VP Debate Prep Guide and DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
  • Tonight is the first Vice Presidential debate of the election. So how do you participate in social media without breaking the Hatch Act. Insights from OhMy Gov.Click here for the full recap.
  • Can you save lives through crowdsourcing and collaboration? Maybe, Health and Human Resources is trying to reach out to goal miners with social media. Find out how they are doing it. Click here for the full recap.
A reminder that tonight is the one and only vice presidential candidate debate. As with the first presidential debate, we will be LIVE tweeting the event -- and, specifically, we will be focusing on anything related to the government world. You can follow along -- and join the discussion -- by following the Twitter hashtag #DebateGov. Meanwhile... Politico: 5 things to watch in VP debate: The best case scenario for each? A clear win. The worst case scenario for each? A clear loss. The murkiest scenario for each? A debate that gets fought to a draw, which the press will interpret in different ways but which also likely won’t stop the GOP ticket’s momentum. NBC News: 10 things to watch in tonight's Biden-Ryan debate ABC News: VP Debate Shockers: 8 Nights to Remember And yes, there is aVP debate drinking game:VP Debate Drinking Game: Joe Biden Meets Paul Ryan This morning Chris got to moderate a panel about portfolio management, sponsored by AFFIRM. We will have highlights in the days ahead, but we got some good insights about what PortfolioStat is... why it matters. The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. More than 7,000 postal workers are taking early retirement packages. Mail handlers will leave with an incentive of $15,000. For postmasters, it's 20,000. The Postal Service told Federal Times says it had expected that many employees to take the offer. But it's just a drop in the bucket for an agency that wants to cut around 150,000 jobs to climb out of the red. It recently announced plans to offer a much bigger buyout to members of the American Postal Workers Union. Nearly 120,000 employees are eligible. The agency expects up to 20,000 workers to take it.
  2. The Defense Department's inspector general says military services have missed out on savings in recent years because defense agencies often did not resubmit solicitations when they received only one bid, Federal Computer Week reported. The IG says that the services did not follow DOD’s single-bid guidance in awarding 31 contracts out of 78 that the audit considered. The 31 awards were worth $656.1 million, more than half of the total $1 billion value of the 78. Further, the IG found the department awarded more than half of the 31 single-bid contracts without advertising the bid for 30 more days, as the guidance calls for.
  3. Military members are now opting for the Thrift Savings Plan. Government Executive says roughly 40,000 federal employees and Marines in the TSP opened Roth accounts in the program’s first four months. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board told federal employee and military service member representatives Tuesday that TSP participants also deposited nearly $30 million in Roth accounts by the end of August.
  4. The Homeland Security Advisory Council Task Force on Cyberskills has recommended that Homeland Security Department hire about 600 superbly skilled cyber experts, Federal News Radio reports. Secretary Janet Napolitano endorsed the recommendation and said DHS would start implementing it. The DHS task force said the agency must develop and maintain an authoritative list of mission-critical cyber tasks. It offered 10 job titles as a starting point, including system and network penetration tester, threat and counter intelligence analysts and security engineers.
  5. Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman plans to leave the agency when his term ends next month. IRS said Steven Miller, the deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, will become acting commissioner. Shulman has led the agency since March 2008. He said earlier this year he would leave at the end of his five-year term. Shulman has concentrated on improving the IRS workforce and speeding up its IT systems modernization. Before arriving at the IRS, Shulman was vice-chairman of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a private-sector regulator. Miller is a career IRS executive.
  6. A high-profile Medicare policy aimed at reducing hospital infections has had no impact, according to a new study. The policy cuts payments to hospitals with high rates of urinary tract catheter infections. But research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found no evidence the change in payments caused any change in the infection rate. Researchers found the rates of infection were already falling. The Wall Street Journal reports, other studies have also shown no effect of using Medicare payments to force quality improvement. The infection policy went into effect in 2008. The Affordable Care Act increases the use of payment-based quality plans.
  7. And on GovLoop, have you checked out our new GIS Guide. The report focuses on best practices, case studies and identifies innovative uses of geographic information system (GIS) technology in government. Across government GIS technology has fueled innovation.
A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
  • Nearly a third of workers reported false ailments in order to play hooky during the past year, according to the survey of 3,976 employees.
    • Employee was upset after watching The Hunger Games."
    • "Employee's dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation."
    • Employee's hair turned orange from dying her hair at home." Nearly 30% of employers have checked up on a worker, usually by requiring a doctor's note or phoning the worker at home. And 17% have fired an employee for a phony excuse.
  • An op-ed by Stan Solowayfrom the Professional Services Council: To compete or not to compete? Nonprofit federally funded research and development centers aren’t subject to the rules of competition that govern other federal contracting, and evidence shows FFRDC work is often more costly than contracts awarded competitively to for-profit companies, says FedBiz Daily contributor Stan Soloway.
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