Weekly Roundup: January 15-19, 2024

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

Friday, January 19, 2024

Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending January 19, 2024

CISA mandates agencies close 2 cyber vulnerabilities immediately. Agencies have until the end of Monday to close two major cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an emergency directive after software firm Ivanti discovered vulnerabilities in two widely-used products. “This emergency directive directs all federal civilian agencies to immediately take specific actions and implement vendor mitigation guidance to these Ivanti appliances,” CISA wrote in a release.

Partnership for Public Service calls for overdue long-term funding agreement. “While we commend Congress for working together to avert a government shutdown, this must be the last stopgap measure for this fiscal year. Repeated last-minute, short-term agreements are no way to fund our government or serve the public interest.” 

Growth of OTAs, corresponding myths gave DoD plenty of reason to update its guide. Mary Kathryn Robinson, the director for contract policy in the Office of Defense Pricing and Contracting, said the growth of OTAs over the last seven years truly precipitated the new how-to guide. “We want to be able to help the DoD acquisition community as well as our partners in industry, academia and nonprofits to help define what an OTA is and help them create the best OTAs that they can.” 

DoD ‘rewrites’ decades-old classification policy for space programs, crafts commercial integration strategy. The Pentagon has a new classification policy for space programs that attempts to remove legacy classification barriers that have long hindered the Defense Department’s daily operations and collaboration with allies and partners. The policy is classified, but John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said that one of the goals is to limit the use of the Special Access Program (SAP) on issues related to space. 

Telework ‘essential’ to remaining a competitive employer, Interior official tells Congress. Offering telework to federal employees supports recruitment, retention, satisfaction and engagement, Mark Green, chief human capital officer at the Interior Department, told members of the House Natural Resources committee this week. 

For agencies, limited resources are a major challenge to scaling workforce innovations. As agency leaders approach another opportunity to share their biggest pain points in workforce planning, the Office of Personnel Management has pointed out some common challenges agencies are currently facing. Limited resources are the greatest impediment to agencies’ ability to bring human resources innovations to scale, OPM said in a recent report summarizing findings from human capital reviews during fiscal 2023.

GAO Pushes OMB, GSA to Finalize FedRAMP Work. While the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed new guidance to overhaul the General Services Administration’s (GSA) FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) program in October 2023, a new watchdog report is pushing both agencies to move quickly to finalize new program rules. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), OMB and GSA “have not finalized these guidance documents or announced a schedule for doing so.” As a result, federal agencies and cloud service providers (CSPs) may continue facing challenges “leading to additional costs to pursue authorizations,” the report says.

U.S. Needs to Diversify Technology Supply Chain, Experts SayThe United States needs to diversify its technology supply chain in order to maintain its technological advantage and keep some technologies out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, top government officials told members of Congress on Wednesday. During a House Foreign Affairs Indo-Pacific Subcommittee hearing on Jan. 17, witnesses stressed the need for protecting critical emerging technologies – such as semiconductors – in order to preserve peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

NAPA Offers Strategy Tips for NSF’s Tech Directorate. The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) today released a report, as mandated by Congress, that offers recommendations to ensure the long-term success of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) new Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP). The report’s five-person panel found that a diverse staff, expanded collaboration across NSF directorates, and substantive changes to NSF processes and procedures will be crucial to the TIP’s sustained success.


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 Chapter Eight — Design Principles for Responsible Use of AI to Enhance Customer Experience Using Public Procurement and Chapter Nine – Quantum Technology Challenge: What Role for the Government? Here are the other blogs and chapters posted thus far: IntroductionChapter One – Emergency Preparedness and Response , Chapter Two – CybersecurityChapter Three – Supply ChainChapter Four – SustainabilityChapter Five – Workforce Chapter Six – Eight Areas for Government Action – Insights on ResiliencyChapter Seven – AI Literacy: A Prerequisite for the Future of AI and Automation in Government

ICYMI – This week on a Special Edition of The Business of Government Hour: Finding Value in the Unexpected host Michael Keegan explores the following questions: Why are most humans uncomfortable with uncertainty and prediction addition? Does technological progress make predicting the future easier? If we can’t predict the future, how can we prepare for it? Why are the human gifts of curiosity and creativity more powerful tools to preparing for the future than submitting to false forecasts that disguise uncertainty as perfect and knowable data?

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