Breaking Down the Transition – Plus Your DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • The election’s over. Now it’s time to concentrate on the transition. So what should the Obama team be looking at? Insights from the former CIO at the Transportation Department - Dan Mintz. Click here for the full recap.
  • How should you prepare for the 1st 100 days? It’s the time agencies and the administration can really get rolling on projects. If they are up and running. So how do you do that? Insights from the Partnership for Public Service. Click here for the full recap.
Transition Tuesday Lawmakers are back for a lame-duck session, and there are some federal employee issues on the agenda. The Washington Post reports among the measures awaiting action is one affecting federal whistleblowers and a U.S. Postal Service bill that has a government-wide workers’ compensation provision. Meanwhile, the federal CIO Steven VanRoekel seems to have suggested that he will be staying in the Obama administration -- via Twitter, no less. The Industry Advisory Council has just published it’s Quadrennial Government Technology Review about how the federal government can use technology. Programming note: We will be talking to Molly O’Neill, one of the leaders of that initiative, Wednesday on GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER. For Obama 2: Who could stay? Who could go? Federal News Radio has a Cabinet Tracker. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus. Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with the transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And speaking of Petraeus... Who doesn’t love a sex scandal. That being said, there are some real issues here. The Christian Science Monitor suggests that the Petraeus scandal enable fiscal cliff deal by diverting media glare. With media locked on the melodrama involving the ex-CIA director and his biographer – and now ensnaring other top officials – the looming fiscal cliff wrangle is receiving less attention than anticipated. That could help. The National Journal writes that the David Petraeus affair gives a look into digital surveillance laws. The FBI's digital detective work not only brought down CIA Director David Petraeus, it also provided rare insights into the bureau's latest methods for tracking people across cyberspace and the fight over government surveillance. End the Duplication The White House has posted a report for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Streamlining Paperwork for Executive Nominations Final. The report proposes reducing duplications in the paperwork nominees must fill out and presented a detailed plan for the creation and implementation of an electronic smart form. The recommendations were adopted unanimously by the members of a bipartisan working group called for in a nominations reform bill enacted three months ago. The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. Veterans Affairs has awarded a five-year contract to HP Enterprise Services to provide a department-wide, cloud computing based email and calendaring infrastructure to the VA's 600,000 users. AOL Gov says the $36 millions dollar contract will use Microsoft Office 365 for Government.
  2. The government is continuing to expand benefits policies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, clearing the way for certain emergency relief employees to be eligible for federal health insurance and soliciting donations of leave for affected federal workers. The Office of Personnel Management plans to publish on Wednesday rules effective immediately making relief workers who are hired on an intermittent basis by agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency eligible under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The Washington Post says such employees often work in conditions that may expose them to various environmental hazards, OPM said, noting that earlier this year it had expanded eligibility to those who work for the government on a temporary basis to fight wildland fires. Agencies that employ the workers will first have to ask OPM to cover their disaster relief employees, however, and OPM said it may limit coverage to when those workers are actually employed by the government.
  3. It's now Open Season for federal health insurance. Participants in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program get their once-a-year opportunity to switch healthcare plans. Federal News Radio says premiums are increasing on average by 3.4 percent. But experts said cost isn't the only factor to consider. Find out whether benefits are changing and ask yourself whether your health care needs have changed since last year. Open Season ends Dec. 10th.
  4. Contractors and subs hired to clean up nuclear weapons sites have financial conflicts of interest. That's the finding in a new Energy Department inspector general's report. As a result, the IG said, the prime contractors are unable to render impartial assistance or advice. The auditors looked at decontamination work being done at nuclear plants in Piketon, Ohio and Oak Ridge, Tenn. The IG said Energy managers need to do a better job of policing against organizational conflicts of interest. The prime contractor, Restoration Services, oversees the work of two subcontractorrs in the $4.3 billion deal.
  5. The Commerce Department is getting a new deputy chief information officer. Kirit Amin is heading over to Commerce from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. At Commerce, he'll also be chief technology officer. He'll start Nov. 19 and report to CIO Simon Szkyman. Amin joined HUD in February after leaving the State Department. He was CIO of the Bureau of Consular Affairs for five years but left after making public comments about the foreign service.
  6. Agencies that wish to adopt continuous monitoring need to understand the underlying security issues, AOL Gov reports, because “adversaries can take advantage of weaknesses to bring down network capabilities.”
  7. And on GovLoop, can social media help you accelerate your career? Yes. Join us for our webinar this Thursday at 2pm where we cultivating your professional network every single day. Sign up here.
DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder ‎"In Taylor we see the best of America — a spirit that says, when we get knocked down, we rise again. When times are tough, we come together. When one of us falters, we lift them up. In this country we take care of our own — especially our veterans who have served so bravely and sacrificed so selflessly in our name. And we carry on, knowing that our best days always lie ahead." —President Obama on Veterans Day And Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year Is -- Gif So... what was the GOVERNMENT word of the year? Take Our Poll: What is the government word of the year?
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