Editorial: New Year’s resolutions

This is the last issue of Federal Computer Week for 2007, so we’d like to share some hopes and resolutions for 2008:

■ For the Bush administration/Office of Management and Budget: The countdown continues — 399 days left. Getting anything done becomes increasingly difficult as Jan. 20, 2009, nears. But we encourage the administration not to coast through the coming year.

■ For federal agencies: We believe Government 2.0 is on OMB’s to-do list. It should be. Agencies could benefit from putting into practice some of the principles of Web 2.0 applications, including the notions that all of us together are smarter than any one of us and sharing information can produce powerful results.

■ For Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.):We hope the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will sit down for an interview with Federal Computer Week to discuss what he wants to accomplish.

■ For Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.):We hope Davis decides to run for re-election in November. There are few other lawmakers who know or care about government procurement and information technology issues as much as he does.

■ For feds: We encourage you to resolve not to get mired in final-year syndrome and instead be a beacon of good government.

■ For Congress generally: Lawmakers have managed to attain what many thought was impossible: popularity ratings that rival those of a war-torn president. Few things are as simple as they seem, and there are certainly many reasons for those numbers.

Yet we have to believe that one is the inability to move beyond their differences to get work done.

One example: Moving into the second quarter of the fiscal year, Congress has yet to approve spending bills. There is blame on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the battle has an enormous impact on agencies’ ability to accomplish their missions.

■ Presidential candidates: We all understand that government management issues are not high on any presidential campaign’s platform, but the election this year has been filled with hyperbole. Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani made the foolish contention that his administration would not fill the positions of those who retire. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has said she would slash the number of government contractors. Again, there are real issues that deserve real solutions rather than campaign platitudes.

Voters are eager for change. Offering reasoned solutions that can be discussed, debated and then enacted would be a welcome change.

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