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Archive for June 2009 Most read items for the fourth week of June 2009

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The most read items for the fourth week of June 2009…


  1. Senate approves Zients as the new chief performance officer
  2. The Obama transparency initiative – phase III launches today
  3. Is the Economist’s CQ marriage official?
  4. DorobekInsider: Women In Technology – Government Leaders at the Helm: A New Era — the liner notes
  5. The most read items for the third week of June 2009
  6. Is the age of GSA’s GWACs over? GSA says NO
  7. White House nominates Boras as DHS under secretary for management
  8. Building a better bus stop – with crowdsourcing
  9. Ed DeSeve to join the Obama administration
  10. Government 2.0 down under — the Australia Gov 2.0 Task Force
  11. DorobekInsider: The July Federal News Radio Book Club book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovati
  12. Friday’s Federal News Radio Book Club – Fired Up or Burned Out &ndas
  13. Jerry Williams to take the HUD CIO helm
  14. White House nominates Borras as DHS under secretary for management
  15. Congratulations on the wedding of Bob Suda and Joanne Connelly
  16. DorobekInsider: GSA’s Dorris, Army’s Sorenson, HP’s Hempfield earn AFCEA Bethesda
  17. DorobekInsider: 1105 Media cuts pay 20 percent — temporarily
  18. Godspeed to Christine Burman
  19. The Obama CTO reader
  20. DorobekInsider named a GovFresh Gov 2.0 hero
  21. DorobekInsider: GSA names Danielle Germain as chief of staff
  22. Rep. Honda’s tries crowdsourcing his Web redesign — a check-in
  23. Watching the Web 2.0 effect in Iran – and a real gov 2.0 hero
  24. DorobekInsider: Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris m
  25. DorobekInsider: New hires at Government Executive/NextGov… Sternstein… and Matt Dunie
  26. Hear the July 2009 Federal News Radio Book Club meeting – Fired Up or Burn
  27. Most read items for the second week of June 2009
  28. OMB encourages collaboration about open government — using existing tools
  29. Steve Ressler — GovLoop’s 10K man… and counting
  30. Many changes at GSA – this week, it’s the regional senior executives
  31. The DorobekInsider on DC’s NewsChannel 8 on dashboards — and the Kiviat graph
  32. DorobekInsider: Twitter #followfriday — the @fednewsradio edition
  33. DorobekInsider: The new TSA CIO — Emma Garrison-Alexander
  34. DorobekInsider: The benefits of the federal IT “dashboard” – and the liner notes f

And the most read items from Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris:

  1. TSP Talk: Tobacco Bill signed into law
  2. Causey on Pay-for-Performance
  3. Do those motivational posters really work?
  4. How a wiki is helping the Open Government initiative
  5. FederalNewsRadio goes to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival
  6. Daily Debrief EXTRA: Hinckley can apply for driver’s license
  7. A possible cure for the FERS flu?
  8. GSA’s Casey Coleman moves into the cloud
  9. The State of New York sets a transparent example
  10. SAMMIES Tracker: National Veteran Suicide Prevention Hotline
  11. White House Open Government Initiative: Phase III
  12. Women in Technology excerpts
  13. CDW-G: Use of virtualization lacking at federal agencies
  14. Rep. Issa: Two big problems with federal procurement system
  15. Analysis: New federal CPO
  16. TSP Roth 401(k) option now on the table
  17. Sunlight Foundation plans to bid on
  18. Contest: Apps for Democracy
  19. NSPS Review Task Force holds first meeting
  20. No COLA for federal retirees?
  21. Dashboards: coming soon to an agency near you?
  22. SAMMIES Tracker: Cara Peck
  23. Improving procurement and acquisition policies
  24. Bus stops, crowdsourcing and your agency
  25. FAIR Institute releases report on insourcing
  26. Get ready for 2.0
  27. No cure for FERS flu?
  28. Congresswoman: DHS’s NPPD deserves recognition
  29. DoD Secretary officially creates cybersecurity command
  30. DIA issues billion dollar tech services contract
  31. AGA conference happening now in New Orleans
  32. GAO: Handguns still available to some on terror watch list

EDITOR’s NOTE: I am on vacation from June 29-July 3. I will be back on Monday, July 5. I will be posting occasionally — and perhaps be posting some slightly off-topic items. And I am on a cruise along the Alaska coastTwitter feed… and on Facebook. In the meantime, I’ll be back at it on Monday, July 5. Enjoy the Fourth of July holiday. — with all of my in-laws, no less.. 19 of us, in all. If possible, I’ll be posting to my

Written by cdorobek

June 28, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Posted in DorobekInsider Is the age of GSA’s GWACs over? GSA says NO

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Editor’s note: This item updated on June 26, 2009 at 9:35p ET

There is all sorts of buzz coming from 1105 Government Information Group’s Washington Technology’s Top 100 Conference and Awards Luncheon — and, specifically, this story written by Washington Technology editor Nick Wakeman — I should note early on that GSA officials refute the story:

GSA may end GWAC era: Agency might also merge GWACs into the schedules program [WashingtonTechnology; June 24, 2009]

The era of governmentwide acquisition contracts might be coming to a close at the General Services Administration.

Speaking at the Washington Technology Top 100 conference today, Ed O’Hare, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said the only GWACs GSA will continue supporting are Alliant and Alliant Small Business or vehicles targeted to companies in specific socioeconomic categories, such as minority-owned businesses.

For the long term, GSA will likely merge the GWAC program with the schedules. “But that will take years, not months,” he added.

O’Hare said the merger of the procurement programs became a possibility after GSA combined the Federal Supply Service, which managed the schedules, and the Federal Technology Service, which managed GSA’s stable of GWAC contracts.

Phasing out GWACs was partly a response to criticism and a growing sense that there were too many GWACs, he said.

“We know that each GWAC is time-consuming and expensive to respond to,” he said.

Read the full story here.

GSA officials are refuting the story within the agency. Yesterday, Casey S. Kelley, GSA’s Alliant Program Manager, sent the following note to GSA Enterprise GWAC West employees with the subject line, “Clarification on Alliant headlines in yesterday’s ‘rags'”:

The purpose of this email is to reassure everyone that there are no plans to “end the GSA GWAC Era” as was completely mischaracterized in some headlines yesterday… :

I received the following from an industry partner who was actually at this event:

“I was at the event in question, and I believe that Mr. O’Hare’s comments are being exaggerated and taken out of context.

Unfortunately, the media has distorted what he said and has given the impression that GSA intends to abandon GWACs just when industry and GSA are investing major effort in making Alliant successful.”

On this morning’s GWAC Director’s staff meeting … he reassured everyone that these comments were completely taken out of context and that Ed O’Hare has not communicated anything like the misrepresented headlines that these articles portrayed. Marcelo wanted each of the directors to reassure everyone that these articles are not accurate and that there is nothing to be concerned about.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Thank you.


Mr. Casey S. Kelley, Alliant Program Manager
Director, Enterprise GWAC Center West (QTBAA)
Integrated Technology Services
U.S. General Services Administration

UPDATE: In fact, this afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we did talk to Ed O’Hare, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, and the man responsible for GSA’s GWACs. Hear O’Hare — in his own word — here:

And one slight pet peeve: NextGov did also follow up on the Washington Technology report with a story headlined Governmentwide contracts program will remain intact. Yet nowhere in the story do them mention that O’Hare’s comments came at a Washington Technology event and were published in FCW and Washington Technology.

Ed O’Hare, assistant commissioner of the Office of Integrated Technology Services in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, on Thursday clarified comments about the future of the agency’s governmentwide acquisition contracts made during a panel discussion in Washington on Wednesday.

Yes, 1105 Government Information Group is a “competitor,” but to not say where information comes from is just unfair, incomplete reporting, and it isn’t transparent.

I am hoping that either Ed O’Hare or GSA Federal Acquisition Service Commission Jim Williams will come on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris this afternoon to offer their insights.

Written by cdorobek

June 26, 2009 at 8:35 AM

Posted in GSA, procurement, Technology White House nominates Borras as DHS under secretary for management

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The White House today nominated Rafael Borras as Homeland Security Department’s under secretary for management.

According to the White House, Borras currently serves as a vie president of construction services for the Mid-Atlantic region for URS Corp., a global engineering services firm. Prior to joining URS, Borras served as the regional administration for GSA’s Mid-Atlantic region. Prior to that post, he served as the Commerce Department’s deputy assistant secretary for administration. Borras also served as they deputy city manager for Hartford, CT, where he was responsible for police, fire, code enforcement, IT, purchasing, budget, and human relations, a White House release says.

Borras started his public sector career with the Metropolitan Dade County Government, serving in the Office of the County Administrator as an administrative officer.

UPDATE: Comments from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:

“The President announced yesterday his intent to nominate Rafael Borras as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary for Management. Rafael brings a long career in both government and the private sector to DHS as a city management official, federal government senior executive and business manager.

He has more than 25 years of experience in budget and financial management, information technology, procurement and human services—preparing him well for overseeing the Department’s finance, human capital, facilities, information technology, procurement and security offices.

In his new role, Rafael will lead efforts to promote and establish greater efficiency and transparency while playing an integral role in unifying the Department and its many components,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.


Borras has served as Vice President of Construction Services for the URS Corporation’s Mid-Atlantic Region and claims services since 2000. Previously, Borras managed 1,500 employees as Regional Administrator for the General Services Administration’s Mid-Atlantic Region, where he led real estate services, supply and procurement, and IT services to federal agencies, from 1997-2000.

Borras was Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1994-1997, where he was responsible for the department’s finances, personnel, IT, acquisition and grants—including 375 employees and a $3.8 billion budget. Before joining the federal government, Borras was Deputy City Manager and Commissioner of Human Services for the City of New Rochelle, N.Y., from 1993-1994; Deputy City Manager for the City of Hartford, Conn., in 1991 and 1993; Director of Communications at the International City/County Management Association from 1985-1991; and Administrative Officer for Miami Dade County, Fla., from 1982-1985.

Meanwhile, DHS has named Sheryl Bourbeau as the agency’s deputy undersecretary for management.

Bourbeau will lead the day-to-day operations of the management directorate and provide strong direction in continued unification and maturation of the agency, according to a June 15 memo by DHS Under Secretary for Management Elaine Duke.

Before joining DHS, Bourbeau was the assistant deputy chief of Naval Operations for manpower, personnel, training and education, where she was the civilian executive advisor for the planning and programming of all manpower, personnel, training and education resources, budgeting for Navy personnel, and for developing the information systems and tools to effectively management the Navy Total Force.

Duke’s full memo is posted below…

Duke’s full memo is posted below…

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

June 24, 2009 at 3:20 PM Government 2.0 down under — the Australia Gov 2.0 Task Force

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Often, it is so easy to forget that the U.S. government is not alone. I often think the “ahead” or “behind” distinctions are fairly superfluous — different organizations are in different places in their evolutions — regardless, there is often lessons that can be learned from state and local governments, but also from how other countries are looking at issues. That is particularly true with government 2.0. And the great thing about government 2.0: The work is largely done online, making it accessible, and initiatives can be seen around the world.

There are two that have just had significant milestones in recent days: Australia and Great Britain.

In Australia, just days ago, Lindsay Tanner [Wikipedia item], the country’s minister for finance and deregulation, announced the Australian Government 2.0 Task Force.

Information technologies are transforming the way that governments do business all around the world, they are opening up new possibilities for governments to improve transparency, accountability and efficiency of government. In particular web 2.0 technologies are delivering new opportunities that governments in many countries are just starting to exploit and its really crucial that in Australia we up there amongst the leading countries, making use of these new opportunities.

There are two particular themes that I and the government are keen to pursue. The first is transparency, using these technologies to maximise the extent to which government information, data, and material can be put out into the public domain that we can be as accountable as possible, as transparent as possible and that this data is available for use in the general community.

And secondly to improve the ways in which we engage with people in the wider community; in consultation, in discussion, in dialogue, about regulation, about government decisions, about policy generally. These are just two of the key themes that we are very keen pursue to maximise the opportunities we can get from these technologies to improve the way we govern.

In order to pursue that the Government have established a taskforce chaired by Dr Nicholas Gruen who is a very well know blogger, economics consultant, head of Lateral Economics and one of the key thinkers on regulation and technology in Australia today. Thetaskforce during the balance of this year, with representation from both public and private sectors, is going to explore all of the avenues, all the possibilities for reform that the Government should be pursuing in order to maximise these opportunities, in order to ensure that we can both maximise use of government information, transparency, and better engagement between the government and the wider community.

Read more… or read his comments to Parliament here.

More about the task force here.

Essentially, the tasks laid out by the end of the year:

The Government 2.0 Taskforce will advise and assist the Government to:

  • make government information more accessible and usable — to establish a pro-disclosure culture around non-sensitive public sector information;
  • make government more consultative, participatory and transparent — to maximise the extent to which government utilises the views, knowledge and resources of the general community;
  • build a culture of online innovation within Government — to ensure that government is receptive to the possibilities created by new collaborative technologies and uses them to advance its ambition to continually improve the way it operates;
  • promote collaboration across agencies with respect to online and information initiatives — to ensure that efficiencies, innovations, knowledge and enthusiasm are shared on a platform of open standards; and
  • identify and/or trial initiatives that may achieve or demonstrate how to accomplish the above objectives.

The Taskforce will advise Government on structural barriers that prevent, and policies to promote, greater information disclosure, digital innovation and online engagement including the division of responsibilities for, and overall coordination of, these issues within government.

The Taskforce will work with the public, private, cultural and not for profit sectors to fund and develop seed projects that demonstrate the potential of proactive information disclosure and digital engagement for government. More information can be found on the Taskforce’s Project Fund page.

In particular the Taskforce will also identify policies and frameworks to assist the Information Commissioner and other agencies in:

  • developing and managing a whole of government information publication scheme to encourage greater disclosure of public sector information;
  • extending opportunities for the reuse of government information, and considering the terms of that use, to maximize the beneficial flow of that information and facilitate productive applications of government information to the greatest possible extent;
  • encouraging effective online innovation, consultation and engagement by government, including by drawing on the lessons of the Government’s online consultation trials and any initiatives undertaken by the Taskforce.

The Taskforce will meet regularly, consulting in an open and transparent manner and use online solutions for its engagement wherever possible.

The Taskforce will provide a final report on its activities to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation and the Cabinet Secretary by the end of 2009. TheTaskforce will disband on completion of its final report.

The first task is to develop a Web site — and they have put that out to the public.

The UK’s Digital Britain Forum: The UK initiative is less government specific. Back in February, we told you about Britain’s Power of Information Task Force, which was looking at government 2.0 issues. Earlier this week, the Digital Britain Forum published it’s final report. Read the full report here.

The Digital Britain Forum was launched last October by UK Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting Stephen Carter “with the aim of securing the UK’s place at the forefront of innovation, investment and quality in the digital and communications industries. The Digital Britain Steering Board draws on expertise inside and outside Government and regulators,” according to the group.

Again, you can read the full report at

Written by cdorobek

June 24, 2009 at 9:28 AM Is the Economist’s CQ marriage official?

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It has been one of the worst kept secrets in DC — the Economist Group is likely the winning bidder for Congressional Quarterly group, some blogs sites are reporting.

No official announcement yet from either CQ nor the Economist Group, but we expect an official announcement… well, any time now.

CQ is owned by Florida-based Times Publishing Company, which owns the St. Petersburg Times. And, just to make it more complex, the controlling stock of the the Times Publishing Company is owned by the The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a nonprofit school for journalists, also located in St. Petersburg.

In January, Times Publishing officials announced the company’s intention to sell CQ.

“CQ, which was founded in 1945 by Nelson Poynter, then owner of the St. Petersburg Times, now derives the bulk of its revenue from its subscription site,,” according to Wikipedia.

A number of interesting items here, if/when the buy becomes officially official.

* Will we find out how many bidders there were? There were reports that there were a number of interested parties, but that essentially The Economist was the only publisher that was really competitive.

* Roll Call v Politico… The Economist Group already owns Roll Call newspaper, the Capitol Hill publication. Roll Call has been under pressure from Politico, part of Robert L. Allbritton’s media group, which also includes DC’s WJLA-TV ABC-7 and News Channel 8. If the Economist is able to pull the pieces together, it could provide a powerful reportorial force for covering DC’s political workings.

* The Mike Mills connection… If the buy does go through, it would reunite Mike Mills, the editorial director for Roll Call, with CQ. Before joining Roll Call, Mills had served as editor of the Washington Business Journal, but before that, he was CQ’s executive editor for electronic publishing.

Of course, no deal is done before it is signed off, but… we continue to stand by for news.

Written by cdorobek

June 23, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Posted in press Senate approves Zients as the new chief performance officer

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The Senate Friday confirmed the nomination of Jeffrey Zients to be the OMB deputy director of management and the Obama administration’s chief performance officer. The Senate Homeland Security Committee had signed off on his nomination earlier in the month. Zients replaces Clay Johnson, who served as the OMB deputy director of management during most of the Bush administration.

Zients (photo: Wikipedia)

Zients (photo: Wikipedia)

The Senate, however, did not take action on the nomination of Martha Johnson to be the administrator of the General Services Administration, the other position that we have been watching carefully. We’ve been hearing that a number of posts have been held up in a Senate squabble over the Supreme Court nomination process and when that should be scheduled.

Here are some Zients/chief performance officer resources:

* OMB director Peter Orszag posted a blog welcome to Zients.

* Federal News Radio Max Cacas was at the hearing. Hear that report here.

* Jon Desenberg, Policy Director at the Performance Institute, spoke to Francis Rose of Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose, about the role of the chief performance officer. Hear that here.

* And the DorobekInsider CTO and CPO reader.

The other posts confirmed by the Senate on Friday can be found here.

Written by cdorobek

June 22, 2009 at 9:16 AM The Obama transparency initiative – phase III launches today

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The White House today will launch the third and final part of the Obama transparency and openness initiative where the White House CTO’s office will invite the public to “collaborate on crafting constructive proposals to address challenges from the Discussion phase.”

You can find all the information about the White House transparency initiative on the White House openness portal —

Part one, of course, was a brainstorming session, where the White House invited people to share ideas and  recommendations on how to make government more open. The site allowed people to vote on proposed ideas or add their own. You can read the White House’s assessment of the brainingstorming session here.

Part two has been the discussion of those ideas.

Part three, which is scheduled to launch sometime today after a few delays, is the “draft” phase. The White House describes it as the ability to “collaborate on crafting constructive proposals to address challenges from the Discussion phase.”

We don’t know exactly how this all will work. We’ll talk to Beth Noveck, the deputy CTO for openness, this afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. My hope is that they will post the proposed policy in a wiki kind of format and we can see where it evolves. But we will all stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here is the note that the White House sent to participants late last week:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights with us through Phase II of the Open Government Consultation ( Given the vibrant and growing discussion, we have decided to extend Phase II through the end of this week. Phase III, the Drafting Phase, will begin on Monday, June 22nd.

Today, we posted the final Participation posting, “Enhancing Online Citizen Participation through Policy.” We greatly look forward to your feedback on the suite of Participation discussions happening live on the OSTP blog.

* Wrap-Up of the Open Government Brainstorming: Participation

* Enhancing Citizen Participation in Decision-Making

* Strengthening Civic Participation

* Improving Online Public Participation in Agency Rulemaking

* New Technologies and Participation

* Enhancing Online Citizen Participation through Policy

In addition, we’ve initiated the conversation on Collaboration by summing up the key ideas we heard from you in the Open Government Brainstorm: “Wrap-up of the Open Government Brainstorm: Collaboration

Keep an eye on the for three upcoming postings on Collaboration, starting June 17th:

* Prizes as Incentives for Public-Private Partnerships

* Intergovernmental Collaboration – Achieving Better Results by Working Together; and

* Stakeholder Collaboration for Dispute Resolution

We’ve been very pleased with the discussion so far and we warmly invite your continued participation in this process. Please encourage your colleagues, friends, and family to join the discussion at

The Open Government Team

Written by cdorobek

June 22, 2009 at 7:36 AM