Archive for November 2011
As we approach the end of 2011, we start to look back at the year that has been. GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek through December will look at the issues, topics and people that defined 2011 — and that will help define the year ahead. As always, we focus on six words: Helping you do your job better.
And it’s GovLoop, so we want your insights.
This is the initial list off the top of my head. Love to hear your thoughts — or add your own.
Another significant milestone this week — and it involves GovLoop. The up-start social network for government passed 50,000 members this week. GovLoop founder Steve Ressler said he remembers being a fed and being asked to do something that every agency was doing — yet being frustrated that there wasn’t an effective way to share what worked — and what didn’t. And GovLoop was created. It’s a remarkable platform and Steve deserves a lot of credit for having created it. Over the weekend, we’ll post my conversation with Steve Ressler about the creation of GovLoop.
And don’t miss the GovLoop/NASPAA scholarship contest — GovLoop asked if they only had $100 million to spend, what would they do. Read the answers — and vote for your favorites… we have the link online. To use a Steve Ressler term — awesome.
But the GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week, as it has been so often this year — it’s the budget. First the good news, such that it is…
The House and Senate managed to pass a budget bill. The Washington Post calls it a detailed vision of the federal government on a diet.” The House and Senate late in the week approved a $130.4 billion measure to fund five Cabinet departments, the first big budget bill since this summer’s promise of greater austerity.
And this week, the Obama administration announced the winner for the third round of the SAVE awards — the Securing Americans Value and Efficiency awards. This is a contest to find the best way to save money. There were four finalist for the ideas they proposed — the person who proposed the winning idea gets to meet with President Obama. And the winner is… Matthew Ritsko of Crofton, MD, who recommended the creation of a centralized tool repository, or “lending library,” for NASA employees to use when developing and building space flight projects.
From the SAVE award page:
Create a tool “lending library” for NASA flight projects
Matthew Ritsko of Crofton, Maryland
Financial Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
At Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA employees purchase specialized tools and ground support equipment for developing and building flight projects. Many of the tools are not tracked once projects are complete, and as a result funds are wasted on duplicative purchases. In order to cut down on repeat purchases, Matthew suggests creating a centralized tool repository — or “lending library” — where these tools can be stored, catalogued, and checked in and out by NASA employees.
Before we head off, I want to note that there are a few extras that you can find online — including some great weekend reading. I have links to a story about how the Department of Veterans Affairs has worked to create an app to help people assess if they have PTSD. Very cool. And a story about 5 Government Procurement Practices That Stifle Innovation… three types of people that you should fire immediately… and a reading list from the Wall Street Journal of books for entrepreneurs. Among the books: a CJD fav: Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims. An awesome book — particularly for government right now.
But before we talk budget… some of the other stories that defined the second week of first week of November 2011…
After the break, we highlight some of the big stories of the week… including a fed jobs bill… USAJobs update… TSP’s October numbers…