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03.15.2012 Decrypting Open Government, Recovery.gov gets a Makeover and What Innovators DON’T say

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On today’s program…

  • What is open government anyway? One of the challenges to making open government real is that the term itself could be a  Rorschach test: People see what they want to see. So what does it mean to be open and transparent? Harlan Yu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. He has co-author of research: “The New Ambiguity of ‘Open Government.” He told me why everyone has a VERY different interpretation of what open government is.
  • Regulations.gov, 2.0… The eRulemaking Program team says this is the
    first installment in a series of website developments scheduled for this year. The substantial
    redesign aims to effectively relaunch the site to meet the goals in the President’s Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review Executive Order. John Moses is the Director at
    EPA’s Collection Strategies Division. He told me about the improved regulations dot gov
    site better.
  • Sometimes its easy to get swept up in a great idea. But what a person’s NOT saying could be just as important as what they are. That’s what Michael Schrage,l a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, is writing about in the Harvard Business Review. Michael told me why its important to pay attention to the things that DIDN’T happen.


We start with the stories that impact your life for Thursday the 15 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

  • Freeze or no freeze. No pay freeze, at least for now. The Senate has rejected an amendment that would have extended the federal pay freeze to January 2014. Senators voted down the amendment by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts. The Washington Post says the vote came during debate on the federal highway funding measure. The White House has said it will oppose any effort to extend the pay freeze for another year to pay for federal programs or to pay down the federal deficit.
  • The Senate has given final approval to a two-year, $109 billion blueprint for transportation. The bill gives states greater spending flexibility, sets standards for mass transit and buys time to find a solution for a funding system teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. The Washington Post says the bipartisan bill was approved just 17 days before current transportation funding and authority to collect the federal gas tax that support it ran out. The House has yet to approve a similar bill.
  • Back in 2010 the Office of Management and Budget decided to halt 30 financial management projects to look for best practices. But a Government Accountability Office audit found the pauses failed to improve their schedule or budget performance. Federal Computer Week says thirteen agencies said the reviews led to no change in long term costs. And sixteen agencies said no improvement in schedule occurred. In a few cases, project costs actually went up.
  • YOU try putting monitary policy in 140 characters. The Federal Reserve is trying a new approach to citizen engagement — they’re tweetingBloomberg news says the Federal Reserve is posting its press releases, speeches, testimony and reports to Congress — even its weekly balance sheet. It’s all part of the Fed’s effort to have more real time and personal conversations with the public.
  • SAIC — Science Applications International Corporation, will pay $500 million in restitution as a result of a scandal ridden contract. SAIC was the main contractor for New York’s CityTime automated payroll project.The New York Times says CityTime was contracted to streamline employee timekeeping and crack down on public workers who tried to pad their paychecks with undeserved overtime. It instead became a major embarrassment for the Bloomberg administration, as lengthy delays and giant cost overruns led to a federal investigation.
  • Last summer’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake may have titled the ground surrounding the Washington Monument. WTOP says, surveyors are taking measurements from several long-established points in the ground. The monument sits about 15 to 20 feet above sea level and has sunk 2 inches since it was completed in 1884. The earthquake caused several large cracks in the monument…the repairs are expected to cost 15 million dollars.
  • Here’s a little fun fact for today. Have you heard of the Barry White voting effect? Two university professors have found that that voters prefer political candidates with lower resonating voices. so…insert funny line here…
  • And, over onGovLoop were talking about Congress’ proposed gradual retirement bill. The measure would reduce work schedules as employee approaches retirement. The employees would receive their income from a combination of salary and retirement benefits. This new authority would be subject to a requirement that part of the individuals time would have to be spent mentoring other employees. What do you think? Head over and chime in.

Written by jarvisdorobek

March 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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