Friday, May 29, 2015
The IBM Center's Weekly Round Up highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending May 29.

Best Apps in Government. NextGov reports: ”At trade group ACT-IAC’s second annual Mobility Application Fair, agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Small Business Administration competed for titles including ‘Most Innovative App.’” And the winners are . . . {see link} DOD: Not Ready for Sequestration? Federal News Radio reports that the Government Accountability Office has issued a new report warning the Defense Department that it hasn’t adequately summed up lessons learned from the 2013 sequester, in order to be prepared if it were to happen again. USDA: Ready for Sequestration! Government Executive reports: “Making good on a pledge to plan for savings that preempt sudden furloughs, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday identified $1.4 billion in “proactive” savings and efficiencies being implemented.” DATA Act Implementation “Altitude Sickness?” Government Executive reports that a year into a three-year implementation timeframe that the Treasury IG concludes that there is “progress toward getting agencies governmentwide to post consistent data on spending . . . But some lapses in tracking of workstreams suggest that planners view the vast project from too high an altitude.” Just What Is “Efficiency in Government?” Steve Goodrich, in an op-ed in Federal Times, offers a definition, why it is so hard in government, and recommends a separate office be created to shepherd efficiency initiatives. Planning for the 2017 Presidential Transition Is Starting Early. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, highlights several activities already ongoing, including legislation underway to improve the transition process as well as work underway by several think tanks to ensure the new crew is “Ready to Govern.” Various Reform Bills Pass – Including Evidence Based Policy Commission. Federal News Radio reports that a House committee sent five management improvement bills to the full House for a vote. One bill would give IGs authority to subpoena former feds and contractors in their investigations. Another bill, according to Government Executive, would require the creation of an Evidence-Based Policy Commission to expand the use of evidence and facts in program and policy decisions. Michael J. Keegan DHS lets out its 'inner MacGyver' in move to agile IT development. Luke McCormack, the DHS chief information officer, said the combination of budget and technology has pushed the department toward a better approach to application development. The most recent example is the Citizen and Immigration Services' major procurement calling for a widespread use of agile development processes across several enterprise support services. GAO finds highs, lows in agencies' human capital management. Human capital management has been on the Government Accountability Office's High Risk List since 2001. Yvonne Jones, GAO's director of strategic issues, testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management last week about a new report that looks at how agencies can improve the way they manage their workforce. Sequestration's lessons prove elusive at DoD. In a new report, the Government Accountability Office warns the Defense Department to record the hardships of the 2013 budget cuts known as sequestration before they return. The 126-page report, posted online Wednesday, can be summed up with Edmund Burke's admonishment, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Some parts of the massive Defense Department have tried to document the impact sequestration had on their missions, but those efforts need to spread far and wide, the report said "DoD is missing an opportunity to gain valuable institutional knowledge that would help facilitate future decision making about budgetary reductions should sequestration occur again," it said. AMIA Unveils Recommendations for Advancing EHRs by 2020. The American Medical Informatics Association has unveiled the 10 recommendations from its EHR-2020 Task Force for improving electronic health record systems by 2020. The report outlines five key focus areas, including supporting person-centered care delivery. MedCity News et al. Meaningful Use Payments Top $30B as of March, CMS Says. New CMS data show that meaningful use incentive payments exceeded $30 billion as of March. More than $20 billion was paid through the Medicare program, $9.4 billion was paid through Medicaid and $400 million was paid through Medicare Advantage. Becker's Health IT & CIO Review et al. * * * * * The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversations with Leaders. How do other countries approach job finding for the unemployed? Are there lessons we can adapt here in the U.S.? Listen to Johannes Kopf, managing director, Austrian Public Employment Service. 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.