Weekly Roundup: January 1-5, 2024

This post first appeared on IBM Business of Government. Read the original article.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending January 5, 2024

Cyber risks to defense industrial supply chains are ‘substantially worse’ than other concerns. There is an outright conflict between cybersecurity and supply chain risk management (SCRM), and simply adding those together can lead to an increase in cyberattacks, a new report finds. Researchers found that cybersecurity and supply chain risk management are in many instances at odds with each other. There are trade-offs, and understanding what those trade-offs look like will allow the Defense Department to better secure its defense industrial products supply, according to the authors of the new RAND Corp. report.

DHS sees ‘usability testing’ as central to big burden reduction goals. The Department of Homeland Security is leveraging “usability testing” to help meet its ambitious customer experience goals, and the department’s CX chief sees the potential for other federal agencies to follow DHS’ playbook for designing more effective government services. “Usability testing” refers to a formal method of testing out functionality by observing how real users attempt to complete tasks on a website, application or product. Such testing has featured in user-centered design techniques for decades.

VA’s IT shop boosts retention through higher pay, more flexible schedules. The Department of Veterans Affairs is leading a governmentwide push to bring more private-sector tech experts into public service. So far, the VA, tapping into special pay authorities, is meeting its hiring and retention goals for its IT workforce. The VA’s Office of Information and Technology in late 2023 reduced attrition by nearly 10%, compared to the previous year, while also making 1,000 new hires. 

NTIA Sharing AI Accountability Recs ‘Soon’. The National Telecommunications Administration (NTIA) will share its recommendations on artificial intelligence (AI) accountability policy “soon,” NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson said in a 2023 year-in-review blog post. “While artificial intelligence systems have been around for a while, I think it’s safe to say 2023 was the year they fully captured the public’s imagination,” Davidson wrote. “And rightly so: Responsible AI innovation can – and will – bring enormous benefits to people. But we will only realize the promise of AI if we also address the serious risks it raises today.” 

Army Looking for New Operational Mission Command Suite. The U.S. Army is looking for industry expertise to help unify many of the service’s outdated systems into a single-user interface that can provide a common operating picture, according to a new sources sought notice. The Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEOC3T) is looking for industry insight by Feb. 4 that can help integrate modernized solutions to help advance the Army’s mission goals across the service.

NSF Taps Terry Carpenter to Serve as CIO, Creates new OCIO. The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today that it has tapped Terry Carpenter to serve as the agency’s new chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO), as part of a broader IT reorganization marked by the establishment of an independent Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).

IRS To Pilot AI-Fueled Tax Scanning Tool For 2024 Tax Filing Season. With the new year underway, the IRS is gearing up to pilot a new scanning system for the 2024 tax filing season that will utilize AI and machine learning (ML) technology to scan tax returns into the agency’s tax processing systems. The scanning system – dubbed the Modernized Paper Processing System – will combine AI technology with the agency’s existing Service Center Recognition image processing system to speed along the tax filing process, according to a Dec. 20 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report.

New year, new opportunities for contracting protests. Whether Congress passes a 2024 budget or not, federal agencies will continue to engage in contracting. That will mean continued protests by disappointed bidders. You can learn a lot from protests that have already been settled. You can learn a lot from protests that have already been settled. For a roundup of some of the most significant protests of 2023, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin


NEW BLOGS: Along with releasing our new book, Transforming the Business of Government: Insights on Resiliency, Innovation, and Performance, we began a blog series that excerpts the 15 chapters that compose this book. This week we posted the Chapter Four – Sustainability  and Chapter Five – Workforce on the Center blog. 

ICYMI – This week on a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour Michael Keegan explores insights into Leadership, Mindset, and Thriving on Disruption with Jen Pahlka, Eduardo Briceño, Nick Evans, & Roger Spitz. How can the U.S. federal government rebuild its digital capabilities and truly transform how government does business? What is the difference between learning while doing and learning by doing? How can government agencies become more adaptive and thrive on disruption? 

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