During Public Service Recognition Week, it’s all about the Sammies finalists – Plus 7 Gov Stories

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  • We talk about innovation all the time on the DorobekINSIDER. Innovative apps. Innovative procurements. Innovative technology. But we rarely highlight innovative people who are doing things differently. The Partnership for Public Service operates the Excellence in Government Fellows Program. It’s a leadership development opportunity for GS-14 and 15s that prepares leaders to be more than just managers. We talk with Tom Fox about the program.

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But up front: During Public Service Recognition Week, it’s all about the Sammies finalists.

It’s Public Service Recognition Week. Yes, we know that every week should be public service recognition week, but… we understand that doesn’t always happen.

That being said, we can learn as much from what goes well as what goes wrong, and that is one of the reason why the Partnership for Public Service’s Service to America Medals (or the Sammies) are so important.

The finalists were announced Tuesday morning. See the full list here -- there are some remarkable people on the list. We’ll get to talk to some of them in the coming months. It will come as no surprise that some of my favorite finalists demonstrate how the ‘little bet’ approach works -- taking steps that can result in big results. Many of them demonstrate the innovative use of technology.

For example, there’s Michael Byrne, the former Geographic Information Officer for the  Federal Communications Commission, who put detailed data about our nation’s broadband availability and communications systems in the hands of citizens and policymakers through the use of interactive online maps and other visualizations

As I mentioned, we will be speaking to many of the finalists in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Congratulations to all the finalists.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life:

  1. GovExec: Four Agencies to Run Shared Financial Services - “Invoking President Obama’s second-term management agenda, the Office of Management and Budget has named four departments that will seek to save the government money through shared services in financial management. Deputy budget director for management Beth Cobert joined with Fiscal Assistant Treasury Secretary Dick Gregg in a May 2 blogpost announcing that the four shared service providers that will provide core accounting and modernized financial management to other agencies will be the Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Treasury departments.”

  2. CNN: Two key veterans groups call for VA chief Eric Shinseki to resign - “The nation's largest veteran organization, The American Legion, and one other veterans group, Concerned Veterans for America, on Monday called for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. The calls for his resignation came after months of CNN exclusive reporting on U.S. veterans who have died while waiting for care at VA hospitals across the country, including in Phoenix.”

  3. GovExec: OPM Slowly Makes Up Lost Ground on the Retirement Claims Backlog - “The backlog of federal retirement claims waiting to be processed fell slightly in April for the second month in a row, but it still remains higher than it was at the end of 2013, according to the latest numbers from the Office of Personnel Management.”

  4. Politco: Pentagon Pressured to Show Progress on Assaults - After a year of skirmishing on Capitol Hill, the intense debate on military sexual assaults is about to get a new central player — Obama, who faces a delicate decision in coming months on just how far to push the Pentagon to change a system that’s been static for decades.

  5. Fiscal Times: Widespread Abuse of Government Charge Cards - For years, the federal government has struggled to provide sufficient oversight over its government credit card program—and a string of new audits reveals that it is still an ongoing and costly problem.

  6. Federal News Radio: ICe names Kern as its next CIO - “The Immigration and Customs Enforcement directorate in the Homeland Security Department reached into industry for its next chief information officer. ICE announced yesterday that Kevin Kern, a former senior vice president and CIO at Unisys, will serve as the agency's new CIO.”

  7. Federal Times: GSA to build State Department ‘Diplomacy Center’ - “The General Services Administration will be in charge of building the State Department’s planned U.S. Diplomacy Center, according to an agency announcement.”

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