Weekly Roundup: January 22 - 26, 2018
Michael J. Keegan
Conaway: Reason for optimism as DoD begins its first-ever full financial audit. Rep. Mike Conaway, one of just a few financial accounting experts in Congress, says the Defense Department has already shown tremendous progress as it undertakes its first-ever audit.
Breaking tradition, GAO adds security clearances back to its biennial High-Risk List. Breaking with tradition, the Government Accountability Office added the governmentwide security clearance program to the High-Risk List, one year ahead of the scheduled release of its biennial assessment and status report of federal initiatives.
9 U.S. Cities Certified for Excellence in Data-Driven Decision-making. What Works Cities, the Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded initiative to assist U.S. cities with their data performance management practices, is announcing its first certifications, a program for municipalities where data-driven decision-making and city hall governance are assessed according to national standard of excellence.
NASA challenge will help future of commercial spaceflight. NASA’s Big Idea Challenge intends to develop new programs to make commercial spaceflight easier and safer.
Regulating, securing IoT market remains a work in progress. There's a global race to regulate smart devices, but how to do so remains elusive. A 2017 report by Gartner estimated that there were approximately 8.4 billion connected "things" in 2017, and the firm expects that number to balloon to 20.4 billion by 2020. That includes everything from smart buildings and Internet-connected cars to cheaper, less sophisticated devices like baby monitors.
New defense strategy sets the tone for an agile cyber force. The unclassified summary of the national defense strategy highlights the Defense Department's intent to integrate cyber operations through acquisition reform and investment in tech capabilities and infrastructure. But the 14-page document, released as the same day the stopgap measure funding the federal government expired leading to a shutdown, omits mention of the role an elevated U.S. Cyber Command, split from the National Security Agency, would play.
More proof that government innovation can come from anywhere. Steve Kelman reports on a creative solution that could save lives in crowded emergency situations.
Anne Altman to chair Siemens Government Tech board. The longtime federal business leader for IBM will succeed retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Budget Release: Feb. 12. Government Executive reports: “President Trump will unveil his fiscal 2019 budget request on Feb. 12, one week after the White House is technically required to send the blueprint to Congress and just days after current appropriations are set to expire. . . . The cause for the delay, according to the Office of Management and Budget, was the recent three-day government shutdown.”
Reorg – Promising Practices. In a commentary for Government Executive, Tina Sung and Dee Dee Helfenstein write about President Trump’s agency reorganization directive: “For leaders who are living and breathing transformation, we gathered best practices from past and ongoing reforms in government. The lessons can be applied to the inevitable challenges that will emerge.”
Data Valuable Only If . . . In a commentary for Government Executive, Adam Neufeld writes: “Efforts to make government more data-driven and evidence-based are gaining steam, . . . But they are only valuable insofar as they lead to change, and the missing link in current efforts is a systematic focus on government’s ability to follow what the data and evidence suggest. . . . But governments have additional obstacles to change, and it’s those obstacles that need to be directly and honestly explored and, to the extent possible, addressed.”
Chief Customer Experience Officer? In a commentary for Governement Executive, Martha Dorris writes: “Twenty years ago, a Chief Customer Experience Officer was rare, unheard-of and easily dismissed. Now the position is indispensable. . . . Yet most government agencies do not have someone focused on making it easier for taxpayers to access the information and services they need. To catch up, government agencies and departments should hire CCXOs and empower them to work with other chief executives to create better digital experiences for citizens.”
Chief Management Officer for DOD. NextGov reports: “As of Feb. 1, the Defense Department is getting a new, stronger senior management position: the chief management officer. . . . President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate John Gibson, the current deputy chief management officer, to be the first to step into this new role. . . . The elevation of the DCMO to CMO—a high-ranking position considered third in line to the secretary of defense—was established in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, envisioned as the focal point for reforming the Pentagon’s business operations.
Internal Data Sharing Challenges. FedScoop reports: “HHS doesn’t currently have a common practice for the drafting of data sharing agreements. But if Chief Data Officer Mona Siddiqui gets her way, this will change. . . . Siddiqui used her time at the demo day for the inaugural cohort of HHS’ Data Science CoLab, a new data science training program at the agency, to talk about her desire to streamline agency data sharing agreements.”
* * *Conversations with Authors: Prof. James Hendler on the Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity. What is artificial intelligence (AI) and how has it evolved? What challenges does AI present to society and government? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Prof. James Hendler, co-author of Social Machines: The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity on The Business of Government Hour
Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED