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.


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