Time to talk about the Fiscal Cliff? DorobekINSDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • Sarkis Tatigian has spent 70 years dedicating his life to federal service. 70 years! Why did he do it? What are his plans for the future? We talked to the Navy mainstay. Click here for the full recap.
  • Could you harness the power of Twitter to predict diseases? Yes, says the makers of MappyHealth. The App just one a HHS competition. We found out how it works. Click here for the full recap.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. Federal News Radio says two people have departed and 14 have been referred for disciplinary action following release of a Justice report found Fast and Furious was run with too little regard for public safety. The report said ATF headquarters didn't have enough oversight of the operation. The IG, Michael Horowitz, testifies on Capitol Hill today.
  2. The updated legislative research website, Thomas, has been unveiled. The overhaul mark the first real upgrades since 1995. It's called Congress.gov. Federal News Radio says the site gets an up-to-date search engine, and it automatically reformats itself on small smartphone screens. The whole site has a modern look. The Library of Congress cautions, the new version is still in beta even though it's available to the public today. After a year of fine-tuning Congress.gov, the Library will shut down the clunky Thomas system.
  3. A measure to protect whistleblowers at federal contractors is inching forward on Capitol Hill. Two House members, a Democrat and a Republican, have introduced a companion bill to one that a Senate committee has passed. The measure aims to encourage contract employees to report waste, fraud and abuse by the government and their companies. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said contract workers who report wrongdoing are the most vulnerable to termination. She said most of them will not risk retaliation. (Rep. Jackie Speier)
  4. Participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will pay 3.4 percent more in premiums in 2013, on average, the Office of Personnel Management announced Thursday. Government Executive reports that it is slightly lower than the 3.8 percent growth in 2012. Benefits will not change significantly, OPM said. We will have more on the premium increases soon.
  5. Both sides of the aisle agree, it’s time to talk about the fiscal cliff. Politico reports, leaders are meeting with key Obama administration officials on Capitol Hill, quietly mulling different legislative strategies to avoid massive tax hikes on all Americans. At the same time, lawmakers are beginning to carve out positions for their parties for what will become a months-long rhetorical and legislative war leading up to a series of year-end deadlines.
  6. Federal Computer Week reports, federal workers don’t believe cybersecurity legislation will be effective, don’t want the Homeland Security Department to regulate information security and are more likely to be concerned about compliance than any particular security threat, a new report reveals. According to an nCircle survey that included more than 100 federal employees and a few members of the general public, government programs designed to improve cybersecurity and ease the burden of compliance at agencies haven’t been successful.
  7. And on GovLoop: Navigating the Digital Government Roadmap. Technological advancements have enabled government to improve how services are delivered to citizens. This guide focuses on the technology that has enabled government to increase productivity, improve performance and innovate proactively. Throughout this report, we highlight the top trends for technology and government, and how new tools are radically changing the government technology landscape. Click Here to Download a PDF and to Visit the Guide Landing Page
A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
  • Government Made Easier: It's getting easier for foreign visitors to plan last-minute jaunts to the United States. The State Department said it now interviews 88 percent of visa applicants within three weeks of receiving their applications. That's up from 57 percent last year. Federal News Radio reports President Barack Obama told the State Department to speed up visa processing as part of an effort to increase foreign tourism. State officials said they've focused particularly on Brazil and China. More than a million Brazilian visitors have gotten visas to come here this year.
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