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DorobekINSIDER: WH makes it official: Takai nominated for DOD CIO post

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We told you about it back in February — it is official this afternoon: Teri Takai has been nominated to be the Defense Department CIO and Defense Department Assistant Secretary for Networks and Information Integration.

The DOD CIO post has been vacant since John Grimes retired in April 2009.

Here is the write up from the White House:

Teresa Takai, Nominee for Assistant Secretary (Networks and Information Integration), Department of Defense

Since December 2007, Teri Takai has served as Chief Information Officer for the State of California. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, she advises him on the strategic management and direction of information technology resources as the state works to modernize and transform the way California does business with its citizens. Prior to her appointment in California, Takai served as Director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology (MDIT) since 2003, where she also served as the state’s Chief Information Officer. In this position, she restructured and consolidated Michigan’s resources by merging the state’s information technology into one centralized department to service 19 agencies and over 1,700 employees. Additionally, during her tenure at the MDIT, Takai led the state to being ranked number one four years in a row in digital government by the Center for Digital Government. Before serving in state government, Takai worked for the Ford Motor Company for 30 years, where she led the development of the company’s information technology strategic plan. She also held positions in technology at EDS and Federal-Mogul Corporation. In 2005, Takai was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine. She is Past-President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and currently serves as Practitioner Chair of the Harvard Policy Group on Network-Enabled Services and Government. Takai earned a Master of Arts degree in management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan.

Written by cdorobek

March 29, 2010 at 5:06 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Welcome to the new GSA administrator, Martha N. Johnson

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We’ve been following the saga forever, but the vote finally happened Thursday afternoon — we had it live as it happened on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris — the Senate first voted to close debate on the Johnson nomination … and then proceeded to confirm Martha N. Johnson as the new administrator of the General Services Administration.

We hear that the swearing in ceremony will take place Tuesday, February 9th at 2p at GSA headquarters. (I’m working on official confirmation, but… this is the word at the moment.)

One curious note: When the vote was first taken, it was 94-2 — four senators (Coburn, Benett, Isaskson and Hutchinson) did not vote — and two senators, Jim Bunning and Jeff Sessions, voted against. But the officially tally as posted by the Senate’s Web site shows a 96-0 vote. I’m not sure how that works, exactly. And, ironically, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) — the senator who had held up Johnson’s vote — voted to confirm Johnson. But that came after an impassioned floor speech.

That’s the news. Below, you’ll find Johnson’s first public comments coming from the GSA press release… Sens. Lieberman and Collins comments… and Bond’s floor speech itself…

First off, Johnson speaks out in a GSA press release:

“My priority as Administrator will be to put GSA’s expertise to work developing and executing policies and products that will create a greener, more efficient, more cost-effective, more open, and more responsible government,” Johnson added. “By building on GSA’s success thus far, we will provide a streamlined platform for our customer agencies to implement innovative technologies and solutions to decrease government operating costs and increase efficiencies in government service delivery.”

Read the full release here.

Meanwhile, Sen. Kit Bond’s floor speech about GSA and Martha Johnson, which runs about 12-minutes:

I have also pulled selective clips from Sen. Bond’s speech.

Here is Bond defending his hold – particularly after President Obama chided senators for holds for unrelated items, although he didn’t mention Bond or anybody by name. Here is the President on Tuesday:

We’ve got a huge backlog of folks who are unanimously viewed as well qualified, nobody has a specific objection to them, but end up having a hold on them because of some completely unrelated piece of business.  That’s an example … of the kind of stuff that Americans just don’t understand.

Bond says the people he is protecting are the feds in Kansas City (0:27):

Bond: Johnson’s qualifications are not in doubt (0:12)

Bond: GSA needs to do their job (0:17)

Finally, the release from Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee :

LIEBERMAN, COLLINS HAIL MARTHA JOHNSON’S CONFIRMATION
Senate Votes 94-2

WASHINGTON—Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Thursday welcomed the confirmation of Martha Johnson to be General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator. Johnson, who was unanimously approved by the Committee on June 8, 2009, was confirmed by a vote of 94-2. Her confirmation had been blocked for six months for reasons unrelated to her qualifications.

“I am delighted the Senate has finally voted to confirm Ms. Johnson, an extremely qualified and experienced nominee, so she can begin her important work on behalf of the American people,” Lieberman said. “The hold that had been placed on her for six months had nothing to do with her qualifications or personal history. Her nomination received the unanimous support of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in June and she has overwhelming bipartisan support in the full Senate.

“We cannot continue the practice of holding nominees ‘hostage’ for parochial reasons unrelated to a nominee’s ability to do the job they’ve been they’ve been nominated for. These kinds of things anger the public and damage the Senate as an institution.

“Given her experience as a former GSA Chief of Staff, Ms. Johnson knows the agency inside and out and is prepared to hit the ground running. I am grateful that GSA will now have the stable leadership it needs.”

Collins said: “Martha Johnson has significant experience in both the private sector and the federal government. She served previously as GSA’s Chief of Staff, helping to lead that agency at a time of substantial change. Today, the GSA faces even greater challenges and demands than when Ms. Johnson served there more than eight years ago. I am confidence she will provide much-needed leadership to this agency that provides many important procurement services to the federal government.”

Yesterday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke with Bob Woods, the president of TopSide Consulting and the former commissioner of GSA’s then Federal Technology Service. He noted that one of the challenges Johnson faces is the pent up anticipation around her nomination — there is so much hope for her, if she doesn’t walk on water, people will end up being disappointed.

I’m sure she will be getting a lot of advice in the coming days, weeks, months… and years.

DorobekINSIDER: GSA will have to wait until at least Thursday for any Johnson action

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It was thought that Tuesday might be GSA V-Day — as in Vote Day where the Senate would move along Martha Johnson’s long delayed nomination to be the administrator of the General Services Administration. But the phrase “so close yet so far” seems to be apt at this point.

We found out Tuesday evening that it was unlikely that the Senate would vote on the Johnson nomination.

Instead, the Senate spent most of the day debating the nomination of Patricia Smith to be the Labor Department solicitor. Smith’s nomination is controversial because she is accused of lying to lawmakers.

Because both the Smith and Johnson nomination have been held, Senate lawmakers have to take two votes for these nominations. The first is the vote on the cloture motion — technically, as I understand it, when a Senator puts a “hold” on a nomination, the nomination is open for debate. The cloture vote simply closes debate. And then it would all senators to move to the YES or NO vote for the confirmation. And the Senate has yet to complete work on Smith’s nomination before moving on to the Johnson cloture vote and, eventually, the actual confirmation vote.

Unlike Smith’s more controversial nomination, there haven’t been any questions about Johnson’s qualifications. To the contrary, most people have praised her qualifications and skills.

That being said, the Senate is now saying that action on Johnson’s nomination will not come until Thursday:

Johnson Nomination–Agreement: A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing that on Thursday, February 4, 2010, upon disposition of the nomination of M. Patricia Smith, of New York, to be Solicitor for the Department of Labor, Senate resume consideration of the nomination of Martha N. Johnson, of Maryland, to be Administrator of General Services, and that there be two hours of debate prior to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture thereon; with the time equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders, or their designees ; that upon the use of time, Senate vote on the motion to invoke cloture thereon; that if cloture is invoked, all post-cloture time be yielded back, and Senate then vote on confirmation of the nomination.

Of course, Johnson’s vote has been held up by Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) over a federal building in Kansas City.

Just last week, Bond again took GSA to task over the Kansas City federal building. This story is from Kansas City Star reporter Kevin Collison from just last week — January 28:

Bond blasts agency over plans for federal offices in downtown KC [January 28, 2010, Kansas City Star]

Sen. Kit Bond continues to battle a Washington official over a proposed federal office building for downtown Kansas City.

City officials remain confident the $175 million project is on track. But in a letter this week, Bond, a Missouri Republican, accused Robert Peck, the public building service commissioner for the federal General Services Administration, of failing to follow through on a promise to put funds in the 2011 budget.

The proposal, which would consolidate about 1,200 federal workers now at the Bannister Federal Complex into a new downtown building, has been in the works for several years.

It originally was proposed to be a private development, where the GSA would lease the space and the building would generate local taxes. But Peck said in October his office would support the plan only if it was built and owned by the government.

The story goes on to say that Bond and Peck were to meet sometime this week.

Read the full story here.

Back in August, we spoke with Kansas City Star reporter Kevin Collison on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris for background on the federal building deal. Get more here.

We are on full Johnson watch and we’ll let you know what happens.

Written by cdorobek

February 3, 2010 at 9:36 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Could Tuesday be GSA nominee Johnson’s V-Day?

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Could Tuesday be V-Day for Martha Johnson, the Obama administration’s nominee to be GSA administrator — V-day meaning Senate vote day.

We told you last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had put Johnson’s on the list for cloture — essentially putting her forward to end debate and then allow a yeah-or-nah vote on her nomination.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today issued a strong statement on Johnson’s nomination. Some key segments:

… As a former Chief of Staff for GSA, Ms. Johnson has the background to hit the ground running. And that is important for an agency that has not had a permanent leader since April 2008, when the former administrator was asked to resign by the previous Administration. And here it is, February 2010. It’s been more than a half year since Ms. Johnson’s nomination was sent to the full Senate and since that time GSA has undergone several changes in top management. It’s become an unfortunate practice that some Senators hold up nominations for reasons unrelated to their nomination. It’s obviously time for stable leadership at GSA.

It’s been very frustrating for members of our committee to see such a qualified nominee held up for more than half a year because of something that has nothing to do with the nominee’s qualifications. I would like to take a moment to remind my colleagues of the full scope of GSA’s responsibilities – an agency that mostly works out of the spotlight – so they can better understand why the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously endorsed her nomination last June…

… But the agency is in need of strong leadership. If confirmed, Ms. Johnson will face many challenges. Let me lay out just a few of the most important.

In the area of procurement, the contracts negotiated by GSA must leverage the vast buying power of the federal government so agencies get more value for the taxpayer’s dollar…

… But some agencies have lost confidence in the ability of GSA to provide the best products at the best prices and have negotiated their own contracts or interagency contracts that duplicate services offered by GSA…

… Similar problems exist in GSA’s property management activities with agencies sometimes questioning whether GSA meets their needs in the most cost effective manner…

Read the full statement below.

Meanwhile, starting Tuesday, GSA’s new deputy administration Susan Brita arrives on the job. Most recently, Brita was the staff director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.

And here is the full release from Lieberman:

LIEBERMAN URGES CONFIRMATION OF MARTHA JOHNSON
Nominee has been Held Since June; Senate to Vote on Cloture

WASHINGTON—Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., delivered the following statement on the Senate floor Monday calling for Senate confirmation of Government Services Administration nominee Martha Johnson. Johnson’s nomination has been held up since June, when she was unanimously approved by the Committee:

Mr. President, I rise to urge my colleagues to vote for cloture on the nomination of Martha Johnson to be Administrator of the General Services Administration so we can put this extraordinary nominee to work as soon as possible in a job critically important to the efficient operation of the federal government.

As a former Chief of Staff for GSA, Ms. Johnson has the background to hit the ground running. And that is important for an agency that has not had a permanent leader since April 2008, when the former administrator was asked to resign by the previous Administration. And here it is, February 2010. It’s been more than a half year since Ms. Johnson’s nomination was sent to the full Senate and since that time GSA has undergone several changes in top management. It’s become an unfortunate practice that some Senators hold up nominations for reasons unrelated to their nomination. It’s obviously time for stable leadership at GSA.

It’s been very frustrating for members of our committee to see such a qualified nominee held up for more than half a year because of something that has nothing to do with the nominee’s qualifications. I would like to take a moment to remind my colleagues of the full scope of GSA’s responsibilities – an agency that mostly works out of the spotlight – so they can better understand why the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously endorsed her nomination last June.

GSA is often called the federal government’s “landlord” because it provides workspace and office services for almost every federal office and agency across our country – from courthouses to ports of entry. With 8,600 buildings and $500 billion in assets under its control, GSA is one of the largest property management organizations in the world.

But GSA actually is far more than just the federal landlord. It has 12,000 employees, spread across the country in 11 districts and they help guide federal spending on everything from basic office equipment to the federal fleet of more than 200,000 vehicles owned or leased by the federal government.

GSA’s purchasing decisions have broad implications for the rest of the economy since as an early acquirer of new technologies – including green technologies – the agency has helped, and will continue to help, spur production that brings down costs and make these technologies available and affordable to the broader consumer market. GSA is that important that it can help build a market for transformative and innovative products.

In fact, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gave GSA specific responsibility to help “green” the federal government by providing $5 billion to make federal buildings more energy efficient and $300 million to buy more fuel efficient vehicles for the federal fleet.

GSA also has wide responsibilities for providing information technology and telecommunications services for federal agencies. With its leadership, GSA can ensure that the federal government is using cutting-edge technology to lower costs, better engage with citizens, and detect and defend against cyber threats. GSA spends so much money every year acquiring information technology systems, that if it requires the providers to put together systems that are resistant defensive to the kind of cyber attacks that public and private information systems are under today, it can drive those technologies to be more available to the general public.

But the agency is in need of strong leadership. If confirmed, Ms. Johnson will face many challenges. Let me lay out just a few of the most important.

In the area of procurement, the contracts negotiated by GSA must leverage the vast buying power of the federal government so agencies get more value for the taxpayer’s dollar.

Last year federal agencies bought approximately $53 billion of goods and services off GSA schedules, which offer everything from office supplies to human resource services to security equipment to energy management services, and through other contracts negotiated by GSA.

Having GSA negotiate these procurement agreements lets its customer agencies stay focused on their core missions. In other words, the agencies don’t have to get into negotiating these contracts, the experts at GSA can do it and the agencies can focus on their core missions.

But some agencies have lost confidence in the ability of GSA to provide the best products at the best prices and have negotiated their own contracts or interagency contracts that duplicate services offered by GSA.

This is effectively a waste of federal money and defeats the purpose of GSA, which was created by President Truman in 1949 with the specific intent of streamlining the federal government purchasing process.

Similar problems exist in GSA’s property management activities with agencies sometimes questioning whether GSA meets their needs in the most cost effective manner.

Another problem the new Administrator must address is the amount of excess or underutilized property owned by the federal government.

The Office of Management and Budget has reported that the federal government owns 21,000 buildings, worth about $18 billion, that are under used or no longer needed, but are still sitting there. Management of federal property is on GAO’s “High Risk” list for just this reason.

Not all of these properties are under GSA’s control, but one of its jobs is to help other agencies dispose of excess property and we need leadership to solve this problem.

So you see, Mr. President, this is a job with big challenges, as I’ve described. But I believe Ms. Johnson has what it takes because she brings to the job a wealth of experience both in her academic training and her on-the-job experiences in the private, non-profit and government sectors.

Ms. Johnson holds a BA in economics and history from Oberlin College and an MBA from Yale Business School.

After graduating from Yale, Ms. Johnson began her career in the private sector at Cummins Engines Company. She had a series of other management positions in the private sector, and then was tapped by the Clinton Administration to be an Associate Deputy Secretary of Commerce and then Chief of Staff of GSA from 1996 to 2001.

After leaving government, Ms. Johnson was a vice President Council for Excellence in Government – a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of government at all levels – and most recently served as a vice president at Computer Sciences Corporation.

Mr. President, all these varied experiences make Martha Johnson a perfect fit for the many responsibilities and challenges she will face as GSA Administrator.

The hold in this nomination has been completely unrelated to Ms. Johnson herself and appointment has broad bi-partisan support. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on cloture so we can confirm this excellent nominee and she can get to work for the American people.

I yield the floor.

Written by cdorobek

February 1, 2010 at 6:18 PM

DorobekInsider: Johnson’s GSA nomination moves one step closer with cloture

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The DorobekInsider told you it was likely to happen — and in fact it has: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tonight filed a cloture motion for Martha Johnson’s long pending nomination, Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller confirmed.

Reid’s folks say that the cloture vote hasn’t been set yet, but… the fact that they are moving forward is a significant step.

Essentially, the “cloture” vote means that the Senate would vote to bring debate to an end. Technically, when a senator puts a “hold” on the nomination, it means they want to continue debate. So the cloture vote would bring that “debate” to an end — and the Senate would then have to vote on the Johnson nomination itself.

This would mark an important step for GSA, which has been without a permanent administration since Lurita Doan left that post nearly two years ago. And it would mark an end to a prolonged nomination process for Johnson, most of which has focused on a federal building project in Kansas City, MO.

Back in April, the White House nominated Martha Johnson, a chief of staff at GSA under former administrator David Barrum, to be the GSA administrator. She made it through the Senate committee in June. In August, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) confirmed that he had put a hold on Johnson’s nomination because of a Kansas City, MO federal building. And last night in the State of the Union address, President Obama urged senators to take action on the number of pending nominations.

The confirmation of well-qualified public servants shouldn’t be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators.

What are we watching for next? The cloture vote needs to be scheduled — and that would be followed by a vote on the nomination.

Stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

January 28, 2010 at 7:26 PM

DorobekInsider: Did the President all-but mention GSA administrator nominee Johnson at the State of the Union?

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Most of probably watched the State of the Union address last night — President Obama’s first State of the Union address.

Over all, there wasn’t much for feds specifically — he called for the end of the Defense Department’s gays in the military bad…

State of the Union 2010

President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 27, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

But the President did say this:

What frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day.  We can’t wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side -– a belief that if you lose, I win.  Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can.  The confirmation of — (applause) — I’m speaking to both parties now.  The confirmation of well-qualified public servants shouldn’t be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators.

Was he specifically talking about Martha Johnson’s nomination to be the administrator of the General Services Administration? Who knows. We told you earlier that the Johnson nomination — and the other held nominations — were expected to come to a cloture vote soon after the vote on Ben Bernake’s nomination for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, but I’m hearing that the cloture vote might not actually happen until next month.

Other quotes from the State of the Union address:

* A proposal to make college more affordable — particularly for those who select public service:

To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans.  (Applause.)  Instead, let’s take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants.  (Applause.)  And let’s tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years –- and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.

* Earmark transparency on Capitol Hill

I’m also calling on Congress to continue down the path of earmark reform… You’ve trimmed some of this spending, you’ve embraced some meaningful change.  But restoring the public trust demands more.  For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online.  Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there’s a vote, so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.

Some people tweeted that lawmakers could do that on the Library of Congress’s Thomas Web site.

* Gays in the military

We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution:  the notion that we’re all created equal; that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else.     We must continually renew this promise.  My administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination.  We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate.  This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.   It’s the right thing to do.

WP’s Federal Eye blogger Ed O’Keefe has more.

See the entire speech here… or read the full transcript here.

Of course, I’m also watching the State of the Union 2.0 aspects where the White House is seeking questions on YouTube — and he will address them later.

Written by cdorobek

January 28, 2010 at 2:58 PM

DorobekInsider: State of the Union history

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President Obama gives his first State of the Union address tonight just days after his first year in office and days befire the administration issues its first full budget. And this White House is doing something like State of the Union 2.0 taking question on YouTube among other things.

There are some interesting highlights on the history of this speech, which is generally a big deal here in Washington.

The Congressional Research Service has actually published a FAQ on the State of the Union [PDF or Flash version] — which I have also posted below.

According to the Clerk of the House:

The formal basis for the State of the Union address is from the U.S. Constitution:

  • The President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Article II, Section 3, Clause 1.

The constitutionally mandated presidential address has gone through a few name changes:

  • It was formally known as the Annual Message from 1790 to 1934.
  • It began to be informally called the State of the Union address from 1942 to 1946.
  • Since 1947 it has generally been known as the State of the Union address.

According to the State:

On January 27, 2010, President Barack Obama will fulfill his constitutional duty to “give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union” (Article II, Section3). Presidents George Washington and John Adams delivered their messages in person, but in 1801 Thomas Jefferson chose to send his in writing. That precedent held until Woodrow Wilson decided to deliver his message in person in 1913, a tradition that continues today. Franklin Roosevelt referred to it as the “State of the Union Address,” a title that became official during the Harry Truman administration. The first radio broadcast of the message occurred in 1923, and the 1947 address was the first televised. View a list of speakers before joint sessions of Congress. Read a report from the Congressional Research Service. See a list of opposition responses to the annual address. Each year, one member of the President’s cabinet is absent from the address, to maintain the line of succession in case of an emergency.

The BBC has a great primer on the State of the Union Address.

And you can read State of the Union addresses through history from the Government Printing Office.

We’ll see what the President has to say tonight.

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

January 27, 2010 at 3:27 PM

DorobekInsider poll: Grade President Obama’s first year — from a insider’s perspective

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Today, of course, marks the anniversary of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States — and there are all sorts of assessments of his first year going on right now. (Some of the assessments have been muted because of the coverage of the Haiti earthquake and, of course, the Massachusetts Senate race.)

But what is your assessment of the Obama administration’s first year — the government community? The insiders who have seen presidents come and go…

So it’s time to grade.

How has President Obama done overall?

How has President Obama done on technology issues and open government?

How has President Obama done on management, government performance and procurement issues?

Written by cdorobek

January 20, 2010 at 2:59 PM

DorobekInsider: What’s behind the GSA leadership vacancy — the NewsChannel 8 liner notes

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We’ve been following following the ongoing trials, tribulations and drama at the General Services Administration in recent months. And tonight, on NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Tonight program to talk about GSA.

Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller recently had a special report on GSA called Agency Instability.

Some data points:

The most recent discussions has been around the sudden and unexpected departure of Danielle Germain. She was named to that job June 10, 2008 — and then decided to leave that GSA post to join the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project.

The conventional wisdom has been that Germain left is a sign that Johnson’s nomination is in trouble. That may be true — there is increasing concern that the longer the nomination process lasts, the less likely it appears that Bond’s hold may may not be lifted.

We’ll talk about all of this tonight.

Written by cdorobek

January 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM

The DorobekInsider Reader: Martin Luther King Jr.

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Today, of course, is a federal holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. — technically his birthday was January 15 and he would be 81 this year.

As President Obama noted in this year’s White House presidential proclamation for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, this is good time to think about service to others — and equality for all people.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., challenged our Nation to recognize that our individual liberty relies upon our common equality. In communities marred by division and injustice, the movement he built from the ground up forced open doors to negotiation. The strength of his leadership was matched only by the power of his words, which still call on us to perfect those sacred ideals enshrined in our founding documents.

Federal News Radio senior correspondent Mike Causey, in his Federal Report today, noted that it is a good time to thank people who do serve.

Back when Congress authorized the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, most federal workers got the day off. Just like other federal holidays.

Some, maybe many, private sector firms give their employees some (but usually not all) federal holidays off…

But since 9/11, everything has changed. More feds work on holidays – people in VA and PHS hospitals, law enforcement officers, people patrolling the borders and air traffic controllers. IRS types, Agriculture and Interior Department workers. And the gang at the CIA, FBI, DEA and DIA.

Employees of the State Department, AID and Defense are also busy today with Haitian relief. USGS is keeping a keen eye on the aftershocks. Also on duty are Homeland Security, TSA and lots, lots more.

So we say it every time and we mean it. Thanks for being there and for doing what you do.

Read Causey’s full column.

Some resources around the MLK Jr. holiday…

Of course, the remarkable “I have a dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. If you haven’t listed to this speech in some time, it is simply remarkable.

The other site worth visiting is mlkday.gov, which pulls together Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service projects across our country.

GovLoop is asking what you are doing for others

MLK Jr Memorial… Here in Washington, check out the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial plans, which will be constructed across from the Jefferson Memorial.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center has all sorts of information about the man and his message.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center has all sorts of information about the man and his message.

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University also has all sorts of resources, including speeches. And MartinLutherKing.org also has resources about the man and his message. You can also find King quotes.

The National Park Service has information on the historic site in Georgia, including King’s birth home just outside of Atlanta.

And the FBI has posted King information that has been requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Written by cdorobek

January 18, 2010 at 12:37 PM