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Archive for April 2010

DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of April 11-17: Better Buy Project, TSP, and SESers

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The most read stories the week of April 3-10, 2010… on the DorobekInsider.com, on 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: The Better Buy Project: Seeking to build a better procurement process
  2. The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?
  3. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of April 3-10: The iPad, TSP, and your thoughts about government HR
  4. The DorobekINSIDER Reader: The open government policies and plans
  5. DorobekINSIDER: Is that a ‘for sale’ sign at market research firm Input?
  6. DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO
  7. DorobekINSIDER: Assessing transparency and open government
  8. DorobekInsider: OMB hires performance guru Shelley Metzenbaum
  9. DorobekINSIDER: WH makes it official: Takai nominated for DOD CIO post
  10. DorobekINSIDER: The 2010 Fed 100 Awards Gala: Eagle winners, and I blush
  11. DorobekINSIDER: GSA promotes Darren Blue to agency chief emergency response and recovery officer
  12. DorobekINSIDER: Jerry Lohfink, head of the USDA’s National Finance Center, to retire
  13. DorobekINSIDER: Get Federal News Radio on your iPhone
  14. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of March 28-April 3: DOD CIO and the Guam capsizing question

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

  1. TSP participants roll over record amount of investments
  2. Analysis: Change the role of the Postal Service to keep it viable
  3. OPM continues to modernize federal retirement system
  4. HReinvented: A comprehensive plan is needed for real reform
  5. GSA to update infrastructure for better mobility
  6. Congressman questions White House about unpaid interns
  7. Survey: More willing to sacrifice privacy for security
  8. GAO: DHS makes progress with National Infrastructure Protection Plan
  9. Department of Energy reveals $100 million Smart Grid training program
  10. Feds share thoughts about blizzard response with OPM Director John Berry
  11. Complications stall DoD’s Cyber Command
  12. USPS plan would make dramatic changes
  13. TSP funds continue to gain in March
  14. Preview: Where the NSPS transition stands
  15. Comptroller General nominee talks about issues facing GAO
  16. OPM uses new assessment tools for potential hires
  17. Now a good time to review where your money is in the TSP
  18. Bill introduced to allow annual leave contributions to TSP
  19. HReinvented: Will federal HR reforms work this time?
  20. Congressman Hank Johnson worried about Guam’s stability
  21. Timeline for TSP’s Roth option discussed
  22. Congressional staffers bring in big bucks
  23. GSA’s Dave McClure gives Open Government assessment
  24. Senior Medicare Patrol works to prevent Medicare fraud
  25. Education CIO takes active approach to cybersecurity
  26. Feds, on average, earn more than their private sector counterparts
  27. Devaney shares lessons learned about transparency, openness
  28. Unisys Security Index highlights cybersecurity cocerns
  29. DHS headquarters at St. Elizabeth’s making progress
  30. Where is the money? We track misallocated funds in the federal budget
  31. TSP measures up to private sector funds
  32. Why China isn’t the number one cyber threat to the U.S.
  33. OPM Director Berry furious over federal pay editorial
  34. Tuesday Afternoon Federal Newscast – April 13
  35. TSP participants could soon invest unused annual leave
  36. HReinvented: NRC as a model for federal HR reform?
  37. Better Buy Project wants your procurement ideas
  38. Will House healthcare bill affect the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program?
  39. New safety standards for federal facilities released
  40. More federal cybersecurity fighters needed
  41. All TSP funds see gains in 2009
  42. How the health care law will affect FEHBP participants
  43. Learn the importance of proper estate planning
  44. Is cyber war a reality . . . or impossible?
  45. Best practices gained from NextGen deployment
  46. Update: How health care reform will impact you
  47. National Security Roundup: 9/11-style terror plot foiled?
  48. Attendance level at nuclear summit high
  49. GAO examines the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

…for Mike Causey’s Federal Report

  1. TSP Millionaires & Record Rollovers
  2. Civil War in the FEHBP Risk Pool
  3. FEHBP Dodges Risk Pool Bullet
  4. FEHBP & the Dependent in Your Basement
  5. Federal Retiree – Social Security Benefits Flatline
  6. TSP Balances: Size Counts
  7. Summit Winners & Losers
  8. No shutdown for nuclear summit next week
  9. Are You Under CSRS, FERS or WUD?
  10. Teleworking and Government Shutdowns

… and from FederalNewsRadio.com

  1. More agencies using resumes to bring on SESers
  2. The Senator from Delaware rises to praise federal workers
  3. GAO: Postal Service business model not working
  4. OPM takes smaller steps to modernize retirement processes
  5. GSA to rethink what success means
  6. OMB to set new real property policy
  7. DoD Cyber Command will take a defensive posture
  8. DISA’s Stempfley heading to DHS’s cybersecurity division
  9. HReinvented: OPM’s new database cuts hiring by 3 weeks
  10. House takes aim on Pentagon contracting reform
  11. Platts bids for Comptroller General job
  12. Bill to pay furloughed DoT workers is law
  13. HReinvented: Feds mixed on OPM’s HR reform plans, survey finds
  14. Data propels GSA’s plans for the acquisition workforce
  15. Postal Service prepares to move to five day delivery
  16. Agencies engage citizens with social collaboration
  17. Federal News Radio Reports
  18. NIAC gets additional White House study requests
  19. Agencies classifying less information
  20. OFPP defines ‘inherently governmental’
  21. Federal agencies release Open Government Plans
  22. OPM to submit hiring reform advice to White House next week
  23. White House ready to reveal identity management plans
  24. HReinvented: Employee unions call for tweaks to the system
  25. HReinvented: NRC aims to stay on top as ‘best place to work’
  26. Agency pilots help cultivate ‘inherently governmental’ changes
  27. OMB taking a deeper look at data centers
  28. GSA releases FY 2010 per diem rates
  29. High drug prices targeted in House FEHBP plan
  30. White House works to change online transactions
  31. When to consider moving your TSP funds around
  32. New standards for federal building security coming
  33. Commentary: FMA says hiring reforms must come first
  34. Federal govt. open Tuesday under delayed arrival, unscheduled leave
  35. OPM’s strategic plan sets roadmap to HR reform
  36. TSP Snapshot: Spring into savings
  37. OMB shutting down financial systems office
  38. OPM’s Berry considers turning telework on its ear
  39. Federal government closed on Thursday
  40. Health care reform and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program
  41. Telework, transportation top issues for BRAC
  42. OPM to create pools of qualified applicants
  43. OFPP to refine agency-contractor relationship
  44. OPM to host workshops on hiring
  45. EXCLUSIVE: OMB guidance sets technology tone for 2010, beyond
  46. OMB’s Werfel outlines future for financial managers
  47. OMB controller nominee Werfel would take deeper look at DoD’s books
  48. NMCI to NGEN = 43 months Navy says
  49. Air Force moving to global training perspective
  50. Coast Guard HQ at St. Elizabeths gets full speed ahead

Written by cdorobek

April 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM

DorobekINSIDER: The role of the CIO – and NASA gives the CIO authority

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One of the longest running — and somewhat tedious — debates within the government IT community: Does the CIO have a ‘seat at the table.’ I say tedious, but… most people believe it is also critically important. And therefore it garners regular discussion. For example, I moderated a panel at the 2009 Management of Change conference that looked at the changing role of the CIO… NextGov executive editor Allan Holmes when he was at CIO magazine wrote one of the seminal articles on the role of the CIO back in 1996… and just earlier this month, FCW’s John Zyskowski wrote a thoughtful feature story, The CIO 14 years later: Power vs. paperwork.

Despite being around for more than a decade now — CIO posts were created by law in government agencies in 1996 as a result of the Clinger-Cohen Act — the CIO still doesn’t seem to have been fully integrated into the leadership team at most agencies. They aren’t the strategic visionaries that are pushing for an agencies use of technology to help it accomplish its mission more effectively.

There are scores of reasons for that — more of which I’ll detail below. But I think there are some systemic reasons… and things are changing — some good, and some not great.

I’d put the largely unexplained changes going on at the Agriculture Department in the “questionable” category given that, by all accounts, the USDA CIO has been downgraded within the organization. (Frustratingly, I have been unable to get somebody from USDA to explain the details of their reorganization, so it remains the subject of conjecture rather then public discussion. So much for government openness.)

But there has been a quite, fairly significant development at NASA. NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. has changed the organization chart to give the NASA CIO direct reporting authority to the NASA administration, industry sources tell me and NASA officials have confirmed. But, almost as important, Bolden has changed the reporting authority at the NASA centers around the country report to the NASA CIO with a “dotted line” reporting authority to the individual directors at the centers.

This is a powerful step.

I haven’t been able to determine if the NASA CIO has ‘the power of the purse’ — the Holy Gail in government terms. Currently, the CIO for the Department of Veterans Affairs has spending authority by law. The Homeland Security Department CIO had that authority by policy under former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. I have not been able to confirm if the current DHS CIO still has that authority.

It is an enormous step if Federal CIO Vivek Kundra wants to actually carry out some of his proposed changes — or any real changes, for that matter. Last week, I got to hear Kundra speak at the Brookings Institution about cloud computing — and he discussed a “cloud first” strategy where agencies will look at the cloud as an option. The fact is that this instituting this kind of change requires changing the “clay layer” within agencies — agency leaders get it, and front line works just want to be able to do their jobs. It is the “clay layer” that blocks much of the government change. And most people like the control and power that comes with having their own server nearby them.

There are many ways to deal with the clay, but… one way in government is through spending, and that requires that CIOs to have the power of the purse. Of course, with that responsibility given to CIOs comes a responsibility to actually listen to people — to not become “CI-NOs,” as too often happens.

Some additional reading:

* OMB 2008 memo on the role of the CIO

A bit before Karen Evans left government, Karen Evans crafted a memo on the role of the CIO. You can read the draft memo for yourself.

* DHS CIO and the ‘power of the purse’ from back in 2007:

Here is FCW’s March 2007 story about the DHS CIO announcement. I also made it FCW’s Buzz of the Week for the week of March 19, 2007… and the following week, in FCW’s editorial, under the headline Show ‘em the money, I gave DHS credit for giving the DHS CIO spending authority over IT spending.

Written by cdorobek

April 19, 2010 at 9:19 AM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA promotes Darren Blue to agency chief emergency response and recovery officer

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Martha Johnson, the administrator of the General Services Administration, today appointed Darren Blue to be Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer in GSA’s Office of Emergency Response and Recovery.

In that job, Blue is responsible for organizing resources within GSA into a central office and providing support and assistance to first responders, emergency workers and recovery teams.

The memo from Martha Johnson:

Darren J. Blue

GSA's Darren J. Blue

MEMORANDUM FOR ALL GSA EMPLOYEES

FROM: Martha N. Johnson
Administrator

SUBJECT: Darren Blue Appointed Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Darren J. Blue to the position of Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer, Office of Emergency Response and Recovery, effective April 11, 2010. He brings to the position a high level of dedication and expertise which will further enable the General Services Administration to fulfill its governmentwide responsibilities in emergency response and recovery.

In addition, Richard Reed, who formerly held the position of Chief Emergency Response and Recovery Officer, has been assigned as Senior Advisor for National Security in the office of the Administrator effective April 11, 2010, and will continue his detail to the White House.

Please join me in welcoming Darren and Richard to the GSA leadership team.

More on Blue’s background:

Since 2008, Blue has served as an integral member of the OERR team including his role in GSA’s presidential transition support. During this effort, Blue led the development of a secure communications facility within the president-elect’s transition office, provided daily support in the facilitation of the national security briefings, and led the development of a continuity of operations plan for the senior leadership of the presidential transition team’s Chicago office.

Before joining GSA, Blue held a number of assignments in the national contingency community, including Deputy Director for Policy within the Defense Continuity and Crisis Management Office, part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and the Emergency Preparedness Branch Chief within the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

Prior to beginning a civilian career, Blue served on active duty for nine years in the U.S. Army, where he held a variety of infantry, special operations and intelligence assignments that included overseas service during combat operations.

Written by cdorobek

April 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM

DorobekINSIDER: The Better Buy Project: Seeking to build a better procurement process

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Let’s be honest — innovation in government can be difficult. It isn’t because government workers are less innovative. The the contrary — in my experience, government workers are more victims of bureaucracy then they are purveyors of it. Yet those of us who watch government closely understand the real courage that goes into significant change.

Of course, the government’s anti-innovation reputation is really proposterous. After all, it was the U.S. federal government that spurred the creation of the Internet — and there have been few innovations that have changed all of our lives more then that innovation. But the creation of the Internet, of course, grew from an effort to enable to the government to do it’s job better — the goal was to create a redundant network. Essentially, the innovation grew out of an effort to do business better.

The challenge with government innovation: There is little upside that comes from success, but the risk of failure has significant. To put it simply, the government does tolerate failure — and innovation is difficult, if not impossible, without the chance of failure. (It is one of the reasons why I appreciated Jeff Jarvis’s book, What Would Google Do? — and featured it in the Federal News Radio Book Club last year.)

More recently, there are innovations like the intelligence community’s IntellipediaTSA’s Idea Factory, since expanded to all of the Homeland Security Department… and even blogs at TSA and the CIOs at the Navy and NASA. (See the case library at the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project for scores of examples.)

With that as background, all of that brings me to the Better Buy Project, a marvelous, innovative — and courageous — initiative to try and improve the government procurement process. It is an attempt to tap the wisdom of crowds, openness and transparency to the government contracting and procurement process.

The initiative has had several steps — it started out as a discussion in GovLoop’s Acquisition 2.0 community. It then became a stand-alone initiative by the General Services Administration, the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project, and the Industry Advisory Council where the groups simply asked for help by asking — very publicly — ideas about how the government procurement and contracting process can be improved.

The Better Buy Project has reached a significant new milestone — a open, public collaborative platform — a public wiki using the same software that runs Wikipedia. GSA courageously is looking for thoughts on how to build a better contract, specifically focusing on the Data.gov contract… and the effort to replace a GSA servers.

You can read more here. We featured the Better Buy Project last week on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. We spoke to Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioners of GSA Federal Acquisition Service’s Office of Assisted Acquisition Services, and Chris Hamm is the Operations Director at the GSA Federal Acquisition Service’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM).

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Some additional resources:

Written by cdorobek

April 12, 2010 at 5:57 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of April 3-10: The iPad, TSP, and your thoughts about government HR

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The most read stories the week of April 3-10, 2010… on the DorobekInsider.com, on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, on Mike Causey’s Federal Report, and for FederalNewsRadio.com

…from the DorobekInsider.com

  1. The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?
  2. DorobekINSIDER: Assessing transparency and open government
  3. The DorobekINSIDER Reader: The open government policies and plans
  4. DorobekINSIDER: Is that a ‘for sale’ sign at market research firm Input?
  5. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of March 28-April 3: DOD CIO and the Guam capsizing question
  6. DorobekINSIDER: The 2010 Fed 100 Awards Gala: Eagle winners, and I blush
  7. DorobekINSIDER: WH makes it official: Takai nominated for DOD CIO post
  8. DorobekINSIDER: Federal News Radio Book Club: Daniel Pink’s Drive — the liner notes
  9. DorobekINSIDER: Jerry Lohfink, head of the USDA’s National Finance Center, to retire
  10. DorobekINSIDER: Listen to the Federal News Radio Book Club discussing Daniel Pink’s DRIVE
  11. DorobekINSIDER: Get Federal News Radio on your iPhone
  12. DorobekINSIDER: The Federal News Radio Book Club book announcement: Drive by Daniel H. Pink
  13. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the month of MARCH 2010
  14. DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO
  15. DorobekInsider: OMB hires performance guru Shelley Metzenbaum
  16. The DorobekInsider transparency, openness and data.gov reader
  17. DorobekINSIDER: Off-topic: Back from a great visit to the Galapagos Islands
  18. A night for the children — The 2009 AFCEA Bethesda NIH Children’s Inn benefit gala
  19. DorobekINSIDER: DOD issues its much anticipated Web 2.0 policy

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

  1. TSP funds continue to gain in March
  2. Feds share thoughts about blizzard response with OPM Director John Berry
  3. Congressman Hank Johnson worried about Guam’s stability
  4. HReinvented: Will federal HR reforms work this time?
  5. Are code writers the weakest cybersecurity link?
  6. March TSP snapshot!
  7. Where is the money? We track misallocated funds in the federal budget
  8. Better Buy Project wants your procurement ideas
  9. HReinvented: Reforms should work this time
  10. Department of Energy reveals $100 million Smart Grid training program
  11. How Driven are you? We find out during Federal News Radio’s Book Club
  12. DeVaney shares lessons learned about transparency, openness
  13. Monday Afternoon Federal Newscast
  14. HReinvented: A comprehensive plan is needed for real reform
  15. Devaney shares lessons learned about transparency, openness
  16. Now a good time to review where your money is in the TSP
  17. Comptroller General nominee talks about issues facing GAO
  18. Thursday Afternoon Federal Newscast – April 8
  19. Bill introduced to allow annual leave contributions to TSP
  20. Timeline for TSP’s Roth option discussed
  21. Bob Peck is GSA’s new Commissioner of Public Buildings
  22. Learn the importance of proper estate planning
  23. How the health care law will affect FEHBP participants
  24. Google engaged in cyber fight with Vietnam
  25. More federal cybersecurity fighters needed
  26. Why China isn’t the number one cyber threat to the U.S.
  27. TSP participants could soon invest unused annual leave
  28. Reinventing Security at the Pentagon
  29. Bill requires all agencies to have COOP/telework plan
  30. HReinvented: Ideas for improving the federal hiring process
  31. USPS plan would make dramatic changes
  32. How broadband technology could enhance cybersecurity
  33. HReinvented: USAF takes new approach to training civilians
  34. ‘Inherently Governmental:’ Has the Debate Changed?
  35. Senior Medicare Patrol works to prevent Medicare fraud
  36. OPM’s Berry outlines details of planned hiring changes
  37. TSP measures up to private sector funds
  38. How DoD battles Improvised Explosive Devices
  39. OPM Director Berry furious over federal pay editorial
  40. DHS headquarters at St. Elizabeth’s making progress
  41. Will House healthcare bill affect the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program?
  42. HReinvented: Learning from county governments
  43. Independent analysis of federal and private salary data needed
  44. Feds, on average, earn more than their private sector counterparts
  45. Analysis: DHS changes aviation security standards
  46. Deptartment of Energy reveals $100 million Smart Grid training program
  47. Congressional staffers bring in big bucks
  48. Lessons learned, best practices on telework examined after blizzard

…for Mike Causey’s Federal Report

  1. Are You Under CSRS, FERS or WUD?
  2. Teleworking and Government Shutdowns
  3. HReinvented: Can they handle the truth?
  4. Summit Winners & Losers
  5. Shutdown or Just Bad Hair Days?
  6. No shutdown for nuclear summit next week
  7. About Those Buyout Rumors…
  8. What’s Your Minimum Retirement Age?
  9. Accidents Happen: CSRS vs. FERS
  10. Who’s on FERS?

… and from FederalNewsRadio.com

  1. Feds restrained in their optimism for OPM’s HR reform
  2. TSP Snapshot: Spring into savings
  3. Federal agencies release Open Government Plans
  4. HReinvented: OPM’s new database cuts hiring by 3 weeks
  5. HReinvented: Feds mixed on OPM’s HR reform plans, survey finds
  6. White House ready to reveal identity management plans
  7. Agency pilots help cultivate ‘inherently governmental’ changes
  8. DISA’s Stempfley heading to DHS’s cybersecurity division
  9. OFPP defines ‘inherently governmental’
  10. Air Force moving to global training perspective
  11. HReinvented: Survey finds feds restrained in optimism for OPM’s HR reform
  12. HReinvented: NRC aims to stay on top as ‘best place to work’
  13. HReinvented: Employee unions call for tweaks to the system
  14. OPM to submit hiring reform advice to White House next week
  15. Federal News Radio Reports
  16. Commentary: FMA says hiring reforms must come first
  17. Postal Service prepares to move to five day delivery
  18. GSA releases FY 2010 per diem rates
  19. Legislation could spur XBRL use in government
  20. White House works to change online transactions
  21. Census reminds us all to fill out that form
  22. OMB’s Werfel outlines future for financial managers
  23. OPM’s strategic plan sets roadmap to HR reform
  24. FOSE 2010: Your benefits and the future of the General Schedule
  25. OFPP to refine agency-contractor relationship
  26. OMB’s Zients stakes out acquisition reform plans
  27. OPM to create pools of qualified applicants
  28. DHS may not have the funding to work together
  29. OPM’s Berry considers turning telework on its ear
  30. OPM’s Berry deals out first set of civil service reform suggestions
  31. White House pushing agencies toward better customer service
  32. Agencies taking different paths to transformation
  33. When to consider moving your TSP funds around
  34. New standards for federal building security coming
  35. OPM to host workshops on hiring
  36. DISA wants collaboration marbled through enterprise
  37. TSP Snapshot: Your money, working hard
  38. Lieberman calls for more staff at OMB
  39. Care of Gulf War vets gets second look
  40. OMB shutting down financial systems office
  41. OMB’s Kundra stakes out new e-gov approach
  42. OMB outlines shift on FISMA
  43. Federal government closed on Thursday
  44. Accountability? There’s a dashboard for that!
  45. Administration to set new vision for ID management
  46. OPM relaunches jobs website
  47. Contractor integrity, performance to face higher level of scrutiny
  48. Agencies to justify not using cloud computing to OMB
  49. Coast Guard HQ at St. Elizabeths gets full speed ahead
  50. GSA to unveil database to track vendor misconduct

Written by cdorobek

April 10, 2010 at 5:23 PM

The DorobekINSIDER Reader: The open government policies and plans

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

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

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

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

The top level resources:

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

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

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

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

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

OMB policies

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

* Information Collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act [PDF]

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

* Open Government Directive – Federal Spending Transparency [PDF]

Discussion about the policies and open government:

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

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

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

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

http://PublicEqualsOnline.com

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

A sample of some of the discussion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous DorobekINSIDER readers:

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

The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?

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There has been a ton written about the Apple iPad, of course — and I’ve pulled some of the better stories about the iPad together below… but yes, I was one of the 300,000 people who got an iPad on day one.

Apple iPadRegular readers know I’m a gadget guy — and Apple has done a pretty remarkable job at being innovative and transformational. (Fortune magazine late last year named Steve Jobs as the CEO of the decade — and it is difficult to argue with their assessment after reading the article.)

Of course, the iPod was remarkable because it created a market. None of us dreamed of carrying thousands of songs around with us — and now we can’t imagine being without our playlist. But even more, he created a way to sell music digitally in a way that other organizations have failed.

And the iPhone was transformational for scores of reasons… because it put the power of a computer in your palm… because of the remarkable applications, including, of course, the Federal News Radio app.

So I was there Saturday — not first thing in the morning, but by late in the day.

The CJD first impression of the iPad: It is a remarkable device, but I’m not sure its revolutionary in the way the iPod and iPhone were.

One of the better discussions was on the PBS NewsHour. On that program, the WSJ’s Walt Mossberg and Stanford University’s Paul Saffo discussed what I think is the core question: Where does this fit in the computing marketplace.

Mossberg: I think people have to perceive it as something that allows them to leave their laptop home or not open it around the house for, you know, maybe not 100 percent of the things they do on their laptop, but for more than half a lot of the time. I know those are vague terms, but that’s the way I kind of think about it.

So, if you use your laptop for mostly surfing the Web, consuming media, you know, doing e-mail, and then doing maybe a little light content creation, say, a school paper or something, and you decide that you’re comfortable doing it on this, this thing will take off the way Paul says.

And if not enough people feel that way, and just think it’s an extra burden to carry, then I — that’s the risk Apple is taking. But, as he points out, Apple is a little different than some of these other companies. It takes really big risks. And many of them that he listed have paid off. A few haven’t. And we’re going to see.

And I think that is true for government agencies as well. I can imagine Census workers using an iPad like device in 2020… or law enforcement personnel… jobs that are very mobile… But for most of us who use a laptop, will it do away with the laptop? My first impression is… probably not. At least for me right now, the keyboard simply isn’t usable enough to replace my laptop. (The return key ends up being right at my right pinkie finger, so I end up hitting the return key over and over again.)

Apple does have a keyboard doc that might help me make that step toward replacing my laptop. We’ll see…

The other issue: WiFi… I’d get a 3G wireless version. The device is much less usable without an Internet connection — and there are still just not enough WiFi hot spots out there.

How might government use these devices?

There are two ways. One, of course, is externally — reaching out to citizens. There are a number of government iPhone applications — OhMyGov has their 11 favorites — and, of course, there is the WhiteHouse.gov iPhone app. FastCompany reports that eGovernment developing firm NIC is the first company to develop government focused iPad applications.

The other way government can use these devices is internally… and this might be where the Census could use these devices. Imagine if Census could just develop an iPad application rather then failing to develop their own handheld.

And, by the way, the TSA blog has a post about whether you need to take your iPad or Kindle out of your bag when you go through airport security. In short — you don’t.

Some background reading:

GCN: Think you want an iPad? Read this first!
Apple’s much-hyped gadget may not fill the bill

Is the Apple iPad good enough for government work? The early reviews are in, and they bring mixed results. Overall, the iPad wins praise for its speed, touch-screen interface, battery life and overall user experience. But it garners complaints for what’s missing, including support for Flash, a camera and the ability to print.

The GCN Lab is in the process of obtaining an iPad for review, and we’ll soon run our own tests, with a particular eye to how iPad would work in an office setting. In the meantime, a roundup of reviews from those who got the devices in advance of last week’s rollout might provide some clues to whether the iPad is likely to begin showing up in government circles.

ComputerWorld: Is the iPad right for you?
Answer these questions to find out

Slate: You Don’t Need an iPad
But once you try one, you won’t be able to resist.

NYT review by David Pogue: Looking at the iPad From Two Angles

NYT: The iPad in the Eyes of the Digerati

In short, if you get it, you probably won’t be disappointed, but be careful why you are getting it… at least for right now.

Written by cdorobek

April 6, 2010 at 10:40 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Assessing transparency and open government

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Last weekend, open government advocates gathered in Washington, DC for the second Transparency Camp — an un-conference, which is one of these events where bright people come together and decide what they want to talk about. Read the Twitter feed from that event by checking out #tcamp2010 — and even the Washington Post wrote a story about the event this year.

I could only be there on the second day, but there were great folks with great ideas…

I have been fascinated by the Obama administration’s transparency and open government initiative. Among previous posts:

The DorobekInsider transparency, openness and data.gov reader [May 22, 2009]

DorobekInsider: The first draft from the Open Government and Innovations conference [July 21, 2009]

DorobekINSIDER: On NewsChannel 8 talking government openness and transparency — the liner notes [February 25, 2010]

Signal magazine column: Why Transparency Matters [May 2009]

Signal magazine column: Contract Transparency Poised to Open Up [September 2009]

And O’Reilly media has just published a book Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice. I’ve just started it, but… the early parts of the book are well worth reading.

And this coming week will be a big week for the open government as the Office of Management and Budget and agencies will issue their open government plans.

There were several interesting aspects that came out of transparency camp.

* Most agencies get transparency: Most of the employees I know get transparency and open government. They understand why it matters and how it can help. In theory, they get that one of the powerful parts of transparency is the acknowledgment that more wisdom exists outside any organization than it does inside an organization. That being said, there is a difference between theory and practice. At Transparency Camp 2010, there were a number of staffers from Capitol Hill, which, by and large, is horrible at transparency. And some of the Hill staffers even suggested that if bills are created in a more open framework, well, that’s what staffers do. And the argument is that they know more then… well, those people out there.

Even still, the theory of transparency is one of those ideas that goes against the grain. It’s akin to the Mike Causey example that he uses for investing: When a car starts sliding on ice, you’re supposed to turn into the slide. It just doesn’t feel natural. In many ways, transparency is unnatural.

Furthermore…

* Transparency and open government still isn’t fully defined: As I said last year, transparency continues something akin to a Rorschach test — everybody sees transparency very differently. Each person has very different ways of defining what transparency means and how it can be implemented. A lot of that is good at this point — it is important to note that we are still very early in this and everybody is still learning. But it will be interesting to see how it actually gets implemented.

* Transparency and open government moves a lot of cheese around… and I’ll take a simple example: Freedom of Information Act Requests. It has always seemed to me that this is a process that is just made for openness and transparency. Why can’t all FOIA requests be posted in a public fashion… and agency responses be posted online. One reason: We journalists don’t want others knowing what we are working on.

* Open government and transparency needs to help government operate better: If this is going to take hold — if this is going to be real, I continue to believe that it needs to help agencies do their jobs better.

* Open government and transparency aren’t just a bludgeon: In many ways, Recovery.gov is the poster child for transparency and open government. In fact, Earl Devaney, the chairman of the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board told Federal News Radio that the transparency of the site actually has helped the Recovery Board operate more effectively. But it has been difficult at times. We remember the stories about the recovery dollars that were listed in phantom congressional districts. And everybody went nuts. The fact is that incorrect data was probably always there. We just didn’t know it before. Now we know — and it has been fixed. In fact, that is the power of open government, transparency and collaboration. Yet too often we use it as a bludgeon.

The fact is, this is new — and there are going to be mistakes.

But there are real opportunities out there. One of my favorites is the Better Buy Project. This is an innovative initiative by GSA, the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project, and the Industry Advisory Council. And the goal is to build a better acquisition process by tapping the wisdom of the crowds, something I had discussed last year. They are actually trying it. The Better Buy Project started in the GovLoop Acquisition 2.0 community, then evolved to a way of having people suggest ideas (hear GSA’s Mary Davie talk about it on Federal News Radio) … and it is now a wiki where you can actually help GSA build a better contract both for Data.gov and for the replacement of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service’s mainframe computers. More on this later this week, but… it is such a remarkable way of seeking people’s ideas.

We’ll be talking to the folks at GSA who are leading this project later this week. You can also read more on the Better Buy blog.

There are many examples and ideas how transparency and open government can help agencies do their jobs better. It is fun to watch!

DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of March 28-April 3: DOD CIO and the Guam capsizing question

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DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of March 28-April 3: DOD CIO and the Guam capsizing question

The most read stories for the week of March 28-April 3… on the DorobekINSIDER.com, on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, for Mike Causey, and for FederalNewsRadio.com

…from the DorobekInsider.com

  1. DorobekINSIDER: WH makes it official: Takai nominated for DOD CIO post
  2. DorobekINSIDER: The 2010 Fed 100 Awards Gala: Eagle winners, and I blush
  3. DorobekINSIDER: Is that a ‘for sale’ sign at market research firm Input?
  4. DorobekINSIDER: Off-topic: Back from a great visit to the Galapagos Islands
  5. DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO
  6. DorobekINSIDER: The Federal News Radio Book Club book announcement: Drive by Daniel H. Pink
  7. DorobekINSIDER: Get Federal News Radio on your iPhone
  8. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the month of MARCH 2010
  9. DorobekINSIDER: Jerry Lohfink, head of the USDA’s National Finance Center, to retire
  10. DorobekINSIDER: Federal News Radio Book Club: Daniel Pink’s Drive — the liner notes
  11. DorobekINSIDER: Listen to the Federal News Radio Book Club discussing Daniel Pink’s DRIVE
  12. DorobekINSIDER: Disconnecting from the grid with the Blue Footed Booby
  13. DorobekInsider: OMB hires performance guru Shelley Metzenbaum
  14. DorobekINSIDER: DOD issues its much anticipated Web 2.0 policy
  15. DorobekINSIDER EXCLUSIVE: GSA’s Jim Williams to retire from government after 30-plus years
  16. DorobekINSIDER explainer: That Census letter announcing the Census form is coming

… from the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris

  1. Congressman Hank Johnson worried about Guam’s stability
  2. March TSP snapshot!
  3. Is your job in danger of being outsourced?
  4. Where is the money? We track misallocated funds in the federal budget
  5. Monday Afternoon Federal Newscast
  6. First TSA nominee foresees tough confirmation process
  7. Wednesday Afternoon Federal Newscast – March 31, 2010
  8. Bill introduced to allow annual leave contributions to TSP
  9. How Driven are you? We find out during Federal News Radio’s Book Club
  10. Bill requires all agencies to have COOP/telework plan
  11. How the health care law will affect FEHBP participants
  12. Debate over cyber warfare intensifies
  13. TSP participants could soon invest unused annual leave
  14. How will health care reform impact you?
  15. Section: Daily Debrief Blogs
  16. WH looks at changing federal financial management
  17. DHS aims to strengthen U.S. – Mexican border
  18. OPM Director Berry furious over federal pay editorial
  19. Timeline for TSP’s Roth option discussed
  20. TSP launches plan to help financial fitness
  21. ‘Inherently Governmental:’ Has the Debate Changed?
  22. Your ID card could soon be much more valuable
  23. Will House healthcare bill affect the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program?
  24. DHS headquarters at St. Elizabeth’s making progress
  25. NRC open bids for its biggest-ever contract
  26. A cutting-edge Web technology for federal financial reporting
  27. White House launches transparency dashboard
  28. Lessons learned, best practices on telework examined after blizzard
  29. Sen. Reid’s amendment would shield FEHB from public option
  30. Reinventing Security at the Pentagon
  31. White House scrambles to find new TSA nominee
  32. Bob Peck is GSA’s new Commissioner of Public Buildings
  33. Jim Williams visits WFED on last day in office
  34. USPS plan would make dramatic changes
  35. Va. Gov wants to lure Northrop to NoVa
  36. Opportunity Tracking: ITSS 4
  37. Earnings down for many TSP accounts in January
  38. IBM develops new way to protect FAA from cyberattacks
  39. Feds, on average, earn more than their private sector counterparts
  40. TSP measures up to private sector funds
  41. Cybersecurity risks exist when filing income taxes
  42. OMB kicks of Tech-Stat program to watch troubled IT programs
  43. Secret FBI files and safer Toyotas
  44. Tips for staying safe at work
  45. Agency heads prepare for FY 2011 proposals
  46. How broadband technology could enhance cybersecurity
  47. FOSE 2010: What the future might hold for the General Schedule system
  48. Feds take a back seat to WMATA in Metro security
  49. Cybersecurity bill changes government response to threats

…for Mike Causey’s Federal Report

  1. Health Care Reform & Your FEHBP
  2. Who’s on FERS?
  3. Accidents Happen: CSRS vs. FERS
  4. About Those Buyout Rumors…
  5. What’s Your Minimum Retirement Age?
  6. Guestwriters in the Sky
  7. FEHBP: 26 is the New 22
  8. Cadillacs, Dependent Kids & the FEHBP
  9. Federal Pay/Inflation: Who’s Ahead
  10. Federal Pay Cut: What A Good Idea!

… and from FederalNewsRadio.com

  1. OFPP defines ‘inherently governmental’
  2. White House ready to reveal identity management plans
  3. Agency pilots help cultivate ‘inherently governmental’ changes
  4. Lieberman calls for more staff at OMB
  5. National Finance Center defaulting to e-pay stubs
  6. Postal Service prepares to move to five day delivery
  7. Accountability? There’s a dashboard for that!
  8. Obama nominates three key administrators
  9. White House pushing agencies toward better customer service
  10. OMB’s Werfel outlines future for financial managers
  11. DHS may not have the funding to work together
  12. Agencies taking different paths to transformation
  13. OPM’s Berry considers turning telework on its ear
  14. Legislation could spur XBRL use in government
  15. GSA’s Johnson is passionate about teleworking
  16. Care of Gulf War vets gets second look
  17. White House works to change online transactions
  18. Fitzgerald readies the CIO University for the next generation
  19. Census reminds us all to fill out that form
  20. Federal News Radio Reports
  21. OFPP to refine agency-contractor relationship
  22. OPM to submit hiring reform advice to White House next week
  23. Berry lays out priorities in OPM budget
  24. GSA releases FY 2010 per diem rates
  25. OMB shutting down financial systems office
  26. Health care reform and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program
  27. Obama nomiates three key administrators
  28. OMB outlines shift on FISMA
  29. FOSE 2010: Your benefits and the future of the General Schedule
  30. Care of Gulf War Vets Gets Second Look
  31. OMB’s Zients stakes out acquisition reform plans
  32. OPM’s strategic plan sets roadmap to HR reform
  33. FY 2011 budget work on hold
  34. Coast Guard HQ at St. Elizabeths gets full speed ahead
  35. Senators want to tighten up inherently governmental definition
  36. Mobile apps, TechStat lead OMB’s IT evolution
  37. OMB to give agencies plan to modernize services
  38. Bureau of Labor Statistics responds to federal pay in the media
  39. Administration to set new vision for ID management
  40. Agency cybersecurity reporting to get makeover
  41. GSA reorganizes to better green the government
  42. New standards for federal building security coming
  43. Contractor integrity, performance to face higher level of scrutiny
  44. DHS marks new milestone with St. E’s campus groundbreaking
  45. GSA’s Johnson wants more customer intimacy
  46. OMB’s Kundra stakes out new e-gov approach
  47. What’s next for Open Government Initiative
  48. Congress turns up heat on DoD business systems
  49. OPM culling telework data from snow storms
  50. NMCI to NGEN = 43 months Navy says

Written by cdorobek

April 4, 2010 at 2:30 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Listen to the Federal News Radio Book Club discussing Daniel Pink’s DRIVE

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There are sometimes when you look forward to something so much, you can’t help but be disappointed. Then there are exciting moments when you look forward to something and it actually exceeds expectations. And you may be able to tell from my posts — and my talking about it on Federal News Radio — that I was excited about this book.

Today’s “meeting” of the Federal News Radio Book Club totally exceeded my expectations.

We were discussing the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink… and for the discussion, we were joined for the Book Club by participants: In studio, in addition to Amy Morris and myself, will be Daniel Pink, the author of the book, and Tim McManus, vice president for the Partnership for Public Service… and on the phone, Steve Ressler, the founder of GovLoop and co-founder of Young Government Leaders. (Ressler actually had my favorite comments — it’s about 35-minutes in.)

Next week, Federal News Radio beings a week long series — HR Reinvented. Throughout the week we will look at innovative ways to fix the recruitment, hiring, retention, firing and retirement processes in the federal government. And the motivation issue plays a significant role in these issues.

I hope you enjoy the Book Club discussion as much as we enjoyed it in the studio.

You can hear the Federal News Radio Book Club here…

You can find more here… Or download the MP3 here.

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.

Written by cdorobek

April 2, 2010 at 5:50 PM