Friday, July 5, 2019
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week of July 1-5, 2019

John Kamensky

Updates to A-11. NextGov reports: “The Office of Management and Budget released an update to Circular A-11, outlining how agencies should be thinking about their fiscal 2021 budget requests.” The guidance includes “an annual review of how programs with citizen-facing services are ensuring they meet the core functions of the ‘CX program maturity model’ . . .  ”

Spending Spree. NextGov reports: “Spending data from the Government Accountability Office confirmed last year’s predicted spending spree and early fiscal 2019 data suggests historical spending levels continued. . . . Driven largely by the Defense Department, the federal government’s discretionary spending spiked to a seven-year high in fiscal 2018, with agencies obligating more than $554 billion for products and services, up $100 billion from 2015.”

On the Clock. Federal Times reports: “The Trump administration has moved forward with plans to make federal records-keeping exclusively digital, notifying agencies in a June 28 memo that they would be required to meet a series of deadlines in advance of the planned Dec. 31, 2022, date to make National Archives and Records Administration’s records fully digital.”

Data Brokers. Federal News Network reports: “The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, which President Donald Trump signed in January, gives agencies until the end of July to name chief data and chief evaluation officers. Their jobs will focus on linking up data from other agencies, to make connections they haven’t been able to make before.”

Court Decisions. Government Executive reports: “In late June, the Supreme Court issued decisions in two cases concerning the limits of executive agencies’ authority. While the Court maintained the status quo for now, both cases demonstrate the Court’s willingness to chip away at long-standing doctrines allowing executive agencies to implement and enforce their own rules and regulations, and to be afforded deference by courts for their interpretations of their own rules and regulations.”

Administration’s Focus on Counties. Governing’s feature story on how the White House has a concerted effort to work with counties: “The White House has invited every county commissioner in the country to attend a series of 35 summits held at the Old Executive Office Building. All told, more than 2,000 have come. Each of the summits featured at least one cabinet secretary; half included Vice President Mike Pence. Trump himself spoke at the last one.”

Michael J. Keegan 

DOD preps bases for 5G. Defense Department CIO Dana Deasy said the organization is putting together a list of bases across the services to test -- and ultimately keep -- 5G capabilities.

New law brings big change to IRS in IT, cyber. A new law will implement a raft of technology and cybersecurity reforms at the IRS while also restoring hiring authorities that officials say are key to attracting qualified IT talent.

A Cautionary Tale: (Authenticity at Work). Author Ed Batista learned much from Jeff Pfeffer's essential work on power, and in his book Leadership BS he tells a story about one of his former Stanford MBA students. Now he shared his own cautionary tale about authenticity at work.

6 reasons why you should make your next meeting optional. Research into meeting practices at high-performing organizations, some methods showed up everywhere, like using a clear process to run meetings and taking good notes. Other ideas only showed up in a handful of places, but when they did, they were game changers—big ideas that lead everyone to step up their meeting game. The game changer that leaders find most implausible: Make meetings optional. It sounds like a radical policy, but when you look more closely, you’ll see that it’s a no-brainer. Here are six reasons why.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour – SPADE Interview Series on Military Design Thinking. What is Military Design Thinking? How is Design being used to transforming military planning process? What is the Joint Special Operations University doing to educate special operations personnel in the use of design thinking? I explored these questions and more with Hal McNair, Director of Continuing Education at the Joint Special Operation University and faculty members Ben Zweibelson and Nate Schwagler.

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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