#GovShutdown Reader – Day 8: Backpay stalls in the Senate – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • We are now in day eight of the government shutdown and with no resolution in sight, many are starting to worry about the long-term ramifications of the shutdown. One of those ramifications could be young people turning away from government service. Insights from PPS’s Tom Fox.

GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER #GovShutdown Reader - Day 8:

  • Roll Call: Back Pay for Furloughed Workers Hits Snag in Senate. Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Monday that it would be "premature" to move on a standalone guarantee of back pay for federal workers without addressing other elements of the government shutdown.

  • CNN: Appears to be enough House votes to OK "clean" bill ending shutdown, if offered. http://on.cnn.com/1a7F4Ja

  • ABC: Why One Congressman Is Telling His Furloughed Staff to Get Back to Work

  • Long-Term Impact of Deeming Essential Personnel Nonessential -- A prolonged federal shutdown in which many IT security personnel have been furloughed could make it much more difficult for the government to recruit and retain needed cybersecurity experts.

  • Pew Research: Americans very (48%) or somewhat (29%) concerned about effect of gov #shutdown on economy

  • CNN/ORC Poll: Slightly more people angry at Republicans than Democrats for gov't shutdown but all sides take hit

  • Washington Post: Post/ABC News poll: GOP is getting blamed for the shutdown

  • CNN: After bad press and confusion, Justice Department restores federal Amber Alert Web site

  • CFOs say they need more cost-cutting latitude. Many top federal financial managers believe cost-cutting efforts are manageable, but they want more discretion to decide where to prune, according to a new survey.

  • In the first week of the shutdown, federal employees have filed more than 10,000 claims for unemployment benefits in the District and 16,000 in Maryland. That's a major uptick for both offices. The D.C. Department of Employment Services usually gets 600 unemployment claims per week. The first checks are being sent this week. But if federal employees receive back pay at the end of the shutdown, they will have to pay back the unemployment benefits. Virginia has not provide an update on claims.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Federal officials admitted last Sunday that they need to fix the design and software problems that are keeping citizens from applying online for health care until the new law. The Wall Street Journal reports that there are coding issues and flaws in the overall architecture of the system, and that these problems are impacting the ability of users to confirm their identity online and establish an account and security questions. The Wall Street Journal anticipates that though tens of thousands may have started the application process, only a few thousand have been successful in setting up an account and shopping for coverage.  

  2. Microsoft will be setting up a cloud storage system just for government agencies, the company announced yesterday. Data centers for the cloud system will be located within the U.S. and will be managed by U.S. citizens. The Federal Times reports that to address security concerns related to government data, Microsoft’s new cloud system will obtain certification from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). The company will also offer public, private, and hybrid cloud environments to meet federal agencies’ needs.

  3. Multiple electrical surges at NSA’s new data storage facility in Utah have ruined hundreds of thousands of dollars in machinery and delayed the opening of the facility for more than a year. In the past 13 months, there have been 10 electrical meltdowns  at the site, which was supposed to be a central location for the agency’s spying efforts. The Wall Street Journal observes that the causes for the malfunctions remain unknown and that officials are continuing to debate over which strategies will effectively address the problem.

  4. The Marine Corps Logistics Command announced yesterday that it has given a sole-source contract to Gartner for the remodeling of its IT management program. The contract is for one year and worth $1 million, states the Federal Times. Gartner, a partner of the Marine Corps Logistics Command for the past three years, was chosen for the account, primarily, because the technology needed to make the IT modifications was designed by Gartner under an earlier contract and is considered company property.  

  5. The Veterans Affairs Department announced last week that it would not give decision-making power over to the Small Business Administration concerning the socio-economic status of veteran-owned businesses. Specifically, the VA stated that it would not allow the Small Business Administration to determine whether or not a company is a service-disabled veteran small business, a veteran-owned small business, or none of the above. Federal News Radio reports that officials at the VA have also decided that within the agency this decision-making power shall be given to the director of the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE).

  6. The number of federal employees filing for retirement last month fell to its lowest level in the past year, according to OPM. The decline in retirement applications has allowed OPM to address its backlog in retirement cases. Federal News Radio states that last month OPM received about 5,800 applications for retirement. This number is close to 3,000 less than OPM expected to receive for the month of September, and 6,000 less than the agency received in September of last year.  

  7. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the nomination of Beth Cobert for the position of Deputy Director for Management at the OMB. Cobert’s nomination will now proceed to the full Senate as reported by the Senate Committee. Cobert, an executive at McKinsey & Co., has received bipartisan support from members of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, who view her as well qualified for the number two leadership position at the OMB.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Mashable: Tikker Is a Watch That Counts Down Your Life [VIDEO]

  • Telegraph: How Instagram took over the world in just three years

  • Gartner Says It's the Beginning of a New Era: The Digital Industrial Economy

  • USAToday: Cheat sheet to the new hundred-dollar bill

  • WSJ: Mind the future, CIOs. Peter Sondergaard, vice president of research at Gartner, tells CIO Journal that CEOs and other members of the “real” C-Suite lack confidence in CIOs, which is causing a “crisis in IT leadership,” as well as a profusion of new titles, from chief digital officer to chief data officer. Mr. Sondergaard and his charges will spend the better part of  this week at Gartner Inc.’s annual CIO Symposium, carping and caviling at attendees to mind the strategy, and in particular, to mind the future.

  • FastCompany: The Redesigned $100 Bill That Begins Circulating Tomorrow

  • Mashable: 5 Ways Cities Are Using Big Data

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