Here we go again…Shutdown talks begin – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

But up front: Shutdown showdown, part… oh, we’ve lost count.

  • Washington is again lurching toward a fiscal crisis… yes, again. Time warns: Why the government really might shut down
  • OMB has posted guidance on preparing for a shutdown [PDF]
  • Politico: Forget shutdown, debt hike is real problem: Everyone in Washington and on Wall Street is fixated on the potential for a government shutdown in less than two weeks.  But those in power and closest to the situation say a debt default is a bigger threat. That’s the thinking at the highest levels of Congress as Washington dives headfirst into a contentious fall.  
  • Washington Post Joe Davidson’s Fed Diary: Shutdown would hit many government activities and workers, but not all.
  • The Hill: Poll: Americans divided on role of government 
  • According to the poll, 34 percent lean toward the “government should take active steps in every area that it can” side of a five-point scale, against 32 percent who fall closer to the “government should provide only the most basic functions.” Thirty-three percent fall right in the middle of the two. However, when taxes are thrown into the equation, the public largely prefers a more limited government. According to the survey, 53 percent favor less government involvement if it means a reduction in taxes, against only 13 who said they prefer a more active government if it means higher taxes.
  • Rasmussen poll: 51% Favor Government Shutdown Until Congress Cuts Health Care Funding

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has set Friday as the date for representatives to vote on a bill that would simultaneously provide funding to keep the government running past September and defund the implementation of portions of Obamacare. The Washington Post reports Boehner went a step further, calling for a one-year delay of all aspects of Obamacare for when Congress has to decide on whether or not it will grant Treasury extended borrowing power in a couple of weeks. Both actions have proven to be extremely divisive and contentious in the House and Senate.   
  2. OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell has notified agency heads to update and prepare their contingency plans in the event that Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution by September 30. Defense One reports that Burwell believes that Congress will prevent any lapse in appropriations, but wants to ensure that agencies are prepared in case a government shutdown does occur following the conclusion of the 2013 fiscal year.
  3. Further investigations into Edward Snowden’s work with the NSA reveal that his job responsibilities for the organization provided the perfect cover for leaking government documents. NPR shares that Snowden was responsible for moving sensitive documents from the NSA intranet site to a more secure location. Unfortunately, his supervisors did not realize that Snowden was making copies of these documents in the process. Today, new security measures aim to prevent such incidents through tags on sensitive documents that allow supervisors to see who has access to them and what they do with the documents.  
  4. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered new reviews of security procedures on military bases in the aftermath of the Navy Yard shooting. These reviews will focus on the physical security and access procedures for getting on military bases and on DOD’s current process for issuing security clearances. Federal News Radio reports that both reviews will be led by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and will include an evaluation by an independent panel.
  5. The majority of Navy Yard reopened today for work. Federal News Radio reports that Building 197 and the gym will remain closed as they are being used for continued FBI investigations into the shooting that occurred on Monday.
  6. The upcoming enrollment of millions of individuals in state health insurance systems under the Affordable Care Act is creating new opportunities for scam artists and identity thieves. To guard against this threat, Federal News Radio reports that the Obama administration has implemented security measures and anti-scam initiatives. Overall, the administration is in the process of reassuring Americans of the privacy and security of their information in preparation for the launch of the new healthcare act on Oct. 1.    
  7. The House Committee on Homeland Security moved to amend two key pieces of legislation yesterday: the Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2013 and the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act. As reported on the Committee’s website, lawmakers modified these two bills to improve the technological security of U.S. critical infrastructure and to address gaps in U.S. cybersecurity.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Why big IT projects crash. Companies and governments are suffering huge cost overruns on major tech projects, the FT’s Henry Mance reports. This week a U.K. parliamentary watchdog described a failed National Health Service patient IT program – the cost of which has spiraled to £9.8 billion – as “one of the worst and most expensive contracting fiascos in the history of the public sector.” In a 2011 study of 1,471 IT projects, Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School found that the projects exceeded their budgets by an average of one-quarter. Prof. Flyvbjerg and Mr. Budzier say companies should forecast their costs better by comparing their projects to previous experience. Organizations also are often very ambitious in what they set out to achieve – designing long projects that require customized software. That is likely to be another mistake.
  • WSJ: Court: Facebook ‘Like’ Is Protected By the First Amendment
  • 6 secrets of super productive to-do lists: While it may appear simple, the to-do list is as many-spendored thing.
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