Friday, May 10, 2024
Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending May 10, 2024

USDS Impact Report Shows Tech Talent Demand Boom. The United States Digital Service (USDS) received over 100 requests from government agencies for help with technology projects in fiscal year (FY) 2023 – a demand level that USDS said greatly exceeds its current resources.

DoD stands up ‘SWAT team’ to help speed software acquisition. It’s been four years since the Defense Department created six new acquisition pathways — including one specifically intended to speed up software acquisition. But as often happens with policy reforms, implementation is off to a slow start, so officials are building a cadre of software experts at the Pentagon to help speed up adoption. DoD created the software acquisition pathway as part of a broader overhaul to make its acquisition system more “adaptive” to the particular products or services the department buys. 

Hicks Orders Reuse/Reciprocity Changes to Quicken ATO Process. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks is making changes to the Pentagon’s authority to operate (ATO) process, which many industry officials have argued hinders rapid technology and software innovation.

Army CIO Leo Garciga continues his march to revamp technology policy. Leo Garciga, the Army CIO, said the GenAI and LLM policy is weeks away. "It's really going to be focused around mostly data protection, and what we think the guardrails need to be and what our interaction between the government and industry will look like in this space," Garciga said, adding that the continuous ATO policy will focus on six critical controls. It is expected out later this summer.

Easterly Previews Secure-by-Design Pledge Effort. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly said her agency is due to reveal later on Wednesday at the RSA Conference in San Francisco that 60 tech companies will be signing onto a voluntary secure-by-design pledge to make their technology products more secure against ransomware and other forms of cyberattacks.

NSF Director Talks NAIRR Next Steps, Resource Needs. As National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Sethuraman Panchanathan looks to the future of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot, he wants to ensure that a lack of resources doesn’t become a roadblock to AI innovation.

VA to review more previously awarded bonuses after improperly doling out $11M to execs. The department has used an “improper and overzealous application” of new authorities to give extra pay to certain employees, IG says. VA improperly gave out $10.8 million of the “critical skill incentives,” or CSIs, to 182 Senior Executive Service employees, the inspector general found in confirming an issue the department itself flagged and took steps to remediate in September.

Dustin Brown Named SSA Chief Operating Officer. Dustin Brown has been tapped to serve as chief operating officer (COO) and acting chief of staff for the Social Security Administration (SSA). As COO, Brown will work to oversee the daily business and operations of the SSA, and as chief of staff he will also support the agency’s staff to accomplish the SSA commissioner’s goals. 

Shriver assumes acting OPM director role. Weeks following the news that Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja would step down, agency Deputy Director Rob Shriver has been appointed acting director of the federal government’s dedicated HR agency. Shriver is in the midst of his second stint serving at OPM. During the Obama administration, he worked as a deputy general counsel for policy and then as associate director of national healthcare operations.



ICYMI Enhancing Information Technology at the International Trade Administration (ITA). This week Michael Keegan welcomed Gerald Caron, Chief Information Officer, International Trade Administration to discuss the mission of his office, the IT strategy of the ITA, and how the agency is modernizing and securing its technology infrastructure.