Weekly Round Up
Friday, February 23, 2018
Articles from across the Web that we at the IBM Center for The Business of Government found interesting for the week of February 19-23, 2018.

John Kamensky

IT Priorities in Budget. Federal News Radio reports: “The actual requests for federal IT spending are nice to know, but OMB has used the budget process over the last 15 years to publicize to agencies and contractors their policy priorities. . . . A perfect example in OMB’s prospectus on federal IT is around IT modernization where the administration is requesting $210 million for the Technology Modernization Fund.”

NIH Masters Employee Engagement.  Federal News Radio reports: “A small team at NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases developed a tool to help agency managers sift through piles of annual FEVS data from the Office of Personnel Management more quickly. The tool, which NIH analysts are handing out to other agencies for no charge, gives managers a better picture of employee engagement over the past year, and it can kick start an organization’s conversations about the results and ways to improve them sooner in the coming year.”

How States Use Data for Decisions. A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts focuses on: “Using data collected from interviews with more than 350 state officials, this study highlights ways in which some government leaders have employed sophisticated data analytics, beyond traditional uses of administrative data,” to: (1) craft policy responses to public challenges, (2) improve service delivery, and (3) manage existing resources, and (4) evaluate program effectiveness.

Grand Strategy. Public administration professor Al Roberts writes in Foreign Policy:  “Grand strategy is a concept familiar to experts on foreign policy and national security. Its meaning has inflated over the years. Some critics think that it has bloated so much that it is no longer useful — but they are wrong. The real problem with grand strategy is that it is not grand enough.”

IT Modernization Fund. FCW reports: “Although the General Services Administration can't yet get to work actually managing the fund that agencies will use to modernize IT systems, GSA is preparing as much as it can to ensure it is ready to roll when the money comes in. . . . Bill Zielinski, deputy assistant commissioner for GSA's Office of Technology Category in the Federal Acquisition Service, said his agency will "be ready from day one" to support the Technology Modernization Fund board, once funds are appropriated.”


Michael Keegan

OMB wants acquisition innovation. Top procurement officials are sending a new message to agencies: Acquisition innovation isn't just "nice to have." It's an essential part of agency operations, especially as the pace of technological change accelerates. The stars are aligning for agencies to think about how to improve their acquisition preparations and plans, according to Mathew Blum, associate administrator for federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

The IT modernization fund authorized by the Modernizing Government Technology Act, new ways to buy commercial products, a winnowing of the federal regulatory thicket along with the tightening of civilian agency budgets are all pushing federal acquisition innovation forward as never before, Blum said in a presentation at ACT-IAC's Feb. 21 event billed as a "reverse industry day."

Cybercrime cost $600B in 2017, report finds. The world lost an estimated $600 billion to cybercrime in 2017, according to a report from McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It's changing everything we do," said Howard Marshall, deputy assistant director for the FBI's cyber division, at a Feb. 21 CSIS event releasing the report, which surveyed about 20 percent of the world's countries.

Infrastructure, artificial intelligence and other congressional efforts you may not have heard about Congress. Budgets, immigration reform and gun control may be sucking up all the oxygen on Capitol Hill right now, but some lawmakers are still carving out time to address issues that federal agencies and contractors are confronting, like infrastructure, veterans’ access to health care and artificial intelligence. Here are three bills to keep your eye on.

Budget Director Picks Fight on Spending 'Gimmicks' Called CHIMPs. Mulvaney asks House Speaker Ryan for process reforms to bring more spending under budget caps.

Senate Confirms John Gibson as Pentagon’s Chief Management Officer. John Gibson, former deputy chief management officer at the Defense Department, has received Senate confirmation to serve as DoD chief management officer, Washington Examiner reported Friday. Gibson will lead the civilian secretaries of all military services and oversee business-focused DoD agencies and field activities in his new role.

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This Week’s The Business of Government Radio Show. What are the Defense Health Agency's strategies priorities? How is DHA working to create a more integrated healthcare system? What is DHA doing to improve the readiness and health of the military services? Join us as we explore these questions and so much more with Vice Admiral Raquel Bono, Director, Defense Health Agency.

Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Friday at 1 p.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED.

If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at businessofgovernment.org.

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