The FCW mailbag

Here is a sampling of letters we have recently received. To read the complete letters or submit your own, go to fcw.com/articles/list/letters.aspx.

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.com.

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