Weekly Roundup: June 1 - 5, 2015

Sequestration’s Long Tail. Federal News Radio reports that the 2013 sequester led the Defense department to suddenly cancel contracts or delay the development or fielding of new systems. This led to hundreds of millions in longer-term additional costs, to be felt in upcoming years. Standardizing Administrative Leave. Federal News Radio reports that the Office of Personnel Management has released a memo outlining steps it will take to standardize how agencies will report administrative leave costs.

Weekly Roundup: June 8 - 12, 2015

DATA Act Implementation Status. FedScoop sums up interviews with Treasury and OMB staff regarding the progress and upcoming deadlines for the implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act. Federal Computer Week shares the enthusiasm of participants at a recent conference on the implementation of the DATA Act. Evolution of Federal Chief Operating Officers. Federal News Radio says a new report on the evolving role of agency chief operating officers, by the Partnership for Public Service, examines their challenges and priorities.

Can We Focus on What Works?

Last week, I attended a Senate hearing on wasteful spending in the federal government. Some of the witnesses pointed to examples such as the legislative requirement that the Defense Department ship coal to Germany to heat American bases there. Others pointed to failures of large-scale computer projects and the dozens of programs on the GAO’s High Risk List. While many of the examples given were seen as shocking, there was little conversation about focusing on what works and expanding those programs. Interestingly, there is a movement underway across the U.S. to do just that.

Weekly Roundup: June 15-19, 2015

CyberSprint Underway. Federal News Radio reports that federal CIO Tony Scott has given agencies 30 days to improve the security of their systems and data, following the data breech at the Office of Personnel Management. According to FNR: “Scott also announced the creation of a "Cybersecurity Sprint Team" to review current federal policies and procedures and recommend a new cyber strategy for civilian agencies.” Federal Personal Coaching Network Created.

Weekly Roundup: June 22-26, 2015

Chief Data Officers Want a Seat at the Table. Federal Times reports: “The Chief Data Officer is a new role for the few agencies that have one in place and many are still figuring out exactly what their purview should be. . . . Rather than report directly to the CIO, CDOs should be under the chief operating officer or agency head, CIOs Want to Focus on Mission. According to FedScoop, a panel of CIOs at a recent conference asked: "How can we get ourselves out of the IT business?". . . .

GovConnect: Connecting the Talent Dots

GovConnect is an initiative sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management that reflects broader trends in the workplace toward the use of project-based work.  It allows federal employees to share knowledge, collaborate, and apply their skills to address challenges that may be beyond their traditional job classification or organizational or geographic location.  Announced a year ago, it is currently being piloted within several agencies and is poised to be spread across the government in coming months.

Weekly Roundup: June 29 - July 2, 2015

DOD Nears Launch of Shared IT Services. According to Federal News Radio: “Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work signed a memo May 1 establishing the Joint IT Single Service Provider-Pentagon,” and that “the first phase of consolidation will affect about 63 organizations” in the next few weeks. Disaggregate Data to Make It Useful. Governing reporters, Richard Greene and Katherine Barrett, write: “An emphasis on disaggregating information has been growing in importance as states and cities tap into huge quantities of information for more sophisticated analyses.

Innovation Entrepreneurs Unite!

Using “lightening round” presentations, nearly a dozen presenters shared their stories. Andy Feldman from the Department of Education, who coordinated the event, noted that the goal wasn’t innovation for innovation’s sake, but rather to use innovation as a tool to tackle mission-related performance challenges: “We’re here to focus innovation on our agencies’ biggest challenges and opportunities.” Delegated Deputy Secretary of Education John King also welcomed attendees, urging them to put ideas into action.

Weekly Roundup: August 3 - 7, 2015

Customer Service. Federal News Radio interviewed GSA’s Martha Dorris about progress on the Administration’s goal to improve customer experience with government services. She says GSA is developing a digital “Voice of the Customer” toolkit for agencies that include a range of electronic approaches, such as the pilot “Feedback USA” button for instant feedback, and digital analytics to assess 4,000 federal websites. The Shrinking Millennials. According to Federal News Radio, :Federal agencies are finding it increasingly more difficult to recruit and retain younger employees. . .

Weekly Roundup: August 10-21, 2015

Developing Common Success Metrics for VA-DOD Health Records. According to FedScoop: “The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon need to better track their efforts to share health information, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.” GAO says the two departments have developed guidance to move toward standardization, but have yet to develop metrics to track whether progress is being made. Useful: FCC RoboCall App. According to FedScoop, the Federal Trade Commission sponsored a contest to find the best way of blocking robocalls.

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Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States
202-551-9341

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com

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