Buzz Factor

These were the most-read stories on FCW.com in the past two weeks.

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.

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: 

Outlook: Seeing as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is defiant, it's likely his efforts will continue to bedevil agency security leaders.

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