The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Wednesday the 6th of May, 2012
- A bill to strengthen Whistleblower Protections has advanced in the House. Secrecy News says the Whistleblower Protection Act would require intelligence agency heads to advise employees on how to make lawful disclosures without retribution. The bill would bolster the comparatively flimsy provisions of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.
- Judicial vacancies are on the rise. Secrecy News says there are more vacant circuit and district court judgeships than when he took office four years ago. The Congressional Research Services says the growing number of vacancies impede the successful nomination and confirmation of new judges.
- John Gage, the president of the largest federal-employee union, is retiring. He has been at the helm of the American Federal Government Employees union since 2003. In a letter to union members, he called his tenure "challenging but invigorating years." Federal News Radio says Gage plans to stay for about 10 more weeks, while the AFGE finishes its first contract with the Transportation Safety Administration.
- The Office of Management and Budget is slowly chipping away at their retirement backlog. Government Executive says the backlog of federal retirement claims is down 19 percent since January. The agency processed 9,066 total claims in May, exceeding its target of 8,500 claims. OPM administers benefits for 2.5 million federal retirees and processes about 100,000 new claims annually.
- The General Service Administration's long-awaited cloud computing certification office is open for business. It received the green light from the Office of Management and Budget yesterday. It's job is to make sure cloud computing vendors have good cybersecurity. Federal News Radio reports actually certifying vendors would take another six months. GSA, Homeland Security and the Defense Department form the board that examines and approves cloud providers.
- How did GSA employees who telework full time cost the government $750,000 in travel expenses? Next Gov says that’s the questions Congressman Darrell Issa wants to know. E-mails from GSA's Public Buildings Service show that a total of 95 employees, including 12 supervisors, billed the agency for the travel from October 2010 to June 2011. Next Gov says the messages suggest that regional commissioners were alarmed at the expenses.
- And over on GovLoop, have you signed up for our Next Generation of Government Training Summit? Time is running out for the early bird discounts. And when you are over signing up you can also vote on our speaker conference.
- We’ve spent some time talking about the Obama administration’s Digital Government Strategy. We spoke about the implications for mobile government with Tom Suder... and about how this can be implemented with Cisco’s Alan Balutis. Today, we’re going to talk about how that strategy can get implemented -- and I know a lot of agencies are saying they have no money. GSA is hoping to help, and we’ll talk to the person who is at the forefront of figuring that out.
- The Obama administration’s shared services strategy has recieived less attention than the Digital Government Strategy. Very few organizations see every part of government the way Microsoft does. We’ll talk to them about what shared services might mean.