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Archive for October 2nd, 2008

DorobekInsider: The Varnado speaking coup

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The Coalition for Government Procurement has something of a coup — the first speaking engagement for GSA’s new acting Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tyree Varnado.

Varndado will speak at the coalition’s fall conference on Oct. 22.

VARNADO CONFIRMED FOR FALL CONFERENCE!: The Coalition is pleased to announce that new acting FAS Commissioner Tyree Varnado will be the luncheon speaker at our Fall Conference October 22nd. Varnado comes to the acting Commissioner post after a variety of assignments inside FAS, most recently as Assistant Regional Administrator of Region VII. DON’T MISS this opportunity to be among the first to hear from FAS’ new leader on his plans for the service, including the MAS program and what it means for GSA’s contractor partners. REGISTER TODAY for the Fall Conference! Visit: for the complete conference line up and registration information.

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 10:26 PM

Posted in Government Groups, procurement

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DorobekInsider: TSA’s insights into Government 2.0

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I had the opportunity this morning to go to a forum on Government 2.0 titled Evolution of the Web: How Social Networking is Changing the Way Government Does Business sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council and held at the Canadian Embassy.

Of course, there are scores of definitions for Government 2.0, let alone Web 2.0. That being said, I think most people think of Government 2.0 as essentially is the concept of applying Web 2.0 concepts to government. And there are all sorts of definitions of Web 2.0 out there. The Dorobek definition is that Web 2.0 is the theory that all of us are smarter then any one of us. It is the believe that there is a wisdom of the crowds. And Web 2.0 is inherently collaborative.

You can see that through everything from wikis — the best case, of course, is the Wikipedia, the online wiki encyclopedia that lets anybody go in and change content. But there are also blogs and a host of other applications.

The were two super-stars at this morning’s session. One was Lynn Dean, who is the manager of strategic and Web communications in the Transportation Security Agency’s Office of Strategic Communicatiosn and Public Affairs. TSA has been one of the leaders in implementing Web 2.0 applications. Last year, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley said he wanted to start making this real. And TSA’s first application was a tool called the TSA Idea Factory. (Read more about the Idea Factory from FCW here.)

The idea factory is essentially an online suggestion box — but, because it is done electronically, it has some additional functionality from a paper-based suggestion box. Like a typical suggestion box, anybody — yes, anybody — can propose an idea. But those ideas get rated — people can go in and vote on how good the idea is. And there are a number of ideas that have actually been implemented — about two dozen ideas.

One of the challenges — and it is a challenge with many of these Web 2.0 systems — was getting people to use the Idea Factory, Dean said. TSA dealt with that challenge in a few ways. First off, senior leaders got involved with the suggestions. It helps that the idea came from TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. But Dean said that TSA’s director of security is often on the Idea Factory because it lets him stay in touch with the officers at airports around the country.

The other way they dealt with that issue is by getting the idea suggestors involved in implementing their ideas — even having them come back to HQ. It allows them to see a different part of how the organization operates.

Later, I’ll post Dean’s insights about blogging and TSA’s blog, which has been much more successful then I ever expected.

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 6:40 PM

Posted in DHS, Government 2.0

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DorobekInsider: FedTimes reports DOD comptroller leaving

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Tina Jonas

Tina Jonas

Federal Times has the news that Tina Jonas, who has served as the Defense Department’s comptroller and CFO since 2004, is leaving that post.

Tina Jonas has left her post as the Pentagon’s comptroller, where she oversaw the world’s largest military budget, to join the long list of former Defense Department officials who now help direct the U.S. defense industry.

Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson confirmed that Jones has accepted a position with the Connecticut-based firm, which makes military and commercial planes and helicopters and also provides spare parts and maintenance services.

Jonas has made great strides taming the messy DOD financial systems — something that has been seen as impossible before her tenure. It still isn’t fixed, but most people give her credit for making a lot of progress.

She is a political appointee, so not a huge shock that she is leaving. That being said, the fact that she is going to work for a defense contractor will raise eyebrows — or more.

Read her DOD bio after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 8:32 AM

Posted in CFO, DOD, Whose In and Whose Out

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DorobekInsider: On the covers of the trades

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FCW Sept. 28, 2008

FCW Sept. 28, 2008

The September 29 issue of Federal Computer Week… I know this is shocking, but.. a government 2.0 story is what I read…

What’s wrong with a little networking?
The federal government doesn’t have a clear social-networking policy.

FCW also looks at some of the security aspects of government 2.0.

Play it safe on the interactive Web
Testing new features, sanitizing XML and securing development can help reduce risks from Web 2.0.
Government Executive, October 1, 2008

Government Executive, October 1, 2008

The October 1 issue of Government Executive has a look at what Sen. Barack Obama’s “change” mantra might mean for you. (It’s the best cover image I could find.)

Great Expectations
Sen. Barack Obama has outlined a plan for change, but reforming the bureaucracy requires more than words.

The September 29 issue of GCN looks at telework

Telework in transit
Some agencies embrace telework for recruitment and COOP, but others yet to make the connection.
GCN, Sept. 29, 2008

GCN, Sept. 29, 2008

The September issue of Washington Technology — the October issue hasn’t hit the streets yet — has two interesting columns.

The straight story on contractors in Iraq by Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council


Look inside for the best new hires by Bill Scheessele is chairman and chief executive officer at MBDi, a business development professional services firm.
Washington Technology, September 2008

Washington Technology, September 2008

To be fair, Federal Times does not put the cover of its publication online, nor are many of its stories.

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 8:20 AM

Posted in press

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DorobekInsider: Happy birthday Steve Krauss

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Steve Krauss (photo by Matthew Borkoski)

Steve Krauss (photo by Matthew Borkoski)

A very happy birthday to Steve Krauss — one of the government community’s rising stars… literally. Krauss was in FCW’s inaugural year of the Rising Star awards and he was one of the people who helped me get the Rising Star awards going. He is works with AFCEA’s Bethesda, MD chapter and is a past president of Bethesda’s Young AFCEANs. Like Steve Ressler, who I mentioned previously, he’s a doer.

UPDATE: I got a note that Krauss is the president-elect of the Bethesda AFCEA chapter.

Important events on this date:
* 1950 The comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz was first published.
* 1869 Political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India. (10/2/1869 – 1/30/1948). (Read the NYT obit of Gandhi from 1948 here.)
* 1890 Comedian Groucho Marx (10/2/1890 – 8/19/1977) was born in New York.

So Kruass shares his birthday with:
* Sting (57)
* Singer/songwriter Don McLean (63) — “American Pie”;
* Mike Rutherford (58), from Genesis
* Annie Leibovitz (59), the celeberity photographer. (Her most recent book can be found here.)
* Kelly Ripa (38), the actress and talk show host (“Live with Regis and Kelly”)
* And, for those American Idol fans… Mandisa (32) (Here American Idol page is here… When does Idol start again?)

Other historical figures born on this date:

* Bud Abbott (10/2/1897 – 4/24/1974), one half of the Abbott and Costello comedy team. (“Whose on first” is still hystically funny!)
* England’s King Richard III (10/2/1452 – 8/22/1485)
* and… Nat Turner (10/2/1800 – 11/11/1831), American slave hanged for leading violent slave uprising

Happy birthday Steve.

And… Who is on first?

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 6:11 AM

Posted in community

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DorobekInsider: Questions the presidential candidates should debate

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What questions should the presidential candidates debate? It is a great questions — and an apt one for feds, whose lives, of course, will be touched by the new administration — regardless of who wins.

The Partnership for Public Service Wednesday released its “Road map to Reform,” which consists of a series of proposals for the next President when it comes to managing the government. Federal News Radio’s Max Cacas was at the briefing at the National Press Club and was on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris with his first look. [Hear the conversation here .mp3; Check for the full story on Thursday.]

One part of that road map: Questions that the presidential candidates should be asked during debates. And they are pretty good.

One of the questions: “How will you measure your success in running our government?”

Read all of them.. after the break.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 12:26 AM