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03.06.2012: DorobekINSIDER: The TAG Challenge and helping government be entrepreneurial

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So… day two of GovLoop Insight’s DorobekINSIDER. Thanks so much for being here.

Here is what we have for you today…

* We all remember tag — we all played it as kids. But what if the technologies of the Internet and the networked world could be brought to the game of tag. The TAG Challenge is going to be testing that concept later this month. And this challenge is being made possible by a State Department grant. You’ll learn about this innovative new program.

** You face big problems. How would you like to be able to tap the best minds to help solve those problems — or at least move the ball down the field. We’ll tell you about Fuse Corps…. we’re going to talk to Peter Sims, the author of the DorobekINSIDER Book Club book, Little Bets… he’s the man behind this program and we’ll get details…

** AND… feds, you have a TSP account? We’re going to have the DorobekINSIDER exit interview with the man who has kept you informed about what was going on with your Thrift Savings Plan account… he has just retired. We’ll talk to Tom Trabucco.

After the break… some updates on yesterday’s program… and the stories that impact your life for Tuesday 6 March 2012… the government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

March 6, 2012 at 1:17 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: Chart of the day: DHS oversight

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Buried at the Homeland Security Department’s so-called “bottom up review” — a review of all DHS operations — is a very telling chart: The amount of oversight that Homeland Security undergoes

How is that for shocking!

Read the full report here. [PDF – note, the report is 72 pages] This is on the last page.

Read and hear Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s report on the bottom up review.

NextGov: DHS will establish consolidated intelligence portal

Written by cdorobek

July 19, 2010 at 9:30 AM

DorobekINSIDER EXCLUSIVE: GSA’s Jim Williams to retire from government after 30-plus years

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Jim Williams, the widely respected head of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service, has told staff that he will leave government on April 3.

Williams has had a remarkable government career, most recently as the first commission of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, which was tasked with bringing together the former Federal Supply Service and Federal Technology Service. But he has also served as the director of U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program (US-VISIT) at the Homeland Security Department, and in several senior leadership posts at the Internal Revenue Service.

Williams does not have any current plans for when he leaves government, sources confirmed. He is exploring his options, insiders said.

The note Williams sent to staff today:

Today, I let Administrator Martha Johnson know that I am retiring from government service on April 3, 2010, but I am planning for my last day in the office to be March 31st.

I feel like I have been incredibly blessed and fortunate to have been able to serve our great nation for over thirty years and do so with so many people around the world that I like and respect.

I also believe our country’s future is bright because of the dedicated and fantastic people that I have had the opportunity to serve with and to have been part of teams of people, many still serving government, that work hard to deliver positive results for the American people, our military and law enforcement personnel, and all other parts of government.

For people who have recently come into government, I hope they experience and feel how tremendously fulfilling a public service can be. Across several government agencies and most recently GSA, DHS, and IRS, I know the successes that I am proud to have been a part of have all been due to great leaders and teams of people coming together from the public and private sector to best serve our country and make the world a better place.

There is no adequate way to say thank you to my family, friends around the world, and co-workers for all the support provided to me during my career, but I hope they know I am very grateful.

At this point, I do not know where I will be working after I leave government. I will see what options there are after I leave, but, wherever I end up, what does matter to me is that I want to stay in touch with friends. Thank you to you all for your friendship and support that helped make my career such a wonderful and rewarding experience.

Best wishes,

Jim Williams

Williams bio:

James A. Williams returned to the position of Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service on January 22, 2009. He was designated Acting Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration on August 30, 2008. As Acting Administrator, Williams presided over the leading acquisition agency for the federal government. He was responsible for the management of nearly 12,000 employees and more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars. As Administrator he influenced the management of $500 billion in assets including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings. He also was steward of more than 425 historic properties and 208,000 vehicles.

During his leadership as Acting Administrator, Williams was responsible for a very successful presidential transition; and for gaining approval of the 4.5 million square foot Master Plan for the St. Elizabeths Hospital campus in Washington, DC to be the new permanent home of the Department of Homeland Security. He also provided leadership in the sustainable design of energy efficient buildings; managed various “green” initiatives that provide environmentally friendly products, services and technology to federal agencies; and continued the implementation of fuel-efficient vehicles within federal and GSA’s vehicle fleets.

Before becoming Acting Administrator, Williams served as Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service. Here he provides strategic direction-setting, performance management and leadership for the efficient and effective program execution necessary to provide best value for the government and for taxpayers, proactive customer assistance and simplified procedures. His organization is responsible for nearly $50 billion annually in acquisition revenues covering the GSA Schedules Program, information technology, vehicles, furniture, supplies to the warfighter, property disposal, travel and transportation contracts and assisting customer agencies with life cycle acquisition support.

Prior to this, Williams served as Director of the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program (US-VISIT) at the Department of Homeland Security. Previously, he served in several executive leadership positions at the Internal Revenue Service, including Deputy Associate Commissioner for Program Management, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Procurement and later as Director of Procurement at the IRS.

Earlier in his career, Williams was director of the Local Telecommunications Procurement Division at GSA, where he was responsible for all nationwide local telecommunications purchases for the agency.

A native of Virginia, Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s in business administration from The George Washington University.

DorobekINSIDER: AFCEA Homeland Security Conference panel on cyber-security — the liner notes

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I am moderating a panel at AFCEA’s 9th Annual Homeland Security Conference — creatively named DHS – The 7-Year Itch – Renewing the Commitment: The Definitive Dialogue on Critical Homeland Security Issues. Specifically, the panel that I’m moderating is titled President’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative. And we have a good panel to discuss these issues, even if the title of the panel doesn’t fully capture it:

Thursday, February 25
9:15 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Panel 6: President’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative
Industry insight into streamlining the cyber security effort through all levels of government. Thoughts and recommendations on policy, strategy and guidelines necessary to secure federal systems; integrate existing federal government resources; and anticipate future cyber threats and technologies.

Moderator: Christopher J. Dorobek (confirmed)
Co-anchor, Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris
Editor-in-chief, the DorobekINSIDER.com

Panelists:
Mr. Shawn Carroll (bio in PDF)
Executive Director of Engineering & CTO
QWEST Government Services

Mr. John Nagengast (bio in PDF)
Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives
AT&T

Mr. Marcus Sachs (bio in PDF)
Executive Director for National Security & Cyber Policy
Verizon

Credit where credit is due: I’m just the moderator. I did not pull the panel together. So I want to credit specifically Wray Varley, Qwest Government Service’s director of advanced programs, DHS & DoJ, for pulling all the pieces together.

As I mentioned, our title is just a tad bid misleading because it really doesn’t capture the scope of what we hope to talk about. (I’m not sure people know what the President’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative even is. I’ve put some background below, including a March 2009 report from the Congressional Research Service that lays it out.)

In the end, what we hope to talk about cyber-security broadly — and our discussion will really go beyond that rather governmental sounding initiative.

It is clear that times are changing in the cyber world. Cyber-security is becoming more of a check-list item to becoming a real national security priority. People are hearing about cyber-security repeatedly, but I’m not sure they know what they can — and should — be doing.

A few data points:

* The Google hack: This comes from Google’s announcement that the company was considering pulling out of China following a massive hack. Of course, we learned that these attacks were actually against a number of private sector companies and investigators are still searching for where these attacks came from. And on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke with George Kurtz, the CTO for cyber-security company McAfee, about those attacks. Hear that conversation here. McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies recently came out with a new report that found people are under attack more then they generally know. You can hear the authors of that report, titled In the Crossfire: Critical Infrastructure in the Age of Cyberwar, here.

* The ZeuS attacks: After Google came word from NetWitness that some 2,400 organizations — including government agencies — had been attacked.

* Could the U.S. lose a cyber-war? That was the stark warning from Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence during testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, according to GovInfoSecurity.com. McConnell told lawmakers earlier this week that if a cyberwar were to break out today — “the United States would lose.” He went on to say that this is not because the U-S doesn’t have talented people or cutting edge technology. It is simply because the country is the most dependent and the most vulnerable — and because the country has not made the national commitment to understanding — and securing — cyberspace.

During the discussion, we are going to review this from several perspectives:
* Carrier operations — Nagengast is going to discuss what the telecommunications carriers can/should/are doing to address these important issues.
* Policy issues — Sachs is going to discuss the public and private policy issues that can/should/are helping to address this issue.
* What agencies need to do — Finally, Carroll will go review what agencies can/should/are doing to address these issues.

And my guess is that somewhere in there, we will talk about Networx, which was widely hailed as a real opportunity for agencies to upgrade their network security infrastructure. And earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission was one of the first agencies to use the Networx contract’s provisions for the Trusted Internet Connection initiative. TIC is an OMB initiative that seeks to reduce the number of government connections to the Internet to better enable agencies to secure data that passes through those connections, and OMB has been pushing agencies to move forward with TIC implementation.

Some resources — and I’ll add to these if there are links mentioned during the session:

* Congressional Research Service report: Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative: Legal Authorities, Policy Considerations [March 10, 2009] Report thanks to OpenCRS — and you can download the PDF of the report from their site here.

* Center for Democracy and Technology analysis of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

* The China threat: Here is some appointment listening — and reading. Last week on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine, who wrote a fascinating piece about China generally, but also that country’s role as a cyber-attacker, which he argues is somewhat exaggerated… although he goes on to say that he doesn’t believe we are paying enough attention to cyber-security generally. Hear our conversation here. I think you’ll find the conversation — and his article — illuminating.

Written by cdorobek

February 25, 2010 at 7:15 AM

DorobekInsider: Watching the Networx transition — or lack there of — at AFFIRM on Wednesday

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One of the more interesting stories of the year in government IT is the transition to the new Networx telecommunications contract — or lack of transition, to be honest. During the confirmation hearing of Martha Johnson to be the administrator of the General Services Administration, she said that Networx transition was going to be one of her top priorities — and she said that the process has been too slow and is costing the government big bucks.

On Wednesday, I will be moderating a panel at the AFFIRM luncheon billed as Voice of the Customer: GSA, Networx Transition, & Beyond.

We have a great line-up:

  • Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, CIO, Interior Department (bio);
  • Karl Krumbholz, Director, Network Services Programs, GSA Integrated Technology Solutions (bio)
  • Michael Brown, Executive Director, IT Services Office, Homeland Security Department (bio);
  • Mike Ponti, Director, Strategic Resources Planning, ASD/NII, Defense Department (bio)

We’re waiting on one other confirmation, we hope.

Regardless, there should be some great lessons learned — and some really good insights about how the CIOs are really very focused on this transition — you’ll get to hear how the CIO Council specifically is focused on the Networx migration… and why.

Earlier on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to Bob Woods, president of TopSide Consulting, about the lagging transition. Read more and hear that conversation here.

Meanwhile, Federal Computer Week recently ran an interesting three-part series on the status of Networx transition.

I hope you’ll join us Wednesday. You can register from the link here.

 

Written by cdorobek

November 16, 2009 at 2:53 PM

DorobekInsider.com: 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.

Biography

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