Week in Review
Touching a nerve
We spend a lot of time covering management issues, particularly the so-called brain drain.
For people who don't know about the federal workforce crisis, it is about the bubble of federal workers becoming eligible to retire. According to most accounts, about half of all federal employees will be eligible to retire between now and the end of 2008, including nearly 70 percent of federal supervisors.
With that in mind, the Young AFCEANs of AFCEA International's Bethesda, Md., chapter approached us earlier this year about creating an awards program that would recognize the good work of younger employees. In recent weeks, we have received nominations for the Rising Stars awards program.
Clearly, we touched a nerve because in the program's first year we received more than 180 nominations. To be honest, that surprised us.
In the coming weeks, our panel of judges will review those nominations and select those deserving Rising Stars. We will recognize them in October.
Based on the nomination pool, the government information technology community clearly has a wealth of exceptional people doing good work, and it is keenly aware of the looming workforce crisis.
Other noteworthy news
The Homeland Security Department said a recent Government Accountability Office
review of DHS overstates the amount of government
purchase card abuse.... The Energy Department finalized a rule that requires
all employees and contractors to abandon any expectations
of privacy when using agency computers.... Harris has completed
30 of 43 new satellite sites for the Federal Aviation Administration's Telecommunications
Infrastructure program.... The Institute of Medicine recommended that physicians
write all prescriptions electronically by 2010 to reduce
medical errors.... The House Veterans' Affairs Committee marked up the Veterans
Identity and Credit Security Act of 2006 that would require the Department of
Veterans Affairs to offer credit-protection
and fraud-resolution services to veterans and others whose personal information
is compromised.... Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.)
introduced legislation that would require federal agencies to notify the public
when they have security incidents that could result in identity theft.... Sens.
Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) testified in support of the Federal
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which would establish a searchable
public database that shows how much federal funding various organizations
receive.... The General Services Administration is seeking potential providers
of expense management for wireless telecommunications
products and services.... The Office of Management and Budget asked agency officials
to resolve any disagreements between them and their inspectors general before
submitting their Federal Information Security
Management Act reports.... OMB announced a new Web
site for small businesses that offers information on federal regulations,
taxes and agency contacts.... GAO recommended that OMB become more involved in
overseeing agencies' high-risk projects....
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said the Internal Revenue Service botched a project
to install an automated system for identifying
improper tax return claims.... OMB issued a new policy requiring agencies
to report suspected breaches of personal
information to DHS' U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team within one hour
of discovery.... The Senate Appropriations Committee did
not recommend funding for e-government activities in fiscal 2007.... The U.S.
Postal Service completed the presolicitation phase of awarding a contract
to run its Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 project management office.