Archive for the ‘White House’ Category
Happy Monday — I hope you had a good weekend.
And I’ve had a bunch of people ask me about the new iPad. I don’t have it… YET. Yes, it was supposed to be delivered Friday, but… we are putting on an addition at home and there was an electrical issues, so… I wasn’t home on Friday to get it. I’ll get it today and report back, of course.
On today’s program…
- Everybody is thinking mobile. And there will be a plan very soon. We’ll get a preview from the federal Deputy CIO Linda Schlosser.
- The American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council have been bringing government and industry together for decades. We’ll talk to the leaders of both of those organization about what is changing in 2012.
- Do you have a password on your smartphone? We will tell you why you just may want to do that.
All that ahead…
But after the break… we’ll start with the stories that impact your life for Monday the 19 of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…
Amazon’s Web Service’s government arm has scored a coup — hiring Frank DiGiammarino, who left the White House late last year.
The DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that DiGiammarino has been named Amazon Web Service‘s director of innovation and global expansion for Amazon Web Services, which is mostly known for books but has been making a big play in the cloud — and in government. And that includes some smart hires. Last year, Amazon hired Teresa Carlson, who had led Microsoft Federal.
DiGiammarino left the White House earlier this year where he served as an advisor to the Vice President for recovery implementation and director of the Recovery Implementation Office. In that job, he was responsible to ensuring the $787 billion in stimulus got out into the economy as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Here he is at 2010’s Gov 2.0 Summit talking about the stimulus spendings impact on innovation:
DiGiammarino is widely respected, previously serving as the vice president of strategic initiatives for the National Academy of Public Administration, where he helped created the innovative Collaboration Project. The Collaboration Project was developed along with Lena Trudeau, who is now at the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service’s Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic Innovations. It was designed to be a place where government could collaborate around collaboration.
This is only the latest in some high profile people jumping into the cloud. Carlson joined Amazon Web Services last year, and Viveck Kundra, the former federal chief information officer, announced that he is joining Salesforce.com.
After the break… read DiGammarino’s full bio…
Schlosser has been at the Environmental Protection Agency since 2008, initial overseeing the Office of Information Collection and most recently as the principal deputy associate administrator for EPA’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education. Before that, she was the CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (NOTE: This information has been updated at of 06.02.2011.)
Schlosser is widely respected within the CIO community and she has an impressive resume having experience across a wide variety of issues, including cyber-security. She also served as a military intelligence officer for the Army. Her efforts have also been recognized with Federal Computer Week’s 2008 Fed 100 award and the Laureate Award by the Computerworld Honors Program.
Before HUD, she was the associate CIO and chief information security officer at Transportation Department and she served as the vice-president for Business Operations and Response Services for Global Integrity and a a senior manager for Ernst & Young.
Schlosser is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves and did a tour of duty in the Middle East during the Iraq war.
Read her full bio after the break:
Today is the day — potential shutdown day.
While there are reports that progress has been made in budget discussions, midnight is the deadline. (National Journal has a great blow-by-blow about how we actually got to this place… after six continuing resolutions.)
National Journal’s insiders are saying that there will be a government shutdown… and the Gallup poll suggests the public wants a compromise, while the Pew survey shows sharp division among the public about who is to blame for this mess…
But what about the DorobekINSIDERs? We are asking you —
The Office of Management and Budget has just issued a new policy for dealing with Internet “cookies” — these are text files that a Web site can put on your computer to track how you traverse the site.
Cookies enable Web site personalization — for example, the allow a Web site to remember you and, maybe, the items you put in your online shopping cart. But they have always been watched by some privacy advocates because of the potential implications — for example, they could track a visitor’s travels to other sites. [Read how cookies work here… and how to delete them here.]
The federal government has been all but banned from using persistent Internet cookies because of those privacy concerns. OMB has just issued new policy guidance would enable agencies to use this tool. And Federal News Radio’s Max Cacas reported on the new policies on the Dorobek Insider on Friday. You can find his report here.
This is an issue I’ve followed for a long time (here is the FCW editorial I wrote on the subject back in 2006) — and, to be honest, I’m suspicious of the new policy. That being said, I have just started reading them.
The new OMB policy seeks to re-balance the privacy considerations given that the ban was instituted more than a decade ago. The idea: Times have changed and people are more accepting of these tools.
As I say, I’m reading the policies now, but… It is important to be very clear — agencies were absolutely not banned from using cookies. They had been banned from using PERSISTENT cookies — cookies that can track you long term. I didn’t get a chance to read all the comments that came in — and unfortunately OMB has not kept those comments online. And I still have to read the policies, but… I have year to hear a convincing argument why agencies must have persistent cookies. Some argue that the private sector does it, but that argument is specious — the government is not the private sector. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the private sector does. (Should government follow the Facebook privacy model?)
I’m reading the new policies with an open mind, but… I’m very suspicious.
The 2010 cookie/federal Web privacy policies:
* OMB policy M-10-22: Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies [PDF] [Scribd]
* OMB policy M-10-23: Guidance for Agency Use of Third-Party Websites and Applications [PDF] [Scribd]
How these came about…
Giving OMB credit, they tried to evolve these policies in a relatively public way. As I seem to say a lot these days, I think they could have developed it in a public way. That being said, it would be nice if the comments were still available.
Here were some of the discussion:
By federal CIO Vivek Kundra and Michael Fitzpatrick, associate administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Policy
In June 2000, the OMB Director issued a memorandum (M-00-13, later updated by M-03-22) that prohibited Federal agencies from using certain web-tracking technologies, primarily persistent cookies, due to privacy concerns, unless the agency head approved of these technologies because of a compelling need. That was more than nine years ago. In the ensuing time, cookies have become a staple of most commercial websites with widespread public acceptance of their use. For example, every time you use a “shopping cart” at an online store, or have a website remember customized settings and preferences, cookies are being used.
* WhiteHouse.gov blog post: Enhancing Online Citizen Participation Through Policy [June 16, 2009]
By Kundra and Fitzpatrick
Last week, Vivek Kundra and Katie Stanton talked about the efforts underway to introduce more Web 2.0 technologies to the federal government sites and to open more back-and-forth communication between the American people and the government. Some of this naturally requires the adoption of new approaches and innovative technologies. But another big part of this is updating existing practices and how these tools can be used to break down barriers to communication and information.
We continue to ask for your feedback, but the best feedback is informed feedback. So what follows is background on current policies and some examples of what we’ve heard from you during the Brainstorming phase of our outreach.
Here is the specific section on cookies:
* WhiteHouse.gov blog: Cookies Anyone (the http kind)? [July 24, 2009]
By Bev Godwin, who was on assignment to the White House at the time. She is currently GSA’s Director of USA.gov and the Office of Citizen Service’s Web Best Practices Office
Nine years ago – a lifetime in Internet time – the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a policy commonly referred to as “the cookies policy. “This policy prohibited federal agencies from using certain web-tracking technologies, primarily persistent cookies, unless the agency head provided a waiver. This may sound like arcane, boring policy – but it is really important in the online world.
Unfortunately in this post, Godwin points to a site where people could post comments — http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/07/24/cookiepolicy. Unfortunately that page doesn’t seem to exist. It would be great to see the comments now.content is important to our citizens. We can use that data to improve the content and navigation of our sites.”
* WhiteHouse.gov blog post: On Cookies [August 11, 2009]
By Kundra and Fitzpatrick
Our main goal in revisiting the ban on using persistent cookies on Federal websites is to bring the federal government into the 21st century. Consistent with this Administration’s commitment to making government more open and participatory, we want federal agencies to be able to provide the same user- friendly, dynamic, and citizen-centric websites that people have grown accustomed to using when they shop or get news online or communicate through social media networks, while also protecting people’s privacy.
It is clear that protecting the privacy of citizens who visit government websites must be one of the top considerations in any new policy. This is why we’ve taken such a cautious approach going forward and why we felt it so important to get feedback and hear from people on this. While we wanted to get people’s ideas for improving our policy, we also needed to hear any concerns so that we could understand better where potential pitfalls might lie.
Going back a decade… some of the discussion that led to the persistent cookie ban.
[The CIO Council] strongly support the requirement that the use of any technology, including persistent cookies, to track the activities of users on web sites be approved personally by the head of the executive department (for the 14 executive departments) or agency.
As we make progress towards electronic government, personalization of web sites, typically done through persistent cookies, may become necessary in order to serve our customer’s requirements. At that time, it would be appropriate for OMB to review the “no delegation” policy in light of the then-current “state-of-the-art” in privacy protections. For example, OMB may decide to relax this policy when customers are given a choice of selecting either a personalized (i.e., with persistent cookie) or non-personalized (no persistent cookie) web experience.
* Letter from Spotila to Baker, clarification of OMB Cookies Policy (September 5, 2000)
We are concerned about persistent cookies even if they do not themselves contain personally identifiable information. Such cookies can often be linked to a person after the fact, even where that was not the original intent of the web site operator. For instance, a person using the computer later may give his or her name or e-mail address to the agency. It may then be technically easy for the agency to learn the complete history of the browsing previously done by users of that computer, raising privacy concerns even when the agency did not originally know the names of the users.
* M-00-13, Privacy Policies and Data Collection on Federal Web Sites (June 22, 2000)
* M-99-18, Privacy Policies on Federal Web Sites (June 2, 1999)
These seems to be a very important step — changing the way feds look at the process of hiring. Specifically, doing away with KSAs seems like a important step. I had one friend who was applying for a federal job who said her first relationship with the federal government was with bureaucracy through the knowledge, skills and abilities essays. They represent an odd relic that seemed to serve no real purpose.
The real question, as GovExec editor in chief Tom Shoop rightly points out, is how these reforms actually get implemented — what changes, and how they change.
Here is the rundown of the changes, according to the OPM release:
In his Memorandum, President Obama directed Federal agencies to:
- Dramatically reduce the time between when a job is announced and is filled.
- Eliminate essay-s as an initial application requirement. Essays may still be used later in the process. Under the previous system, if an individual applied for five separate Federal jobs, he or she often needed to complete five separate sets of lengthy essays.
- Use shorter, plain-language job announcements.
- Accept resumes from applicants, instead of requiring them to submit complex applications through outdated systems.
- Allow hiring managers to choose from among a group of best qualified candidates, rather than limiting their choice to just three names, through expanded use of “category ratings.”
- Notify applicants in a timely manner (and at four points in the process) through USAJobs.gov – eliminating the “black hole” that applicants often feel they when they get no response to their application.
- Submit a hiring and recruitment plan for top talent to OPM by the end of this year.
- Have all Cabinet-level and Senior Administration Officials visiting universities or colleges on official business incorporate time to discuss career opportunities in the Federal service with students.
Additionally, the President directed OPM to:
- Design a government-wide plan for recruiting and hiring qualified, diverse talent.
- Review the Federal Career Intern Program and, within 90 days, offer a recommendation to the President on its future and on providing effective pathways into the Federal service for college students and graduates.
- Work with agencies to ensure that best practices are being developed and used throughout Government.
Some other resources around the hiring reforms:
* The OPM’s new hiring reform Web site: http://www.opm.gov/hiringreform/
* The guidance to agencies: Comprehensive Recruitment and Hiring Reform, Implementation of the President’s Memorandum of May 11, 2010
- Federal News Radio: OPM hosts CHCO hiring reforms summit today [May 12, 2010]
- Federal News Radio: Executive Order seals OPM hiring reforms [May 10, 2010]
- Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief: Mike Causey weighs in on federal hiring reform [May 12, 2010]
- Federal News Radio: NTEU wants merit system preserved with hiring reform [May 13, 2010]
- Federal News Radio 1500 AM: How federal hiring reforms will affect managers [May 14, 2010]
- Federal Times: DHS plans hiring overhaul
- GovExec.com: Essay-based job applications are on the way out [May 12, 2010]
- GovExec’s Tom Shoop: Making Hiring Reform Real [May 11, 2010]
- Federal Times: White House orders reforms to speed hiring
- Federal Times’s FedLine blog: Who knew hiring reform could be so exciting?
Today, of course, is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which is widely considered to be the birth of the modern environmental movement. But the Obama administration has also made green government a cornerstone initiative.
So… the DorobekINSIDER Reader: Earth Day
* Earlier this week on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke with Michelle Moore, the Federal Environmental Executive in the White House. Read more and hear the interview here.
* In fact, the Chief Architect of the Capitol has a page dedicated to Green the Capitol.
* Windmills over Treasury: The Treasury Department announced today that beginning July 31, the main Treasury building and the Treasury Department annex will use wind power to supply 100 percent of its energy demand.
This comes on the heels of Treasury’s announcement earlier this week of an initiative to make a dramatic shift from paper to electronic transactions, a move that is expected to save more than $400 million and 12 million pounds of paper in the first five years alone. Together these two new initiatives will greatly reduce Treasury’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.
* VA’s solar hospitals: Meanwhile the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it has conducted studies evaluating the potential use of renewable fuels in energy plants supplying 38 VA medical centers around the country… and awarded $20.2 million to install solar energy systems at 18 VA medical centers.
* GSA follows the sun: Previous, Federal News Radio told you that GSA’s Denver Federal Center has one of the largest solar facilities in the country.
Happy Earth Day!