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DorobekINSIDER: Godspeed Jeff Koch

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UPDATE: I’ve added the official obituary.

I was awaiting the formal obituary, but… I’m heartbroken to report that Jeff Koch passed away over the weekend.

Koch served at the Office of Management and Budget and most recently was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at U.S. Department of Labor.

Koch passed away suddenly on November 3 after an unexpected complication of cancer, according to friends.

I will update this post with the official obituary when it is available, which will have viewing and funeral times.

But in the meantime, friends have created a GoFundMe page for Koch’s wife, Patty Stolnacker Koch. “The friends of Patty and Jeff have organized this gofundme for Patty – – not only to show our love, caring and support to this wonderful friend and mom-to-be, but to also to help relieve some of the many expenses of raising a child,” the page says.

The official obituary:

JEFFREY WESCOTT KOCH passed away unexpectedly with his beloved wife by his side on November 3, 2018, after a courageous battle with liposarcoma. He was 55.

The son of Janice Park Koch and the late Franklin Wescott Koch, Jeff was born on May 6, 1963, in Plainfield, NJ. He graduated from Warrensburg High School in Warrensburg, Missouri in 1981 and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1985.

He was an Eagle Scout and a passionate member of the Boy Scouts of America, serving in multiple positions including District Commissioner for Washington, DC. He was also a member of the Boy Scouts’ Tribe of Mic-O-Say organization.

In January 2017, Jeff was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at U.S. Department of Labor. He previously held various appointed positions at the U.S. Department of Labor as well as the White House Office of Management and Budget, during which time he received a letter of commendation from President George W. Bush.

Between 1998 and 2002, Jeff served as chief of staff for his friend and fellow Eagle Scout, Rep. Pete Sessions. Prior to his time in Washington D.C., Jeff worked as an engineer at RF Monolithics, Inc. and E-Systems in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Jeff is survived by his wife of seven years, Patty Stolnacker, and his expected daughter, due in January. He is also survived by his mother, Janice Koch, of Rowlett, Texas; his sister, Jennifer Leigh Davenport, with husband Mark and children Bryce and Hannah, of Rockwall, Texas; his brother, Barry Franklin Koch, with wife Claudia and children Lara and Julie, of Ingolstadt, Germany; and his loyal friend, Lincoln. Jeff was an adored husband, son and brother, a beloved friend and confidante, and a tireless volunteer.

He was passionate about cycling, engineering, nature, and music. He made a lasting difference to every endeavor he pursued. Jeff brought his engineering acumen and sense of fun to everything he did, providing joy and lasting memories of Halloween haunted houses, Olympic festivities, and epic water slides to his Palisades neighborhood.

Memorial services will begin on Friday, November 9, 2018 with a visitation at the Everly Wheatley Funeral Home in Alexandria, Virginia from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by a service on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 3 p.m. at the Fairlington United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests sending memorial contributions in Jeff’s name to Cycle for Survival’s team Tour de Cure – DC: http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/JeffKoch. Please view and sign the family guestbook.

I’ve gotten funeral details from some friends:

Koch was known for his passion and his humor. But he was also known for his work. In 2008, he was recognized with Federal Computer Week’s Fed 100 award.

5bdae0505520978a6c56335ad09c9eed504eeff7-1Jeff Koch

Office of Management and Budget

Jeff Koch, manager of the Office of Management and Budget’s Internal Efficiency and Effectiveness portfolio, didn’t try to force agencies to accept the Bush administration’s e-government plans for back-office services. Faced with resistance from agency managers and lawmakers, Koch used persuasive tactics.

He cleared roadblocks to ensure that initiatives such as E-Payroll and E-Travel could mature.

“Jeff has provided unwavering leadership for the agencies with his management of the Internal Efficiency and Effectiveness E-Government portfolio,” said Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology.

“Jeff has ensured the milestones for each of the initiatives are met, and any obstacles in the way have been cleared.”

Agencies saved $508 million in 2007 from initiatives in Koch’s portfolio.

I will update this post with the obituary once it is available.

Written by cdorobek

November 6, 2018 at 7:46 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Looking at mobility as a service

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These days we hearing about many things being delivered “as a service.”  Recently, I got to moderate two days of discussions about something called mobility as a service [MaaS].
Sometimes called transportation as a service, the concept is an interesting one — as its core, it would reorient transportation around getting people from place to place, but opens up other modes of transportation above and beyond the car. Transportation consultant Jack Opiola had the best definition that I heard: “Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the seamless, infinitely adaptable delivery of mobility, together with associated travel information, necessary ticketing and payment services, across all modes of transport.”
The Mobility as a Service conference, organized and sponsored by ITS International, was the first of its kind conference in the United States. (By way of transparency, I was paid to moderate; I was not paid nor asked to write anything.)
Why it matters: If you live anyplace where people want to live, transportation is difficult at best, and that’s on a good day. We are all impacted by it… and talk about it… and grouse about it. But it is such a unique eco-structure — EVERYBODY has an opinion on it… it is very political… and there is a ton of ‘why don’t they just…’ Furthermore, government is only one player among many players. But there are also broader impacts — on the Earth… on our bodies as we spend hours sitting in vehicles.
Some take-aways from the MaaS conference:
  • Transportation isn’t easy — This was my digest take away — transportation is just SO complex. One of the biggest challenges is… well, us… us and our cars. We love them. And we seem to be addicted to them… and sitting alone in them, seemingly regardless of how long it takes. It is the primary ways most people in the US get from point A to point B. But there are all other kinds of modes of transportation — bicycles, ride sharing/taxi hailing apps, scooters, pedestrians, transit like bus and rail. There are multitudes of options, but in the end, government organizations only control a portion of those methods. Therefore there is a real need for different organizations to work together.
  • MaaS - car - bus - bike - 60 people

    One of the images used by transportation experts (h/t Robin Chase)

    The challenges are real — One of the main discussion topics in any urban area is the commute. Roads are congested. This is particularly true in cities. While there is general agreement that new roads simply don’t solve transportation problems, for cities, in many cases, building new roads isn’t an option. Cities are also constrained because there simply isn’t space to construct new roads. Beyond that, the car has been detrimental to our health (Forget sitting at your desk — what about sitting in your car?) Not to mention the health of the planet… and all that wasted productivity. (Robin Chase, one of the founders of ZipCar, said, “The car dominated city as reached its zenith.”)

  • The government is part of the mix, but there are a lot of players — a lot of transit is governed by a government organization, but there are so many players — drivers, bikers, engineers, politicians. (There was much discussion of European models where there is a goal — spoken or unspoken — of eliminating the need for cars. Call me skeptical but it is hard for me to imagine that in the US… Worth watching — Atlanta has created a regional transportation authority — ATL — that is meant to pull the desperate government pieces together. There will definitely be lessons from the ATL experience.)
  • The opportunities feel real — There does feel like an alignment of planets where changes can happen. And you are seeing it happen already around the world — even here in the US where there are people who are shifting to cities because they don’t want to own a car — and these days, they have options… many options. And we have seen change coming faster than we ever imagined. Who would have guessed the spread of “ride sharing” or taxi hailing apps like Uber and Lyft would become so ubiquitous so quickly — and so utterly disrupt the taxi industry? Jack Opiola, Transportation Consultant noted the idea seemed unthinkable not long ago, but times have changed.
  • Driverless cars could be heaven – or hell   — Everybody is watching what comes of driverless cards. Among these transportation experts, there was a general assumption that is will be here — and sooner than we think.
    MaaS - driverless cars

    h/t Dr. Kari Watkins

    But there is the very real possibility that, if truly driverless cars become a reality, then the roads could be packed with even more vehicles — and people who don’t care how long their commute takes because they are able to work in their self-driven car.

  • First mile – last mile — One of the real challenges is what transportation experts call the “first mile – last mile” — that is how does one get from “point A” to their transportation — and from where the transportation method drops a person off to get to “point B.”
  • MaaS - before and after

    One Asian city has been able to transform a roadway to a open area where people can visit. (h/t Robin Chase) 

    There could be unforeseen opportunities — One of the more intriguing presentations by transportation consultant Jack Opiola looked at the the electronic tolling devices used in Portugal — think of the EZpass used along most of the East Coast toll roads. The Portugal system has grown over the years to where users can use the electronic tolling device to… buy gas… pay for parking… even make purchases at McDonalds. San Francisco has a Clipper Card, which can be used across multiple modes of transportation, as detailed by Jason Weinstein, Assistant Director, Electronic Payments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco. But there are also real opportunities for communities to turn areas that have been dominated by cars and return them to places that are inviting for people. Some of that is already happening, even in the United States, where there is less need for parking because younger people use alternative methods to get around — Lyft, bikes… even scooters.

Bottom line: Wow! The world is changing — and fast.
Want more? Find the presentations from the MaaS mobility conference.
Presentations that I found particularly thought provoking:

Written by cdorobek

May 29, 2018 at 3:52 PM

Posted in DorobekInsider, Technology

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04.10.2012 DorobekINSIDER: The STOCK Act impact on senior executives; leadership lessons from presidents; and libraries 2.0

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Happy Tuesday.

There are so many good, interesting stories about government doing good — and those stories are out there, but… we start again today with GSA. Yet another GSA official has been put on leave. The second in command of GSA’s Public Building Service has been placed on leave in the wake of the 2010 conference. The Washington Post reports that David Foley is the fourth senior official at the agency to get swept up as a result of the incident. Desa Sealy was appointed interim deputy commissioner. Linda Chero is acting commissioner, coming in from the Mid-Atlantic region. And lawmakers in both parties are calling for hearings.

The Washington Post’s Joe Davidson says today that all feds pay the price for the GSA scandal. “Workers throughout the government will pay a price, too, and it will continue long after the news releases stop,” Davidson says, and he quotes a note from the Washington Post story that broke the news. That federal employee said:

“Unfortunately for those of us in agencies where a. we don’t have money for conferences to begin with, and b. we aren’t even allowed funds to buy coffee when we have on site meetings, the result of the GSA excesses will be increased scrutiny of all travel and training requests. So all of us, honest thrifty agencies included, will have to jump through more hoops and spend more time justifying everything we do.”

And just to further Joe Davidson’s point: Bloomberg has a story about a Justice Department event, including one in Instanbul on drug enforcement, that cost almost twice as much.

We can only hope that cooler, more rational people will make the case that it is important for government employees get out of their office — to learn, to speak to people. But it is also a reminder that almost every action you take is going to be assessed, analyzed, and yes, critiqued, so these events are going to have to be tied to the mission in some way, shape or form.

One final GSA note before we move on: A blast from GSA’s past, and yes, we mean a blast, in every sense of that word: Former GSA Administrator Lurita Doan appeared on Fox and Friends to offer her thoughts on the GSA situation. And Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson credited Doan for running a tight ship.

One has to remember Doan was fired by the Bush administration not for a contract that she tried to give to her friend that was never awarded, as Fox News suggested. Nor was she fired for allegations that she used her position in the administration to help Republican candidates. She was fired for her mismanagement of the agency. There are many things that can be said about Lurita Doan — and many of the things that were said were unfair. But she did not help GSA — and she did not run a tight ship.

And we all remember this…

GSA aside, we have a good program for you today…

All that ahead…
But after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 10 of April, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

April 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

04.09.2012: DorobekINSIDER: The winner of the TAG Challenge; tracking illnesses on Twitter; and women in government technology

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Good Monday… And what an unusual week last week. We spent most of our week at FOSE — the big government IT conference and trade show where we brought you insights from the federal CIO, Steven VanRoekel — and a retired Navy Admiral’s leadership lessons. [More here.] And we’ll have more for you this week including an interesting panel pulling from senior women in technology that was quite insightful… we’ll also hear from the Defense Department Principal Deputy chief information officer about DOD’s IT plans.

But, of course, the big story of the week — and it was the buzz of FOSE too — GSA and that now infamous Public Build Service Western Region Conference. The Washington Post kept the story alive on Sunday with an interview with the mind reader who was at that 2010 conference in Las Vegas.

On Friday for our issue of the week, we got to talk to Jim Williams, who served as the commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service and as the acting administrator for a period of time to get his take on this situation… and what can be done. And it’s GovLoop, so we would love to get your thoughts: What should GSA do now?

And we have to note… yes, we are hearing a LOT of concern out there about the STOCK Act — the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. This is the bill — now law — designed to deal with lawmakers using inside from making money off of that information… essentially, it makes insider trading by lawmakers illegal. But it didn’t stop there. The bill also requires that members of the Senior Executive Service to post their financial disclosures online… and it broadens those financial disclosures. The Senior Executive Association has wrote a letter protesting the provision.

In their letter, the Senior Executive Association said that putting these disclosure forms on the Internet would appear to be “a gross violation of the spirit of the Privacy Act” and that supervisors could be subject to “unwarranted personal scrutiny by their subordinates, causing tension and problems in the workplace,” while foreign interests, including terrorists, could get access to information on federal employees serving abroad.

Beyond all that, it would just seem to make it even more difficult to find good people — I mean, who wants a job where you aren’t a public figure but you have to put all of your financial information out there? We’re working to get somebody who can help you figure out what to do, but… very troubling…

On today’s program…

More information and links posted soon.

Written by cdorobek

April 10, 2012 at 7:30 AM

04.04.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Charting the future of government tech with Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel

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Federal CIO VanRoekel speaks at FOSE

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel kicked off the FOSE conference. And he did a pretty amazing presentation — going through the history of technology.

He had one of those overhead projectors — yes, really. Apparently they found one in a White House closet.

Then used ASCII. Then PowerPoint. And then an iPad… to show the evolution of tech.

VanRoekel says the aim of his office is to cut down the amount of money agencies spend on technology operations and maintenance so that they can plow that money back into new initiatives.

Since 2009 the federal tech budget has flattened out to roughly $80 billion. So now agencies need to innovate without expanding their budgets. VanRoekel outlined how they can achieve that goal. 

  1. Root out duplication and implement Share First
  2. Strengthen the role of the CIO
  3. Data center consolidation — goal is to go down by 40%
  4. Cloud — implement FedRamp across government this year

VanRoekel says agencies also need to focus on the mission — Focus on Service Delivery

  1. Maximize investments — growing profit is easier than growing costs
  2. Address the productivity gap
  3. Improve business and citizen interactions
  4. Cybersecurity needs to be incorporated into everything tech

Government cannot work in a silo. VanRoekel compared the data overload to the music industry. 

  • “Right now government couples data and presentations together. But they need to break it up and find relatedness across platforms. Think of government data like the music industry. You used to buy a whole album from the store. Now you go on iTunes and you can buy one song at a time, not the whole package.”
  • “And with iTunes Genius and Pandora similar content is sent directly to you. Government needs to do that with data.”

— Emily Jarvis

Written by jarvisdorobek

April 4, 2012 at 11:09 AM

03.28.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Frank’s career corner – the ‘who’ question; making diversity matter; are LinkedIn resumes honest?

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Happy Wednesday… And a glamorous night ahead… Federal Computer Week’s annual Fed 100 Awards Gala… Looking forward to seeing some of you there and honoring the winners… and then tomorrow, I’m moderating a panel at the Acquisition Excellence 2012 conference… we’re talking about what doing more with less means for acquisition. And we’ll bring you highlights here on the DorobekINSIDER.

Before we get to the rest of the days news… a few items up front…

The lack of transportation bill: And we’ll go into more in the news, but… yes, there are only a few days for Congress to take action on the highway bill or it is highway Armageddon… well, that’s what The Washington Post calls it. The House again dodged efforts to move forward. Everybody keeps thinking that this will get resolved, right, because… well, really? Politico says that it is looking bleak. They say it looks eerily similar to previous struggles… we all remember the good times around the stalemate over government spending bills… or the showdown over increasing the borrowing cap… and, of course, the payroll tax holiday. We’ll see. There are only a few days left. Saturday is the big day.

Supreme Court health care arguments: And we have to mention the continuing arguments about healthcare before the U.S. Supreme Court. Today is the third and final day. And if you have some time, it is well worth your time to listen to the arguments. These days, it is difficult to find really smart discussions and debates about real issues, the arguments before the Supreme Court meet those criteria. They are smart. Yesterday, the question was about the mandates: Can the federal government require citizens to buy a good or service. Today, the discussion is about severability: if the Court rules the mandate is unconstitutional, how much of the law can survive?

Photo: NieuweHeren

Keyboard pants: And… You may know somebody with fancy pants. Well, what about keyboard pants. That’s right — they are jeans with a built-in keyboard… and they are designed for… maybe… public works crews, police, emergency responders and the military… they have a wireless rubber keyboard that is sewn into the midsection. The idea comes from the Netherlands… They have a set of speakers, a wireless mouse and a keyboard… all integrated into the jeans… and they bring a whole new meaning to the phrase, Is that a keyboard in your pocket?

On today’s program…

  • Are you happy in your career? Yes — happy and career can go together. Frank DiGiammarino will walk us through the first step of the career framework.
  • Diversity in the federal workforce — does it matter? or is it just another mandate? We’ll talk to Tom Fox of the Partnership for Public Service.
  • And that traditional resume… and the one people put on, say, LinkedIn. Which is more accurate? We’ll talk to the person who has actually done research to determine the answer.

All that ahead…

But after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Wednesday the 29 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

March 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

03.27.2012 DorobekINSIDER: A Yelp for government healthcare; Budget transparency; using virtual worlds at work

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Happy Tuesday…

And we have to start out with the historic debate at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday over the health care bill — the first of three days of talks. The Washington Post notes that Monday was just the warm-up — arguments about whether the Supreme Court should take up the health-care case at all. Today, the focus is on mandates: Essentially, can the federal government require that all people buy health care. And Slate says that the arguments Monday showed the Supreme Court at its best. Slate says that arguments Monday showed that court doing what it does best: Taking complex old statutes and asking practical qauestions. Dahlia Lithwick says that while protesters outside were hollering about religion and freedom, the justices were boring those inside almost senseless with statutory construction. And, she says, “sometimes, check that, most of the time, boring is what the justices do best.”

Resources:

And we go from talking about how benefits of being boring… Well, here is a reason to go online… You’ve probably heard of the Twitter feed… well, it is S my Dad Says… Yes, use your imagination. It is the Twitter feed that was a short-lived TV show. Well, now there is S that bureaucrats say… hat tip to GovLoop member Mike KujawskiWe have the link online… and my guess is this will go viral and be much discussed around government water coolers… and yes, it is safe for work.


On today’s program…

  • They’re debating health care at the Supreme Court. What if there was something like a Yelp of Government Healthcare… something that could help veterans navigate the confusing world of healthcare with dashboards.. and sharing information. We’ll talk about that…
  • Making budgets transparent. It has been the goal of the federal Web site, USAspending.gov. But state and local governments have been doing this for some time… and there are some new rankings out… grades, really… for how they are doing. We’ll talk to the people behind the budget transparency grades…
  • And yesterday we told you about the virtual worlds conference. And I heard some of you roll your eyes and say that this is just game playing. Today, we’ll talk about how these tools can actually be used — and, yes, how they can save you money.
  • And later in the program…  What do Conan O’Brien, Cory Booker, Sesame Street’s Grover, Suze Orman, Ted Leo, Neil Patrick Harris and NASA have in common? We will tell you about an award that NASA has won…

All that ahead…

But as we do each day, after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 27 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

March 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM