Frist Furloughs Go Into Effect – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • In our DorobekINSIDER Live panel Dr. Ted Smith said for citizen engagement to really be successful you don't have to start the conversation, you just have to join it.

Sequestration: Day 49

We had a great conversation Wednesday focusing on citizen engagement -- and the challenges of engaging citizens in the work of government.

I mentioned that our next edition of GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER LIVE will be on Wednesday, May 15 at 12n ET and we will be talking about the Obama administration’s Digital Government Strategy. You can register now.

And we are seeking your help.

  • Discussion topics

  • There are many parts to the Digital Government Strategy. Our goal is always to help you do your job better. So what has been particularly challenging?

  • Guests -- who would you like to hear from?

  • We are always looking for people add insight to help you accomplish your mission. Even if you don’t have specific people, if there are the types of people that would be helpful, we’d love to hear about them.

We have a few guests already scheduled and we’ll bring those to you in the days ahead.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Employee furloughs at the Labor Department officially started this week. GovExec reports, the number of furlough days for affected employees range across the department’s agencies, with some workers taking unpaid leave for up to two days while others are missing up to eight days of pay. The furloughs officially began April 15, but some employees signed waivers to use their furlough days before that date, said Alex Bastani, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 12.
  2. The Air Force is getting smaller. GovExec reports, the Air Force has announced plans to exercise its reduction in force authority to meet targets set in its fiscal 2012 budget. Last year’s budget required the service to reduce its civilian workforce by more than 16,000. The Air Force was able to eliminate approximately 15,000 positions without layoffs but now must use RIFs to achieve the remainder of the reductions, the service said Wednesday.
  3. The government watchdog wants to stop construction on new courthouses. Federal Times reports, the Government Accountability Office has recommended that the General Services Administration halt all 11 courthouse construction and renovation projects planned for the next five years to better review costs and space needs.
  4. The House passed legislation that would require agencies to continuously monitor their networks for cyber threats and report any attacks to a central incident center. Federal Times reports, the Federal Information Security Amendments Act, which passed unanimously, would update the government’s 13-year-old information security law and hold senior leaders accountable for their agencies’ cybersecurity.
  5. The President’s pick to be the next OMB Director is one step closer to confirmation. Federal News Radio reports, both the Budget and Governmental Affairs committees approved Sylvia Mathews Burwell on unanimous voice votes. Sen. Jess Sessions (R-Ala.) called Burwell an able and delightful person. She worked for the Clinton White House and was until recently president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. If confirmed, Burwell will take over from acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients. He's filling in for Jacob Lew, who become Treasury secretary.
  6. Two dozen current and former IRS employees have been charged with stealing government benefits and property. Federal prosecutors in Memphis say 13 of them received more than $250,000 in benefits illegally. Benefits included unemployment payments, food stamps and housing vouchers. Federal News Radio reports, prosecutors said they lied about their employment status. If convicted, they face five years in prison. The other 11 were indicted for theft of government property. They could face longer sentences.
  7. And on GovLoop in case you missed yesterday’s DorobekINSIDER Live panel discussion on citizen engagement - you can find the recap here.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • The Bureau of Land Management uses “Jurassic Park” and its Tumblr to get the masses excited about public lands.
  • What Big Companies Can Learn from Shark Tank. The reality show format is actually an effective forum for pitching innovative products.

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