The FCW mailbag

Here is a sampling of letters we have recently received. To read the complete letters or submit your own, go to

Suggestions for OPM

“As a current federal employee, I welcome a quicker, streamlined [job] application process for current federal employees. Most qualified applicants are discouraged from applying due to the long waiting time for an interview and selection.”

GAO not doing what it was created for

“For almost 20 years, the [Government Accountability Office] has been using the Chief Financial Officers Act and its pointless demand for government agencies to produce commercial financial statements as if they were profit-seeking businesses as an excuse to avoid doing the hard budgetary accounting job that GAO was created to do.”

Guidance needed to fix IT acquisition process

“The real challenge now is not beating the drum but providing actionable guidance on what specific rice bowls need to be eliminated, which processes need to be revamped and optimizing the [information technology] supply chain.”

What does FISMA score card actually assess?

“There should be a recommendation to the Office of Management and Budget and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to align the [Federal Information Security Management Act] score card with true measures of information technology security.”

A reader reacts

Last week, Federal Computer Week reported on a congressional study that concluded that the federal government missed out on a lot of savings because agencies ignored many recommendations from their inspectors general (“Panel: IG recommendations could have saved $26 billion,” Jan. 6, 2009). In response, one reader posted this comment: “There were 13,847 recommendations not implemented, for a missed cost savings of $25.9 billion. There were a total of 98,317 recommendations.

The 84,470 recommendations that were implemented, therefore, saved approximately $158 billion. (I think the IG had this number somewhere and was touting it as ‘good.’) This number is approximate because we are missing some data. It is surprising we are missing data because the missed recommendations are reported to a precision of 1 in 10,000, but the total money at stake was never reported. Must have been an oversight of the oversight committee. Maybe the IG can help them out.”

To join the discussion, look for the comment box at the bottom of each story on

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.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group