Friday, October 26, 2018
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of October 22-26, 2018.

John Kamensky

Fear Removal.  Federal News Network reports: “For some employees in an agency program office, the term “evidence-based policy,” is a loaded phrase that could imply budget or staffing cuts if the research points to inefficiencies or under-performing  work. . . .This kind of fear, in part, explains why agencies are at vastly different stages today in implementing their own learning agendas and building evidence-based policy. . . .It’s also why in its June reorganization plan, the Office of Management and Budget proposed agencies strengthen their focus on building evidence and learning agendas.”

Federal Employee Survey 2018 Results. Federal News Network reports: “Employee engagement in the federal workforce ticked up again slightly for the fifth consecutive year, according to the results of the 2018 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS). . . Overall employee engagement reached 68 percent in 2018, a 1 percent bump over last year’s score of 67 percent. But like previous years, federal employees continued to show some dissatisfaction with their leaders, and few believe their colleagues are properly rewarded for good performance or held accountable for sub-standard work.”

VA Employee Survey – Results Are Up.  Federal News Network reports: “In a year marked by high-profile leadership turnover, the Veterans Affairs Department says employee engagement and morale in its workforce went up significantly in 2018. . . . About 67 percent of VA employees said they were satisfied with their jobs, and 60 percent said they were satisfied with their organization, according to the results of its “all-employee survey,” which the department released Thursday.”

Blockchain in Government.  NextGov reports: “Among the many emerging technologies getting buzz, blockchain might be among the buzziest. Critics of the technology say it is more hype than substance, but a report from IDC offers eight examples of how governments are effectively using blockchain today.”

Create a Talent Exchange. Government Executive reports: “OMB hosted an off-the-record symposium in September, inviting agency leaders, HR professionals, nonprofit groups and other stakeholders to discuss the possibilities and challenges of reaching the workforce goals in President Trump’s management agenda. . . . The Mitre Corp., which partnered with OMB to host the event, published a report Tuesday outlining nine recommendations based on areas of consensus reached at the symposium. . . . Topping the list is the recommendation to increase the use of partnerships for talent exchange programs.”

Improved Customer ExperienceFederal News Network reports: “A report from the Partnership for Public Service and Accenture detailed ways several agencies have successfully overhauled their business processes to better optimize customer service. But there is still work to do. . . . The three agencies highlighted in the report — the Veterans Affairs and Agriculture departments, as well as what is called the Flood Insurance and Mitigation Administration — were praised for the way they transformed their business practices to meet the needs of their customers.

Human Services Scenarios: 2035.  The Institute for Alternative Futures has released a new study asking: “What will human progress, human need and human services be in the United States in 2035? What implications does this have for today’s strategies for public and private human service providers and community partners? The Human Progress and Human Services 2035 Scenarios offer a tool to explore these questions and to better inform future-oriented, long-term strategies and efforts.

Michael J. Keegan

The Future of Humans in an Increasingly Robotic World. The professional landscape is transforming, and the only way to maintain competitive advantage is to maximize the unique skills of your workforce. In Humanity Works: Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future, consultant and futurist Alexandra Levit provides a guide to making the most of the human traits of creativity, judgment, problem solving and interpersonal sensitivity.

NARA, GSA team up to promote electronic records management. Last August, in its draft strategic plan, NARA announced it planned to set a hard deadline of Dec. 31, 2022, after which it would only accept records transfers in electronic format with appropriate metadata. NARA partnered with the General Services Administration to put together a list of approved electronic records management solutions for agencies looking for technical solutions to ERM challenges.

Federal CIO: 'AI is a priority of this entire administration'. Artificial intelligence is foundational to the ongoing work of improving government data quality, federal CIO Suzette Kent said at an Oct. 24 technology conference. "We aren't waiting, and now is the time to seize this opportunity," she said at "AI is a priority of this entire administration, our lawmakers and our federal leaders."

A necessary plan for managing privacy risk. As a well-engineered blueprint, NIST's privacy framework will provide voluntary guidelines for managing privacy risk, furthering protections and delivering practical tools that still allow for continued U.S. innovation.

The challenge of providing a common defense in cyberspace. Government leaders should examine how the private sector addresses massive vulnerabilities and inherent instability through collaboration.

Next Week on The Business of Government Hour: Conversations with Authors: Kevin Desouza on Delivering Artificial Intelligence in Government What are artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing? How is the public sector using AI? What are some of the key challenges and opportunities in the public sector’s use of AI? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Kevin Desouza author of the IBM Center report, Delivering Artificial Intelligence in Government: Challenges and Opportunities. That's next week on The Business of Government Hour.

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