Major Challenges Facing OPM’s New Director – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Regardless of your rank, managers are under the microscope, right now. People are constantly evaluating you, judging your actions and behaviors, so what can you do? Insights on creating your own signature leadership voice from PPS's Tom Fox.

Up front:

The nominee to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management goes before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee for her confirmation hearing. I assume that her statement will eventually be posted on the committee’s Web site.

That being said, the Washington Post notes the challenges ahead for OPM:

Katherine Archuleta listed as priorities recruiting and developing highly talented employees and inspiring the younger generation “to experience the nobility and excitement that public service offers.”

Among shorter-term goals, she said, will be addressing the agency’s long-running struggle to modernize its information technology systems, particularly in retirement record-keeping and processing. She also cited OPM’s role in overseeing the multi-state health insurance plans scheduled to be made available to the general public in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. OPM has set standards for those plans that in some ways mirror the policies of the health insurance program for federal employees.

What challenges would you put on Archuleta’s to-do list?

Other top stories:

  • The Washington Post: The federal office space of the future? GSA’s new floor plan eschews desk-jockey culture. The agency that manages 375 million square feet of federal office space is moving back to its newly renovated headquarters in downtown Washington, where its employees are finding that their personal real estate footprint has been radically altered. They now have to work in less than half the space they once had. The long corridors, closed-door offices and high cubicles that have always defined the culture of the federal workplace have given way to open spaces filled with industrial white desks that most employees must now reserve like hotel rooms. Employees badge in at the lobby turnstile so their bosses know where they are. They touch down at desks they must leave without a trace of clutter if they want to avoid a scolding. “Teaming Rooms” are “leveraged” for meetings, and attendees are electronically logged in by a “room wizard” on the wall outside.
  • Are these cool offices, or, as Bloomburg BusinessWeek called it, the “Tyranny of the Open-Plan Office”

More DHS:

The SEVEN stories that impact your life 

  1. The losing bidders in the $3.5 billion Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract filed a bid protesting Navy’s decision with the Government Accountability Office Monday. According to Federal News Radio, Navy officials decided to award the contract to a Hewlett-Packard led team, effectively the incumbent in the contract. The contract is part of the Navy’s efforts to restructure its massive information technology enterprise.
  2. Over the past 20 years, the majority of the Pentagon’s development programs exceeded their planned budgets by 30 percent. The Federal Times reports that Frank Kendall, the Undersecretary for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, hopes to bring the average down to 20 percent or 10 percent. The DoD will compile an annual report, “Performance of the Defense Acquisition System,” which looks at the major acquisition programs and their cost growth.
  3. IDC Government Insights finds that federal spending on cloud services could reach $7.7 billion in fiscal 2017, more than four times the spending expected in 2014. According to the Federal Times, the sequester and consolidation efforts has limited cloud spending in 2013 and will further limit it to about $1.7 billion in 2014. However, this is expected to grow dramatically in future years.
  4. The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund is seeing an increasing number of federal workers applying for aid. The Federal News Radio reports that this is mostly from employees hurt by furloughs. This number is expected to increase as the DoD is requiring 680,000 civilian employees take 11 unpaid days by September 30.
  5. In an effort to make the government more efficient and effective, the No Labels Caucus will introduce a bill this week to apply more pressure on agencies to use strategic sourcing. According to the Federal News Radio, the bill would require President Obama to establish a goal of saving no less than $10 billion a year based on $100 billion of federal spending in 2014 and 2015. Further, the bill calls on each agency to establish a specific goal for savings that would equal the governmentwide target.
  6. The Department of Energy has still not accepted a $70 million data center consolidation deal with Lockheed Martin. FCW reports that originally it was expected that the Office of Management and Budget placed a hold on the deal, but DOE recently revealed that it was their decision. A bicameral letter by five Congressman is instructing DOE to clarify their position on the deal.
  7. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is holding a confirmation hearing on Katherine Archuleta to head the Office of Personnel Management. According to The Washington Post, Archuleta will prioritize recruiting and developing highly talented employees and inspiring the younger generation to experience the nobility and excitement that public service offers. She will also work to modernize the agency’s information technology systems, including the dated retirement record-keeping and processing.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Yesterday we mentioned Sharknado, the SyFi made-for-cable movie that took Twitter by storm. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: #Sharknado shows how out of touch Washington really is.
  • LATimes: OMG! Survey, like, says digital-savvy students are good at writing!

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