Buzz Factor

The most-read stories on FCW.com 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.

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Featured

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    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

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