San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has made headlines with his proposed pension reform initiative that would allow local governments to negotiate changes to government employees’ retirement benefits. However, the most recent stories in the media were not good news: Reed sued Attorney General Kamala Harris over the title and summary she assigned to the initiative,… Keep reading →
Looking beyond the current debt crisis, the Obama Administration (and future presidents for that matter) should expect continued stiff resistance from the Congress whenever the ceiling needs to be increased. No one likes to vote for a debt ceiling increase; there’s no clear upside and plenty of down, particularly for members of Congress who were elected promising to hold the line on spending and taxes.
Moreover, the composition of our accumulated debt is incomprehensible; just seems to be a growing miasma of political toxicity – a debt blob. Notwithstanding imaginative, though apparently unworkable, short-term fixes like the platinum coin, there needs to be consideration of ideas beyond the binary choice of Congress either enacting a debt ceiling increase or failing to act and putting the nation into default. Keep reading →
If any technology in the last 25 years has demonstrated the consequences of too much of a good thing, it’s email. For employees in so many organizations, email’s sheer volume has made it almost counterproductive. That’s one reason why so many federal agencies are turning to social media tools for interpersonal collaboration.
Social tools don’t eliminate email, just as email didn’t wipe out phone calls or the occasional formal document. But they can enable directly relevant communications among members of a workgroup for the real-time collaboration required of efficient workflows. Keep reading →
The U.S. Treasury has always been a place where people could find something green, but this time the term is not referring to money. The U.S. Treasury building has obtained a green environmental designation, probably the oldest federal building to earn one. It has reduced its operating costs by $3.5 million annually as a result.
If the Treasury, built first in 1836, can go green and utilize smarter systems management, then most of the rest of government should be relatively easy, according to experts in the field. All it takes is a little ingenuity, a great deal of effort and a desire. And a presidential executive order helps too. Keep reading →
We know things will be different in 2013. Already, we know tight budgets will be further tightened, and those of us providing services and solutions to the federal government will need to be more focused on the value we can deliver and problems we can solve to help our customers move forward in the new landscape.
Since we know changes are coming, now is a great time to assess your organization’s public relations and marketing strategies for the New Year, to make sure you’re answering your customers’ questions and concerns. And you want higher visibility and awareness, to ensure they can find you when they need you in 2013. Keep reading →
The Defense Department has awarded a first of its kind joint enterprise licensing agreement for Microsoft collaboration, mobility, productivity and security tools. Valued at $617 million, the three-year agreement will allow the Army, Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency to begin using the latest versions of the company’s products.
The agreement creates a single framework providing all three organizations with a single, standardized way to access new Microsoft technologies. The contract also supports top DOD IT goals for data center consolidation, collaboration, cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing and big data, company officials said in a statement. Keep reading →
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, our government not only needed to improve its counterterrorism intelligence, but also share information better, faster, and smarter. We found that our national security relies on our ability to share the right information, with the right people, at the right time – and we must “enlist all of our intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security capabilities,” as the National Security Strategy states.
This article was adopted from a blog post written by Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the Information Sharing Environment program.
On December 19, the President signed the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding (NSISS). This new National Strategy is part of a policy continuum that includes Section 1016 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the 2007 National Strategy for Information Sharing, Executive Orders 13587 and 13388, the ISE Presidential Guidelines, and the National Security Strategy. Keep reading →
Life in a government agency can toggle between extremes. At one end you find highly regular and predictable patterns such as the day-to-day processing of claims, forms, receipts, licenses, and benefits. At the other end are sudden, ad hoc situations, often brought on by an external event. And sometimes, people simply realize there is a better way to do things that makes them faster, more efficient, or less expensive.
So regardless, every organization should be continually striving to improve its business processes. Today, easy-to-use technologies make changing and automating such processes a snap. Staff involved in performing the mission can model an activity and design a workflow to support it. And, key to federal organizations, those resulting workflows take into account the laws and regulations embedded in legacy systems from which the new application draws data. Keep reading →