Making the government cool again – seems so 2008 – Plus Your 7 Stories

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But up front: Making the government cool again - seems so 2008

We all remember when then candidate Barack Obama said he saw it as part of his job as a president was to make government cool again.

It somehow feels so… 2008, doesn’t it.

Of course, what goes missing in those five words are the words that follow -- that one doesn’t just have to be a public servant for government to be cool again. Not only is it about government service, but that it is also about caring and holding people accountable… and being involved in other ways. Perhaps, given the growth in so-called civic technology, maybe President Obama deserves better marks in the category of ‘making government cool again’ then we give him credit for.

That being said, with shutdowns and furloughs and pay freezes -- OH MY! -- public service sure doesn’t feel cool these days. To the contrary. These days, it feels more like the beatings will continue until moral improves.

And we seem to be decimating the government workforce -- and feds are deciding to move on. Most government workers never took the jobs in anticipation of a pay windfall. It was about the mission as well as some stability… in terms of pay… in terms of benefits… but we have hacked away at even those areas. Even the reason most people join public service -- the mission -- these days, with it increasingly difficult to get anything done, many are left asking themselves what they are doing.

Things seems to have calmed a bit. There is a longer term budget deal that enables agencies to actually make plans and manage.

Yet the image of public services is hardly cool. Instead it remains in tatters -- fairly or unfairly -- with visible flops like the Web site.

All of this is one of the reasons why we have been focusing on the important recommendations coming from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton on civil service reforms, Building the Enterprise; the New Civil Service Framework. Hear GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER interview with Ron Sanders, Vice President and Fellow with Booz Allen Hamilton, is one of the report’s authors. Sanders also previously served as the intelligence community’s Associate Director of National Intelligence and the first Chief Human Capital Officer. There is also more here… and here.

As difficult and challenging as civil service reform would be, it somehow feels like an important step to making government cool again.

More to come...

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. NextGov: 80,000 Employees of Federal Contractors Compromised in Cyberattack - “Personal information of about 80,000 employees of federal contractors was compromised in a cyberattack last month, including credit card details of as many as 25,000.”

  2. Stars and Stripes: VA’s response to congressional inquiries on patient deaths called ‘ridiculous’ - “A House of Representatives committee blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs on Wednesday over a lack of progress and accountability in the aftermath of at least 23 preventable veteran deaths that were the result of delays in treatment at VA medical centers across the country.”

  3. GovExec: No Pay Raise for Congress in 2015 - “The Appropriations Committee on voice vote advanced its fiscal 2015 legislative branch spending bill, which includes a provision preventing lawmakers from receiving a pay increase next year. ”

  4. New York Times: Senate Republicans Block Bill on Equal Pay - “Supporters of the bill, called the Paycheck Fairness Act, say it would bring transparency to worker pay by making it illegal for employers to penalize employees who discuss their salaries and by requiring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect pay information from employers.”

  5. Politico: Barack Obama Pushes Voting Rights in Texas - “Democrats say they’re starting in Texas and Ohio because of the intensity of the voting rights battles in those states, but are planning hires in more states. Georgia, Nevada and Colorado are also states the DNC points to as places where it considers the voting laws especially bad.”

  6. Federal News Radio: Federal Student Aid Shifting Towards a Customer-Centric Approach to IT - “Jerry Williams, the chief information officer for the Office of Federal Student Aid in the Education Department, said he's trying to change the culture of the IT office by aligning more closely with the business and mission side of the agency.

  7. GovExec: Obese Feds Will Now Have Their Diet Pills Covered - “Several anti-obesity medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and OPM said in 2015 providers on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program cannot exclude coverage of them.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder... yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too...

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