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04.19.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Checking in on the DoD Networks with Rob Carey, Hacking with a purpose at NASA and HUD makes training more effective

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On today’s program for Thursday April 19th, 2012: 

  • The DoD networks — Deputy CIO Rob Carey walks us through the power, technology, acquisition and budgeting of the DoD network.
  • NASA is trying to harness the world’s hacking power for good. It’s part of its International Space Apps Challenge. You’ll get a preview of the weekend event from NASA’s Nick Skytland.
  • Government trainings can be BORING and not-informative. But the Department of Housing and Urban Development is trying to change that. You’ll learn about their new interactive learning sessions.

The SEVEN stories that you NEED to know:

  1. Three Secret Service employees implicated in a prostitution scandal during President Obama’s trip to Colombia last week are being forced out of the agency, officials said Wednesday night. The head of the Secret Service has told other government officials that the agency plans to fire one person in connection with the investigation into the reported misconduct, according to a person briefed on the matter. The New York Times says, the director, Mark Sullivan, has also told others that one other employee implicated in the incident, which has drawn intense scrutiny, plans to retire and another will resign. Among the people leaving the agency are two supervisors. Mr. Sullivan has also said that the employee being fired has threatened to sue. “These guys have the clearest cases,” said the person briefed on the matter. Eight other agency employees are still being investigated, the person said, and will probably face some type of discipline or termination.
  2. For the second time this week, top military brass are condemning military personnel. This time after photographs surfaced of smiling soldiers posing with dead insurgents in Afghanistan. The Washington Post says the 18 photographs were taken in 2010 in Zabul province by soldiers from the 82nd Airborne’s 4th Brigade Combat Team. Although the pictures were dated, the fresh disclosure of misbehavior extends a string of recent incidents in which U.S. troops have disrespected the dead, allegedly killed Afghan civilians and desecrated the Koran.
  3. The man at the center of the GSA spending scandal — Jeffrey Neely — got help planning and executing his lavish events from his wife. The GSA IG report says that Deborah Neely accompanied her husband on dozens of trips and conferences all on the tax payer’s dime. The Washington Post says the Neelys also took a 17-day government-related trip to Hawaii, Guam and the Mariana Islands.  Jeffrey Neely invoked his fifth amendment right to remain silent during yesterday’s hearing at the House.
  4. And in the wake of the GSA scandal Democratic Senators have introduced a new bill that calls for greater scrutiny of agency spending on conferences and tighter controls on awarding pay bonuses to agency employees. The Washington Post says, under the bill, conferences that would cost more than $200,000 would need approval by the agency head or other top-level official, and agencies would have to give annual reports on the conferences to Congress.
  5. In a rare show of bipartisan cooperation the House has passed a new bill that will allow retirement-eligible employees to work part time and roll their unused annual leave into their Thrift Savings Plans.Government Executive says the bill would amend the current law to allow federal employees to continue working part time while partially retired. Congressman Darrell Issa says the bill could save taxpayers approximately $465 million dollars within 10 years, since agencies would not have to replace all retirees with part-time employees.
  6. Federal Senior Executives are fighting back against a provision in the Stop Trading on Our Knowledge Act (STOCK). The provision requires all federal senior executives to disclose their financial information online. Government Executive says Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, and Bill Bransford, SEA general counsel, told the chairmen and ranking members of the House Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees about their complaints. But few on Capitol Hill have responded to the request for repeal.
  7. On GovLoop, we have locked down all our Keynote speakers for our upcoming Next Generation of Young Government Leaders Conference. But we are still looking for session ideas and guest speakers. Send us your thoughts, what should we include, what do you want more training on? The conference kicks off July 26th and 27th.

– Emily Jarvis

Written by jarvisdorobek

April 19, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

04.18.2012: DorobekINSIDER: Engaging GSA’s distracted employees, Answering the WHY career question and DOE’s STEM Mentoring Program

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On today’s program for Wednesday April 18th, 2012

The SEVEN government stories you need to know:

  1. 21 — that’s the number of prostitutes federal investigators say the Secret Service brought back to their hotel room in Colombia. The Washington Post says 11 Secret Service and nine military personnel are suspected of the misconduct that took place in advance of President Obama’s trip to the country for an international economic summit. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey told reporters, “We are embarrassed and we let the boss down, because nobody is talking about what went down in Colombia other than this incident.” All 11 secret service agents have had their top-secret security clearances revoked.
  2. The GSA scandal could be heading to a courtroom. The Washington Business Journal says California Congressman Jeff Denham sternly warned Public Buildings Service event planner Lisa Daniels that she should retain legal counsel to defend her role in putting together the Public Buildings Service event. Daniels was set to testifying before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management…but was dismissed shortly after the hearing started. Daniels is currently administrative leave.
  3. The Republican ruled House has deemed the budget passed. The Hill Newspaper says the GOP used the “deeming resolution” so that they could set guidelines for the spending bills for the next fiscal year. The House Rules Committee says that the deeming resolution “provides that the House-passed budget resolution shall have force and effect until the adoption of a conference report on the budget resolution. Meaning basically the deemed budget is the model until the real fiscal 2013 budget can be passed. This is the sixth time in the last decade that the House has deemed a budget.
  4. The mail carriers have their own plan for fixing the Postal Service. “The nation’s largest mail-carriers union wants the U.S. Postal Service to raise stamp prices and expand mail delivery. The Wall Street Journal says the Union sharply criticises the agency’s rescue plan and argues the Postal Service will become profitable only if it restructures itself like a business. The Postal Service’s proposal would close thousands of post offices and cut back on the number of days that mail is delivered.
  5. The Federal Reserve says there is a limit to its transparency. They’ve released heavily redacted transcripts that don’t include any mention of economic policy. The Wall Street Journal says the Fed isn’t required under law to release details of its policy deliberations, but decided in 1993 to begin releasing nearly full transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee meetings after a five-year lag. That was in response to pressure from Congress on the central bank to be more open about its deliberations. Few major central banks release transcripts of their policy meetings.
  6. The House has made substantial changes to its cybersecurity bill in hopes of quieting privacy advocates. The House Intelligence Committee made changes to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The Wall Street Journal says the new draft uses a different definition for a ‘cyber threat’ that leaves out any reference to intellectual property infringement. Critics had warned that the bill’s definition was so broad that it could include people illegally downloading music and movies.
  7. Over on GovLoop we asking you…why do projects fail? We’ve got some enlightening answers. Like GovLoop member Chris Hamm who says the number one reason projects fail is a  lack of effective project control & inclusion which allows participants to ride along without commitment.

– Emily Jarvis

Written by jarvisdorobek

April 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

04.16.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Why Morale Matters, Proving Gov’ts Innovative Abilities and One Gov’t Worker taking Nevada by storm

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On today’s program for Monday April 16th 2012: 

  • With all that is happening out there — GSA, now the Secret Service… we’re going to talk about how the moral in your organization. How is it these days? Clearly team building exercises involving bikes are now out of the question. So what can you do to improve moral in your organization.
  • We talk about innovation a lot, and despite all the innovation that has come out of the government, it is still challenging to be innovative within government. But we’re going to talk to an expert in innovation.
  • Talk about doing more with less… we’re going to talk to somebody who is at the epicenter of doing more with less — she has one of those every day government jobs that we often take for granted — she holds public records in Las Vegas, Nevada. When she came to that post there was a backlog — a three year back log of data… We’ll talk to her about how she got it done.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life in YOUR GOVERNMENT COUNTDOWN:

  1. 11 secret services agents were put on administrative leave on Saturday in Colombia after they allegedly brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms. The Defense Department says and additional five military service members were suspended for breaking curfew and unspecified “inappropriate conduct.” The Washington Post says the agents were assigned to the area, before President Obama went to Colombia for a diplomatic mission. The President has expressed outrage if this allegations are true and has already launched an inquiry into the matter.
  2. The GSA’s inspector General is asking the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation on the man who is being largely blamed for the 2010 Western Regions Conference — Jeffrey Neely. The Washington Post reports, Neely a career senior executive, took various electronic items for his personal use from a GSA storeroom. The inspector general also wants prosecutors to be on the lookout for possible contracting violations.
  3. A new email scam is targeting military personnel and Vets. The Washington Post says the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which manages accounting and financial operations in the Defense Department, has issued a warning about scam e-mails seeking personal information. The bogus messages appear to come from a DFAS employee with a dot mil address. The email says anyone who are receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs can get more money from the IRS. DFAS is looking into who is behind the bogus emails.
  4. New York’s top technology officer has resigned. The New York Times says Carole Post  resigned after clashing repeatedly with a deputy mayor over the management of several costly and troubled technology projects — like the cities updated 911 emergency call system.
  5. You might remember last year’s failed online privacy bill SOPA. Tech groups are gearing up in opposition to another bill — this one about cyber-security. The Hill Newspaper says House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers has proposed a bill which encourages private companies and the federal government to share information related to cybersecurity threats. Rogers says the bill is different that SOPA — but there is already growing opposition, including civil liberty groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, and some tech groups.
  6. With the political season ramping up Congress is considering changes to the Hatch Act. Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings is pushing his Oversight and Government Reform Committee to consider the Hatch Act Modernization Act this week. Federal News Radio says the bill would give the government new options for dealing with feds who break the rules about political activity.
  7. And right here on GovLoop — did you finish your taxes? Yes — tax day. And GovLoop has the story about the IRS going mobile — the IRS updated its mobile Web site. You can’t quite pay your taxes from your smart phone yet, but… really, it’s only a matter of time, right?

– Emily Jarvis

Written by jarvisdorobek

April 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

04.05.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Can technology create Democracy? 10 Leadership Commandments from a Four Star Admiral

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It’s Day Three of FOSE week and the DorobekINSIDER is there brining you the inside scoop at the annual government IT conference and trade show. Chris has been tweeting up a storm and you can follow him @cdorobek.

FOSE has been producing some great panels like the Former Senator Senator from Maine George Mitchell’s panel on technology and peace negotiations was particularly fascinating.

Senator Mitchell says with the way the world is structured today the US cannot win wars with simple military superiority.

You need four additional actors: 

  1. More effective and cooperative police work
  2. Diplomacy
  3. Financial and economic interdiction
  4. Better Intelligence gathering and analysis

But Senator Mitchell warns that even if the Arab Spring can can start and maintain a revolution it is still a long road to democracy.

Revolutions are unpredictable. You have to remember that it took the United State’s seven years after the Revolutionary War ended to set up a democratic constitution.”

In order to create a new government you will need a powerful and proven leader. Admiral Eric Olson is one of the best. The Admiral is the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and retired Four-star Navy SEAL who has over 38 years in government.

All of that experience has made Admiral Olson a proven and successful leader.

He told the crowd at FOSE about his list of 10 commandments to build a high powered team.

  1. Know the purpose
  2. Select the right people — or get to know the people thrust on you
  3. Train and educate your team from the start but don’t stop training
  4. Present your team with adversity and see how they handle it — Character under stress cannot be faked
  5. Organize for success
  6. Learn fearlessly
  7. Show trust in your team
  8. Hold them to a high standard
  9. Be their advocate and champion
  10. Live the life of a leader — Leaders are never off duty

Over on GovLoop we’re asking you, “What other commandments should be added to Admiral Olson’s list?

– Emily Jarvis

Written by jarvisdorobek

April 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

03.30.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Your FOSE 411

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Welcome to GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek… where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

This also closes out the first month of GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER program… This week, we talked about cyber-war and whether it is myth or reality… Steve Resser — Mr. GovLoop — his favorite this week was Frank DiGiammarino’s career advice.

But we decided to look forward with the issue of the week… into next week… Next week is the FOSE trade show — the biggest government IT trade show out there… well, the only one right now, I think. Thousands of people will convene in Washington, DC at the Washington Convention Center for FOSE.

And anybody who has been in the government IT market knows that there have been better days for FOSE — for most trade shows, actually, but… after more then three decades, FOSE is showing its age. That being said, there is no other place that brings together thousands of government IT people — government and industry. FOSE still is the government IT town meeting.

We wanted to introduce you to the man who is working to change that… working to make FOSE relevant to today’s government environment… Daniel McKinnon, Vice President, Government Events at 1105 Media, which produces FOSE… I asked him how the conference is evolving.

Written by jarvisdorobek

March 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

03.15.2012 Decrypting Open Government, Recovery.gov gets a Makeover and What Innovators DON’T say

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On today’s program…

  • What is open government anyway? One of the challenges to making open government real is that the term itself could be a  Rorschach test: People see what they want to see. So what does it mean to be open and transparent? Harlan Yu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. He has co-author of research: “The New Ambiguity of ‘Open Government.” He told me why everyone has a VERY different interpretation of what open government is.
  • Regulations.gov, 2.0… The eRulemaking Program team says this is the
    first installment in a series of website developments scheduled for this year. The substantial
    redesign aims to effectively relaunch the site to meet the goals in the President’s Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review Executive Order. John Moses is the Director at
    EPA’s Collection Strategies Division. He told me about the improved regulations dot gov
    site better.
  • Sometimes its easy to get swept up in a great idea. But what a person’s NOT saying could be just as important as what they are. That’s what Michael Schrage,l a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, is writing about in the Harvard Business Review. Michael told me why its important to pay attention to the things that DIDN’T happen.


We start with the stories that impact your life for Thursday the 15 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

  • Freeze or no freeze. No pay freeze, at least for now. The Senate has rejected an amendment that would have extended the federal pay freeze to January 2014. Senators voted down the amendment by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts. The Washington Post says the vote came during debate on the federal highway funding measure. The White House has said it will oppose any effort to extend the pay freeze for another year to pay for federal programs or to pay down the federal deficit.
  • The Senate has given final approval to a two-year, $109 billion blueprint for transportation. The bill gives states greater spending flexibility, sets standards for mass transit and buys time to find a solution for a funding system teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. The Washington Post says the bipartisan bill was approved just 17 days before current transportation funding and authority to collect the federal gas tax that support it ran out. The House has yet to approve a similar bill.
  • Back in 2010 the Office of Management and Budget decided to halt 30 financial management projects to look for best practices. But a Government Accountability Office audit found the pauses failed to improve their schedule or budget performance. Federal Computer Week says thirteen agencies said the reviews led to no change in long term costs. And sixteen agencies said no improvement in schedule occurred. In a few cases, project costs actually went up.
  • YOU try putting monitary policy in 140 characters. The Federal Reserve is trying a new approach to citizen engagement — they’re tweetingBloomberg news says the Federal Reserve is posting its press releases, speeches, testimony and reports to Congress — even its weekly balance sheet. It’s all part of the Fed’s effort to have more real time and personal conversations with the public.
  • SAIC — Science Applications International Corporation, will pay $500 million in restitution as a result of a scandal ridden contract. SAIC was the main contractor for New York’s CityTime automated payroll project.The New York Times says CityTime was contracted to streamline employee timekeeping and crack down on public workers who tried to pad their paychecks with undeserved overtime. It instead became a major embarrassment for the Bloomberg administration, as lengthy delays and giant cost overruns led to a federal investigation.
  • Last summer’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake may have titled the ground surrounding the Washington Monument. WTOP says, surveyors are taking measurements from several long-established points in the ground. The monument sits about 15 to 20 feet above sea level and has sunk 2 inches since it was completed in 1884. The earthquake caused several large cracks in the monument…the repairs are expected to cost 15 million dollars.
  • Here’s a little fun fact for today. Have you heard of the Barry White voting effect? Two university professors have found that that voters prefer political candidates with lower resonating voices. so…insert funny line here…
  • And, over onGovLoop were talking about Congress’ proposed gradual retirement bill. The measure would reduce work schedules as employee approaches retirement. The employees would receive their income from a combination of salary and retirement benefits. This new authority would be subject to a requirement that part of the individuals time would have to be spent mentoring other employees. What do you think? Head over and chime in.

Written by jarvisdorobek

March 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

03.13.2012 Doing better with less with Code for America, Crafting your Innovator DNA and Measuring Metrics

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On today’s program…

But after the break… we start, as we do every day,  with the stories that impact your life for TUESDAY the 13 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jarvisdorobek

March 13, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

03.08.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Santa Cruz makes big data work; State and local and cloud; and CAPing your goals

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We have a great show for you today…

• Big data is one of the hot new terms that people are talking about. And it is about all that data that is out there. How do you make sense of it all. We’re going to talk to officials from Santa Cruz California where they are using big data to predict crime. It’s pretty cool stuff.

• Speaking of big data, we’re going to talk about the cloud… and making cloud computing work on the state and local level. A group led by TechAmerica has some advice on how to avid the pitfalls… and do state and local governments have different challenges then federal agencies?

• Pull out your government acronym list — there is one you need to know about. Its CAP and it stands for the Cross-Agency Priority Goals. Its a 14 prong approach — we’ll get an overview with GovLooper John Kamensky from the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

After the break… the stories that impact your life for Wednesday March 7th, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds… and more details on our guests today…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jarvisdorobek

March 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

DorobekINSIDER: Federal News Radio’s Amy Morris leave to join new all-news station

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Amy MorrisAmy Morris, one of the stalwarts of Washington, DC’s Federal News Radio DC, is leaving the station, the DorobekINSIDER has learned. (I’m predicting that I’ll hear from Amy for calling her a “stalwart,” but it’s a good thing — really!)

We hear she is joining the all-news radio station being launched by CBS Radio, insiders say.

The departure leaves big shoes to fill on WFED’s morning show. Morris anchored the morning show with Tom Temin, the former editor of Government Computer News. Morris also served as WFED’s executive editor.

A personal note: Amy and I were paired on Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program when I first started at the station. She taught me everything I know about radio. For that, she will always have a special place in my heart. Beyond that, she is a consummate professional — and she is passionate about journalism.

And that voice: I always said — only half joking — that I could listen to her read the phone book… and I would continue to listen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

December 13, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

DorobekINSIDER: OMB memo lays out the policies to secure cloud computing using FedRAMP

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The Office of Management and Budget this morning posted a new memo [PDF or below] by Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel laying out the administration’s initiative for cloud computing security.

FedRAMP logoKnown as FedRAMP — Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program– it is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. This approach uses a “do once, use many times” framework that will save cost, time, and staff required to conduct redundant agency security assessments.

The memo, titled Security Authorization of Information Systems in Cloud Computing Environments, has been widely anticipated and lays out the administration’s steps toward securing cloud computing.

Earlier this year, at a speech in California, VanRoekel suggested that FedRAMP could become mandatory.

Cloud computing is at the heart of the Obama administration’s key technology initiatives and is a prominent part of the White House 25 point IT reform plan [PDF].

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

December 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

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