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Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

03.26.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Cyberwar: hype or reality; the import of CISOs; and evolving virtual worlds

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Happy Monday… did you have a good weekend? Here in Washington, it was rainy and relatively cool… I say relatively because it was close to 80 on Friday.

Photo: Flickr member CrazyGeorge http://bit.ly/GRadZ2

On this date 20 years ago — 1982 — there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The design was controversial at the time — the names on slate layed into the ground between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument… but the site has become one of the most popular memorials in Washington. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was officially unveiled in November 1982.

Remember earlier this month, we introduced you to Jennifer Pahlka of Code for America. She is a remarkable person working to make government better. Code for America is a non-profit that provides fellowships for technology experts to work in city government. Well, CNN spoke to her over the weekend. And she told CNN that reforming city halls in America requires the talents of a new generation of technology and design experts. Remember she told us about Adopt-a-Hydrant — it’s one of the apps that a Code for America fellows wrote last year for Boston. And it allows Bostonians sign up to dig out a fire hydrant when they’re covered with snow. Good work.

A busy week ahead… Wednesday is Federal Computer Week’s annual Fed 100 Awards gala… some really remarkable winners this year. Read the full list of winners. It’s a great opportunity to remember some of the hard work that has gone on.

And then on Thursday, I’ll be at the Acquisition Excellence conference sponsored by the American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council. I’m moderating a morning panel that focuses on Acquisition Strategies in the age of austerity and how agencies can balance their needs with the reduced budgets. It should be a fascinating discussion.

But here today… we have a good program…

  • Cyberwar — hype or reality? We’ll have an assessment of a professor of war studies.
  • And then a very different perspective… as everybody looks to do more with less, some state and local governments are cutting their Chief Information Security Officers. We’ll look at that issue… and ramifications.
  • It sounds like something out of Star Trek — remember the halodeck… but the future of Virtual Worlds is serious business. The 5th annual Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds Conference is coming up in May. We’ll take a look at how these virtual worlds have changed and evolved over the past five years.

All that ahead…

But after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Monday the 26 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

March 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

03.22.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Disruptive innovation with Deloitte’s Bill Eggers; creating Ethics.gov and Virginia Decoded

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Happy Thursday.

We start off with a topic we come to so often… your money…

House GOP Fiscal Year 2013 Budget | Budget.House.GovThe House Budget Committee passed the Republican version of the fiscal 2013 budget yesterday — but just barely. Ezra Klein in the Washington Post’s WonkBlog notes that the House Budget Committee has 38 members — 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the man who has in many ways defined the conservative approach to the federal budget… and yet the Ryan budget passed by only one vote.

Some of that leads the Wall Street Journal to suggest we may be headed to… yes, you know it — a government shutdown… even in the weeks before the election. The Journal says the budget act passed last year has been coming apart in pieces and the disagreements between the White House and congressional Republicans over spending levels has heightened the chance of a government shutdown just weeks before the November election. The budget agreement signed into law last August was supposed to help avoid such a showdown, but today, it seems possible. And the Journal says the flashpoint came this week Congressman Ryan called for more than $1 trillion in discretionary spending for the year beginning Oct. 1. That represents $19 billion less than the level agreed to with the White House last year and put into law.

We’ll watch it carefully, of course… we always try to stay away from shutdown hype, but even the talk impacts how government operates, so we’ll keep an eye on it.

On today’s program…

All that ahead…

But after the break, as we do each day, we start with the stories that impact your life for Thursday the 22 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

March 22, 2012 at 1:48 PM

DorobekINSIDER: The 100 most read items for 2010

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Happy New Year! What a great time to look back – and look forward… and to think about fresh starts.

The coming months are going to be interesting, no doubt.

All week, I’ll bring the most read items across Federal News Radio’s programs – Mike Causey tomorrow; the Federal Drive on Wednesday; FederalNewsRadio.com on Thursday; and In Depth on Friday.

But today, the 100 most read items on the DorobekINSIDER:

POLL: What do you think of the proposed pay freeze?
Federal pay up over 400 percent since 1969
Managing the fear of cutbacks among federal workers
IRS releases TSP contribution limits for 2011
Obama orders cuts in federal building costs
DorobekINSIDER poll: Did OPM make the right decision to open DC offices on Friday?
TSP end-of-year deadlines approaching
Analysis: What the pay freeze means to feds
Thrift Savings Plan update
Boeing may be losing edge in Air Force tanker award
Why TSP calculators don’t always work
How safe are your federal benefits?
Chances good for passage of TSP/annual leave bill
More TSP participants taking out money early
Federal intern program violates hiring rules
OPM targets poor-performing feds
Toss out that time card, get more productive employees
Why your office fridge could be hazardous to your health
Should feds work on Columbus Day?
POLL: How will the new Congress affect your job?
Why there’s been a backlash against feds lately
Analysis: What will happen to your pay?
Obama: Federal jobs may stay vacant
POLL: How big is the ‘bad government worker’ problem?
DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO
TSP contribution limits for 2011 explained
How to manage older workers
TSP funds climb in July
Super bar codes gaining popularity in U.S.
Do agencies keep poor performers on the job?
Long-term tips for your Thrift Savings Plan
Your wireless router could leave you vulnerable
Are teleworkers happier?
DorobekINSIDER: An open letter to OMB: Stop the public sector bashing
How to make that performance review work for you
Budget top issue at TSP meeting
Author explores age of entitlement in “The Narcissism Epidemic”
POLL: Deficit commission recs hit feds
Rep. Connolly: Pay freeze unfair to feds
Most TSP funds suffer losses in May
FBI shuts down Sentinel computer program
TSP funds show gains in October
New TSP website launches
Berry lauds agencies for vet hiring
How to tune out noise in your office
Analysis: Causey and Miller on the pay freeze
Cool Jobs: USPS preserves stamps in cave
New Air Force motto gets mixed reviews
Investors make slight shifts to higher-risk TSP funds
Al Qaeda magazine calls for attacks on D.C. government workers
Elective deferrals for your TSP explained
TSP readies for debut of L-2050
How to make telework really work
Why continuous monitoring is gaining popularity
DorobekINSIDER: OMB’s government performance self-assessment
DorobekINSIDER poll: What should be the federal government’s operating status for FRIDAY?
The TSP as a model for other 401(k)s?
For TSP investments, most play it safe
DorobekINSIDER: Back to work for feds in DC, OPM defends closure decisions
TSP updates website, automatic enrollment options
Grassley: DoD IG’s lax oversight results in fraud
Was the Smithsonian haunted?
Vampire killers under federal contract?
The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?
Government still faces numerous teleworking challenges
2010 and Beyond: Causey on the ups and downs of the year
Board objects to proposed TSP fund
Causey on health plan options in Open Season
DorobekINSIDER: DOD issues its much anticipated Web 2.0 policy
Analysis: What does public anger mean for feds?
Rule would change contractors’ hiring practices
Fantasy TSP – Are you in?
How to get more minorities, women to participate in TSP
Coast Guard Academy named top college
Dorobek Must Reads – June 2
Telework requires ‘culture change’
Poll results: Should feds work on Columbus Day?
Automatic enrollment in TSP starts next week
Fed satisfaction survey reveals vast amount of info
‘Government Doesn’t Suck’ rally puts human face on government
Causey: How agency budget cuts will affect you
Can a Facebook post get you fired?
Public-private pay gap is widening
Federal pay raises safe … for now
TSP numbers: Look past the short term trend
DorobekINSIDER: GSA reorganizes, Interior shuffles – and the CIO (apparently) moves
Survey: Performance reviews get poor ratings
Election watch 2010 – and what it means for porn
Hiring reforms could mean big changes for veterans
Will feds get a half-day off on Dec. 23?
Google sues U.S. government
Last-minute open season tips
How to get your TSP questions answered
Comments needed for TSP beneficiary designation
Can Facebook get you fired?
DorobekINSIDER: Helping out a Postal employee in a time of need
Inside the secret new Internet browser

DorobekINSIDER: GSA leadership changes: Lovelace, Costa, Piatt

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A number of leadership changes at the General Services Administration.

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has announced that Gail Lovelace, who has served as the chief people officer for the General Services Administration, will be taking a newly created job as GSA’s chief leadership officer.

Lovelace

Gail Lovelace

“I have been deliberately attending to succession planning, strategic alignment, and performance management of the agency leadership since my confirmation,” Johnson said in a memo to staff.  “Gail has helped shape those activities and will continue to build on them.  This move will also signal beyond the walls of GSA that we are intent upon holding our place as a pace-setter for the government in matters of fostering and strengthening public sector leadership.”

Lovelace is widely respected in government, particularly in the HR community, and has been recognized for her work on the Bush-Obama transition.

Replacing Lovelace as GSA’s chief people officer will be Tony Costa, who has spent most of his 25 year career at GSA with the Public Building Service.

In addition, Bill Piatt is moving from the Office of Technology Strategy to the GSA Administrator’s office. He will assume the work that Tony has been championing, namely GSA’s use of the social media and open government tools that our Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies is promulgating across government

The memo from Johnson sent out today:

From: Administrator Martha Johnson
Subject: Exciting Leadership Movement

It is my pleasure to announce a couple of exciting leadership moves here at
GSA.

To begin, Gail Lovelace will be moving to my office to assume the role of Chief Leadership Officer on December 1.  For the past 13 years Gail has served as the Chief People Officer.  She and I have worked very closely together for years, and I am personally thrilled to have her join me in building and strengthening our leadership cadre. I have been deliberately attending to succession planning, strategic alignment, and performance management of the agency leadership since my confirmation.  Gail has helped shape those activities and will continue to build on them.  This move will also signal beyond the walls of GSA that we are intent upon holding our place as a pace-setter for the government in matters of fostering and strengthening public sector leadership.

In conjunction with Gail’s move, I have asked Tony Costa to step in as the Chief People Officer.  Tony brings customer knowledge, strategic business perspective, operational experience, and, perhaps most importantly, change management chops.  While most of his 25 year career at GSA has been with the Public Building Service – both Regional and at Central Office – Tony is
willing to step into a new challenge in the “C-Suite.”  It is not an easy thing to follow a leader such as Gail Lovelace who has in many ways defined Human Resources for GSA, but I have confidence that Tony will do a great job at the helm of the CPO’s office.  I am equally confident that such moves are good for our leaders and good for the organization as a whole. They break down our silos and send the signal that we want people to try new things and build out their knowledge of the full enterprise.

Finally, Bill Piatt will move from the Office of Technology Strategy to my office and will assume the work that Tony has been championing, namely GSA’s use of the social media and open government tools that our Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies is promulgating across government.  Bill recently returned to GSA and brings great experience in IT leadership and progressive IT tools.  I know that he will hit the ground running, and I am excited about the energy that he will bring to these important enterprise-wide efforts.

GSA is going through a lot of change.  These leaders have deep experience in GSA and share a passion for our mission and collective success.  As they change roles, they are modeling change as leaders.  Please join me in thanking them for their service and supporting them in these new challenges.

Best regards,
Martha

Written by cdorobek

September 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM

DorobekINSIDER: The Federal News Radio Book Club selection: The New Social Learning

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It’s back — the Federal News Radio Book Club. In fact, we haven’t had a “meeting” since April when we discussed Daniel Pink’s book Drive.

For newcomers… Think of the Federal News Radio Book Club as a wonky version of the Oprah book club. Unlike most book clubs, we don’t meet in a physical location. We’ll hold the book club “meeting” right on the air on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s DorobekINSIDER and/or online at DorobekINSIDER.com. And during the hour, we will be joined by the authors of the book… and by a few other people who can spur the discussion… and we’ll take questions and comments about the book.

There are several ways you can participate. There is a Federal News Radio Book Club section on GovLoop, where I’d love to get your thoughts… and a Facebook page… you can Tweet about the book…

All of that being said, let me give you the details…

When: Friday, November 12, 2010 at 3p ET
Where: On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s DorobekINSIDER… and online at DorobekINSIDER.com.

The New Social Learning

The New Social Learning

And the book: The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media by Tony Bingham and Marcia  Conner. Bingham [Twitter] is the is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). Conner Bingham [Twitter] is a partner at Altimeter Group, which creates strategies for collaborative culture, social business, and workplace learning with enterprise leaders and technology providers who serve them.

Why this book?

Regular readers and listeners probably know that I am fascinated by what I call collaborative tools. (I am not a fan of the term “social media” — and I think it is more then just a question of semantics.) I continue to believe that these tools are fundamentally altering the way we have done business along a whole array of areas — government being one of them for a number of reasons.

This book fascinated me because… the authors spoke to government… and it focuses on doing business better. But in the end, it is about change — and change management. We all talk about how difficult it is to change government. (I actually think government gets a bad rap — it is difficult to change large organizations, and federal agencies are large organizations.)

One of my favorite pull quotes from the book so far:

Training often gives solutions to problems already solved. Collaboration addresses challenges no one has overcome before.

Love that.

I have to say up front that I have not finished the book yet — my Kindle tells me I’m 39 percent of the way through. (There are no page numbers in an e-book — because you can change the font size.)

That being said, I get the gist — and there is enough there already to make it worth some time.

This book is specifically not about marketing using social networking… or building your brand. It is about training — and learning, where there is so much evolution going on.

Here is how the authors describe the focus of the book:

Many employers see it as simply a workplace distraction. But social media has the potential to revolutionize workplace learning. People have always learned best from one another, and social media enables this to happen, unrestricted by physical location and in extraordinarily creative ways.

Again, I will share my thoughts about the book as I’m reading it. I hope you will too… here… on GovLoop… on Facebook… or Tweet using #DIbookclub. We’ll use all of the comments as part of our discussion on Nov. 12.

I have also pulled reviews and further reading together here.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Previous Federal News Radio Book Club “meetings”:
* The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. Read more and hear the book club meeting here.
* Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman. Read more and hear the book club “meeting” with Andrew and Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra find a link to the book club session here.
* Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. Read more and hear the book club “meeting” here.

DorobekINSIDER: GSA hires ConnellyWork’s Kelly Olson

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Kelly Olson, a vice president at ConnellyWorks, the Fairfax, VA based PR, marketing and events company, is joining the General Services Administration, the DorobekINSIDER has learned.

Olson joined ConnellyWorks 14 months ago after her tenure at the Industry Advisory Council and the American Council for Technology.

Kelly Olson

At GSA, she will serve as the director for strategic initiatives and program outreach for GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. The official announcement will come on Wednesday.

Olson will report to Martha Dorris, the Deputy Associate Administrator of GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

Olson is widely respected as somebody who gets gov 2.0.

Her job description is below:

Kelly Olson, Director, Strategic Initiatives & Program Outreach, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), General Services Administration (GSA)

Position Reports to: Martha Dorris, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), General Services Administration (GSA)

The OCSIT serves citizens and fosters public engagement through the use of innovative technologies to connect citizens to government information and services. As part of this effort, OCSIT runs the award-winning USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov, the official websites of the federal government. The office is rapidly becoming a leader in the use of new media and Web 2.0 technologies to bring government to citizens and citizens to government. Through its use of the Internet (i.e., websites and new media), call centers, publications, and other programs, OCSIT facilitates more than 200 million citizen touchpoints a year.  OCSIT is also facilitating government-wide capabilities to support the President’s Open Government Directive, such as idea management and challenge solutions.  OCSIT is responsible for many of the eGovernment initiatives, including Data.gov, Challenge.gov, citizen engagement platform, FedSpace, Mobile Apps, Federal Cloud Computing Initiative.

Focus Area:  Within OCSIT, the Office of Citizen Services’ (OCS) primary goal is to ensure that the public has a unified experience when accessing information from the government from the web. OCS’ products and services enable other Federal agencies to provide information to the public through the sharing of best practices, a government-wide contract for contact center solutions, and education in the Web and contact center arena. OCS is currently leading the federal government in creating tools and processes for engaging the public through online dialogs to inform the government on improving business processes and services. They work closely with other government agencies—federal, state, local, and international—to collect and consolidate information and make it available to the public and share experiences that lead to better solutions.  OCS leverages several interagency groups to share best practices and develop strategies for improving the way we provide services to the American public.  These include CIOs from five nations (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) as well as Federal Web Managers Council and the Contact Center Leaders.  OCS works closely with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget to improve the service the government provides to the public.

Key Responsibilities:  Kelly will directly support Martha Dorris, the Deputy Associate Administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT). She will be responsible for developing and managing outreach and communications to federal agencies who need the OCSIT’s products and services.  She will work collaboratively with the GSA’s Office of Citizen Services, New Media & Citizen Engagement and Innovative Technology teams to ensure the office’s mission is communicated effectively, both internally and externally.

Kelly will also work closely with GSA’s Director of Global Government Innovation Networks to support an international community of e-government officials that foster the exchange of information, share best practices and promote collaboration across all levels of government.

Written by cdorobek

August 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

DorobekINSIDER Reader: Federal Internet cookie policies

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The Office of Management and Budget has just issued a new policy for dealing with Internet “cookies” — these are text files that a Web site can put on your computer to track how you traverse the site.

Cookies enable Web site personalization — for example, the allow a Web site to remember you and, maybe, the items you put in your online shopping cart. But they have always been watched by some privacy advocates because of the potential implications — for example, they could track a visitor’s travels to other sites. [Read how cookies work here... and how to delete them here.]

The federal government has been all but banned from using persistent Internet cookies because of those privacy concerns. OMB has just issued new policy guidance would enable agencies to use this tool. And Federal News Radio’s Max Cacas reported on the new policies on the Dorobek Insider on Friday. You can find his report here.

This is an issue I’ve followed for a long time (here is the FCW editorial I wrote on the subject back in 2006) — and, to be honest, I’m suspicious of the new policy. That being said, I have just started reading them.

The new OMB policy seeks to re-balance the privacy considerations given that the ban was instituted more than a decade ago. The idea: Times have changed and people are more accepting of these tools.

As I say, I’m reading the policies now, but… It is important to be very clear — agencies were absolutely not banned from using cookies. They had been banned from using PERSISTENT cookies — cookies that can track you long term. I didn’t get a chance to read all the comments that came in — and unfortunately OMB has not kept those comments online. And I still have to read the policies, but… I have year to hear a convincing argument why agencies must have persistent cookies. Some argue that the private sector does it, but that argument is specious — the government is not the private sector. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the private sector does. (Should government follow the Facebook privacy model?)

Let’s be very clear — this is not the most critical privacy issue facing government. That being said, it doesn’t help. People are already distrustful of government. I have yet to be convinced of the enormous public good that comes from using this tracking tool that one cannot accomplish otherwise. Again, agencies can use cookies — just not persistent cookies. How does it make people feel about their government if they feel like they are being tracked? (The stopwatch is running until the first story comes out of people using cookies to actually track people using government Web sites.)

I’m reading the new policies with an open mind, but… I’m very suspicious.

Regardless, I thought it was an opportunity to pull together the DorobekINSIDER Reader on the OMB cookie policy with background information, given that this has been going on for a long time…

The 2010 cookie/federal Web privacy policies:

* OMB policy M-10-22: Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies [PDF] [Scribd]

* OMB policy M-10-23: Guidance for Agency Use of Third-Party Websites and Applications [PDF] [Scribd]

* The OMB “fact sheet” on the two policies

View this document on Scribd

How these came about…
Giving OMB credit, they tried to evolve these policies in a relatively public way. As I seem to say a lot these days, I think they could have developed it in a public way. That being said, it would be nice if the comments were still available.

Here were some of the discussion:

White House blog post from July 24, 2009: Federal Websites: Cookie Policy
By federal CIO Vivek Kundra and Michael Fitzpatrick, associate administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Policy

During the Open Government Initiative outreach, Federal employees and the public have asked us questions about the federal government’s policy on cookies. As part of our effort to create a more open and innovative government, we’re working on a new cookie policy that we’ll want your input on. But before we get into that, let’s provide some context.

In June 2000, the OMB Director issued a memorandum (M-00-13, later updated by M-03-22) that prohibited Federal agencies from using certain web-tracking technologies, primarily persistent cookies, due to privacy concerns, unless the agency head approved of these technologies because of a compelling need. That was more than nine years ago. In the ensuing time, cookies have become a staple of most commercial websites with widespread public acceptance of their use. For example, every time you use a “shopping cart” at an online store, or have a website remember customized settings and preferences, cookies are being used.

Read the full post — and the comments — here.

* The Federal Register item that went along with that comment period.

* WhiteHouse.gov blog post: Enhancing Online Citizen Participation Through Policy [June 16, 2009]
By Kundra and Fitzpatrick

Last week, Vivek Kundra and Katie Stanton talked about the efforts underway to introduce more Web 2.0 technologies to the federal government sites and to open more back-and-forth communication between the American people and the government. Some of this naturally requires the adoption of new approaches and innovative technologies. But another big part of this is updating existing practices and how these tools can be used to break down barriers to communication and information.

We continue to ask for your feedback, but the best feedback is informed feedback. So what follows is background on current policies and some examples of what we’ve heard from you during the Brainstorming phase of our outreach.

Here is the specific section on cookies:

FEDERAL COOKIE POLICY: This has been a challenging issue to navigate. Put in place in 2000 to protect the privacy of Americans, the federal cookie policy limited the use of persistent cookies by federal agencies. A cookie, as many readers here know, is a small piece of software that tracks or authenticates web viewing activities by the user. In the nine years since this was put in place, website cookies have become more mainstream as users want sites to recognize their preferences or keep track of the items in their online shopping carts. We’ve heard a lot of feedback on this area. One person put it all together. “Persistent cookies are very useful as an indirect feedback mechanism for measuring effectiveness of government web sites . . . Cookies allow a greater level of accuracy in measuring unique visitors . . . Being able to look at returning visitors allows us to see what

Recognizing the fundamental change in technology in the past nine years, and the feedback that we’ve received so far, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reexamining the cookie policy as part of this Open Government Initiative. There is a tough balance to find between citizen privacy and the benefits of persistent cookies, and we would welcome your thoughts on how best to strike it.

Read the rest of the post here.

* WhiteHouse.gov blog: Cookies Anyone (the http kind)? [July 24, 2009]
By Bev Godwin, who was on assignment to the White House at the time. She is currently GSA’s Director of USA.gov and the Office of Citizen Service’s Web Best Practices Office

Nine years ago – a lifetime in Internet time – the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a policy commonly referred to as “the cookies policy. “This policy prohibited federal agencies from using certain web-tracking technologies, primarily persistent cookies, unless the agency head provided a waiver. This may sound like arcane, boring policy – but it is really important in the online world.

Unfortunately in this post, Godwin points to a site where people could post comments — http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/07/24/cookiepolicy. Unfortunately that page doesn’t seem to exist. It would be great to see the comments now.content is important to our citizens. We can use that data to improve the content and navigation of our sites.”

* WhiteHouse.gov blog post: On Cookies [August 11, 2009]
By Kundra and Fitzpatrick

Over the past two weeks, during the public comment period on OMB’s cookie policy, we have received significant feedback and suggested revisions to the current policy. These comments reflect individual opinions on all sides of the issue.

Our main goal in revisiting the ban on using persistent cookies on Federal websites is to bring the federal government into the 21st century. Consistent with this Administration’s commitment to making government more open and participatory, we want federal agencies to be able to provide the same user- friendly, dynamic, and citizen-centric websites that people have grown accustomed to using when they shop or get news online or communicate through social media networks, while also protecting people’s privacy.

It is clear that protecting the privacy of citizens who visit government websites must be one of the top considerations in any new policy. This is why we’ve taken such a cautious approach going forward and why we felt it so important to get feedback and hear from people on this. While we wanted to get people’s ideas for improving our policy, we also needed to hear any concerns so that we could understand better where potential pitfalls might lie.

This privacy issue has recently received some attention in the media. We want to make it clear that the current policy on Federal agencies’ use of cookies has not changed. Moreover, the policy won’t change until we’ve read the public comments that have been submitted to ensure that we’re considering all sides of the issue and are addressing privacy concerns appropriately.

Continue reading the full post here.

Going back a decade… some of the discussion that led to the persistent cookie ban.

* Letter from then Commerce Department CIO Roger Baker, now the CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, to John Spotila on Federal agency use of Web cookies (July 28, 2000)

[The CIO Council] strongly support the requirement that the use of any technology, including persistent cookies, to track the activities of users on web sites be approved personally by the head of the executive department (for the 14 executive departments) or agency.

As we make progress towards electronic government, personalization of web sites, typically done through persistent cookies, may become necessary in order to serve our customer’s requirements. At that time, it would be appropriate for OMB to review the “no delegation” policy in light of the then-current “state-of-the-art” in privacy protections. For example, OMB may decide to relax this policy when customers are given a choice of selecting either a personalized (i.e., with persistent cookie) or non-personalized (no persistent cookie) web experience.

* Letter from Spotila to Baker, clarification of OMB Cookies Policy (September 5, 2000)

We are concerned about persistent cookies even if they do not themselves contain personally identifiable information. Such cookies can often be linked to a person after the fact, even where that was not the original intent of the web site operator. For instance, a person using the computer later may give his or her name or e-mail address to the agency. It may then be technically easy for the agency to learn the complete history of the browsing previously done by users of that computer, raising privacy concerns even when the agency did not originally know the names of the users.

* M-00-13, Privacy Policies and Data Collection on Federal Web Sites (June 22, 2000)

* M-99-18, Privacy Policies on Federal Web Sites (June 2, 1999)

Written by cdorobek

June 26, 2010 at 4:21 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA reorganizes, Interior shuffles – and the CIO moves

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These posts are often difficult to write because… well, the situation appears fluid and the facts aren’t all in place yet. And given the nature of the issues, people don’t really want to talk about it. That being said, it appears there are a number of changes afoot at GSA, where GSA Administrator Martha Johnson is continuing her broad reorganization of that agency, and at the Interior Department.

As I said, details are still sketchy and it doesn’t appear that everything is locked down yet, but… here is what we are hearing:

* GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications will be transformed into the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technology. Dave McClure, the Associate Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration Office of Citizen Services and Communications, will have two deputies, we hear. Martha Dorris, the Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Citizens Services, will lead the citizen services part of the organization… and Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, currently in the Interior Department CIO, will become something like the Deputy Associate Administrator for innovative technologies. In that role, he will be leading issues like cloud computing and DATA.gov.

We hear that Bhagowalia’s last will be tomorrow — and he will start at GSA on Monday, May 24. Bhagowalia was testifying just this morning before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding the transition — or lack thereof — to the Networx telecommunications contract. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller tried to ask him about his shift, but Bhagowalia said he couldn’t answer questions. (So… we have tried to get this information from official sources.)

* Interior Department CIO organization… We haven’t been able to nail these down precisely either, but… we hear that Bhagowalia will be replaced by Bernie Mazer, who is currently the CIO at Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service.

* Interior Department’s National Business Center… There have also been changes at Interior’s National Business Center. Doug Bourgeois, Director of the Interior Department’s National Business Center, has left that post and is now at VMwar as the vice president and chief cloud executive. We hear there could be other changes. Donald Swain, who had been serving as NBC’s chief of staff, is the acting director.

Written by cdorobek

May 21, 2010 at 12:47 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Most read items April 9-15, 2010: OPM hiring reforms and crowdsourcing the Gulf oil spill

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There is little doubt about what the big story for feds was this past week — the executive order to speed up the federal hiring process. And those stories were throughout the most read list this week across FederalNewsRadio.com

So… the most read stories April 9-15, 2010… on the DorobekInsider.com, on final week of the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, on Mike Causey’s Federal Report, and for FederalNewsRadio.com

…from the DorobekInsider.com

  1. DorobekINSIDER: Crowdsourcing Gulf Coast oil spill info
  2. DorobekINSIDER: The Gov 2.0 status report — where are we now?
  3. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the month of April 2010: iPad, USPS, TSP millionaires
  4. DorobekINSIDER: Former GSA CIO Piatt returns — but at OGP
  5. DorobekINSIDER: The blog becomes a radio show… and programming changes at Federal News Radio
  6. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of May 2-8, 2010: Oil spill, TSP, and telework
  7. DorobekINSIDER on the circuit: Jane Norris; NASA’s Diaz; NASA’s Kemp; former GSAer Bill
  8. DorobekInsider: OMB hires performance guru Shelley Metzenbaum
  9. DorobekINSIDER: Turco to lead GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy
  10. DorobekINSIDER: Federal News Radio’s programming changes become officially official
  11. The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?
  12. DorobekINSIDER: Is that a ‘for sale’ sign at market research firm Input?
  13. DorobekINSIDER: GSA’s Johnson’s memo to staff re Turco as the new head of governmentwide
  14. DorobekINSIDER: BREAKING: GSA names Michael Robertson as chief of staff
  15. DorobekInsider: USDA gets approval for employee buy outs from OPM as mega-management reorg continues
  16. DorobekINSIDER EXCLUSIVE: GSA’s Jim Williams to retire from government after 30-plus years
  17. The DorobekInsider reader: Obama cyber policy review
  18. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of April 3-10: The iPad, TSP, and your thoughts about g

… from Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris

  1. In the TSP, is G fund the place to be?
  2. More feds might be needed for hiring reforms
  3. How federal hiring reforms will affect managers
  4. Analysis: Proposed DoD cuts could mean big changes
  5. In the TSP, is G fund is the place to be?
  6. GAO: Comparison of military, civilian pay & benefits complex
  7. NTEU wants merit system preserved with hiring reform
  8. Mike Causey weighs in on federal hiring reform
  9. Analysis: Contractor dollars shrink in FY 2011 budget
  10. Changes come to Federal News Radio
  11. Archives uses Web 2.0 to write Open Government Plan
  12. Most TSP funds see gains in April
  13. Labor launches video contest to create job visability
  14. Focus on work/life balance could free you from the office
  15. Get ready for the 2010 Andrews Air Show this weekend
  16. The importance of transparency for health IT
  17. The role of government in private innovation
  18. Section: Daily Debrief Blogs
  19. How hacks on Dept. of Treasury sites were detected
  20. Privacy, porn, and your federal job: analysis
  21. How the Defense Department will cut spending
  22. How feds helped children of Haiti after the earthquake
  23. Army uses virtual world Second Life for collaboration
  24. GAO compares DoD military, civilian pay & benefits
  25. How your TSP performed in April
  26. A fond farewell to Jane Norris
  27. Use alternative communication in an emergency
  28. Survey: Feds do not consider security when communicating
  29. In the TSP, the G fund is the place to be
  30. Analysis: Gen. Alexander to head Cyber Command
  31. Tuesday Afternoon Federal Newscast – May 11
  32. GAO: DoD could improve on ability to respond to catastrophes
  33. Changes at DoD’s Medical Education and Training Campus
  34. FBI investigates cyber ‘money mules’
  35. Cooperation led to swift capture of suspected bomber
  36. New worm spreads via Yahoo instant messenger
  37. Senate examines ways to strengthen federal workforce
  38. Restroom parity coming to an agency near you?
  39. VA opens IT training centers to improve awareness
  40. Social Security Administration battles claims backlog
  41. National Archives are ‘backbone of transparency’
  42. DoD’s Cyber Command prepares for battle
  43. How to know if the cloud is right for you
  44. TSP participants roll over record amount of investments
  45. ACT/IAC: VA health IT system needs modernization
  46. Vint Cerf discusses role of government online
  47. OMB wants agency input on FISMA
  48. Digital ants help fight cyber attacks
  49. Your Turn preview: Who needs the SES?

… for Mike Causey’s Federal Report

  1. Civil Service Reform & Manure
  2. FEHBP Dependent Change is a Long Shot
  3. Teleworking & Dependent Care: The Downside
  4. National Guard $5,000 Payouts!
  5. Teleworking, FEHBP: Different Strokes!
  6. Honors and $$ For Top Ranked Feds
  7. Big Career Changes Coming at You
  8. Leaping Tall Buildings, Fed Style
  9. NSPS Time Travelers Return to Earth
  10. About Those Buyout Rumors…

… and from FederalNewsRadio.com

  1. Executive Order seals OPM hiring reforms
  2. OPM hosts CHCO hiring reforms summit today
  3. OPM to unveil hiring reforms Tuesday
  4. TSP Snapshot: April up, clouds over I fund
  5. OPM tests letting feds work without a schedule
  6. OPM enacts sweeping federal hiring reform
  7. DoD fixing its patchwork quilt of cybersecurity
  8. Senate confirms Alexander to head DoD Cyber Command
  9. House rejects telework bill
  10. Vint Cerf explains DARPA and the Internet
  11. FCC to establish cyber certification program
  12. DHS tries sharing cyber threat data differently
  13. Feds expand virtual worlds use
  14. OMB drafts, seeks comments on FISMA metrics
  15. A day of thank yous to federal employees
  16. Agencies finding added value in open government
  17. OMB’s Sunstein links records and open government
  18. Federal News Radio Reports
  19. HReinvented: Feds mixed on OPM’s HR reform plans, survey finds
  20. NTEU files motion to end internship program
  21. OPM to create pools of qualified applicants
  22. DHS to release draft RFP for Eagle 2
  23. Bill would create White House cyber office
  24. GSA: Green, Sustainable and more Aggressive
  25. White House promising more attention to 508
  26. When to consider moving your TSP funds around
  27. House to vote on telework bill Thursday
  28. OFPP defines ‘inherently governmental’
  29. DoD Cyber Command will take a defensive posture
  30. Intellipedia provides lessons for FedSpace initiative
  31. Feds are organizing labor-management forums
  32. OPM to submit hiring reform advice to White House next week
  33. Agency cybersecurity reporting to get makeover
  34. OPM takes smaller steps to modernize retirement processes
  35. White House works to change online transactions
  36. Survey: More incentives needed for Senior Executive Service
  37. OMB shifts to real time cybersecurity monitoring
  38. OPM promotes ‘Feds Get Fit’ with recipe cookoff
  39. Federal labor unions push back against senator’s TSA ‘hold’
  40. Berry is innovating in the OPM basement
  41. Government needs to define cyber war
  42. ATF wants more from mobile devices
  43. GSA releases FY 2010 per diem rates
  44. BRAC in Maryland: So far, so good
  45. GSA continues to hint at E-Travel consolidation
  46. Justice moves closer to secure sharing
  47. SSA staying on top of claims increase
  48. OMB outlines shift on FISMA
  49. Agency pilots help cultivate ‘inherently governmental’ changes
  50. DISA wants collaboration marbled through enterprise

Written by cdorobek

May 15, 2010 at 7:04 PM

DorobekINSIDER: The Gov 2.0 status report — where are we now?

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What is gov 2.0, what does it mean, and is it still a relevant term?

Those were the questions that were being bandied about at a dinner last week of gov 2.0 luminaries in preparation for the Gov 2.0 Expo.

The second Gov 2.0 Expo is coming to Washington, DC in just a few weeks — May 25-27 at the Washington Convention Center, to be exact. Produced by tech publishing giant Tim O’Reilly, the guy who all but invented the term “web 2.0.”

One of the remarkable evolutions over the years has been the changing government IT market. And it is very easy to overlook how much progress has been made. When I started covering this stuff for Government Computer News nearly two decades ago (my colleague at Federal News Radio, Tom Temin, hired me for the job at GCN — small world), people would often ask, ‘The government uses computers?’

My oh my, how the world has changed. The remarkable thing these days is that people don’t ask that question any more. To the contrary, they often say, ‘Why isn’t the government using technology more — or more effectively.’

And while the Obama administration is widely seen as being tech innovators — and the Obama team has really taken the use of technology to new levels — but this has been a long evolution dating all the way back to the Clinton administration. Back in 1998, the thought was creating a WebGov. WebGov then evolved to FirstGov before becoming USA.gov.

Before we go too much further, it’s important to define terms. Broadly, I describe Web 2.0 (and, by extension, gov 2.0) and the suite of collaborative tools. They can be everything from Facebook and GovLoop to wikis to blogs. Gov 2.0 would be the government’s use of these tools.

WebGov/FirstGov/USA.gov and all the other government Web sites were an early foray into the Web 1.0 world.

I’m fascinated by these tools because I think they can be — for lack of a better term — real paradigm changes. We often talk about paradigm shifts, but… these tools do seem to have the ability to bring about remarkable change. Some call them “disruptive” technologies — because they do significantly alter the way people have always done business.

And there has been a whole lot going on in the gov 2.0 world in recent years:

* Intellipedia: The suite of Web 2.0 tools for the intelligence community that has been on the cutting edge for some five years now — and it is one of the case studies in MIT Prof. Andrew McAfee’s great book, Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges.
* Blogs across government… some CJD favs include Navy CIO Rob Carey and NASA CIO Linda Cureton
* Idea sharing tools such as TSA’s Idea Factory, where front line feds can offer up ideas, and they are voted on by TSA employees

The National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project has scores of case studies.

And in recent years, there are scores of luminaries who have become fascinated with government technology — perhaps led by O’Reilly, but there are others… Craig Newmark, the “Craig” of Craig’s ListAnil Dash, who all but created blogging and has now created Expert Labs… and I even was introduced just last night to Palantir Technologies, which was created 2004 by a handful of PayPal alumni and Stanford computer scientists — and with venture funding from the CIA’s InQ-Tel — and seeks to “radically change how groups analyze information.” There have even been some criticisms of the Obama-Google connections.

Many of the Silicon Valley innovators are use to… well, being innovative. And it has been remarkable to watch as they have come change government.

O’Reilly is — and has been — one of the real thought leaders. Back in 2009, he wrote a post, What Does Government 2.0 Mean To You?

The buzz at last week’s dinner was where does gov 2.0 stand today.

In a way, it is a much more complex world these days. Some of the changes require real changes — and greater risks. Some of the changes require discussions and debate — how do you deal with Internet Web cookies, for example. In the Web world, it is simple: Agencies should be able to use them. But in reality, the headline will say, ‘Government to track Web users.”

And there are complex policy discussions, like the one going on about the Government Paperwork Reduction Act. GPRA is almost universally loathed by gov 2.0 proponents, but… it is also the law.

There was a significant contingent at last week’s dinner who said that the term “gov 2.0″ actually holds the evolution of these tools back.

My sense is that the power of these tools — and people’s desire to work together to accomplish a mission — wins out in the end. They will succeed or fail based on whether they actually help agencies accomplish their missions.

For me, that remains the question: Does this help agencies do their job better?

All of that being said, this is a more complex time for gov 2.0, but we’ve already seen remarkable changes. One of the biggest change: People feel empowered. A handful of people can launch something like the Better Buy Project, which seeks to change the government procurement process. It is much more complex then merely launching a blog or using Twitter. In many ways, it is a more fundamental evolution of how government conducts its business.

There have been enormous accomplishments. It was just a few years ago that it was totally evolutionary when Andrew P. Wilson was working on redesigning the PandemicFlu.gov Web site — and merely asked for help with the question: How can we make this site better? The concept of asking for help — the notion that one could ask for help was an enormous change. it is easy to underestimate these changes, but they aren’t small, nor are they insignificant. Today, it has become a regular tool for agencies.

These changes are going to take time — and they probably should. Everybody is learning — and there is a lot to learn.

I’d be interested in your thoughts.

Written by cdorobek

May 12, 2010 at 2:49 PM

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