How mapmakers are saving lives in the Phillippines – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

But up front:

  • The Atlantic: How Online Mapmakers Are Helping the Red Cross Save Lives in the Philippines

  • Roll Call oped: David Hawkings: Budgetary Tunnel Vision: No Early Light at This EndBy David Hawkings | 43 minutes agoOne month before their no-penalties-attached deadline, budget negotiators will convene Wednesday morning for only their second public meeting. There’s still no sign anything has been accomplished behind the scenes since the opening session two weeks ago. All indications are that the scope of the talks has been narrowed to one topic: How much discretionary spending to permit in the final two-thirds of this fiscal year.

  • Sequestration Cuts Deeper Into ‘Full-Spectrum’ Training for Troops - Defense One

  • How to Cut Defense Spending Without Hurting the Military - Defense One

  • The Atlantic: TSA's $1 billion-dollar behavior detection team is 'the same as or slightly better than chance'

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Proposals submitted to lawmakers and the Obama administration for reducing the federal budget could potentially save the U.S. government $265 billion over the next 10 years according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office. The Government Executive observes, however, that these measures, if implemented, will also decrease the pay and retirement benefits of federal employees and servicemembers. In its analysis, the CBO report focused on the impact of reducing annual pay increases for federal employees, of changing the pension system for retirees and current workers, and of making adjustments to the COLA.  

  2. Presidential Innovation Fellow Greg Godbout has invented a new online system, RFP-EZ, that will simplify the RFP and acquisition process for projects worth less than $150,000. The Small Business Administration found that by using Godbout’s program federal agencies could save millions of dollars in procurement costs because bids posted on RFP-EZ were on average 30 percent lower than those processed through other sites. Federal Times notes that by simplifying the language associated with RFP bids, Godbout’s program makes it easier for more small businesses to vie for government projects, thereby driving the down the procurement costs for government agencies.

  3. More than 106,000 people have been successful in registering for healthcare coverage using the state and federal online exchanges. Approximately 27,000 did so using Healthcare.gov, while the remaining 79,000 signed up through state-run exchanges. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is encouraging people to register for healthcare insurance through Healthcare.gov, reports the Federal Times. Sebelius states that about 90 percent of users have been successful in creating accounts on the website and that the administration is continuing to address any and all technological problems.

  4. The NSA is concerned about further leaks from documents stolen by Edward Snowden. NPR reports that as many as 200,000 NSA files may have been taken by Snowden before he left. If this is the case, then the majority of these documents have yet to be released. Intelligence officials at the NSA state that the information from the stolen documents can be organized into four categories, which include NSA capabilities, NSA intelligence reports, NSA partnerships, and NSA intelligence requests from other government agencies.

  5. Legislation introduced this week by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John McCain (R-AZ) will change the pay system for customs and border patrol agents. The Federal Times explains that if passed, the bill would enable CBP agents to choose each year from among three payment structures: work 100 hours per two-week pay period, including 20 hours of overtime; work 90 hours per pay period with 10 hours overtime; or work straight for 80 hours with no overtime.

  6. A federal investigation has found a particular TSA security program to be ineffective in securing the safety of passengers and airports. The program, known as the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, evaluates the security risks of passengers based on whether or not they are demonstrating suspicious behavior. Investigators disagree with the concept of the program, arguing that TSA officers are often subjective in their judgment. Federal News Radio notes that the program has cost the federal government $1 billion since 2007.  

  7. Two U.S. Secret Service officers are currently under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct. The first, Ignacio Zamora Jr., has been removed from his position while the second, Timothy Barraclough, has been transferred to a different office. Federal News Radio reports that both men have been removed from the president’s detail.  

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • The Wall Street Journal: When CFOs Talk About Big Data, It’s Often Just Talk

    • CFOs not getting Big Data message. A survey of 100 U.S. senior finance executives found that roughly half of the people in those positions say they want to use Big Data to get the best of their rivals. Yet less than a quarter of respondents say they will focus on implementing that technology over the next year. “Big Data is somewhat more costly to bring in, and somewhat less understood.” Jay Cary, vice president of digital at American Express Global Commercial Payments tells The Wall Street Journal.

  • The top metro areas for Millennials:

    • 1. Washington, DC

    • 2. Denver

    • 3. Portland

    • 4. Houston

    • 5. Austin, TX

  • Gov Tech News: 5 Ways Government Can Engage Small App Developers

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