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04.10.2012 DorobekINSIDER: The STOCK Act impact on senior executives; leadership lessons from presidents; and libraries 2.0

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Happy Tuesday.

There are so many good, interesting stories about government doing good — and those stories are out there, but… we start again today with GSA. Yet another GSA official has been put on leave. The second in command of GSA’s Public Building Service has been placed on leave in the wake of the 2010 conference. The Washington Post reports that David Foley is the fourth senior official at the agency to get swept up as a result of the incident. Desa Sealy was appointed interim deputy commissioner. Linda Chero is acting commissioner, coming in from the Mid-Atlantic region. And lawmakers in both parties are calling for hearings.

The Washington Post’s Joe Davidson says today that all feds pay the price for the GSA scandal. “Workers throughout the government will pay a price, too, and it will continue long after the news releases stop,” Davidson says, and he quotes a note from the Washington Post story that broke the news. That federal employee said:

“Unfortunately for those of us in agencies where a. we don’t have money for conferences to begin with, and b. we aren’t even allowed funds to buy coffee when we have on site meetings, the result of the GSA excesses will be increased scrutiny of all travel and training requests. So all of us, honest thrifty agencies included, will have to jump through more hoops and spend more time justifying everything we do.”

And just to further Joe Davidson’s point: Bloomberg has a story about a Justice Department event, including one in Instanbul on drug enforcement, that cost almost twice as much.

We can only hope that cooler, more rational people will make the case that it is important for government employees get out of their office — to learn, to speak to people. But it is also a reminder that almost every action you take is going to be assessed, analyzed, and yes, critiqued, so these events are going to have to be tied to the mission in some way, shape or form.

One final GSA note before we move on: A blast from GSA’s past, and yes, we mean a blast, in every sense of that word: Former GSA Administrator Lurita Doan appeared on Fox and Friends to offer her thoughts on the GSA situation. And Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson credited Doan for running a tight ship.

One has to remember Doan was fired by the Bush administration not for a contract that she tried to give to her friend that was never awarded, as Fox News suggested. Nor was she fired for allegations that she used her position in the administration to help Republican candidates. She was fired for her mismanagement of the agency. There are many things that can be said about Lurita Doan — and many of the things that were said were unfair. But she did not help GSA — and she did not run a tight ship.

And we all remember this…

GSA aside, we have a good program for you today…

All that ahead…
But after the break… we start with the stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 10 of April, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

The STOCK Act and what it means for federal senior executives
Bill Bransford is a partner at Bransford & Roth. He is the General Counsel to the Senior Executives Association and represents the association on Capitol Hill
On GovLoop: What is the STOCK Act? Why are SESers up in arms?
GovTrack.us: S. 2038: STOCK Act
Senior Executive Service letter to the Senate about the STOCK Act

Leadership lessons from Presidents
Michael Eric Siegel, author of the book, The President as Leader

On GovLoop: What You can Learn from Presidential Leadership Styles

Libraries 2.0: How they’re changing
Larry Eichel, project manager for the Pew Charitable Trust’s initiative, The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future

On GovLoop: Budget cuts and myriad services: The changing role of libraries

GovLoop: Libraries as Linchpins of #Gov20 and #OpenGov

GovLoop: Should government better utilize libraries to engage citizens both conventionally and electronically?

GovLoop: Shifting Roles for Public Libraries: From Supporting Player to Community Engagement Leader

And join the GovLoop group: Libraries – Local, State, and Federal

Before we finish up… a few closing items…

  • You probably heard that Facebook bought Instagram — the photo sharing app — for $1 billion yesterday.  And news that Encyclopedia Britannicia was going to stop printing the iconic bookssales have gone through the roof, by the way… but you may not have heard about the Yellow Pages — yes, the Yellow Pages. The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T reached a deal to sell a majority stake in Yellow Pages to Cerberus Capital Management, a deal that values the business at about $1.42 billion in equity — and they note that is still more than Yelp.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is one of the government’s newest agencies. And they are building the organization from the ground up. The bureau’s Matthew Burton announced yesterday that the bureau is making all of its source code open and sharable. Burton writes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is fortunate to be born in the digital era. “We’ve been able to rethink many of the practices that make financial products confusing to consumers and certain regulations burdensome for businesses. We’ve also been able to launch the CFPB with a state-of-the-art technical infrastructure that’s more stable and more cost-effective than an equivalent system was just ten years ago.”
  • And congratulations to Tim Hartman, who has been named president of the Government Executive Media Group. Hartman has been with Government Executive since 2007. Peter Goldstone, who served as GovExec’s Group President, has returned to Hanley-Wood.

Written by cdorobek

April 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

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