On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
“You have to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em and know when to walk away.” Kenny Roggers wasn’t just talking about love in his 1980 classic song “The Gambler” -- he was also talking about poor performers. Insights from the Partnership for Public Service’s Tom Fox.
You can find all of our programs online: DorobekINSIDER.com and GovLoop Insights at http://insights.govloop.com.
But up front: Pssst! Guess what - most people don’t trust government.
It is the best of times -- and worst of times for government. The best of times comes from the opportunities that come from the rapidly changing world. The worst of times -- well, we have been living through it. Shut downs, sequestration, budget conflicts, RIFs… oh my!
But one of the more troubling numbers I’ve seen recently came from a new poll from the National Journal. As the National Journal’s sister publication, Government Executive, reports, the poll finds that the public believes individuals and local organizations are better than the federal government is right now at tackling major challenges facing the country.
The key question in the poll: Do you think the federal government is more responsive or less responsive to the opinions of average Americans than they were in previous generations or about the same?
A large number -- 63 percent -- say the federal government is less responsive. It is important to note that when the same question is asked about ‘large corporations,’ the number is about the same: 59 percent. By comparison, when the question is asked about state governments, the ‘less responsive’ number drops to 43 percent.
A very important caveat: When one asks about the “federal government,” it isn’t completely clear what people are thinking about. Does it mean the President? Congress? Agencies? the IRS or Social Security? Clearly, the poll number is impacted dramatically by the gridlock in Washington, but there seems to be much data out there that indicates the gridlock also has impact on the work that federal government does.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
Federal Computer Week: DHS looking for some private-sector executives - “The two Department of Homeland Security agencies in charge of airport, port and border security want some private-sector help in developing the next-generation IT and other technology that will speed U.S. travel and tourism processes. The Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection last week jointly announced a slew of openings under DHS's Loaned Executive Program, which brings private-sector executives into federal agencies for unpaid six-month assignments.”
GovExec: #USPS Loses $1.9 Billion in Second Quarter Despite Operating Profits - “The U.S. Postal Service lost $1.9 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended March 31, though the agency showed some signs of positive growth.”
CNN: VA Secretary orders face-to-face audit at all clinics - “Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a "face-to-face audit" at all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics, a spokeswoman told CNN on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the House Veterans Affairs Committee voted to subpoena Shinseki in the wake of accusations that his department is responsible for deadly delays in health care at some of its hospitals. The Shinseki subpoena will cover e-mails that allegedly discussed the destruction of a secret list, first reported by CNN, of veterans waiting for care at a Phoenix VA hospital.”
GovExec: Homeland Security Moves Closer to Getting Off GAO's High-Risk List - “The Homeland Security Department has taken significant steps toward earning removal from the Government Accountability Office’s high-risk list, GAO reported. In an array of high-risk areas in which DHS bears sole responsibility—management functions, flood insurance, cybersecurity and terrorism information sharing—managers are demonstrating clear progress, though more is needed, GAO said in a report released Thursday.”
Politico: Intelligence staff banned from citing leaked material - “A recent policy instruction from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper now bans intelligence employees or contractors from citing news reports based on unauthorized disclosures. Current and former employees "must not use sourcing that comes from known leaks, or unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information," the instruction states. ”
Washington Post: GAO: Federal agencies may be shortchanging the government on fuel costs - “Federal agencies may be inadvertently shortchanging the government for the fuel they use under the current system for reporting gas consumption, according to a recent watchdog report. The General Services Administration charges a monthly fuel fee based on the miles that agencies have traveled in their fleet vehicles. But that system doesn’t account for certain fuel-burning activities that don’t add miles, such as speeding, idling, or rapidly starting and stopping, according to the Government Accountability Office.”
Federal News Radio: OPM's crackdown on background check fraud leads to jail time -- for some - “Two weeks ago, a 34-year-old USIS contractor from South Carolina, became the latest background investigator to plead guilty to charges stemming from falsifying a report. The charge could carry a penalty of five years in prison. Brian Rapier's guilty plea garnered numerous headlines coming amid the broader legal woes for the company he worked for — USIS. The Justice Department has accused the company, the government's largest contractor for providing background investigations, of shortcutting more than 665,000 background checks for more than four years beginning in 2008.”
DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder... yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too...
It is graduation season -- and one of my favorite kind of speeches are graduation speeches. They allow people a chance to step back, to think, to ponder, to assess… and these days, they push schools to think about who would capture the event. A blog GraduationWisdom has collected 2014 graduation speakers. At the University of Connecticut, graduation included a commencement speech from space.
12 best commencement speeches of all time [USAToday]
CNBC’s take: 12 of the best graduation speeches EVER
CDorobek’s favorite: Steve Jobs 2005 graduation speech at Stanford University. Watch it here: “Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
The Peril of Knowledge Everywhere [The New York Times]: Technology is taking us to a legal and social crisis. It's not just that we have unprecedented amounts of data about all kinds of things; innocuous public data can be combined with other information to reveal personal things. Will knowing become a problem?
#Bringbackourgirls, #Kony2012 - the complete, divisive history of “hashtag activism” [The Washington Post]: A complex look at online sentimentality and how it interacts with a global issue like the missing Nigerian girls.