Buzz Factor

The most-read stories on in the past two weeks

13 ideas for building better RFPs
Summary: Experts offer tips for writing effective requests for proposals.
Outlook: Even without acquisition reforms, agencies could conduct procurements more effectively.

Could pay freeze send feds to private sector?
Summary: If federal employees have their salaries frozen for two years, will many of them leave government?
Outlook: The pay freeze proposal on the table is not a done deal. But in the meantime, there’s a lot of chatter about the possible ramifications.

Pay freeze idea gets chilly reception
Summary: When President Barack Obama announced his proposed two-year pay freeze, federal employees and their unions immediately voiced their opposition.
Outlook: Feds might have to accept a pay freeze, but there’s not much chance many of them will come to like it.

Bad timing for feds nearing retirement
Summary: Federal retirement benefits are based in part on an employee’s salary in the years immediately before retirement. A pay freeze could fix those benefits at lower levels.
Outlook: Midcareer feds can probably recover, but those nearing the end of their tenure might be in a tougher spot.

Commission vote leaves 3-year pay freeze proposal in limbo
Summary: The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed a three-year freeze on federal employee pay — adding a year to Obama’s proposal — but couldn’t muster enough votes to compel congressional consideration.
Outlook: Although support is iffy, the proposal is still out there, and some in Congress might try to push it through.

Republicans target telework bill for oversight
Summary: The ink was barely dry on legislation that seeks to expand federal telework when Republicans started talking about oversight and restrictions.
Outlook: The bill will cost an estimated $30 million in five years to implement, while telework saved the government an estimated $30 million per day during the paralyzing snowstorms last winter. It should be a no-brainer.

Some lawmakers seek to dilute pay freeze proposal
Summary: Some Democrats and one Republican have asked that any pay freeze that goes beyond fiscal 2011 be left for the next Congress to decide.
Outlook: Feds are going to have a salary freeze. What’s uncertain is whether it’ll be for a year — or two or three.

WikiLeaks fallout: White House orders classified data security review

Summary:  The White House ordered agencies to examine their security practices to ensure they are keeping sensitive information out of the hands of unauthorized employees, following a massive release of classified diplomatic cables by the website WikiLeaks.

Outlook: Seeing as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is defiant, it's likely his efforts will continue to bedevil agency security leaders.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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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