Is your succession plan ready for the retirement tsunami? Is open source the norm in government? And Day 2 of the RNC

On today’s program
  • The retirement tsunami or not, succession planning is essential for any good organization. How well does the government do? We’ll get results from a new survey. Click here for the full recap.
  • Is open source becoming the norm for government? We’ll talk to Red Hat. Click here for the full recap.
  • And in the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder: Do you need a phone on your desk? And will it be there by 2017?
Republican National Convention Recap: GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan spoke last night -- and not much policy in the speech. Yesterday, we discussed the Republican platform -- and, as I noted yeterday, I’m not sure what it actually means, but it is probably important to see what the party is saying. But today, I thought we’d highlight what the GOP platform says about defense. Most of it is contained in a section titled American Exceptionalism - GOP -  Politico’s Morning Defense has a rundown In short, the GOP platform is sharply critical of the Obama administration for its proposed $487 billion reduction in Pentagon spending growth over the next decade. And the platform blames the president for the current standoff over sequestration, which would represent an additional $492 billion reduction in military spending over nine years. The platform also:
  • Criticizes the Obama administration’s plan to reduce ground forces by 100,000 soldiers and Marines.
  • Called the current cybersecurity strategy "overly reliant on the development of defense capabilities."
  • It says women should be exempt from "direct ground combat units and infantry battalions."
Again, the platform is not binding, but it is important to pay attention to the document. Meanwhile, President Obama went online using the site Reddit for what they call an “Ask Me Anything” session. I’m not sure he was asked ANYTHING, but somebody did ask the color of his toothbrush. He was asked about the most difficult decision he has had to make... the Afghanistan surge... and he was asked how he balances the presidency and his family -- work/life -- to which he said it is difficult, but he makes sure he is home for dinner at 6:30 most nights. And he said generally has a pretty good commute... from one part of the White House to another. One final note: this one about pay. CIO magazine has conducted a CIO salary survey looking at the 1,000 biggest public companies in the US. Among those companies, 45 CIOs were paid enough that it had to be included in proxy statements required by the Securities and Exchange Commission. And CIO Magazine notes that as much as 80 percent of those CIOs compensation can be variable, depending on bonuses and performances. The top CIO was Keith Halbert, the former CIO of United Continental... he earned nearly $5 million, although his salary: $192,000. The lowest compensation among the top 10 was $3.1 million, and salaries ranged generally between $500,000 to $700,000. By comparison, the average salary among the 16 CIOs in this report was $166,982. Four CIOs tied for the highest salary in 2010, raking in $179,700, according to the FierceGovernmentIT  Federal CIO pay report.   The SEVEN stories that impact your life
  1. The winners are in for the best state and local government websites. First place winners are the state of Alabama, Orange County, Fla., and Louisville, Ky. Government Technology says the honors went to websites that demonstrated innovation, usability and maximum functionality for users.
  2. The Air Force is is looking for help to prepare for the cyber war of the future. They are looking for 10-page concept paper proposals. CTOVision.com says unlike in most previous unclassified announcements which tended to focus on cybersecurity, the Air Force is interested specifically in what it calls “Cyberspace Warfare Operations.” The capabilities the Air Force is looking for are Cyberspace Warfare Attack, Cyberspace Warfare Support, and related technologies. Proposals are due by December 31st.
  3. The National Archives and Records Administration says it has reviewed nearly all of its 400,000 page backlog of old declassified documents. Federal News Radio says Archives got help from an executive order in 2009 creating the National Declassification Center. It fostered a more uniform approach to how agencies classify and declassify documents.
  4. Hurricane Isaac has knocked out power to the Joint Reserve Base at New Orleans Naval Air Station in nearby Belle Chasse. NextGov reports the base is running on backup generators. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also on hand. They've  deployed a large truck-mounted mobile emergency response center equipped with a satellite communications system and multiple radios to the Louisiana state emergency operations center in Baton Rouge to facilitate communications with first responders.
  5. Meanwhile scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are testing some new tools to help understand hurricanes. NextGov reports the agencies are using unmanned boats and aircraft, including a massive drone. The three-year program is just starting, and for now NASA’s plan is focused on basic research, rather than real-time forecasting. Still, the aircraft's 116-foot wingspan and ability to stay in the air for nearly 30 hours has scientists optimistic.
  6. The Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs are ready to expand 16 pilot programs and offer veterans’ health information exchanges nationwide. Federal Times reports, the new exchanges will build on the success of the pilots, where VA and DoD physicians in Indianapolis, Richmond, Va., San Diego and other cities share veterans’ health data with each other and the private sector.
  7. A leading postal workers' union says the new Republican Party platform is anti-letter carrier. TheNational Association of Letter Carriers say Republicans would destroy their jobs and the Postal Service. Federal News Radio reports the GOP platform says the Postal Service must downsize in the Internet era. It says mail delivery from the days of the "Pony Express" cannot go on, and it implores Congress to explore ways to privatize parts of the mail-processing system.
A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder We were talking about the GOP platform earlier, but the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein found the 10 oddest items in GOP Platform, like...  
  • Innovation is all about freedom. “Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy behind America’s environmental improvement.”
  • End our dependence on foreign… fertilizer? “Our dependence on foreign imports of fertilizer could threaten our food supply, and we support the development of domestic production of fertilizer.” (For those curious, here’s a longer analysis of America’s potential fertilizer woes.)
Could the telephone on your desk soon be a relic of the past? This out of the UK, but a poll by Virgin Media Business involving 500 IT directors suggests that desk phones will be consigned to the annals of office history by 2017.  More than two thirds of the people who responded predicted the telephone will disappear from everyday use within five years, and 24 percent said tablets to fall out of favour within the same period. But seems the smartphone is here to stay, with just 13 percent expecting it to disappear by 2017. So it makes sense to note that on this date in 1963 – The Hotline between the leaders of the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union officially went into operation. http://bit.ly/dBQUlg
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