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DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week: The budget

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The GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek…  where each week we try to pick a issue… idea… person… or topic that defined the past 7-days… but also choose one that will define the days… weeks… and months ahead… As always, we focus on six words: Helping you do your job better.Generally we hold off telling you what the big story is, but… not this week. This week’s big story is the budget. And there was a lot of budget news this week…

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…

And one of the big stories of the week also involves your money… and your job…

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee started looking at a bill that seeks to reduce the federal workforce through attrition by 10 percent by 2015.

National Journal reports that the sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), estimates the legislation would save $139 billion over the next decade. The measure calls for hiring one federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job.

Meanwhile, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said its time to stop beating up on feds. Jacob Lew, speaking at a Politico event this week, also told feds that they shouldn’t take it personally if you don’t get a pay raise soon. The Washington Post reports that it is too early to say if federal employees will see a pay raise in fiscal 2013 — of course, feds have seen two years of pay freezes.

A few other HR type stories…

USAJobs 3.0 update

We’ve been following the difficult launch of the updated version of USAJobs — the federal jobs Web site that has been plagued with problems. At the Government Learning conference this week sponsored by American Society for Training & Development and Public Manager magazine, I got to talk to John Berry, the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Both at that conference — and in a call with reporters— he acknowledged that the launch was… less than perfect, but he told me that he believe the site has been turned around.DC snow
Two other items. One more for people in the Washington, DC area — and it involves snow — and we all remember snowtober and snowmagedon. OPM does too — and this week, OPM announced new guidance in the event of snow events. Anybody in DC remembers the traffic nightmare earlier this year when snow moved into DC and the federal government let employees go early. The combination caused region-wide gridlock. OPM’s new guidance, the Washington Post reports: Leave the office by the time we tell you to go home — or stay put until we say the roads are safe.October TSP numbers
And before we move on from people issues… it’s the first Friday of the month so a quick assessment of how the Thrift Savings Plan accounts performed. And October was a good month for most of the TSP funds — positive numbers across the board. For the year, all funds are in positive territory except for the S-fund, the I fund made up of international stocks, and the L2040 fund.
October 2011 TSP Monthly Returns

October 2011 TSP Monthly Returns

And we’ll talk about more money — specifically the budget — just ahead.

OFPPs changing of the guard: The big procurement story of the week: The Obama administration’s procurement chief is stepping down. OMB announced this week that Dan Gordon, who has led the Office of Federal Procurement Policy for nearly three years, is leaving. He will become the associate dean for government contracts law at George Washington University Law School. Dan Gordon has been a forceful advocate for the procurement workforce during his tenure and he leaves big shoes to fill.

But the GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week… well, the budget, of course.

The Senate this week approved must-do legislation to fund the day-to-day budgets of five Cabinet agencies, kick-starting long overdue work to add the details to budget limits agreed to by President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans this summer. The vote sets up negotiations with the GOP-controlled House on final legislation that could be presented to the president before Thanksgiving.

Hanging over the work on fiscal 2012 is the budget supercommittee, which must make its recommendations in just a few weeks.

All of this is has an enormous impact on how the government operates.

Ray Bjorklund is the chief knowledge office for market research firm Deltek. He says that we’ve been through several ages of austerity, but this one could be different…

Ray Bjorklund, chief knowledge officer for Deltek. I got to moderate a panel this week with Ray as well as Richard Spires, the chief information officer for the Department of Homeland Security and Dave Wennergren, the Defense Department’s deputy chief management officer. The consensus coming out of that session is that these are difficult times but that there are some real opportunities — if people choose to step up to those opportunities.

And that brings us to the GovLoop Insights Question of the Week: Does the government take the deficit seriously?

A few stories that didn’t make the podcast but are worth reading:

* UK seeks insights from government workers: The UK Cabinet Office is asking its government workers how government can operate better using a “Tell Us How” Web site

* Open government: Alive and kicking? Yes, argues John Kamensky of the IBM Center for the Business of Government in Federal Times… and one of the IBM Center’s new reports: Assessing Public Participation in an Open Government Era

* A new report out from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government: From Government 2.0 to Society 2.0: Pathways to Engagement, Collaboration, and Transformation

* And from the Harvard Business Review: Social Media versus Knowledge Management

Written by cdorobek

November 4, 2011 at 7:14 PM

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