Friday, May 15, 2020
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of May 11-15, 2020.

John Kamensky

Dangers of Fast Rulemaking. Federal News Network reports: “The Small Business Administration was given a similarly impossible task by Congress, when lawmakers appropriated, and President Donald Trump signed into law, two tranches of money to loan businesses. The first came in late March from the CARES Act, and it gave SBA $349 billion for guaranteed loans. Then came the April 24 “enhancement” bill with another $310 billion.” The SBA Inspector General has come out with a report that found flaws with its rapid implementation.

Eliminating DOD’s CMO - Three Options. Federal News Network reports: “An independent assessment by the Defense Business Board found DoD’s chief management officer is “nearly unanimously” viewed as ineffective — partly because the CMO was never set up for success. . . . The board offered three different options for a new position that it believes should replace the CMO, and could drive real business reform.”

Leaning into Automation. NextGov reports: “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies are broadening and expediting robotic process automation efforts to deal with disruptions and drive productivity. . . . Robotic process automation is accelerating across the National Institutes of Health, Internal Revenue Service and Housing and Urban Development Department.

Reimagining Government Post-COVID. Thea Snow writes on Medium: “A few weeks ago, I published an article on reimagining government post crisis. Drawing on Adrian Brown’s Manifesto for Better Government, I set out a vision for a shift from “the service paradigm” to “the enablement paradigm”, underpinned by a version of government which: values the importance of relationships; shares power; thinks in systems; leads with humility; and prioritises learning.”

Collaboration on Homeless Veterans. A new GAO report says: “The Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies funded programs through local service providers to help homeless veterans find jobs and affordable housing. . . . But a VA case manager shortage, housing costs and availability, and other challenges may limit the number of veterans these programs can serve. . . GAO recommends giving service providers more info on better collaboration practices.

Michael Keegan

Air Force aims to make secure mobile identity management the norm. Jason Howe, the Air Force's chief technology officer and chief cloud architect for manpower, personnel, and services, said the pandemic has exposed DOD's need for better mobile security.

VA embraces procurement challenges at scale. Steve Kelman applauds the Department of Veterans Affairs' ambitious attempt to move beyond one-off prize-based contests to combat veteran suicides more effectively.

Navy IT looks beyond COVID. The Navy's network operations, like most federal agencies, scrambled to shift to completely remote workforce, but the experience has also shifted workers' network expectations.

Why network management is a national security issue during the pandemic. Software-defined networking is a major part of telecommunications resiliency during pandemic, said carriers on a presidential telecommunications advisory committee.

Tap these characteristics to lead through crisis. Combining decisiveness with empathy is one way leaders can help their organizations right now, writes Julia Felton. "Taking the time to really connect with team members and understand their concerns is paramount to being seen as a caring leader at this time," she writes. Lead Change

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Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: A Special Series focusing on Leading Through Uncertain Times with Mark W. Johnson co-author with Josh Suskewwicz of Leading from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth. How can we lead from the future? What is “Future-Back” Thinking? How can it help leaders navigate the COVID-19 disruption and lead with purpose? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more on The Business of Government Special Edition.

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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