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Archive for April 3rd, 2009 OMB publishes updated stimulus act guidance

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The Office of Management and Budget on Friday published updated guidance for implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — we know it as the stimulus act. You can find the PDF here … or below…

OMB Publishes Updated Guidance to Agencies for Implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

On April 3, 2009, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act”). This is the second installment of detailed government-wide guidance for carrying out programs and activities enacted in the Recovery Act. This updated guidance supplements, amends and clarifies the initial guidance issued by OMB on February 18, 2009 (Initial Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, M-09-10). Updates to the guidance are based on ongoing input received from the public, Congress, state and local government officials, grant and contract recipients and federal personnel.

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Written by cdorobek

April 3, 2009 at 11:35 PM The White House makes it official: Johnson nominated to be GSA administrator

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We told you it was coming — in fact, we hinted at it back in January, but it is now official: Martha Johnson has been nominated to be the administrator of the General Services Administration.

The notice posted by the White House at 6:28p tonight — but not on the White House Web site yet [UPDATE: The release is posted here] :

Office of the Press Secretary
April 3, 2009

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts: Peter S.
Silva, Assistant Administrator for Water Programs, Environmental Protection Agency; and Martha Johnson, Administrator, General Services Administration.

President Obama said, “The dedication and intelligence that these fine public servants will bring to their respective roles gives me confidence that they will be effective and important additions to our team as we work to tackle the many challenges our nation faces.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:…

Martha Johnson, Nominee for Administrator, General Services Administration

Martha Johnson served as co-lead for the Obama Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for GSA and is the Vice President of Culture at Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a role she has held since 2007. As vice president, Johnson is helping direct the change in culture within the 90,000 person corporation. From 2002 to 2007, Johnson was a vice president at SRA International where she managed a strategic consulting group that served federal clients including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor. From 1996 – 2001, Johnson was Chief of Staff at the GSA, coordinating and supporting the strategic reinvention of a 20,000 person agency from a mandatory supplier of goods and services to a competitive, supplier-of-choice. From 1993 to 1996, Johnson served as the Assistant Deputy Secretary in the Department of Commerce, Office of the Deputy Secretary. Johnson was a Search Manager for the Office of Presidential Personnel in 1993. Before joining the Clinton Administration, she worked in a series of jobs that rounded out her business credentials in finance, marketing and diversity consulting in Human Relations management.

Martha Johnson received her B.A. from Oberlin College in 1974 and her M.B.A. from Yale University in 1979.

Written by cdorobek

April 3, 2009 at 6:11 PM Martha Johnson to be nominated as GSA administrator soon — maybe today

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We’ve been through this before, but… we’re hearing — from very good and multiple sources — that the Obama administration will name Martha Johnson to be the administrator of the General Service Administration as soon as today — but certainly by Monday.

Of course, we are also hearing that GSA’s White House liason, Michael Robertson, is away on travel today, so… would the White House name somebody while that agency’s White House liaison was out of town? (Probably.)

Johnson served on the Obama administration’s GSA “parachute” team — the group that flies into agencies to do a transition assessment. And Johnson has GSA ties, serving as the GSA chief of staff during under GSA Administrator David Baram, who is widely seen as one of the best GSA administrators in some time. (It should be noted that FirstGov, which became and was originally proposed as WebGov, started under Baram and the Clinton administration. It is remarkable to see how far things have evolved. The Bush administration was wise to continue to evolve what is now A good lesson for incoming administrations — not everything the former team did was bad.)

We had been hearing that Johnson had turned down the GSA administrator post because of personal, family issues, but that apparently is not true.

Highlights of Johnson’s career from her resume on her LinkedIn profile:

* Vice President at SRA International
* Director at Touchstone Consulting Group
* Vice President at Council for Excellence in Government
* Vice President at Computer Sciences Corporation

Back on May 1999, there was this article in Fast Company magazine that featured Barram and Johnson:

Here’s How GSA Changed Its Ways [Fast Company, May 1999]
Led by Dave Barram, a 24-year veteran of Silicon Valley, and a group of rank-and-file change agents, one of Washington’s stodgiest agencies is learning to be nimble — and to “thrill” its customers.

Read the full Fast Company story here.

Meanwhile, back in April 25, 2000, Baram and Johnson were on the Business of Government Hour sponsored by the IBM Center for the Business of Government. (Read it hereHere it here. MP3)

Written by cdorobek

April 3, 2009 at 4:36 PM

DorobekInsider: New hires at Government Executive/NextGov… Sternstein… and Matt Dunie

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In a time when many print publications are struggling, Government Executive, and its IT focused sister Web site, NextGov, seem to be investing. NextGov has hired Aliya Sternstein as a reporter. I am president of the Sternstein fan club, particularly given that I hired her into the government market when I was at Federal Computer Week. Sternstein left FCW to join National Journal’s now defunct Tech Daily, then moved to Congressional Quarterly. Sternstein is a quiet but incredibly tenacious reporter — she is one of those reporters who gets a story in her teeth and just won’t let it go. And she is a incredibly hard worker — I would often get 11p e-mails from her about various issues. It is a great hire — and it is great to see publications able to invest.

The other big change was announced last month — Atlantic Media, the parent company of Government Executive, has hired Matt Dunie as General Manager of the Government Executive Media Group. I have posted the release below. Dunie officially started at Government Executive on this week.

The move has spurred some questions around the government publishing world, in part because it seems that Government Executive President and Group Publisher Steve Vito reports to Dunie. Vito is widely respected in both government and publishing circles. He has really crafted Government Executive into a significant player in the government trade press, particularly up against the creation of the 1105 Government Information Group, which was formed after FCW’s parent company, 1105 Media, purchased the properties of the former Post Newsweek Tech Media, creating a government IT publishing Goliath. Vito is widely credited with keeping GovExec very agile. Government Executive magazine, for example, gets a healthy amount of IT advertising despite the fact that the magazine hasn’t, historically, covered IT. He then went on to create NextGov, focusing on government IT specifically and led by Allan Holmes, the respected former editor in chief of Federal Computer Week.

Vito is also credited with getting GovExec to change its focus from a print-centric focused group to a media focused group. Government Executive magazine has wisely reduced frequency of its magazine and shifted resources into its online properties, where there is growth.

Vito is also credited with getting GovExec to change its focus from a print-centric focused group to a media focused group. Government Executive magazine has wisely reduced frequency of its magazine and shifted resources into its online properties, where there is growth.

The part of the release that raised some eyebrows:

Government Executive President and Publisher Steven M. Vito will continue in his current position, managing core product lines. He will report to Dunie.

There is some question about what Dunie’s role at GovExec will be.

People in publishing circles had also been speculated that Vito might be a candidate for the 1105 GovInfo group publisher post, most recently held by Evilee Ebb. UPDATE 04.05.2009: I didn’t mention this and I should have: I asked Vito specifically about this and he says it just isn’t true. So this seems more like fun speculation to me.

David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media Company, was believed to be shopping Government Executive around last year, but most people believe Bradley has decided to keep theGovExec group. But hiring new people such as Sternstein would be an indication that he has decided to keep the publication — and invest in it.

Dunie doesn’t have experience in the government market — he most recently was the president of Cambridge Scientific Abstracts — and many people take Bradley at his word from theDunie release: “I have been thinking for some time of recruiting an executive to expand our efforts in the business-to-business sector.” Literally, everybody is looking for new and different revenue models right now. (The challenge for publishers is that most of the revenue is based on print, which isstagnant at the very best, but Web advertising simply doesn’t pay the bills. The consensus these days is that publishing is simply between business models — the old, industrial age model is on its way out and the new model hasn’t yet evolved — but everybody is trying to figure it out. And that is as true in the trade press as anywhere else.)

I look forward to meeting Mr. Dunie… and — welcome to the government market.

Here is the release announcing the hiring of Dunie:

Matt Dunie Joins Atlantic Media Company as General Manager of Government Executive Media Group

WASHINGTON, March 9 — David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media Company, announced today the appointment of Matt Dunie as General Manager of the company’s Government Executive Media Group. Dunie will join Atlantic Media’s executive team later this month. As General Manager of Government Executive Media Group, Dunie will oversee all aspects of Atlantic Media’s business-to-business product offerings targeting the government market.

Dunie was the President of Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) from 2000 to 2007 when the company acquired ProQuest to form ProQuest-CSA. Under Dunie’s leadership, CSA grew its revenues ten-fold through acquisitions and organic growth fueled by new product introductions and innovations. Dunie continued as President of the newly formed ProQuest, a 1,200 person global information services company.

Bradley explained, “I have been thinking for some time of recruiting an executive to expand our efforts in the business-to-business sector. The success our Government Executive team has demonstrated in navigating this challenging economic environment and the changes transforming the media landscape has convinced me that this is the right time for us to be expanding our growth efforts in this area. Throughout my career, I have recruited new colleagues for two salient attributes: force of intellect and a personal spirit of generosity. Matt has demonstrated those attributes throughout his career, and I am pleased to have him joining my executive leadership team.”

“I am very excited to join Atlantic Media in this stage of its growth,” said Dunie. “Government Executive is a terrific brand with exceptional people that has tremendous impact and even greater potential in this very important market. I look forward to leading the effort to expand the group’s reach and influence through the launch of new products and the extension into related markets.”

Dunie arrives at Atlantic Media as Government Executive begins its fifth decade of serving those who manage the agencies and programs of the federal government. From its beginnings as a monthly magazine 40 years ago, Government Executive has grown a rich franchise of print and web publishing, conferences and meetings that both delivers news of central interest to its audience and helps define the good-government agenda from day to day and month to month. The franchise now includes two web sites,, serving a wide cross-section of government managers, and Nextgov .com, specializing in service to the federal information technology community. Government Executive Media Group also organizes the annual Excellence in Government Conference, a series of Leadership Breakfasts at the National Press Club, and other live and online events. Its Government Business Council offers a host of custom marketing solutions for companies looking to reach the government market.

Government Executive President and Publisher Steven M. Vito will continue in his current position, managing core product lines. He will report toDunie , who said, “I am looking forward to working with Steve and his team, and expect to benefit greatly from Steve’s deep knowledge of the markets Government Executive now serves.”

Written by cdorobek

April 3, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Posted in Industry, press