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Archive for June 3rd, 2009

DorobekInsider: Former GSAer John C. Johnson wins ACT/IAC’s 2009 Franke award

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There are a lot of awards out there. One of the more prestigious of those awards is the John J. Franke Jr. award, given out by the American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council (ACT/IAC) each year at the Management of Change conference.

The year’s winner was John C. Johnson, who recently retired from his post as GSA Federal Acquisition Service’s Assistant Commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services, which oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts including the GSA schedule contracts, GSA’s governmentwide telecommunications contracts such as Networx , and GSA’s governmentwide acquisition vehicles , including the Alliant mega-contract. Johnson joined Deep Water Point Consulting.

Ira Hobbs, the former Treasury Department CIO and the 2003 winner of the Franke award, did a remarkable job setting the tone. (Hobbs so often does a remarkable job setting the tone.) Hobbs noted that he had the pleasure of working forFranke while he was at the Agriculture Department. Franke had battled with cancer, but “he did so in a way that gave strength to other people dealing with the same disease.”

Hobbs noted that Franke made mentoring a priority. When Hobbs as a presidential management intern and Franke was the assistant secretary for administration — “back when they were God like figures” — Franke would invite the interns to a regular lunch and he would talk to them about their experiences and challenges. Hobbs noted that the room was filled with people were were trying to make it in the world, andFranke — in words and in actions — illustrated that strong leaders focus on the people who help you be successful.

Karen Evans, the former administrator of e-government and information technology at the Office of Management and Budget and the 2008 Franke award winner, noted that Johnson had helped with many of the big initiatives, even incorporating security provisions into the Networx telecommunication contract.

Johnson called the recognition a “tremendous honor” and the culmination of a 34 year government career. “This symbolizes what we have accomplished together.”

I had Johnson on Federal News Radio’s Government IT Solutions Spotlight just before he left government — an exit-interview, if you will. You can hear that here.

Read the ACT/IAC press release here [Scribd Flash verion] or here [PDF].

More on the Franke award from ACT/IAC:

The award is presented each year in memory of John J. Franke, an Assistant Secretary for Management in the Department of Agriculture under President Reagan, and later the first Director of the Federal Quality Institute. He started as a successful small businessman in the State of Kansas, served as County Commissioner in Johnson County, and later moved into regional government in Kansas City. Mr. Franke died in 1991 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Mr. Franke is remembered as an appointee who recognized the key role of information systems in the management of government, and his interest in the information management community extended beyond his own work. He encouraged his managers to take an active role in government-wide organizations such as ACT, participated in conferences to learn how information systems could help make government more effective, and challenged those in the field to do things smarter and faster.

Previous winners have included:

2003: Ira Hobbs
2006: Dave Winnergren
2007: Kevin Carroll
2008: Karen Evans

If there is a more comprehensive list, let me know and I’ll get it posted.

Written by cdorobek

June 3, 2009 at 9:01 AM

DorobekInsider: How do you build a better Web site? One member of Congress tries crowdsourcing

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Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) is looking to redesign his Web site. How does one go about doing that? Crowdsourcing.

Honda details the thinking behind it on his blog:

Recently, I announced the launch of a new pioneering project to improve civic engagement in Congress via crowdSPRING. I will be redesigning my website – using a technique called crowd-sourcing – to lead the way in making government sites more transparent and accessible to the public.

20090603 hondaThe project allows designers to mock up multiple layouts for consideration by you, my constituents. The final design will be chosen based on votes, design functionality, usability, and other criteria. I believe that this crowd-sourcing initiative will usher in a new era of government transparency. Many government websites have good content, but the content is often very hard to find. We are giving power to you, and democratizing the way we interact with the public.

My goal as your Member of Congress is to serve you first and foremost. This crowd-sourcing initiative ensures that I am meeting your needs on your terms by allowing an unprecedented level of access into the design process of a government website.

The purpose of the website redesign is to move America closer to Government 2.0, where the public’s ability to access and provide advice to Members of Congress is enhanced by new technology and new online participation. As many of you know, I am very active through Twitter, Facebook, and my blog. I intend to make my new site be an example for other member sites to follow. Congress must take advantage of Web 2.0 technologies, to transform the relationship between citizens and government. Instead of viewing the public as a customer for services, I believe that we should empower citizens to become our partners in shaping the future of our nation.

The project has gone live, you can view the entries by clicking here.

I would love to hear your comments about this initiative. You can leave them on my blog here.

I will be posting more information soon about the voting process once we begin recieving entries for consideration.

This has just launched, but… Find the specific details about this initiative here.

What a fascinating idea — and how fun will it be to watch this as it evolves.

Written by cdorobek

June 3, 2009 at 7:34 AM