On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
It would be easy to remember former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson from the training conference scandal in Las Vegas, Nevada last year. The scandal was front page news and fodder for late night comedians that resulted in her resignation in April 2012. But despite it all, Johnson has remained passionate about GSA and government in general. We talk to Johnson about her new book - On My Watch.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
The Navy has assembled a task force to manage recovery efforts following the Navy Yard shooting. These recovery efforts will include the restoration of operations at Building 197, where the shooting occurred, and the continued health and emotional care of those affected by the tragedy. Federal News Radio reports that Dennis McGinn, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installation and Environment, will be heading up the task force and that the Colorado-based company, CH2M Hill Constructors Inc., will be handling the damage assessment and repairs to Building 197.
Some federal employees will have the opportunity to keep the unemployment benefits they received during the government shutdown in addition to the retroactive pay that they are due at the end of this month. The Federal Times explains that certain state governments are allowing previously furloughed federal workers to keep the funds from their unemployment benefits, adding to the total costs of the shutdown for taxpayers.
Director of the OMB, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, stated that there is a high possibility of upcoming furloughs resulting from future sequestration-related budget cuts. Burwell further commented that furloughs, combined with pay rate freezes on government salaries, have been damaging for employee morale and detrimental to government recruitment efforts. The Washington Post, through an interview with Burwell, reports that recent events, including the shutdown, have hurt not only employee morale, but also the public’s trust in their political system.
The site TSP.gov has recently gone mobile. When visiting the site on their smartphones, TSP online users will now be automatically redirected to the mobile version of My Account, where they can access the same information and transactions as are available in the traditional online format. TSP.gov states that users do not need to download a mobile app to enjoy the benefits of the mobile program.
The Smithsonian Institution will face a $65 million budget cut this upcoming year due to automatic funding reductions issued by Congress. Federal News Radio observes that the significant loss in funding will more than likely result in furloughs and temporary museum closings next year.
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has placed a hold on the nomination of Elizabeth Robinson for the position of Undersecretary at the Department of Energy. A member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Vitter has been supporting the obtainment of a contract to build NASA vehicles at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. Robinson, who currently is the Chief Financial Officer at NASA, has been instrumental in blocking such a contract for the Michoud Assembly Facility. In a press release, Vitter has stated that before receiving Senate approval, Robinson must account for the lack of job creation at the Michoud Assembly Facility and for other aspects of her operations at NASA.
The Small Business Administration is experiencing a backlog in the processing of its loan-guarantee applications as a result of the government shutdown. During the shutdown, the agency received applications from approximately 700 entrepreneurs through its signature lending program, known as the 7(a) program. The total value of the lending applications equaled $140 million. The Washington Post reports that, as a result of the backlog, there will be a delay in the access to capital for small business owners throughout the United States.
DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
Apple is releasing its iPad today. Via The Wall Street Journal: CIOs View Tablets as 'Burning Platform' For Business Innovation
New York magazine’s Intelligencer: Silicon Valley’s Secessionist Movement Is Growing
Slate: No One Tested Healthcare.gov Until It Was Too Late
The Washington Post: Shutdown leaves GAO with massive backlog of contractors’ bid protests