Inauguration day, fed style – Plus the 7 DorobekINSIDER stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • As a journalist, a college student a writer by trade, i've been filled with the horrors of plagiarism. So when I heard Henry Sienkiewicz tell the crowd gathered at the Keys to Next Generation Security Operations conference that not only is plagiarism ok, it's encouraged when it comes to cybeersecurity, I was shocked. Click here for the full recap.
The DorobekINSIDER Reader: Inauguration 2013 President Obama officially launched his second term -- Politico called it “the most ideologically ambitious speech since Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address.” The President acknowledged the Mr. Obama acknowledged the need to reduce the deficit, but he said it must be done in a way that preserves Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future,” he said. Government Executive says that President Obama called for new ideas and technology to 'remake' government.  NPR said that President Obama made a “confident case for government.  The Washington Posts says federal employees face crucial questions in Obama’s second term. 
He didn’t mentioned federal workers specifically in his inaugural address Monday, but he closed with words that could have a special meaning for them: “With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. Obama’s civilian staff of more than 2 million certainly faces “an uncertain future” in the very near future as discussions during the next two months on raising the nation’s borrowing limit, deficit reduction and the budget could have a direct effect on their pocketbooks and workplaces. Unpaid furloughs are a real possibility, and the potential for layoffs has workers worried.
After imposing a freeze on basic federal pay rates for more than two years, Obama has ordered a tiny raise, 0.5 percent, to begin at the end of March. Many Republicans, however, support legislation extending the freeze through the end of the year. Obama and Republicans have proposed making employees contribute more to their retirement funding, but so far that has been imposed only on those hired after 2012. Despite the uncertainty, federal employees continue to work with the “passion and dedication” he urged. The Obama administration has taken action to support workers, with varying degrees of success. One of the most notable items on that list is federal hiring reform. Widely viewed as a broken mess when Obama took office, he told the Office of Personnel Management to simplify and quicken the way Uncle Sam hires people. Washington Post’s Dan Balz: Obama speech reveals a different leader.
President Obama has never lacked for confidence, but rarely has that attribute been on display as clearly as on Monday in an inaugural address that underscored the distance he has traveled after four contentious years in office. This was not the politician who campaigned in 2008 on themes of transcending the divisive politics of the past, though there were ritual calls for the country and its political leaders to seize this moment together. Instead, it was a president who has accepted the reality of those divisions and is determined to prevail on his terms.
EZRA KLEIN: A speech that shows how Obama has changed-- In 2009, Barack Obama came to change Washington. Today’s speech showed how much Washington has changed him. National Journal: What Obama Wants and What Congress Will Give Him And NPR notes that the Cabinet is in flux CIO notes, how the Government's 2013 Tech Policy Agenda Will Impact IT. From cybersecurity to privacy, mobile broadband to net neutrality, the coming year in Washington promises to be a busy one for the technology sector. The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. The DoD and other agencies are preparing and bracing for the sequestration. Federal Times reports, “Hundreds of thousands” of employees face unpaid time off if those cuts take effect, Jeff Zients, acting chief of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a Jan. 14 memo. Hiring freezes, laying off temporary workers and offering buyouts and early retirements are also on the table, Zients wrote. At the Defense Department, with a civilian workforce of almost 800,000, the Army, Navy and Air Force all announced hiring freezes and warned that furloughs were possible.
  2. House Republicans want to ignore the debt limit until May. The Washington Post reports, the House plans to vote Wednesday on a measure that would leave the $16.4 trillion debt limit intact but suspend it from the time the bill passes until mid-May. The declaration that the debt ceiling “shall not apply” means that the government could continue borrowing to cover its obligations to creditors until May 18.
  3. The Chief Information Officer says in a new memo that every agency should have social media, cloud computing and open government shops. NextGov reports, the updated Clinger-Cohen Core Competencies and Learning Objectives released by the council Thursday said university courses and training programs aimed at preparing IT professionals for government service should include information about those fields.
  4. The Army is on track to meet its goal to award $2 billion in energy savings performance contracts. Federal Times reports, under an ESPC project, the vendor pays the upfront investment for building renovations and retrofits in exchange for payments from the government’s energy savings over time. President Obama directed in December 2011 that agencies enter into $2 billion in energy savings performance contracts before the end of this year.
  5. The flu has made it to federal agencies. The Washington Post reports, federal agencies have been told to encourage ailing employees to stay away from the office — and work if they can, but take leave if they can’t.
  6. Acquisition reform may take center stage in Congress. The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act hasn’t been formally introduced yet by its sponsor, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) But Federal News Radio reports, FITARA gets its first hearing today before Issa's committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The bill would give departmental CIOs more budget authority while creating a central body to oversee commodity IT purchases. Among the witnesses will be Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel.
  7. On GovLoop, you saw the Inauguration yesterday. Now check out our hour long program on how to survive it. DorobekINSIDER Live: Transition Survival Guide.
DorobekINSIDER Water-cooler Fodder:
  • Google has recently been named -- for the fourth time -- the best place to work, according to Fortune magazine. The company is considered to be providing the good life for its employees. The company offers privileges and perks to its employees that workers at most other companies can only envy. But what may seem like luxuries are actually good business and Google can prove that because the company studies everything it does. For more on this story, check out the "CBS This Morning" report.
    • Google offices around the world Pictures - CBS News
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