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DorobekINSIDER poll: What is the government word of the year?

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The team at the Oxford American Dictionaries have selected GIF as the 2012 word of the year.

In case you don’t know:

GIF verb to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event): he GIFed the highlights of the debate

The GIF, a compressed file format for images that can be used to create simple, looping animations, turned 25 this year, but like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier. GIF celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as a verb, not just a noun. The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.

Read the full blog post on the subject, including the other words that were in competition.

I’m not sure that would be my word of the years, but…

What should be the government word of the year?

Written by cdorobek

November 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Posted in Circuit, community, poll

DorobekINSIDER poll: What is the chance of a shutdown?

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How many times have we done this — this year alone?

Once again, there is a deadline Friday — and as of Thursday morning, there is a greater threatof a government shutdown — and the Obama administration has recommended agencies make shutdown plans. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee, early this morning, released details of more than $1 trillion spending package.

So what is the likelihood of a government shutdown?

Written by cdorobek

December 15, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Posted in budget, poll

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DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week: The budget

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The GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek…  where each week we try to pick a issue… idea… person… or topic that defined the past 7-days… but also choose one that will define the days… weeks… and months ahead… As always, we focus on six words: Helping you do your job better.Generally we hold off telling you what the big story is, but… not this week. This week’s big story is the budget. And there was a lot of budget news this week…

But before we talk budget… some of the other stories that defined the second week of first week of November 2011…

After the break, we highlight some of the big stories of the week… including a fed jobs bill… USAJobs update… TSP’s October numbers…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

November 4, 2011 at 7:14 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Shutdown – will is happen, and are you prepared?

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Today is the day — potential shutdown day.

While there are reports that progress has been made in budget discussions, midnight is the deadline. (National Journal has a great blow-by-blow about how we actually got to this place… after six continuing resolutions.)

National Journal’s insiders are saying that there will be a government shutdown… and the Gallup poll suggests the public wants a compromise, while the Pew survey shows sharp division among the public about who is to blame for this mess…

But what about the DorobekINSIDERs? We are asking you –

 

 

and…

 

 

Some resources:

OPM has an entire shutdown page – including a FAQ – and OPM’s contingency plan.

GovLoop has a list of 10 pre-potential showdown to-do items… and one might be investing in you.

Written by cdorobek

April 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM

DorobekINSIDER: News Channel 8 discussing cyber-war — is it real?

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I will be on NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Tonight at 7:30p tonight — and we’ll be talking about the ongoing debate: Is the threat of cyber-war exaggerated?

As I mentioned earlier, this question was the subject of an Intelligence Squared debate earlier this month.

You can hear the debate here… or see the debate here.

We are looking for your thoughts… how would you answer the question: The threat of a cyber-war is exaggerated?

Arguing that the threat of cyber-war was exxagerated were:
* Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
* Bruce Schneier, the cryptographer, computer security specialist, and writer who is the founder and chief technology officer of BT Counterpane, formerly Counterpane Internet Security. He writes the popular Schneier on Security blog.

And in opposition:
* Mike McConnell, former vice admiral in the Navy, the former director of the National Security Agency and the former Director of National Intelligence. He now works for Booz Allen Hamilton.
* Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School and a faculty co-director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He writes the Future of the Internet blog and is on Twitter.

Some additional resources:

There currently are more than 40 cyber-security bills somewhere in the legislative process on Capitol Hill.

After heading up the President’s 60-day Cyberspace Review last year, Melissa Hathaway has some analysis. She has complied all that knowledge in a 31-page report which broke down the different bills into sections. Nine bills make the legislation to watch list, including updates to FISMA. Hathaway also says there great need for more public awarness for cybersecurity issues both in the U.S. and abroad.

That assessment came before Sens. Joe Lieberman (DI- Conn.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Tom Carper introduced the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which was discussed at a hearing today. (More information on the hearing here.) Today on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Dorobek Insider, we spoke to Bob Gourley, the former chief technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the the editor in chief of CTOVision.com, said he thinks the bill would be a step forward. (Read his post here.)

Finally, Gen. Dayle Meyerrose, former CIO of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, addressed this issue on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose. More here.

Written by cdorobek

June 15, 2010 at 5:55 PM

The DorobekINSIDER Reader: The open government policies and plans

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When there are big events, I like to pull together resources in one place — and, of course, this has been open government week — the Office of Management and Budget issued a series of policies, while agencies issued their open government plans.

Federal News Radio’s Max Cacas reports on the plans and policies:

You can find Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s ongoing coverage of the open government initiative here.

Before the plans were released, I posted DorobekINSIDER: Assessing transparency and open government.

The top level resources:

* The DorobekINSIDER reader from May 22, 2009 on the open government and transparency initiative — yes, this all is a work in progress

* The White House open government site, which has a lot of good information but buries links to agency open government plans in the open government dashboard.

* OMB director Peter Orszag blog post: OMB and Open Government, which includes a link to the four OMB open government policies — also listed below — and to OMB’s open government plan.

* White House Office of Science and Technology Policy blog post by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform:
Open for Change, which he says will “strengthen our democracy and promote accountability, efficiency and effectiveness across the government.”

* GovLoop has a great chart of all the agency open government plans

OMB policies

* Social Media, Web-Based Interactive Technologies, and the Paperwork Reduction Act [PDF] [Flash version]

* Information Collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act [PDF]

* Increasing Openness in the Rulemaking Process – Use of the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) [PDF]

* Open Government Directive – Federal Spending Transparency [PDF]

Discussion about the policies and open government:

* Sunlight Foundation’s Ellen Miller: Idling in the driveway: “Sigh. I feel like a disappointed parent.”

* Sunlight’s Jake Brewer has told open government advocates:

Put simply, it’s increasingly clear government is not going to become more open and transparent without extraordinary public pressure. And WE are going to have to be the ones to put that pressure on them.

You can help right now by joining our campaign for open government and signing the pledge to demand all public government information be available ONLINE and in REAL-TIME.

http://PublicEqualsOnline.com

* GovLoop has a fascinating discussion, “What Do You Think about OMB Soc Media and PRA Guidance?”
Much of that discussion has revolved around the Paperwork Reduction Act — and a strong frustration that it really hinders agencies flexibilities.

A sample of some of the discussion:

This is fairly far from awesome. I’d actually label it fairly disappointing. Not only are both documents written to be as vague as possible (the PRA primer, for instance, spends most of its text simply repeating statute), this doesn’t really get us where we need to be…

More disappointing from my standpoint, it keeps in place the notion that citizen interaction with the government is essentially a “burden” and still codifies the position that significant interaction with the public should be minimized (this is clearly contrary to open government).

The discussion has spurred me to actually print out the Paperwork Reduction Act and read it for myself to get a sense of what it actually says. My sense is that some of what OMB is trying to do is work within the constraints of the law — a law enacted in the early 1980s before hardly anybody even had e-mail addresses.

* More on the Paperwork Reduction Act and its role from OnDotGov.com: A Few Things on the New Paperwork Reduction Act Guidance

* GovLoop also has a discussion on the open government plan: Open Gov plans cheers and jeers

* GovTwit’s blog: Open Government Day brings new guidance from OMB

* InformationWeek: Government Social Media Restrictions Eased
The guidance makes it easier for agencies to use social media and requires steps to ensure better rule-making and spending transparency.

* TechPresident’s Nancy Scola: Use Social Media Freely, White House Tells Agencies [April 7, 2010]

* TechPresident’s Micah Sifry: Open Govt: Does the Govt Know What the Govt Knows? [April 7, 2010]: “Let’s remember that announcing a plan isn’t the same thing as getting the job done”

* Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy: Major Milestone Reached in Open Government Initiative: “We should recognize that the 120 day mark is really just a starting point, not an endpoint.”

Meanwhile, how would you grade the Obama administration’s open government initiative so far:

Previous DorobekINSIDER readers:

* The DorobekInsider transparency, openness and data.gov reader [May 22, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider reader: Obama cyber policy review [May 29, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider Reader: National Security Personnel System recommendations [August 31, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider Reader: Veterans Day [November 11, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider reader: Howard Schmidt as cybersecurity coordinator [December 23, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider Reader: Martin Luther King Jr. [January 18, 2010]

DorobekINSIDER and the 03.05 Federal News Countdown poll: What was the big story of the week?

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Each Friday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose, Francis hosts the Federal News Countdown. The idea is simple: Invite three smart people who know the government world, ask them their top three stories of the week — and have them discuss.

This week’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Lurita Doan, former administrator, General Services Administration
Tim McManus, Vice President, Partnership for Public Service
Linda Springer, former OPM Director, now Executive Director, Government and Public Sector, Ernst & Young

But we’d also love to get your thoughts on the big stories of the week — vote for one of the stories they suggested, or suggest your own

Written by cdorobek

March 5, 2010 at 9:30 AM

DorobekINSIDER poll: What should the federal government’s operating status in DC be for Tuesday?

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Many people in the Washington metro area are dreading the thought of being on the roads Tuesday, particularly after the nightmare that was DC traffic on Friday. And on Friday, OPM Director John Berry defended the decision to open government at the end of the week.

It is snowing once again here in Washington — yes, again. And while forecasters are saying that this storm is really tiny compared to what the nation’s capital went through last week, the roads still aren’t back to normal yet.

As we have done over the past week (herehere…) — we are asking you what you would do if you were OPM Director John Berry:

Written by cdorobek

February 15, 2010 at 4:19 PM

DorobekINSIDER poll: Did OPM make the right decision to open DC offices on Friday?

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For those outside the Beltway, sorry for yet another snow post, but… it has been a long week. And already tough DC traffic got much worse this morning.

DC's snowy roads

(WTOP Photo/Kristi King)

And, as we’ve said all week, the decision to close the government is a thankless job — and as we said yesterday, the decision about whether to open today (Friday) was the toughest one. OPM Director John Berry told us on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris that he makes the close/no close decision purely on the facts. Yet it seems almost inconceivable that there wasn’t some pressure — spoken or unspoken — to get people back to work. No doubt that is why OPM felt it was necessary to put out a statement last night defending this week’s decisions to close government for most of the week.
From listening to traffic reports on WTOP radio‘s traffic coverage (more here), Twitter reports, anecdotal accounts from people I know, and traffic cameras, it is a mess out there. One person said her 20-minute commute took 95 minutes.

So how was your commute? Share your stories here… or Tweet them to me @cdorobek or on Facebook.

And while hindsight is always 20/20, we’re going to ask the question: Did OPM make the right decision to open the government on a 2-hour delay today?

(WTOP Photo/Kristi King)

Written by cdorobek

February 12, 2010 at 10:36 AM

DorobekINSIDER poll: What should be the federal government’s operating status for FRIDAY?

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Washington, DC is pretty much paralyzed again today — again, after being pummeled by snow storm after snow storm. (At least we hit the record — if we’re going to go through this torture, we might as well get the bragging rights of saying that we survived snowpocalypse 2010.)

NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.

The federal government is closed for the fourth day running — and that comes after DC feds closed early last Friday in anticipation of the last storm. Wednesday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management and the guy who has to make the call as to whether the federal government is open or not — on his 51st birthday, no less. And we got to talk to him about making that decision.

Several interesting points from Berry. He tells Federal News Radio that OPM is going to reexamine the often mentioned figure of $100 million per day cost of the federal government closing. He notes that figure is 20-years-old — and doesn’t take into account all the people who are working nor people who telework.

But we’re also looking into telework questions such as whether agency policies don’t fully take telework into account.

Regardless, the decision to close the federal government today seemed relatively easy, particularly when DC’s MetroRail announced that above-ground stations would be closed. But — the decision about Friday seems more difficult as there is increasing pressure to open. That being said, everybody is cognisant of 1996 when the federal government opened before the system was able to handle it.

So the question today — if you were OPM Director John Berry, what decision would you make about the federal government in DC’s operating status?

What say you?

The most remarkable thing about this story is how people really are getting some work done. People are so much more mobile these days — and while they can’t do everything, work is getting done.

As one person posted on my Facebook page:

Instead of emphasizing that the federal govt is closed for the 4th straight day someone in the fed govt should get out the message that while Headquarters offices are in DC, there are regional offices of every branch in every agency that are up and running and keeping the govt working. This happens when other areas around the country when there are hurricanes, tornadoes or whatever emergency happens. Those govt officials are every bit as competent as those that are in DC.

Point taken.

Written by cdorobek

February 11, 2010 at 10:42 AM

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