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Archive for April 2009 Steve Ressler — GovLoop’s 10K man… and counting

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GovLoop, the remarkable social networking site built specifically for govies, hit a simply remarkable milestone this week — 10,000 members. (When I just checked, it was up to 10,412.)

Steve Ressler (photo by Matthew Borkoski)

Steve Ressler (photo by Matthew Borkoski)

GovLoop was launched less than a year ago by Steve Ressler. Ressler is a young fed who does his GovLoop work in his hown time. I’ve posted the GovLoop press release below, and the release notes that there are some big names among the GovLoop membership — GSA CIO Casey Coleman… White House director of new media Macon Phillips… but in the end, it is the numbers that I find remarkable:

GovLoop members have written over 1,500 blogs, started 1,200 discussions, posted over 450 events, shared 4,000+ photos and created over 200 videos.

In the end, people are using it. There is a new Acquisition 2.0 group that has formed. People are using it. Really remarkable stuff.

As I noted soon after I started the DorobekInsider, I first met Ressler as part of Federal Computer Week’s Rising Star awards program. And, as I said back then, ff you want to have faith in the “next generation,” you simply have to make it a point to talk toRessler. I don’t admit to be objective here. I was so impressed with Ressler, that when FCW created the Rising Star awards program three years ago — these are award that recognize the next generation of government leaders — we put Ressler on the cover… and featured him and his step-sister in the magazine. So I still try to claim to have discovered him.

But in the end, he’s the one who has done it — and he won his second Fed 100 award this year for that work. (More here.) And I’d keep an eye on him. He is passionate about public service. He has a good head on his holders. And he has a remarkable moral compass. And he is an intent listener — and he soaks up knowledge. And I think that is what, in the end, makesGovLoop successful — and unique. It isn’t just a ‘get rich’ scheme. Ressler’s goal is to create an environment where people can collaborate to the benefit of government.

Simply remarkable.

So… congratulations to Steve… and if you’re not a member, go here

GovLoop, the “Facebook for Feds,” Reaches 10,000 Users in Less Than a Year
Watch Out Washington! Young Fed Topples Silos 04.29.2009 – Washington, D.C. – April 29th, 2009 – GovLoop (, an online community created for and by government employees, announced today it has signed up its 10,000th member less than a year after launching. Dubbed by some as a “Facebook for Feds,” GovLoop brings together government employees from the U.S. and other nations to discuss ideas, share best practices and create a community dedicated to the betterment of government.

A revolution is happening in government as the result of a new generation of government employees, the rise of Web 2.0 technologies, and the Obama administration’s focus on transparency, participation, and collaboration. This revolution is often called “Government 2.0” andGovLoop is at the center of this movement. The social network was developed by Steve Ressler, a 28-year old federal employee from Tampa, Fla. who is also a co-founder of Young Government Leaders ( Fed up with the silos that existed across government agencies, including artificial barriers between levels of government, rank and age,Ressler believed there had to be a better way to share information, so he launched in June 2008.

The only social network for government employees, the site offers a safe place for the government community to connect, share best practices, and ideas to improve government.GovLoop is smashing the age-old silos that existed between federal agencies and facilitating dialogue that has never existed before between state, local and international government agencies. Members range from CIOs such as Casey Coleman, CIO at GSA, political appointees such as Macon Phillips, White House Director of New Media, dozens of city managers to brilliant government innovators all across levels of U.S. government. And it doesn’t stop there; over 500 International government thought leaders from New Zealand, the U.K., Canada, Germany and Hong Kong have joined the dialogue as well.

The open, accelerated flow of information on GovLoop has led to the rapid replication of ideas and best practices across all levels of government, assisting in improved government operations and performance. For example, a California City Attorney’s Office was able to set up an official government social media presence in a matter of days instead of months by leveraging the best practices and experiences of the state of Massachusetts, which was shared onGovLoop.

Since its launch, GovLoop members have written over 1,500 blogs, started 1,200 discussions, posted over 450 events, shared 4,000+ photos and created over 200 videos.

GovLoop members have already:
• Developed a burgeoning “Acquisition 2.0” movement to employ innovative acquisition methods
• Been the leading source of government input into the Obama Administration’s Open Government Memo
• Established a repository of best practices on items including Social Media Policies, Government Hiring and Government Twitter Use
• Launched a top-rated podcast “Gov 2.0 Radio” ( with guests like Tim O’Reilly (founder of O’Reilly media, and Craig Newmark (founder of Craig’s List,
• Helped win the prestigious Federal 100 award and stand as a finalist for the 2009 ACT Intergovernmental Solutions Award

Starting May 4th, GovLoop will continue the spirit of government collaboration by hosting the official online dialogue for Public Service Recognition Week (May 4th – May 10th). Participants across the U.S. are encouraged to share their experiences of the week and suggest ideas to improve government. To participate in the conversation joinGovLoop and the Public Service Recognition Week group (

As such, GovLoop welcomes all members of the government community to join the conversation at, the premier social network for government employees.

Written by cdorobek

April 30, 2009 at 6:32 PM The National Dialogue on transparency and — an update after two days

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We are two days into‘s week-long National Dialogue on stimulus and transparency… and so far, it seems that they are getting some good information.

Just a reminder for those who haven’t been following the National Dialogue, the Obama administration is essentially asking for your help on how to build transparency into the stimulus package. This stuff is difficult — making the transparency of happen — but it seems there are some real opportunities coming out of this. [Earlier, on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to Lena Trudeau of the National Academy of Public Administration about the National Dialogue. Hear that conversation here.]

More on Thursday’s Daily Debrief, but… I got some insights how things are going two days into the National Dialogue…

Some stats:

As of 10am this morning, 676 registered users, 205 ideas, 470 comments, over 700 votes on the ideas and just shy of 10,000 unique visitors.

I got a few mid-dialogue questions answered on how things are going so far:

How are things going?
The Dialogue is going very well. We’re very pleased with both the pace of participation and its quality, and it really seems as though this will provide some very good input for the Recovery Board on how to set up

It’s also important to say that the dialogue is being conducted in an incredibly civil way. People seem impressed that the Recovery Board chose to reach out to a broader audience at the outset of theirdecision making process rather than after it’s completed, and are taking that opportunity for input seriously. Even the criticisms we’ve had of the site itself—and in such an IT-focused audience, those are inevitable—are respectful and really provide us with some constructive criticism for how to do this even better next time around.

What are you seeing so far?… traffic… comments…
We’re really pleased with traffic so far. The overall number of visits to the site has held relatively steady, which is very noteworthy. We are also thrilled with the volume of activity. The site itself has 676 registered users, but together those people have generated over 1.5 million requests to our server. At peak times, we are getting about 25 requests per second, which is about a quarter of the number that the entire Google Apps can take before it crashes. Everyone involved with monitoring the site has said it’s rare to see a site that is this “sticky” — to attract such a proportion of browsers into actually signing up and taking advantage of all the interaction opportunities that are offered.

The comments themselves have been very high caliber. The Academy is not able to judge what the best or most useful comments are, that is up to the Recovery Board, but we have had some that illustrate how highly people value the site:

“As a work in progress I think you must agree this is an extraordinary step, which lacks precedence.”

“[Participation] involves a commitment to allowing public contributions to the dialogue. It’s the holy grail of online democracy, and seems to be one of the driving motivations of this “National Dialogue” site.”

“Traditionally the US Gov has only really been a successful early IT adopter via NSA or NASA, and actions such as this National Dialogue give me hope that may change.”

“This is the ultimate David vs. Goliath thing!” (Comment received via e-mail from Dialogue participant.)

It’s also been interesting to watch the tag cloud on the site grow and evolve as people raise new topics and make new connections between ideas. One thing we do that a lot of other similar sites don’t is that anyone can tag anyoneelse’s idea. The idea behind this is that everyone can make connections that might not have been obvious to the original idea submitter. We think that is working so that at the end of the process, the Recovery Board will have not just a bunch of great ideas, but also the community’s sense on which are the best, which are the most controversial, and what overarching “buckets” they fall into.

I heard that the servers actually got overloaded… how did you deal with that?
We did experience some technical difficulties Monday morning that were caused by an overwhelming amount of participation on the site. We were ready for a massive number of people to use the site–it is hosted in a cloud, which is highly elastic and scalable — but what we didn’t anticipate is how much activity each user would generate by immediately becoming engaged in submitting, rating, tagging, and discussing the ideas. That’s what sort of caused us to overheat. Some users experienced technical difficulties. At one point, we were just adding servers furiously, trying to keep pace with the activity! As of now, we’ve expanded to 12 servers to catch all the traffic, and have also made changes to the database structure and made the caching more aggressive to provide a better user experience and access times for all.

Anything surprise you so far?
It’s hard to say we were surprised by anything, just because we didn’t really go into it with any concrete expectations. When you do these kinds of Dialogues, you provide people with the platform, then wait to see what they do with it. But some of the things we found most notable are:
This is not being seen as free ad space. There are many vendors participating and talking about their own products—which is fine and actually helpful to the Recovery Board—but most people are talking about other products, or just ideas or websites that they have been impressed with.
The community is doing some vetting of its own. On one thread where a vendor basically posted a brochure for their product, the commenters came in and began “kicking the tires,” asking some really probing questions. The vendor came back on and posted a response to some of it. While it was all civil, you can really see the value that the Recovery Board is getting by enlisting this whole community in thinking through different solutions.
The community really is diverse. While this was largely pitched as being oriented towards IT vendors, we have used social networks like Twitter,GovLoop, and Facebook to get the word out to a community that is more interested in topics like social media, open source, innovation, and collaboration. Those audiences are both present and vocal on the site, and seeing how they interact to discuss solutions, and bring different perspectives to the table, has been interesting.

Written by cdorobek

April 29, 2009 at 4:21 PM GSA FAS changes: Mary Powers-King named acting deputy assistant commissioner

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In a unexpected change, John Johnson, the retiring Assistant Commissioner for Integrated Technology Services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, has named Mary Powers-King as the acting deputy assistant commissioner for FAS’s Integrated Technology Services.

Powers-King has been leading GSA’s governmentwide acquisition contracts and the IT schedules contracts program. She will continue in that role, according to Johnson’s memo.

Here is Johnson’s memo to staff:

TO: All ITS employees and contractors

Effective immediately, I am designating Mary Powers-King as the Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Integrated Technology Services. Mary will be acting in this capacity until further notice. Mary will also continue in her role as the Director,GWAC & IT Schedule Programs.

I will appreciate your continued support as Mary takes on this new responsibility.



John C. Johnson
Assistant Commissioner for Integrated Technology Services
Federal Acquisition Service
U.S. General Services Administration

Written by cdorobek

April 29, 2009 at 1:29 PM Navy has what I believe is the first green IT policy

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The Navy has posted what I believe — and I stand to be corrected — but I believe is the first agency green IT policy. The memo is posted below and can be found here or the PDF here … The policy lays out the initial criteria for green IT energy efficiency… and it requires command information officers to provide a policy describing how to implement the Navy’s green IT policy.

You can read more here … and download the PDF document here … I also have it posted below.

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

April 28, 2009 at 5:10 PM The AFCEA Bethesda Kundra speech — did he tell people to go around the CIO?

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I almost felt like the headline of this post should be: Did you hear what I heard?

I mentioned that federal CIO Vivek Kundra spoke last week at AFCEA’s Bethesda chapter. (In fact, I’m going to hear Kundra speak again this morning at the 2009 Government Web Managers Conference and, like last week, you can follow along with my notes, which I’ve posed online here.)

During Kundra’s presentation last week — FCW’s Ben Bain has a good summary here — he seemed to save the best for last. And it is an interesting example of what people hear vs what people say — often a journalistic conundrum.

The comments came from a questions that I asked earlier in the program. My question, essentially, is how do CIO’s remain relevant?

Sometimes — perhaps often — CIOs and IT organizations are seen as the “NO Zone.” If program people go to their IT organization with an idea, they are told all the reasons they can’t do something. And that is particularly true with Web 2.0 applications with security as the big bugaboo. And the classic case comes from Homeland Security Department’s Transportation Security Administration. TSA wanted to start a blog. They went to their IT shop and were told that that could be built… for thousands of dollars — in my memory it was $60,000, but I stand to be corrected. Somebody rightfully said, ‘Um, isn’t Blogger [or my personal favorite, WordPress or Typepad] free?’ Thankfully, the TSA program people found a crafty IT person who made it happen.

The TSA story is a good one because it shows how many organizations view their IT shop — they don’t see them as the enablers. Too often, the IT organization — and CIOs — represent the NO Zone — or the CI-NO.

So earlier I asked how CIOs can avoid being the CI-NO. And it is one of the things that can just crush innovation.

But at the end, Kundra came back to it and stressed the importance of innovation.

And it is interesting because what I have had many people say that they heard Kundra telling people to go around their IT shops if they get blocked — and they say it with horror in their eyes.

In fact, he did say that we need to encourage people to “challenge traditional thinking.” (As I mentioned, I posted my notes, so you can go to the bottom and see how I remembered it — they didn’t clear it up all that much, to be honest.)

First off, I know that Kundra wasn’t telling everybody to go around their IT organization. He understands how government organizations work. And I have spoken to people who know Kundra very well and what he wanted to say was that this is a real opportunity — and his real message was to industry: Provide value to the taxpayers.

But there is still a lot of buzz about it out there. So last night, I pulled out my recording of the event, and I can understand how people heard what they think they heard. I don’t think it is what he was actually saying, but I understand the confusion. The quality isn’t great, but… I’ll let you listen for yourself.

I think his point is very important — there are real opportunities here and now. And for too long, the government has turned to integrators to build collaboration systems that, frankly, fail when compared to… say, Facebook. The innovation is coming from the consumer market and driving the enterprise market. (I would add that if IT organizations are the NO Zones, technology is ubiquitous enough, people, in fact, will just go around their IT organizations — and that is bad for everybody.)

Kundra is speaking again this morning. Perhaps he will clarify a bit.

As we say in radio, stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

April 28, 2009 at 6:53 AM The Bisnow government 2.0 event Monday morning — the liner notes

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Editor’s note: I updated with a few items discussed this morning. Find the updated links at the bottom of this post.

I will be moderating a panel on Monday for Bisnow on government 2.0 — and he has an all star panel:

* Dr. Mark Drapeau, Associate Research Fellow at the National Defense University [Twitter ]
* Dan Mintz, Chief Technology Officer for CSC and the former CIO at the Transportation Department [Twitter ]
* Molly O’Neill, former CIO for the Environmental Protection Agency
* Lewis Shepherd, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments [Twitter]

And, of course, you can find all my contacts — blog, Twitter, Facebook , GovLoop, LinkedInfind them all here.

The event is Monday morning at the Tower Club in Tysons, if you are interested in joining us… more information here.

When I speak someplace, I have taken to providing “liner notes,” because there are always links that people want to mention and it can be frustrating trying to write them all down and missing one letter… so I may actually update this after Monday’s session. Some previous liner notes from when I spoke at HHS back in February… and at a ACT/IAC session at FOSE back in March.

One of the big challenges these days in speaking about government 2.0 is that there can be very different levels of understanding. Some people who attend these sessions have a ton o’ knowledge about what government 2.0 is… what web 2.0 tools are… While others barely have aFacebook page. To be honest, I’m not sure what to expect from a Bisnow crowd.

As of now, I’m guessing that we will start somewhat untraditionally — by having the audience talk first… what brought them here… what are they hoping that we will all talk about…

Mintz posted on Twitter tonight what he hopes to talk about:

For BISNOW 2.0 Mon am: (1) Fast sensors, (2) Transactional Cost Economics, (3) Data not systems, (4) Privacy & 4th amend; anything else?

I hope we get to talk about the business implications for the government market growing out of government 2.0, because I think they could be profound.

For those new to this, here are a few recommendations to get you started…

This video, which is a good starting point to what Web 2.0 is… and how it is different.

But some essential readings…

* Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams… This was one of the year books about Web 2.0 — and spurred a government 2.0 project and the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project… and many other things. The book is a few years old, but is still almost essential reading if you are thinking about how to do this.

* What Would Google Do? By Jeff Jarvis This book was the subject of the recent Federal News Radio Book Club selection… The name sounds like a Google suck-up, but… it really isn’t. This book does a really good job of capturing the different mind-set changes that go into Web 2.0 — and, by extension, government 2.0.

So we’ll see how the conversation goes tomorrow morning and there may be a part 2 to this post. And I hope you’re able to join us.

UPDATE: After the event, as is always the case, there were items discussed that I did not predict. Here are some of those links:

* Drapeau’s paper: Social Software and National Security. I posted it here … and you can also find a link to it here … and the PDF here.

* EPA’s Jeremy Ames radon videos: I mentioned the EPA radon video contest. You can find more on those here: EPA’s wonderful radon video example

* I mentioned Steve Ressler’s remarkable GovLoop social networking group…

* Former EPA CIO Molly O’Neill mentioned her remarkable EPA Puget Sound wiki. More here .

* I mentioned the National Dialogue seeking ideas on transparency and the stimulus that started this morning… More information here.

* And for the gentleman who was tweeting on his iPhone using the Twitter interface… there are some great Twitter iPhone applications out there. The one I use most is TwitterFon.

* Finally, I should note that Mark Bisnow was named by Washingtonian as one of DC’s Tech Titans.

I think those are the items that were mentioned. Let me know if I missed anything.

Written by cdorobek

April 26, 2009 at 9:46 PM Many changes at GSA – this week, it’s the regional senior executives

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gsa-logoI’ve been hearing a lot about changes at GSA — some concrete, and some just discussed. I’ll talk about potential changes later, but… a concrete move from Acting Administrator Paul Prouty Friday. In a memo, Prouty announced a number of changes to GSA’s regional leadership. Earlier, we told you how Prouty decided to change the names of the assistant regional administrators and deputy assistant regional administrators in GSA’s regions to regional commissioners and deputy regional commissioners. This was widely seen as a first step in broader changes.

On Friday, there was another step in a memo from Prouty:

The Deputy Regional Administrator (DRA) role is being eliminated and Senior Executives in these positions are moving into leadership roles within our two business lines—the Federal Acquisition (FAS) and Public Buildings Services (PBS). This is a significant, necessary action to position GSA to meet the challenges ahead with economic recovery work and the Administration’s agenda to improve how Government works.

This memo just came out yesterday, so I’m still trying to ferrit out what it all means, but… your thoughts always welcome, of course.

Here is the full memo:

April 24, 2009



SUBJECT: Regional Senior Executives

Today, we are announcing a number of moves in GSA’s regional leadership. The Deputy Regional Administrator (DRA) role is being eliminated and Senior Executives in these positions are moving into leadership roles within our two business lines—the Federal Acquisition (FAS) and Public Buildings Services (PBS). This is a significant, necessary action to position GSA to meet the challenges ahead with economic recovery work and the Administration’s agenda to improve how Government works.

Effective April 26, 2009, the following Senior Executives will step out of the DRA role and into the following:

• Steve Ruggiero will become the permanent FAS Regional Commissioner (RC) in Region 2. Steve will continue to serve as Acting Regional Administrator RA.

• Jimmy Bridgeman will become the permanent PBS RC in Region 4. Jimmy will continue to serve as Acting RA.

• Michael Brincks will become the permanent FAS RC in Region 6. Mike will continue to serve as Acting RA.

• George Prochaska will become the permanent FAS RC in Region 7. George will continue to serve as Acting RA.

• Greg Porter will become the permanent PBS Principal Deputy RC in Region 9.

• Sharon Banks will become the permanent PBS Principal Deputy RC in Region 11. Sharon will continue to serve as Acting RA.

The DRA positions in Regions 3 and 5 are vacant, and the DRA positions in Regions 1, 8, and 10 are currently held by GS-15 leaders. Tim Horne in Region 8 and Gary Casteel in Region 10 will remain as FAS RCs. Marjorie Samra will serve as a Special Assistant to the PBS RC in Region 1.

Regional General Management & Administration (GM&A) functions that previously reported to the DRA will now report to the Acting RA. Discussions are underway regarding where GM&A functions can best be performed. Once a decision is made and the necessary stakeholder notifications are completed and union obligations are met, GM&A functions will be realigned within the Regions.

I want to thank all of the DRAs for their significant contributions to this agency and thank them for agreeing to undertake these new roles.

This is an exciting and challenging time for GSA. We will continue to position the agency to better serve our customers as we all help our country during this dynamic time.

Written by cdorobek

April 25, 2009 at 11:43 AM Another Obama weekend address, and news on government reform

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Last weekend, President Obama used his weekend address to announce the chief performance officer and the Obama chief technology officer. This week, he was talking government reform. (BTW, reporters just love it when they find out news is breaking over the weekend.) Read the AP story here.

The president offered up a few ideas that impact feds and how they will do their job.

One is cutting programs. The president says that the administration is looking to cut spending and that they will “identify more than 100 programs that will be cut or eliminated.”

Two… we’ll create new incentives to reduce wasteful spending and to invest in what works.

Three… the administration is going to create a process where front-line workers can offer up ideas. (I would recommend the administration look at TSA’s Idea Factory, a Digg-like system that allows front line TSA workers to offer up ideas — and allows others to vote on the best ideas.)

After all, Americans across the country know that the best ideas often come from workers – not just management. That’s why we’ll establish a process through which every government worker can submit their ideas for how their agency can save money and perform better. We’ll put the suggestions that work into practice. And later this year, I will meet with those who come up with the best ideas to hear firsthand about how they would make your government more efficient and effective.

Four… the administration is reaching out to industry.

We will reach beyond the halls of government. Many businesses have innovative ways of using technology to save money, and many experts have new ideas to make government work more efficiently. Government can – and must – learn from them. So later this year, we will host a forum on reforming government for the 21st century, so that we’re also guided by voices that come from outside of Washington.

The transcript can be found here … or below:

Good morning. Over the last three months, my Administration has taken aggressive action to confront an historic economic crisis. As we do everything that we can to create jobs and get our economy moving, we’re also building a new foundation for lasting prosperity – a foundation that invests in quality education, lowers health care costs, and develops new sources of energy powered by new jobs and industries.

One of the pillars of that foundation must be fiscal discipline. We came into office facing a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion for this year alone, and the cost of confronting our economic crisis is high. But we cannot settle for a future of rising deficits and debts that our children cannot pay.

All across America, families are tightening their belts and making hard choices. Now, Washington must show that same sense of responsibility. That is why we have identified two trillion dollars in deficit-reductions over the next decade, while taking on the special interest spending that doesn’t advance the peoples’ interests.

But we must also recognize that we cannot meet the challenges of today with old habits and stale thinking. So much of our government was built to deal with different challenges from a different era. Too often, the result is wasteful spending, bloated programs, and inefficient results.

It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.

Earlier this week, I held my first Cabinet meeting and sent a clear message: cut what doesn’t work. Already, we’ve identified substantial savings. And in the days and weeks ahead, we will continue going through the budget line by line, and we’ll identify more than 100 programs that will be cut or eliminated.

But we can’t stop there. We need to go further, and we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to reforming government. That’s why I’m announcing several steps that my Administration will take in the weeks ahead to restore fiscal discipline while making our government work better.

First, we need to adhere to the basic principle that new tax or entitlement policies should be paid for. This principle – known as PAYGO – helped transform large deficits into surpluses in the 1990s. Now, we must restore that sense of fiscal discipline. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass PAYGO legislation like a bill that will be introduced by Congressman Baron Hill, so that government acts the same way any responsible family does in setting its budget.

Second, we’ll create new incentives to reduce wasteful spending and to invest in what works. We don’t want agencies to protect bloated budgets – we want them to promote effective programs. So the idea is simple: agencies that identify savings will get to keep a portion of those savings to invest in programs that work. The result will be a smaller budget, and a more effective government.

Third, we’ll look for ideas from the bottom up. After all, Americans across the country know that the best ideas often come from workers – not just management. That’s why we’ll establish a process through which every government worker can submit their ideas for how their agency can save money and perform better. We’ll put the suggestions that work into practice. And later this year, I will meet with those who come up with the best ideas to hear firsthand about how they would make your government more efficient and effective.

And finally, we will reach beyond the halls of government. Many businesses have innovative ways of using technology to save money, and many experts have new ideas to make government work more efficiently. Government can – and must – learn from them. So later this year, we will host a forum on reforming government for the 21st century, so that we’re also guided by voices that come from outside of Washington.

We cannot sustain deficits that mortgage our children’s future, nor tolerate wasteful inefficiency. Government has a responsibility to spend the peoples’ money wisely, and to serve the people effectively. I will work every single day that I am President to live up to that responsibility, and to transform our government so that is held to a higher standard of performance on behalf of the American people.

Thank you.

Written by cdorobek

April 25, 2009 at 11:31 AM Breaking news: NAPA’s DiGiammarino to join the Obama administration

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A big appointment for the Obama administration: It has been somewhat known but it is all but official — Frank DiGiammarino is moving to the White House. Starting next month, he will be the Deputy Coordinator for Recovery Implementation. In that role, he will serve as the principal deputy to EdDeSeve, who was tapped by the Obama administration earlier.

At the National Academy, Lena Trudeau will be promoted within the organization, the DorobekInsider has learned.

More to come, but… here is DiGiammarino bio:

Frank P. DiGiammarino serves as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the National Academy of Public Administration.  In this capacity, Frank is responsible for business development and the creation and execution of special initiatives at the National Academy that can deliver innovative approaches to addressing government’s management challenges. In addition, he oversees the National Academy’s government relations, outreach and communications efforts.

An author and speaker on how to navigate government change, Frank came to the National Academy in 2005 after many years as a senior consultant and strategist. Former positions include Director and DoD Practice Area lead at Touchstone Consulting Group, General Manager and Director of Program Management at Sapient Corporation, and Principal Consultant with the State and Local government practice at American Management Systems.

Career highlights include leading a program to re-engineer a $6 billion Army department with 15,000 personnel; driving reorganization of an 1100 person consultancy in 6 months with 85% adoption; and leading a 700 plus person office that delivered $120 million in annual revenue.  Frank holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts and Master’s of Public Administration from The George Washington University.  He serves on the Advisory Board for the Commonwealth College of the University of Massachusetts and the Advisory Board of the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration.  He is an advisor to the leadership team of the Young Government Leaders organization and recently served as an advisor to the Change and Transformation Initiative at the George Washington University.

And the note from Jenna Dorn, the president and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration to staff:

Dear Colleagues –

It is with tremendous pride and no small measure of sadness that I share this news with you: the National Academy’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Business Development, FrankDiGiammarino , has been tapped by the Administration to become the Deputy Coordinator for Recovery Implementation In this capacity, Frank will serve as the principal deputy to Academy Fellow EdDeSeve , who was recently appointed Special Advisor to the President for Recovery Implementation. As you know, Frank joined the National Academy four years ago. He was named one of the Academy’s first Program Area Directors, and I subsequently promoted him to the role of Vice President based on his strong record of achievement. Frank has been instrumental in implementing the Board’s strategy for growth and diversification of our revenue base through partnerships, strategic initiatives and new business development. He ably led the Collaboration Project from its inception and has been a strong champion for innovation in government. He has personally closed a number of new contracts, and systematized and enhanced our business development function. Frank’s appointment to this new role speaks so well for his own work and the work of the National Academy. We will, of course, miss him, but offer our heartiest congratulations and best wishes for success in his important new endeavor.

I ask you to join me in also congratulating Lena Trudeau, whom I have asked to serve as Vice President of the National Academy. Lena will assume responsibility for leading the Academy’s studies, strategic initiatives and business development. In that capacity, Lena will lead and supervise the Program Area Directors and other team members who are responsible for these functions. In her nearly two years with the National Academy, Lena has secured and led, as a Program Area Director, a number of “traditional” Academy studies, including work at Coast Guard,FEMA , and the Department of State. In addition, she has supervised the implementation of studies at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service. Along with Frank, Lena has been instrumental in the Academy’s successful launch and implementation of the Collaboration Project, which has in turn spawned the creation of a promising new business line in hosting National Dialogues. Lena brings to her new role a strong background in managing service delivery operations, and a proven ability to improve the Academy’s business processes and methodologies. She has over 15 years of consulting and management experience, leading multi-million dollar engagements for clients in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Immediately prior to joining the National Academy, she served as Vice President, Consulting Services for Ambit Group, a strategy and technology consulting firm dedicated to the federal marketplace. Previously, she has held positions atNokia, the world leader in mobility, at Touchstone Consulting (now SRA , Inc.), and in the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada. Lena holds a Masters of Business Administration from the RichardIvey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Ottawa.

Lena recently shared with me her “appreciation for the importance – now more than ever – of the National Academy as a platform for positive change in government, as well as the exceptional national resource that is our Fellowship.” Please join me in welcoming her to this new leadership position. I know that in the time-honored tradition of the National Academy, I can count on you to give her your full support.


Jenna Kundra talks open government at AFCEA Bethesda this morning

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chapter_logoI’m up early this morning to attend the monthly breakfast gathering for AFCEA International’s Bethesda, MD chapter — and it’s a good one this morning. I expect a packed house as Vivek Kundra, the federal CIO and the Office of Management and Budget’s Administrator for E-Government and Information Technology will be speaking on the topic of open government. Along with Kundra are Interior Department CIO Sonny Bhagowalia, Colleen Coggins, who is on assignment to OMB to be the chief enterprise architect, and Energy Department CIO Tom Pyke.

It’s a all-star panel, a very hot topic… and I will be Tweeting (#AFCEA), but I will also be taking my notes. And, in my own way of being transparent, I make those available. So you can see my notes as I take them here. I have started doing this for a few reasons. First, it shares information — and it follows the Defense Department concept of network-centric operations. The DOD concept is you put information out there — unless there is a good reason not to. That doesn’t mean that you don’t continue to do the analysis — tweets are not going to replace a follow up piece that one might write based on theAFCEA Bethesda meeting, to use this example. Nor does it mean that one might take all of Kundra’s presentations to look for themes. But by making that information available — sharing it — it makes all of us better. And we have to understand — and I think people are smart enough to understand — that my notes will not be perfect prose. In fact, they might not even be cohesive thoughts or sentences. But it is more data that people can use to make decisions.

But I have also started posting my notes because I have actually had participants read my notes and tell me that I mis-interpreted what they were trying to say. It led to greater understanding and accuracy later on.

Of course, we will talk about Kundra’s presentation this afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, but if you want to follow along this morning… the notes are posted here.

On the subject of open government, on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief Thursday, we’ll also be talking to Lena Trudeau of the National Academy of Public Administration about the “national dialogue” on and transparency. This is the project we told you about earlier where the administration is literally seeking your ideas to one of the most daunting challenges: Bringing transparency to the massive stimulus bill. As I have mentioned, Trudeau has led NAPA’s efforts to use these “national dialogues” as a way of reaching out to people. I spoke about the initiative on DC’s WTOP radio Wednesday — hear that here… And I should also mention that Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller gave us an excellent report from GSA’s IRMCO on this subject. You can hear that here.