Weekly Roundup: December 12-16, 2016

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Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting, week of December 12-16, 2016.

John Kamensky

New Volcker Alliance Report: What Americans Want from Government.  The Volcker Alliance report, by Dr. Paul Light, says: “Americans are equally divided between dismantling and priority setting, suggesting that the choice between the two philosophical groups is linked to life circumstances, disillusionment, and partisanship.” Light lays out five reform proposals that reflect public sentiment after the election.

New GAO Report on ERM.  The Government Accountability Office releases a report, “Enterprise Risk Management: Selected Agencies’ Experiences Illustrate Good Practices in Managing Risk,” that updated its risk management framework, identifies six good practices, and summarizes examples from the 24 CFO Act agencies.

VA Single-Sign-on.  FedScoop reports: “Using a multi-factor authentication process from ID.me on the recently launched Vets.gov website, veterans can now access several services that were spread across several websites, like checking on a benefits claim, communicating with a health care provider and ordering prescription refills.”

DOD Chief Management Officer Role Rejiggered. Federal News Radio reports: “The annual Defense authorization bill Congress sent to the President last week includes several provisions to redraw the Defense Department’s organizational chart, including one that creates a powerful new Chief Management Officer whose primary job will be overseeing and reforming DoD headquarters functions.”

Profiles in Courage: Agency Chief Innovation Officers.  NextGov reports: “Today, federal chief innovation officers are significantly less common than the emerging role of chief data officer . . . . And responsibilities associated with the title vary widely between agencies. . . . . It’s unclear whether chief innovation officers will ever have a more standardized job description and authority like chief information officers do, and whether the obsession with innovation will continue.”

DOD Reforms: Too many, not enough staff.  Federal News Radio reports:  “The 2017 [Defense Authorization] bill as passed by the House and Senate has about 100 provisions on acquisition policy. At the same time, it limits the number of civilians assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense to 3,767. It shrinks the number of personnel on the Joint Staff to 1,930 and mandates that no more than 1,500 may be active duty military. That’s all while DoD is implementing a self-imposed 20 percent cut on headquarters staff by 2020.”

Property Disposal Reform Bill PassesGovernment Executive reports: “After more than four years of back-and-forth with the White House budget office, Congress on Saturday passed bipartisan legislation aimed at streamlining the disposal of unneeded federal properties. . . . The Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act (H.R. 4465), . . .  would require the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration to improve the inventory of excess properties by creating a new database based on agency reports of eligible sites.”

Open Data Act Passes SenateFedScoop reports: “A bill codifying and building on the president’s executive order and the White House’s Open Data Policy passed the Senate unanimously early on Saturday morning, in a surprising last-minute effort to get the bill through the chamber before the holidays. . . . The OPEN Government Data Act, which sets in place a presumption that government data should be published in an open, machine-readable format, will likely not make it to President Barack Obama’s desk. But the bill could be reintroduced next year.”

Michael Keegan

Advice for the next administration. A former agency CIO argues that three key initiatives should drive the federal IT agenda. Irrespective of who is in the White House, many of us who have served in the federal government in an IT function or support the federal government’s IT as contractors have an overriding objective: to help make the federal government more effective and efficient via the use of IT. This objective is bipartisan, and Congress last year showed leadership in support of federal IT with the passage of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). 

Report: DOD needs new strategy to regain technological edge. The United States is facing growing cyber and electronic warfare threats, and the Department of Defense needs to develop a new “optionality strategy” in order to regain its technical advantage over military adversaries, a new report says.

DHS CIO: Trump team on board with agile. The leaders of IT operations and acquisition at the Department of Homeland Security don’t expect a change in the approach to procurement innovation at the sprawling agency, even as the White House changes hands. DHS CIO Luke McCormack said he has met several times with the incoming administration’s transition team and is confident that they will continue the agency’s push toward faster, more effective acquisition capabilities and efforts.

One giant leap for government memes. No agency has taken to social media quite as enthusiastically as NASA has. The space agency has built audiences numbering in the millions on Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. Back in 2009, NASA even launched its own internal social network. And now NASA is expanding into the new frontier of … animated GIFs. 

Agencies adapting agile services at their own pace . Depending on which federal CIO is offering their opinion, dev/ops could be the agency standard, or a work in progress. Speaking at a Dec. 13 ACT-IAC event in Washington, Mark Schwartz, the chief information officer at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said for his agency “the impact of agile on us is that it’s the way we do things.”Momentum is building across agencies as they adopt agile services.

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Next Week’s The Business of Government Radio Show.  How do you delivery healthcare anywhere at anytime? What are the strategic priorities for the military health system? How has MHS sought to address some of the critical challenges it faces? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Dr. Karen Guice, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs within the U.S. Department of Defense.

 

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED.

If you can’t wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week’s program and all our previous interviews at businessofgovernment.org.

 

 

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