accountability Office (GAO) calls on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to assess the effect of the increased use of telehealth services on beneficiaries’ quality of care, and plot next steps based on that analysis. GAO is making two recommendations for CMS.

CISA Official: Zero Trust Can Snag on Misconceptions. While the zero-trust security model has been widely recognized as an effective approach to preventing and mitigating data breaches, an official with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said this week there are several misconceptions Federal agencies have which make them skeptical about adopting the framework. John Simms, a senior technical advisor for the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at CISA, explained that one major misconception many have about the zero-trust model is the notion that an agency cannot trust its users or workforce.

Agency Performance Dashboard. Since its founding, the Partnership has worked to shed light on the way government works through flagship research initiatives such as the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® rankings and the Political Appointee Tracker. These performance measures provide government with the resources and data insights it needs to serve the public effectively. Building on this foundation, we have developed a new Agency Performance Dashboard that features information about the operations, staffing and organizational health of 24 major federal agencies.  

Intersection of IT and mission delivery; Keeping TMF relevant; FEC cloud innovation. The State Department has more than $55 million in new investments in information technology thanks to COVID relief funding. The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) still has more than $700 million to give out after the latest awards to the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Selective Service. Dan Chenok, executive director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government explains how the TMF Board can expedite the awards process.

GSA’s 5-year plan prioritizes digital government.  The General Services Administration listed digital government as one of four strategic goals in its five-year strategic plan. The strategy is predicated on the view that GSA must help agencies rebuild public trust through digital services. “For FY 2022, GSA has identified six CoPs to achieve key milestones or quantitative performance outcomes,” reads the document

Why resilience must be baked into company strategy. Companies mistakenly believe that resilience is a targeted remedy and a net cost when, by contrast, resilience is a strategic necessity that should be embedded into operations and regularly measured, write Boston Consulting Group's Martin Reeves, Annelies O'Dea and Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak. "Leaders must reinforce the change by being a vocal champion for resilience and institutionalizing the learnings from recent crises," they write. Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model)

 3 ways leaders can cultivate "clean power". Clean power is the practice of power and influence without "abuse, office politics, backstabbing and manipulation" -- requiring leaders to regularly revisit their networks, create reciprocity with key stakeholders and organize coalition for big issues, writes Art Petty. "Couple this effort with a genuine effort to generate visibility for individuals helping you make it happen, and you reinforce the reciprocity effect in a virtuous manner," Petty writes. SmartBrief/Leadership

Amazon CEO on how the company makes quick decisions. Amazon has a decentralized structure that moves quickly because leaders "identify which are the one-way-door decisions and which are the two-way-door decisions," says CEO Andy Jassy. "The two-way-door decisions mean that if you get it wrong, you can walk back through that door and just stop doing it," Jassy says. TIME (tiered subscription model)

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Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale: Conversation with Prof. John List, author, The Voltage Effect. What is the Voltage Effect? Why do some ideas fail while others change the world? What are the five hurdles one must clear to ensure the vitality of an idea?  Why should policymakers move from evidence-based policy to policy-based evidence? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Professor John List , author of The Voltage Effect and Economist at the University of Chicago.

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