Weekly Roundup: March 19 -March 23, 2018
Michael J. Keegan
Omnibus spending bill complicates administration’s reorg plans. Tucked in the 2,232-page omnibus spending bill is a provision that adds another layer of complication to the Trump administration’s reorganization initiatives. According to the omnibus, agencies cannot simply cut or eliminate a specific program or office unless Congress has authorized the move in an appropriations bill.
“None of the funds made available in this or any other appropriations Act may be used to increase, eliminate, or reduce funding for a program, project, or activity as proposed in the president’s budget request for a fiscal year until such proposed change is subsequently enacted in an appropriation act, or unless such change is made pursuant to the reprogramming or transfer provisions of this or any other appropriations act,” the 2018 spending bill reads.
Navy consolidates chief information officer amid restructuring. As part of a significant reorganization of its management bureaucracy, the Navy is doing away with the top-level position that previously guided Navy and Marine Corps information technology policy.
Going forward, Secretary of the Navy Modly will take over the pro-forma title of DON CIO along with all of its responsibilities and authorities. A handful of staff will remain assigned to a restructured and downsized office, but only to handle the IT duties that federal law explicitly requires the secretaries of the military departments to perform.
Leadership from the Inside Out.While we are called to be more innovative and agile amid increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, we need to discover ways to be more within ourselves, to find more balance and be more grounded, to give ourselves space, like the space between the notes, to connect ideas and achieve clarity.
Ten Things About the PMA. Professor Don Kettl offers insights on the new President’s Management Agenda in a column for Government Executive: “The President’s Management Agenda, released by the White House on March 20, is a fascinating document, different in virtually every respect from the plans of previous administrations. Here are 10 reasons why.”
Agency Mission Statements. We don’t normally see agency mission statements in the news, but the Washington Post reports: “In the first year of the Trump administration, a number of federal agencies have quietly undergone changes to their mission statements or have had significant changes proposed. While many of these edits have gone unnoticed by the public, they may point to meaningful shifts in those agencies’ purpose, priorities and value alignment.”
Washington Post also reports: “It is up to each new administration to decide which parts of the BLM's "multiple use" mission to emphasize to the public. Recently, the Trump team sent out a clear signal of its priorities. . . The bureau has begun distributing an unusual new accessory for some of its employees to wear: A card with an image of an oil rig on one side and cattle ranching on the other.”
Acquisition Avalanche. In a commentary piece for Government Executive, Tim Cooke writes: You know a transformation is afoot when the Navy chooses as its acquisition chief a man known as “Hondo,” who is famous for an Iron Man exoskeleton project and a “Thunderdrone” UAV tournament.”
Honest Brokers. Jeff Neal writes in ChiefHRO.com: “When we look at calls for government reform, the voices that get the most attention are often those who have the most controversial ideas. Partisan and ideological “think tanks” offer suggestions for reform that are sometimes out of the mainstream and are often rehashes of the ideas they have trotted out time after time for many years. . . . For views that are focused more on how government can do its work more effectively, I tend to go to the “good government” organizations.”
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