Sequester Day 11 – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • Crowdsourcing solutions for government problems through coding competitions. Sounds cool right? And it’s making a big difference. But some in government are slow to pick up the trend. We talk about with TopCoder. Click here for the full recap.
Yes, sequestration continues while others may have moved on, we will continue to pay attention until the situations is resolved. That being said, the conversation is Washington is that there could be a thaw in the Washington ice. We’ll see. The 03.11.2012 DorobekINSIDER sequestration reader: Day 11 As talks seems to be stepping up -- White House reporters are calling it the White House charm offensive -- sequestration is becoming an increasing reality for feds. The Washington Post reports that the budget crunchers are, in fact, getting crunched. Meanwhile, Politico reports that “the Senate is expected to consider a House-passed spending measure that includes a full-year Defense appropriations bill, along with "enhanced transfer reprogramming authority" for federal agencies, according to Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). In other words, the bill would give the Pentagon and other agencies more flexibility to transfer funds from one program to another - something DoD officials have said could make the sequester less damaging.
It will not give anybody more money on their top-line," Mikulski said of the proposal. "This bill does not take care of the sequester. Whatever we pass will still be subject to sequester. But we really feel that the Cabinet level should have some flexibility.
The Federal Eye: Federal workers to rally again on Capitol Hill- One of the nation’s largest federal-employee groups plans to rally on Capitol Hill Monday against cuts affecting the federal workforce, marking the third time in as many months that such a gathering has taken place. Members of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees association are scheduled to meet in the Capitol building for a series of speeches from labor leaders and a bipartisan pair of lawmakers in advance of the organization’s March 12 Advocacy Day, reports Josh Hicks. The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. The Air Force has stopped disclosing the number of airstrikes launched from drones in Afghanistan. And it has removed past drone numbers from its website. Air Force Times reports, as scrutiny and debate over the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the American military increased last month, the Air Force reversed a policy of sharing the number of airstrikes launched from RPAs in Afghanistan and quietly scrubbed those statistics from previous releases kept on their website.
  2. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has just released a memo asking agencies to improve the collection and use of information about contractor performance and integrity. The 8 page document outlines targets and tools to help agencies reach their collection goals.
  3. The Army is working to improve their evaluation of soldiers with PTSD. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports, questions about the Army's handling of PTSD cases first arose when more than a dozen soldiers filed complaints with the Army and with members of Congress, saying they'd been initially diagnosed with PTSD but had their conditions improperly downgraded to personality disorders by doctors at Madigan Army Medical Center near Seattle. They were then discharged. In response, Army Secretary John McHugh ordered an inspector general investigation and created a new task force to assess the Army's behavioral health evaluation processes.
  4. The Pentagon’s feud over contract auditing has taken a turn. GovExec reports, the release of a Defense Inspector General’s Office report criticizing the professional judgment used in DCAA assignments dating back to 2010 and earlier. The March 7 report -- which the deputy IG acknowledged was delayed for two years while the office’s staff focused more on DCAA hotlines than audits -- covered quality assurance reviews on 50 DCAA reports completed in the first half of fiscal 2010.
  5. GovTech News reports, New York City in January launched the upgraded Checkbook NYC 2.0-- a Web application that launched in beta in 2010, and reveals where money flows within the city’s $70 billion budget.The website’s homepage connects users to interactive charts and graphs displaying financial data for city departments.
  6. Federal News Radio reports, the Internal Revenue Service says more federal employees are cheating on taxes. More than 300,000 feds owed a combined $3.5 billion in back taxes in 2011. That's a 12 percent jump over the year before. But the IRS cautions, feds do better than other Americans. The delinquency rate for the general public is three times as much. The IRS says most people who owe back taxes file their returns on time but cannot pay everything they owe at once. The Department of Housing and Urban Development had the highest delinquency rate, 4.4 percent of employees failed to pay all their taxes on time
  7. And on GovLoop, have you registered for the for the March DorobekINSIDER live. It’s all about the role of Gov 2.0.
The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
  • Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette -  Some people are so rude. Really, who sends an e-mail or text message that just says “Thank you”? Who leaves a voice mail message when you don’t answer, rather than texting you? Who asks for a fact easily found on Google? Don’t these people realize that they’re wasting your time? Of course, some people might think me the rude one for not appreciating life’s little courtesies. But many social norms just don’t make sense to people drowning in digital communication.
  • Work from home and still be a part of the office
  • From the UK: What a centralised government procurement service might look like. As public procurement comes under greater scrutiny than ever, a centralised structure is needed Government procurement is under scrutiny as never before.
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