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Archive for April 19th, 2010

DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of April 11-17: Better Buy Project, TSP, and SESers

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The most read stories the week of April 3-10, 2010… on the, on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, on Mike Causey’s Federal Report, and for

…from the

  1. DorobekINSIDER: The Better Buy Project: Seeking to build a better procurement process
  2. The DorobekINSIDER iPad review: Will you see them in government?
  3. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of April 3-10: The iPad, TSP, and your thoughts about government HR
  4. The DorobekINSIDER Reader: The open government policies and plans
  5. DorobekINSIDER: Is that a ‘for sale’ sign at market research firm Input?
  6. DorobekINSIDER: CA CIO Teri Takai to be named DOD CIO
  7. DorobekINSIDER: Assessing transparency and open government
  8. DorobekInsider: OMB hires performance guru Shelley Metzenbaum
  9. DorobekINSIDER: WH makes it official: Takai nominated for DOD CIO post
  10. DorobekINSIDER: The 2010 Fed 100 Awards Gala: Eagle winners, and I blush
  11. DorobekINSIDER: GSA promotes Darren Blue to agency chief emergency response and recovery officer
  12. DorobekINSIDER: Jerry Lohfink, head of the USDA’s National Finance Center, to retire
  13. DorobekINSIDER: Get Federal News Radio on your iPhone
  14. DorobekINSIDER: Most read items for the week of March 28-April 3: DOD CIO and the Guam capsizing question

… from Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris

  1. TSP participants roll over record amount of investments
  2. Analysis: Change the role of the Postal Service to keep it viable
  3. OPM continues to modernize federal retirement system
  4. HReinvented: A comprehensive plan is needed for real reform
  5. GSA to update infrastructure for better mobility
  6. Congressman questions White House about unpaid interns
  7. Survey: More willing to sacrifice privacy for security
  8. GAO: DHS makes progress with National Infrastructure Protection Plan
  9. Department of Energy reveals $100 million Smart Grid training program
  10. Feds share thoughts about blizzard response with OPM Director John Berry
  11. Complications stall DoD’s Cyber Command
  12. USPS plan would make dramatic changes
  13. TSP funds continue to gain in March
  14. Preview: Where the NSPS transition stands
  15. Comptroller General nominee talks about issues facing GAO
  16. OPM uses new assessment tools for potential hires
  17. Now a good time to review where your money is in the TSP
  18. Bill introduced to allow annual leave contributions to TSP
  19. HReinvented: Will federal HR reforms work this time?
  20. Congressman Hank Johnson worried about Guam’s stability
  21. Timeline for TSP’s Roth option discussed
  22. Congressional staffers bring in big bucks
  23. GSA’s Dave McClure gives Open Government assessment
  24. Senior Medicare Patrol works to prevent Medicare fraud
  25. Education CIO takes active approach to cybersecurity
  26. Feds, on average, earn more than their private sector counterparts
  27. Devaney shares lessons learned about transparency, openness
  28. Unisys Security Index highlights cybersecurity cocerns
  29. DHS headquarters at St. Elizabeth’s making progress
  30. Where is the money? We track misallocated funds in the federal budget
  31. TSP measures up to private sector funds
  32. Why China isn’t the number one cyber threat to the U.S.
  33. OPM Director Berry furious over federal pay editorial
  34. Tuesday Afternoon Federal Newscast – April 13
  35. TSP participants could soon invest unused annual leave
  36. HReinvented: NRC as a model for federal HR reform?
  37. Better Buy Project wants your procurement ideas
  38. Will House healthcare bill affect the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program?
  39. New safety standards for federal facilities released
  40. More federal cybersecurity fighters needed
  41. All TSP funds see gains in 2009
  42. How the health care law will affect FEHBP participants
  43. Learn the importance of proper estate planning
  44. Is cyber war a reality . . . or impossible?
  45. Best practices gained from NextGen deployment
  46. Update: How health care reform will impact you
  47. National Security Roundup: 9/11-style terror plot foiled?
  48. Attendance level at nuclear summit high
  49. GAO examines the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

…for Mike Causey’s Federal Report

  1. TSP Millionaires & Record Rollovers
  2. Civil War in the FEHBP Risk Pool
  3. FEHBP Dodges Risk Pool Bullet
  4. FEHBP & the Dependent in Your Basement
  5. Federal Retiree – Social Security Benefits Flatline
  6. TSP Balances: Size Counts
  7. Summit Winners & Losers
  8. No shutdown for nuclear summit next week
  9. Are You Under CSRS, FERS or WUD?
  10. Teleworking and Government Shutdowns

… and from

  1. More agencies using resumes to bring on SESers
  2. The Senator from Delaware rises to praise federal workers
  3. GAO: Postal Service business model not working
  4. OPM takes smaller steps to modernize retirement processes
  5. GSA to rethink what success means
  6. OMB to set new real property policy
  7. DoD Cyber Command will take a defensive posture
  8. DISA’s Stempfley heading to DHS’s cybersecurity division
  9. HReinvented: OPM’s new database cuts hiring by 3 weeks
  10. House takes aim on Pentagon contracting reform
  11. Platts bids for Comptroller General job
  12. Bill to pay furloughed DoT workers is law
  13. HReinvented: Feds mixed on OPM’s HR reform plans, survey finds
  14. Data propels GSA’s plans for the acquisition workforce
  15. Postal Service prepares to move to five day delivery
  16. Agencies engage citizens with social collaboration
  17. Federal News Radio Reports
  18. NIAC gets additional White House study requests
  19. Agencies classifying less information
  20. OFPP defines ‘inherently governmental’
  21. Federal agencies release Open Government Plans
  22. OPM to submit hiring reform advice to White House next week
  23. White House ready to reveal identity management plans
  24. HReinvented: Employee unions call for tweaks to the system
  25. HReinvented: NRC aims to stay on top as ‘best place to work’
  26. Agency pilots help cultivate ‘inherently governmental’ changes
  27. OMB taking a deeper look at data centers
  28. GSA releases FY 2010 per diem rates
  29. High drug prices targeted in House FEHBP plan
  30. White House works to change online transactions
  31. When to consider moving your TSP funds around
  32. New standards for federal building security coming
  33. Commentary: FMA says hiring reforms must come first
  34. Federal govt. open Tuesday under delayed arrival, unscheduled leave
  35. OPM’s strategic plan sets roadmap to HR reform
  36. TSP Snapshot: Spring into savings
  37. OMB shutting down financial systems office
  38. OPM’s Berry considers turning telework on its ear
  39. Federal government closed on Thursday
  40. Health care reform and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program
  41. Telework, transportation top issues for BRAC
  42. OPM to create pools of qualified applicants
  43. OFPP to refine agency-contractor relationship
  44. OPM to host workshops on hiring
  45. EXCLUSIVE: OMB guidance sets technology tone for 2010, beyond
  46. OMB’s Werfel outlines future for financial managers
  47. OMB controller nominee Werfel would take deeper look at DoD’s books
  48. NMCI to NGEN = 43 months Navy says
  49. Air Force moving to global training perspective
  50. Coast Guard HQ at St. Elizabeths gets full speed ahead

Written by cdorobek

April 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM

DorobekINSIDER: The role of the CIO – and NASA gives the CIO authority

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One of the longest running — and somewhat tedious — debates within the government IT community: Does the CIO have a ‘seat at the table.’ I say tedious, but… most people believe it is also critically important. And therefore it garners regular discussion. For example, I moderated a panel at the 2009 Management of Change conference that looked at the changing role of the CIO… NextGov executive editor Allan Holmes when he was at CIO magazine wrote one of the seminal articles on the role of the CIO back in 1996… and just earlier this month, FCW’s John Zyskowski wrote a thoughtful feature story, The CIO 14 years later: Power vs. paperwork.

Despite being around for more than a decade now — CIO posts were created by law in government agencies in 1996 as a result of the Clinger-Cohen Act — the CIO still doesn’t seem to have been fully integrated into the leadership team at most agencies. They aren’t the strategic visionaries that are pushing for an agencies use of technology to help it accomplish its mission more effectively.

There are scores of reasons for that — more of which I’ll detail below. But I think there are some systemic reasons… and things are changing — some good, and some not great.

I’d put the largely unexplained changes going on at the Agriculture Department in the “questionable” category given that, by all accounts, the USDA CIO has been downgraded within the organization. (Frustratingly, I have been unable to get somebody from USDA to explain the details of their reorganization, so it remains the subject of conjecture rather then public discussion. So much for government openness.)

But there has been a quite, fairly significant development at NASA. NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. has changed the organization chart to give the NASA CIO direct reporting authority to the NASA administration, industry sources tell me and NASA officials have confirmed. But, almost as important, Bolden has changed the reporting authority at the NASA centers around the country report to the NASA CIO with a “dotted line” reporting authority to the individual directors at the centers.

This is a powerful step.

I haven’t been able to determine if the NASA CIO has ‘the power of the purse’ — the Holy Gail in government terms. Currently, the CIO for the Department of Veterans Affairs has spending authority by law. The Homeland Security Department CIO had that authority by policy under former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. I have not been able to confirm if the current DHS CIO still has that authority.

It is an enormous step if Federal CIO Vivek Kundra wants to actually carry out some of his proposed changes — or any real changes, for that matter. Last week, I got to hear Kundra speak at the Brookings Institution about cloud computing — and he discussed a “cloud first” strategy where agencies will look at the cloud as an option. The fact is that this instituting this kind of change requires changing the “clay layer” within agencies — agency leaders get it, and front line works just want to be able to do their jobs. It is the “clay layer” that blocks much of the government change. And most people like the control and power that comes with having their own server nearby them.

There are many ways to deal with the clay, but… one way in government is through spending, and that requires that CIOs to have the power of the purse. Of course, with that responsibility given to CIOs comes a responsibility to actually listen to people — to not become “CI-NOs,” as too often happens.

Some additional reading:

* OMB 2008 memo on the role of the CIO

A bit before Karen Evans left government, Karen Evans crafted a memo on the role of the CIO. You can read the draft memo for yourself.

* DHS CIO and the ‘power of the purse’ from back in 2007:

Here is FCW’s March 2007 story about the DHS CIO announcement. I also made it FCW’s Buzz of the Week for the week of March 19, 2007… and the following week, in FCW’s editorial, under the headline Show ‘em the money, I gave DHS credit for giving the DHS CIO spending authority over IT spending.

Written by cdorobek

April 19, 2010 at 9:19 AM