Archive for January 2010
DorobekInsider: Federal News Radio Countdown for January 29, 2010: What are the top government stories for the week?
Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose each Friday features the Federal News Radio Countdown where Francis Rose counts down the top stories for the week from a panel of experts. And we ask you too — What are the top gov stories for the week for January 29, 2010?
The panel of experts this week include:
* John Salamone, Senior Consultant for Federal Management Partners and former Executive Director of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council at the Office of Personnel Management
* Julie Myers Wood, President of ICS Consulting and former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
* Amy Morris, Co-anchor of Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris
What do you think?
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.
DorobekInsider: Did the President all-but mention GSA administrator nominee Johnson at the State of the Union?
Over all, there wasn’t much for feds specifically — he called for the end of the Defense Department’s gays in the military bad…
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.
* 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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ll see what the President has to say tonight.
It’s just a few days away — and it is one of the most marvelous events of the year if you’re looking to help other people and have a dramatic impact on somebody’s life — it is called Operation Jump Start.
The long and short of it is this: Help soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers.
This is now the sixth year of Operation Jump Start, which is co-sponsored by the Federal CIO Council, 1105 Media, and TechAmerica — along with AFCEA Bethesda, ACT-IAC and AFFIRM– and it is open to anybody who wants to help.
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Army Navy Country Club
1700 Army Navy Drive
See coverage of last year’s event here. And hear Ed Meagher talk about the event from last year — we’ll be talking to him later this week.
More information is available on Facebook here… and I’ve posted some details below…
As I’ve said before, one of the most touching parts of this event happens near the end of the evening when soldiers are trying on the suits.
But if you don’t have suits left over, there are other ways to donate.
SPECIAL NOTE: Organizers are only able to take items on that night only — this is a volunteer run organization so they don’t have resources to pick-up and transport items. That being said, if you want to get things to the event but you’re not able to get there on that night, if you can get it to me here at Federal News Radio 1500 AM in Northwest DC, I’ll make sure it gets there.
All the information is posted below:
Please join the organizing sponsors, Federal CIO Council, 1105 Media and TechAmerica on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 as we hold our sixth annual “Operation Jump Start VI” event to help the soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers. The event is also supported by AFCEA-Bethesda, AFFIRM and ACT-IAC and open to all who want to give.
We are pleased to announce this year’s Honorary Chair from our community – the Honorable Roger Baker, CIO, Department of Veterans Affairs.
Please join us for hors d’oeuvres and the music of the Bank Street Band. There will also be a cash bar. We will also have special VIP visitors from Walter Reed Medical Center and anticipate a full house, so registration is required!
To Register: Please register online at https://1105govinfoevents.com/EventRegistration.aspx?Event=OJS10
Registrations will be accepted through January 30th. In case of Inclement Weather the day of the event, please check the website. IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND, and want to contribute – you can!! Go to: http://www.techamerica.org/donate/operation-jump-start.cfm?&nossl=1
The price of admission is a donation to support the soldiers as they “jump start” their new career.
Suggested and valued donations are as follows:
All Phases: Cash donations
Cash donations are always appreciated and will go into a special, non-profit, tax-exempt fund established for the soldiers and their families. Make checks payable to the 501(c)3 organization The Aleethia Foundation, Tax id #51-0529300. This fund is used 100% to support special needs for the recovering soldiers and their families as they work to build new lives, whether it is a “first month/last month” deposit, bills forgotten while recovering or to meet other educational/emotional needs.
Phase 1: Still in the Hospital, Keeping in Touch, Building up Strength
1. Gift cards in $5 increments from Dunkin Donuts or Burger King (all at the hospital).
2. Gift cards for a nice meal out with the family – Macaroni Grill is close to Walter Reed
(Takoma Park/Silver Spring metro) – in increments no larger than $25 please.
Phase 2: Transitioning to the Work Force, Moving Up and Out
1. Dry-cleaned mens and ladies suits, coats, ties, etc. for office wear. This is not a
clothing drive; emphasis is on mint quality, not quantity. Donate only what you
would be proud to see our soldiers wearing as they dress for success on the way
to a new career.
PLEASE MARK CLOTHES with a TAG indicating the SIZE of the item (makes
SPECIAL NEED FOR LARGER SIZES 44 -48+!!
ALSO, formal wear for both men and women appreciated, as many of these soldiers and their spouses are invited to attend formal functions around town.
2. Gift Certificates to Target (daily shuttle), Macy’s, and Safeway (in increments of $20-25 denominations makes disbursement easier). All are within easy access of Walter Reed/Navy Bethesda.
3. Thumb drives
4. New Laptops
What has made this event so successful in the past is that everyone is there to give back to the soldiers for giving so much for us. Although the event is sponsored by several organizations and companies for monetary and organizational support, all are doing this for one purpose – the soldiers. Thank you.
The long pending nomination of the Obama administration’s nominee to head the General Services Administration could be headed to the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) could bring Martha Johnson’s name to the Senate floor — despite the hold placed by Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) — using a cloture motion as soon as next week after the Senate takes action on Ben Bernake‘s nomination for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
If this holds true — and these things are fluid — it would mark an important step for GSA, which has been without a permanent administration since Lurita Doan left that post almost 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.
If this holds true, it will also alleviate a lot of nervousness inside GSA, among other agencies — but also in industry. Just today, theDorobekInsider got a call asking why the press wasn’t making more of a deal about Johnson’s delayed nomination. In fact, I noted that Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller did a three part series about it — and I have been talking about it wherever I can. One of the problems: There is no driving force for the GSA nominee the way there for TSA following the underwear bomber, for example. And given the fact that GSA is the government’s landlord and there are always issues with buildings, the nomination can often get hung up.
Not to reinforce the already simmering skirmish within GSA between the acquisition and building side of the organization, but… it is often interesting at hearings involving GSA because lawmakers spend all sorts of time on building issues while acquisition issues often end up on the sidelines. That is despite the fact that GSA’s Federal Acquisition Services is responsible for $53 billion in sales each year. And that doesn’t even include the governmentwide purchase card program, which accounts for $3 billion each year. The one thing that I think both the building and acquisition teams agree: They are happy when lawmakers aren’t focused on them.
Meanwhile, we’re following the ongoing Johnson saga closely.
The most read stories from the week of January 17-23, 2010… on the DorobekInsider.com, on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, for Mike Causey, and for FederalNewsRadio.com…
…from the DorobekInsider.com…
- DorobekInsider EXCLUSIVE: NASA scores Gardner as the new Goddard CIO
- DorobekInsider: What’s behind the GSA leadership vacancy — the NewsChannel 8 liner notes
- DorobekInsider poll: Grade President Obama’s first year — from a insider’s perspec
- The DorobekInsider Reader: Martin Luther King Jr.
- DorobekInsider: Most read for January 10-16, 2010 – Germain, TSP, and Causey
- DorobekInsider: New GSA deputy administrator is finally official — Susan Brita to start Feb. 2
- DorobekInsider: Energy Department CIO to retire after 45 years of public service
- DorobekInsider: GSA chief of staff Germain steps down, no replacement named
- DorobekInsider: White House names Leeds as GSA’s new acting administrator
- DorobekInsider: Germain to lead NAPA’s Collaboration Project, while NAPA’s Munz joins GS
- DorobekInsider: OMB hires performance guru Shelley Metzenbaum
- DorobekInsider: What’s the deal with GSA administrator nominee Johnson? The Kansas City Star f
- The DorobekInsider on Gov 2.0 Radio podcast Sunday – the liner notes
- DorobekInsider: Meet “the good bureaucrat” — Dwight Ink
- DorobekInsider: What are the top government stories of the week?
- DorobekInsider EXCLUSIVE: USDA undertakes extensive management reorg – downgrading the CIO, CF
- DorobekInsider: Rumoring around the halls of GSA — playing GSA musical chairs
- DorobekInsider: Kempf named deputy for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service
- DorobekInsider: What you read in December 2009 on the DorobekInsider, Daily Debrief, Causey, and Fed
- DorobekInsider: More GSA FAS shifts — King to retire, Ghiloni shifts, and FAS SES regional com
- The DorobekInsider on DC’s NewsChannel 8 on dashboards — and the Kiviat graph
- DorobekInsider: UPDATED – Grams to join VA as principal deputy assistant secretary for managem
- DorobekInsider: USDA gets early out approval from OPM as mega-management reorg continues
- DorobekInsider: NASA names Linda Cureton as the new NASA CIO
- DorobekInsider: USDA gets push back on massive management reorg, GovExec reports; USDA remains silen
- Congress will debate TSP contributions this session
- Michael Brown: how to learn from Haiti
- Conficker worm alive and well
- Congress, health care proposals and your benefits
- Symantec: Be careful where you donate money for Haiti
- Wednesday Afternoon Federal Newscast
- Agencies look at lessons learned from H1N1 employee absences in 2008
- McAfee helps companies respond to Operation Aurora
- Survey: Government market good for contractors now
- Now a good time to review where your money is in the TSP
- Friday Afternoon Federal Newscast
- Tuesday Afternoon Federal Newscast
- Smithsonian remembers Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Thursday Afternoon Federal Newscast
- Jim Leto, CEO of GTSI, announces retirement
- Two big RFP’s on the way from the Army
- Collaborative tools help rescue workers in Haiti
- How a proper risk management plan could help your agency
- All TSP funds see gains in 2009
- When good leaders are bad at strategy
- State Department strives for global Internet freedom
- OPM prepares for relaunch of USAJobs.gov
- New app from Sunlight Foundation tracks Congress for you
- Operation Aurora causing many to question cybersecurity measures
- Your Turn preview: How big is your TSP?
- Open source platform assisting in Haiti
- How to be a ‘good bureaucrat’
- POGO: Contracting executive order a positive step
- Google wants to remain in China, despite attack
- Report suggests mentality on information sharing should change
- Unconference participants develop tools to help Haitians
- GAO: DoD needs to improve fiscal management
- New cyber coordinator has hands full
- NARA talks about lessons learned from lost PII incident
- HHS assisting USAID in quake response
- TSP funds see slow but steady gains in 2009
- Dr. Ron Sanders to leave Intelligence Community
- How Web 2.0 tools help victims of Hatian quake
- USDA, Navy sign MOU on alternative fuel development
- Will GSA administrator nominee Martha Johnson ever be confirmed?
- Nortel Government Solutions is now Avaya Government Solutions
- Examining Obama’s performance management agenda
- Monday Afternoon Federal Newscast
- ‘Next of Kin Registry’ helping victims, rescue workers in Haiti
- NOAA Satellite Technology
- Senior Medicare Patrol works to prevent Medicare fraud
- Federal agencies face challenges responding to Haitian earthquake
- Evaluating the Obama administration one year in
- Retirees $250 Tax Credit
- Higher Health Premiums: Just Wait!
- More TSP Investment Options?
- Taxing Your Health Premiums
- Military TSPs: Small Perk, Big Return?
- Not Just Another Holiday
- 2011 Pay Raise Poker Chip
- TSP Balances: Size Counts
- Super Investment for Office Elders
- Health Care Reform: Include Me Out!
- COLA Consolation: Bribe or Blessing?
- Big Career Changes Coming at You
- Annual/Sick Leave Into TSP Dollars?
- East Coast, West Coast Pay Spread
- How To Hit The 2010 Retirement Trifecta
- Your 2010 Lucky Numbers
and from FederalNewsRadio.com…
- Feds win reprieve from healthcare excise tax
- Contractor Crackdown: tax cheats targeted by White House
- Army to test enterprise e-mail for all of DoD
- OPM proposes changes to management of personnel files
- Intimidation investigation expedited at OMB
- Protest of TSA IT contract sustained
- DISA listens to customers to create new offering
- DHS deciding on future of SBInet
- Analysis: Cracking down on contracting cheats
- ODNI’s Ron Sanders leaves proud legacy, part 2
- OPM lets agencies collect donations for Haiti
- OMB to give agencies plan to modernize services
- Transparency grades clearly lacking
- NASA, energy, R&D top House committee’s to do list this session
- TSP Snapshot: Your money, working hard
- Agencies are patching holes in national security
- Senate: Con artists are using stimulus scams to fleece citizens
- Work on Army BRAC project proceeds, despite local concerns
- OMB investigated for intimidating OPM
- Federal News Radio Reports
- GSA releases FY 2010 per diem rates
- Agencies to justify not using cloud computing to OMB
- OGIS: New FOIA dispute agency begins to grow
- Problems with business systems could cost vendors
- Congress tells agencies to check creditworthiness of employees
- EXCLUSIVE: OMB guidance sets technology tone for 2010, beyond
- At the VA, a new CIO reports progress on IT management
- GSA riding to the rescue of agencies on Open Government
- White House cuts federal pay raise
- Agency Instability: GSA begins to feel toll of not having permanent leader
- CyberMaryland seeks federal jobs from cybersecurity push
- Coast Guard HQ at St. Elizabeths gets full speed ahead
- OMB wants to change the tone of management
- VA touts success of electronic medical records pilot
- Grassley: Pursuing federal contractor tax deadbeats a matter of ‘fairness’
- DoD makes it official: FCS is cancelled
- DISA wants collaboration marbled through enterprise
- Salary Council suggests locality pay increase for 2011
- NIAC tries to understand resilience and homeland security
- Agency Instability: GSA nominee remains in limbo
- Update on Problems Accessing FederalNewsRadio.com
- TSA picks CSC to run its technology infrastructure
- Analysis: What OPM’s Berry is doing right in Pay for Performance
- Analysis: Northrop Grumman follows the money to D.C.
- Transition out of NSPS begins
- NARA expands credit monitoring services for March data breach
- NMCI to NGEN = 43 months Navy says
- 2010 Census to get a cold start in late January
- Contractor integrity, performance to face higher level of scrutiny
- NASA issues first RFP under I3P program