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Recent articles and resources on technology management and government

Fed workforce resists change
Source: Workforce Management

President Barack Obama has made government work cool again, according to Workforce Management magazine, but government hiring remains a mess.

On the plus side, the number of visitors to jumped from 500,000 last summer to 2.8 million in January. But much of the interest has come from young applicants, who are not ready to step into the midgrade jobs many agencies are trying to fill.

One problem is the pay system, which only provides modest increases over time. As feds get more experience, they often head to industry for jobs with better pay and more opportunities for advancement.

Another issue is the federal application process, which is long and involved enough to discourage even the more enthusiastic would-be public servants. If Obama can fix that, "he will make a major contribution that will extend far beyond his four or eight years in office," one source told Workforce Management.

Pinching pennies in IT
Source: InfoWorld

Worried about the impact of budget cuts on your IT operations? InfoWorld suggests 16 ways to save money by reducing overhead costs. Not all the suggestions apply to government, but several do.

For example, one option is to re-evaluate service-level agreements, looking for opportunities to scale back expectations and costs for nonessential applications. Not every system needs to be available around the clock, one consultant points out.

Organizations should also scrutinize their storage systems for hidden pockets of unfilled capacity that can be used, putting off an upgrade for another year.

Along similar lines, look for applications that are sucking up support costs without providing any return on the investment and pull the plug.

A U.K. guide to better Web metrics
Source: U.K. Central Office of Information

The U.K. government, in the midst of an online renaissance, recently published guidance on improving the management of government Web sites.

The report includes methodologies for identifying the costs of Web sites, analyzing traffic data and assessing the quality of the sites. Central government departments must begin using the measures in fiscal 2009, while other agencies have until fiscal 2010.

The Central Office of Information undertook the initiative after a 2006 survey found that more than 25 percent of agencies did not track costs and 16 percent did not measure how their Web sites were used. The survey also concluded that quality of government sites had changed little since 2002.

A guide to LinkedIn privacy
Source: CIO magazine

CIO writer C.G. Lynch warns readers that they might be sharing more information than they intended when they signed up for the social-networking service LinkedIn.

The problem is that many users opt for LinkedIn's default privacy settings without giving it a second thought. Perhaps that is not a problem, but Lynch advises users to double-check their public profiles to ensure that they are comfortable with that information being so easily accessible.

"The level of information you reveal here might depend on your industry," he writes. "If you don't want competitors looking at certain information, you should check it off. If you're hoping to find a job on LinkedIn, you should make as much of it available as possible."

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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