Friday, July 20, 2018
The IBM Center's Weekly Roundup highlights articles and insights that we found interesting for the week ending July 20, 2018.

John Kamensky

A Faster, Friendly USDA. Federal News Radio reports: “At the Agriculture Department, Secretary Sonny Perdue has made improving customer service an all-hands-on-deck priority, as he did while governor of Georgia. . . . Joe Doyle, the director of the Office of Customer Experience at USDA, and the former head of Georgia’s Office of Consumer Protection under Perdue’s tenure, said he expects the agency can make its services “faster, friendlier and easier” without asking for additional funding from Congress, or without much help from the private sector.

Customer Service Guidance.  NextGov reports: “For years, the federal government has routinely provided the worst customer experience of any industry, but the Trump administration is beginning to formulate a plan for agencies to improve the way it delivers services to citizens. . . . The Office of Management and Budget introduced a new section to its A-11 guidance on June 29 that directs agencies to establish customer experience frameworks and providers instructions for managing customer experience improvement efforts.

Data Integration & Analytics.  Federal News Radio reports: “The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $11 billion in grants across 90 programs in fiscal 2017. And with that comes petabytes of data and the need to analyze that information. . . . Adriane Burton, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s chief information officer, said a new modern data analytics platform holds the key for improving how HRSA manages its grants process.”

Gov Bots.  Federal News Radio reports: “The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service is bringing robots to two other agencies after a successful pilot of its own. . . .The Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (OFIT) announced today it will work with the Interior Department and the National Science Foundation to bring robotics process automation (RPA) to their financial systems.”

Is That Legal?  In a commentary for Government Executive, Meroe Park and Nyla Gawel write: that, as State Department’s Tom Debass and his team “advance U.S. diplomacy and development around the world, he often hears the question, “Is that legal?” At times, he said, this question is not so much about legality as it is about a lack of precedent.”

Reorg Priorities. NextGov reports: “The Trump administration’s plan to reorganize the federal government is still in its very early stages, a White House official told lawmakers Wednesday, but proposals to reform background checks and cybersecurity should get started sooner rather than later.”

Cutting Red Tape for States. Government Executive reports: “Representatives from state governments and the financial and hospital industries testified Wednesday that they spend too much time working to comply with a cavalcade of duplicative, outdated or contradictory federal rules, although they stopped short of rejecting regulation in principle.”

Michael J. Keegan

DHS cyber chief says the election system 'works,' is resilient to tampering. Christopher Krebs, Homeland Security’s undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, said that while Russia stole voter data during the 2016 election, vote tallies were not hacked.

Acquisition pros report optimism despite budget uncertainty. A survey of federal acquisition specialists from the Professional Services Council found positive views of the workforce and communication efforts.

Senior fed is Trump's pick to lead Census Bureau. Steven Dillingham, director of the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning at the Peace Corps, was nominated to lead the Census Bureau through 2021.

Next Week on The Business of Government HourSpecial Edition of The Business of Government Hour Leaders Speak on Managing Risk in Government. How has the use of right management evolved in U.S. federal agencies? What is Enterprise Risk Management? What are some of the key risks facing government today? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more on a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour – Leaders Speak on Managing Risk in Government.

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