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DorobekINSIDER: Get Federal News Radio on your iPhone

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We’re an iPhone application. Last week while I was away, Federal News Radio launched the Federal News Radio iPhone application. And it is pretty cool. And it is free!

From the description:

Based in Washington, DC (1500 AM), Federal News Radio covers the business of the federal government by looking at lessons learned and best practices, and talking to the people themselves who make government work, including federal policy makers and contractors. Federal News Radio covers issues including management, technology, pay and benefits, contracting, and policy. Whether you work for the federal government or a federal contractor, Federal News Radio will provide you information that will help you do your job better. For more information on Federal News Radio go to

Features of the Federal News Radio iPhone App:
– Listen to the Radio Station Live
– Read Mike Causey’s Daily Column
– Read the Latest Articles and Blogs
– Listen to Federal News Radio Interviews/Podcasts
– Read the DorobekINSIDER

Completely unrelated bonus feature:
– Listen Live to Most Washington Capitals Hockey Games

This is particularly cool because you can now get the DorobekINSIDER right on your iPhone, but you can also listen to Federal News Radio 1500 AM even when you’re outside of our signal area.

I might mention that our sister station, DC’s WTOP radio, also has a iPhone applicationthe “Glass Enclosed Nerve App.” Using that app, just like with the Federal News Radio app, you can use it to listen to WTOP. But you can also get weather and traffic — including big traffic issues and traffic cameras. Find that application here.

Of course, an iPhone or iTouch is required to make the applications work.

If you don’t have an iPhone or iTouch, — and, for that matter — have improved the way we stream the stations from the Web sites.

From John Meyer, Director of Digital Media for WTOP and Manager of Sales and Operations for Federal News Radio 1500 AM:

On the heels of our new iPhone apps, I wanted to make everyone aware of some other changes we have implanted to our sites. If you go to our Listen Live pages on either site, you will notice a greater selection of listening options. We have eliminated the Silverlight player and replaced it with a Flash Player. You can also still listen via Windows Media as well as Mp.3/iTtunes.

Hopefully these changes can help us solve some of our technical issues that have blocked our streaming in the past.’s “listen live” page’s “listen live” page

Written by cdorobek

March 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

DorobekINSIDER explainer: That Census letter announcing the Census form is coming

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There has been a lot of commentary and buzz about the Census sending out a letter notifying people that you will soon be receiving the Census form. And many people have scoffed calling it a colossal waste of money — or worse. To be fair — I said the same thing.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Resident:

About one week from now, you will receive a 2010 Census form in the mail. When you receive your form, please fill it out and mail it in promptly. Your response is important. Results from the 2010 Census will be used to help each community get its fair share of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities, and many other programs you and your neighbors need. Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share. Thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely, Robert M. Groves
Director, U.S. Census Bureau

Go to <> for help completing your 2010 Census form when it arrives. [Note: this sentence is repeated in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian]

So I called Census officials to ask the question: Why send out a letter saying that the Census is coming?

The answer: To raise awareness.

Census surveys show that 45 percent of people don’t know about the Census — a number I find shocking, but… And further Census surveys show that these letters increase awareness of the Census. That increased awareness increases the Census form return rate by 6 to 12 percent. That increase has a real return on investment — every 1 percent increase in Census returns saves the government $85 million in operational costs associated with census takers going door to door to follow up with households that did not mail back the form. It costs $57 per household on average to send a Census enumerator out to get the data.

These letters went out to 120 million addresses, Census officials said.

That being said, I wish they had included a link where I could fill out my Census form online, but…

More information can be found here.

Written by cdorobek

March 10, 2010 at 1:21 PM

DorobekInsider: The buzz of the Input holiday party 2009

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Input kicked off the holiday season, as they do every year, with the company’s 8th annual holiday party. There was a new location this year for the first time — the Ritz in Tysons — but the event still benefits the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.

The Input holiday bash is always one of the better events of the year — and the new location was great. I was there late, of course — heading there after I finished up on the radio. But there was still a good crowd there…

And there were a lot of buzzable items:

* USDA’s management reorganization: This is still a very hot topic. Of course, as the DorobekInsider reported, USDA just last week got approval for buy outs and early retirements. The changes have been controversial within the organization — there seems to be a growing consensus that USDA just isn’t talking about their plans enough — or at all, which I continue to just find baffling. But there are very differing views on whether the management reorg is a good idea or not. But now people are saying there could be more shifts coming. We’ll keep an eye on it.

* Chris Niedermayer to leave USPTO for HUD: I haven’t been able to confirm with Neidermayer yet — and he was gone by the time I arrived — but a number of people last night told me Neidermayer was at the Input party and his name tag identified him as being with HUD, where he would again be teamed with relatively new HUD CIO Jerry Williams, who has been at the department since July. UPDATE: Confirmed — Neidermayer will join HUD as deputy CIO for business and IT modernization.

* Deborah Diaz also leaves USPTO for NASA: We have been hearing this for weeks, but we finally confirmed — as did Diaz on her Facebook page — but she has also left USPTO — hmmm — to be the associate CIO at NASA. And we’re hearing that she is spearheading a big NASA IT contract — perhaps it’s the agency’s IT Infrastructure Improvement Program (I3P)? [UPDATE: Federal Computer Week’s Doug Beizer has a report about the Diaz appointment today — and, in a very classy move, he credits the DorobekInsider.]

WFED's Chris Forest and Input's Kevin Plexico

* Federal News Radio’s new hire… A number of people asked me about Federal News Radio hiring Chris Forest, which the DorobekInsider reported last month. Forest has been in the government market for years and is well known, so the Input party was something of his first coming out as a part of the Federal News Radio team.

See the complete set of my unflashed photos here… I’ll start bringing a real camera rather then just my iPhone.

Written by cdorobek

December 4, 2009 at 9:05 AM

DorobekInsider: Clearing the desk – and stories mentioned on the Daily Debrief

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Cleaning off the desk and some of the stories mentioned on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris:

* National Journal’s Tech Daily Dose: Former TV newsman to join the intel’s ‘analytic transformation’

John Miller, a broadcast journalist who parlayed his expertise on terrorism into a career with local law enforcement and later the FBI, plans to leave the bureau to help lead reform efforts for the intelligence community. According to sources familiar with Miller’s plans, he would move to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where he’d head up a team devoted to “analytic transformation.”

* CNet’s Technically Incorrect blog: Why Twitter isn’t pointless babble

Have you ever sat in a bar or a coffee shop, just watching what people do, examining the expressions on their faces, or just desperately trying to overhear the endearing nonsense that emerges from their mouths?

That’s how I think of Twitter.

Read CNet’s previous coverage of the Twitter “babble” report… and read Pear Analytics post on their Twitter report… or download the PDF of the report itself.

* Navy CIO Robert Carey is speaking at Input tomorrow morning. Find details here… Hear Carey from my Daily Debrief birthday show last weekhear that conversation here.

* Happy birthday to Scott Burns, CEO and co-founder of GovDelivery, which focuses on helping agencies reach out to the public. [Read Burns’ blog here… and follow him on Twitter at Federal News Radio featured Burns as part of Federal News Radio’s Meet the Innovator series. Hear that conversation here… and find all of the Meet the Innovator conversations here.] Burns shares his birthday with Coco Chanel, creator of the “little black dress”, the late great Frank McCourt. Other people born on this date: former President Bill Clinton and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry — live long and prosper.

Written by cdorobek

August 19, 2009 at 2:48 PM

DorobekInsider: Coming and going – A new DOT CIO (mostly confirmed), Frank Puglese, former SSA CIO Tom Hughes, Young Government Leaders

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A number of people comings & goings in the past few days…

* DOT CIO Nitin Harban

I mentioned this a few days ago — at that time unconfirmed — that there was a new CIO at the Transportation Department. While I don’t have it “officially” confirmed — DOT public affairs has yet to get back to me — I have essentially confirmed that Harban started on June 29. While the DOT CIO is a political appointee, the DOT CIO job it is not a Senate confirmed post. I’m frustrated to say that I don’t have a bio or anything — and Google doesn’t even provide much help. Nor Microsoft’s Bing for that matter. If anybody has information — a bio or anything — post it here or send it along.

* Frank P. Pugliese, the former GSA Federal Supply Service commissioner, leaves DuPont

Pugliese, who was an almost legendary leader of the General Services Administration’s then-Federal Supply Service — for you newbies, that was the organization that includes the GSA schedule contracts among other things. He retired from GSA in 2000 — read the GSA press release from that time here. Pugliese eventually ended up at DuPont as Managing Director of DuPont Government Business Development. He resigned last week.

I spoke to him earlier this week and he told me his is not retiring. He is doing some consulting.

It was one of the worst kept secrets in town that Pugliese was interested in the GSA administrator job and in our conversation this week, even 9-years after leaving GSA, he still has incredible passion for that organization.

Here is Pugliese’s DuPont bio:

Frank P. Pugliese, Jr is Managing Director of DuPont Government Business Development. He is the former commissioner for the General Services Administration (GSA) where he spent his career focused on performance and operations improvement. During his 28-year tenure with the GSA, his efforts received numerous citations for contributing to better government through deficit reduction and cost-effectiveness. In1998, he received GSA’s Distinguished Service Award, the agency’s most prestigious award, followed by the 1999 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive. He retired from the GSA in 2000.

* Former SSA CIO Tom Hughes joins CSC

Again, I don’t have “official” confirmation — somebody at CSC will get back to me soon, I hope — but Thomas P. Hughes, the former CIO at the Social Security Administration, has joined CSC’s civilian group.

* Change of leadership at Young Government Leaders

Katherine Hudson Walker, who has been president of the growing Young Government Leaders organization, has announced she is stepping down and the new incoming president, Tim Sommella, will be taking the helm. (Sommella works at the Coast Guard, so pun only partially intended.)

It is with great regret that I send this email. For the past three and a half years, YGL has been my “baby” in many respects, but in looking at the priorities in my life I have another baby–my son–that needs me as well. Balancing my new son and work has been harder than expected and I find that I am no longer able to give YGL the time and attention it deserves. I am resigning my position as President of Young Government Leaders, leaving Tim Sommella at the helm of YGL until September 2009 when the newly elected board takes office. I will continue to serve YGL as an advisor and contribute as my schedule allows. Tim has done a great job this past year serving as a central point of accountability and direction for the board and I couldn’t think of anyone more capable and creative to lead YGL going forward.

I want to express my sincere thanks for your support of YGL over the years as we would not have been able to achieve our goals without your sage advice and generous contributions. I hope that you will continue to support YGL and our mission to promote civil service and help the federal government grow the next generation of leaders. Please stay in touch!



Katherine Hudson Walker
Senior Analyst, Strategic Issues
Government Accountability Office

Walker has done a great job balancing many priorities, and she still managed to grow YGL. It has been great getting to know her.

She was recently on the Women In Technology panel that I moderated recently, and Federal News Radio Program Director Lisa Wolfe wrote this wonderful intro for Walker:

Kate Hudson Walker covers a lot of ground with her career, her family and her hobby. Kate takes on the mantle of what amounts to two jobs, one with GAO, one with YGL. Kate is also a new mom to her 7 month old son Nathan. And if these two things didn’t keep her running, her hobby certainly would. Literally. Kate is a marathon runner aiming to run 26.2 miles in under 3 hours. She even has her sights set on being an Olympic athlete. She is training to compete in the Olympic Trials in the coming few years and will be testing her mettle this November at the Richmond marathon. Kate Hudson Walker, President of the Young Government Leaders and also a Government Accountability Office Senior Analyst for Strategic Issues.

I’ve added the emphasis because I still find it simply remarkable.

You can hear excerpts of that panel here.

Written by cdorobek

July 9, 2009 at 12:57 PM As heard on the May 1 edition of the Daily Debrief

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Items that we mentioned today on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris

* WSJ op-ed: Obama’s Federal Suggestion Box by Brian Carney, a member of the Journal’s editorial board, and Isaac Getz, a professor at the ESCP Europe School of Management in Paris, France. They are the co-authors of “Freedom, Inc.,” due out in October. An excerpt:

The president’s intention is admirable, and he’s right to say that “Americans across the country know that the best ideas often come from workers — not just management.” But American workers also know that even in the private sector, management often does little to implement their ideas. If the president really wants to take government workers’ ideas seriously, he should know that there’s a lot more to it than setting up an email address and telling workers to fire away.

There are good reasons the suggestion boxes at most companies collect more chewed-up gum and recommendations to “fire my boss” than valuable ideas. Workers know that the bureaucracy will strangle even good ideas with “suggestion-review committees” and rules on who is eligible to offer ideas, what kind of ideas will be considered, and how to decide what constitutes a “good” idea.

It doesn’t have to be this way: Toyota’s plants in Georgetown, Ky., and Fremont, Calif., benefit from a continuous flow of their employees’ ideas. But copying this model isn’t easy: GM co-owns the NUMMI plant in Fremont and has tried to emulate its culture — with little success, as the administration is well-aware.

See and/or read President Obama’s weekend address here … and get information about TSA’s Idea Factory — an Digg like online suggestion box — from the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project.

* The Defense Department’s New Idea Portal. (Hat tip: Armed with Science on Twitter.) is a portal through which innovative companies, entrepreneurs, and research organizations can offer potential solutions to the Department of Defense. This portal, and the team behind it, are designed to encourage companies that have never considered doing business with
DoD to participate. Our process depends on direct communication with you when you submit an idea that is attractive in an area where we need a solution. The review process is continuous to avoid internal delays in decisions and review.

* Steve Ressler — GovLoop’s 10K man… and counting

* The Daily Debrief’s December 2008 interview with Katie Jacobs Stanton , then principal of Google’s new development team. She is now with the White House’s new media team.

* On the move: Today is the last day for GSA’s John Johnson. Hear his Daily Debrief “exit interiew” here … and my conversation with Johnson on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Government IT Solutions Spotlight here … and Frank DiGiammarino of the National Academy of Public Administration moves to the White House after today. The DorobekInsider post on that here .

* Federal News Radio’s Amy Morris’s column: Turn Off, Tune Out, UnPlug

Written by cdorobek

May 1, 2009 at 1:53 PM

DEVELOPING STORY: WTOP reports FBI issues search warrant on DC CTO office

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UPDATE: WTOP report Mark Segraves reports (via Twitter) that “An official in the D.C. government’s office of the chief technology officer has been arrested in a federal bribery sting… Yusuf Acar, 40, was taken into custody this morning by FBI agents at his home in Northwest Washington, the sources said.”

WTOP radio , the sister station to Federal News Radio 1500 AM — and now Politico are reporting that the FBI have issued a search warrant at the offices of the DC Chief Technology Officer’s office.

Of course, the former DC CTO Vivek Kundra has been named the Obama administration’s chief information officer. [Hear Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s interview with Kurndra from this week — not related to the FBI search, of course.]

From WTOP 103.5 FM, which broke the story:

“We are there as part of a continuing ongoing criminal investigation,” FBI Washington Field Office spokesperson Katherine Schweit tells WTOP.

Schweit would not comment on the details of the investigation.

There are at least a dozen FBI agents – including evidence technicians – at the office, located at 1 Judiciary Square on 4th Street in Northwest, WTOP’s Mark Segraves reports.

Written by cdorobek

March 12, 2009 at 10:15 AM