Accountability and Performance Weekly – May 16-22

GAO Sees Progress but More Opportunity for Improving Efficiency
Federal agencies have made substantial progress toward addressing fragmentation, duplication and overlap in their programs, GAO has said, although its latest annual report also cites 18 new areas where such problems exist and adds recommendations for actions on previous ones that have not been resolved.

Open Data, Analytics, & Data Governance
State and Federal Data on COVID-19 Testing Don’t Match Up
Robinson Meyer and Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic (crossposted to GovExec)
Illustrating the complexity of managing national data from decentralized sources, CDC has started releasing nationwide numbers but they contradict what states themselves are reporting.

Select data centers should specialize in shared services, says director of consolidation effort
Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop
Select data centers across the U.S. should provide governmentwide shared services like archiving or mainframe-as-a-service, according to the director of the General Services Administration’s consolidation initiative.

Data is the Army’s secret weapon to winning the battle for talent
Kevin McCaney, Federal News Network
There are a lot of moving parts to the service’s talent management initiative, but a consistent thread is its use of data in assessing the talent the Army needs and in how soldiers and civilians should be deployed.

TSA makes data a top priority for detecting insider threats
Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop
The Transportation Security Administration is prioritizing the use of data to detect insider threats to the transportation system, under a roadmap released Thursday.

Open Government & Innovation
NASA wants to hack its way against coronavirus
Tom Temin, Federal News Network
For nine years, thinkers at NASA’s science mission has been inviting software coders and scientists to an annual hackathon aimed at helping out with real-world problems. This year, there’s an early, extra edition aimed at coronavirus.

Pandemic Response and Oversight
What will work look like going forward? The federal CIO outlines possible changes
Andrew Eversden, Federal Times
Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent said that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will leave the federal government “rethinking” many processes that were once required to occur in person.

HHS gauges industry’s appetite for sharing data on medical supply availability
Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop
The Department of Health and Human Services wants to know if industry can feasibly share information through a “supply chain IT control tower” to allow for real-time visibility across the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) of medical supplies.

Could the pandemic force the intelligence community to reconsider workplace flexibilities?
Nicole Ogrysko, Federal News Network
“When we get back to normal, there is not going to be the normal we knew of pre-Covid,” Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said last week on a webinar. “We’ve been able to identify the fact that we are just as successful, with some exceptions, with people working at home than we were before.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Accountability and Performance Weekly – May 2-15

Open Data, Analytics, & Data Governance
Federal Data Strategy team extends target dates, prioritizes coronavirus response data
Dave Nyczepir, FedScoop
The Federal Data Strategy team is extending target dates in its 2020 action plan as agencies focus on “mission-critical” activities and minimize face-to-face interactions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

How agencies can master their data to deliver better services
Sherry Bennett and Michael Anderson, FedScoop
Deadlines to meet the Federal Data Strategy 2020 Action Plan are approaching quickly. Federal agencies must prioritize actions to establish processes, build capacity and align efforts that leverage their data to better serve the public. The first step of the action plan requires federal leaders to identify the agency’s data needs by September 2020.

Data sharing and COVID-19
Lia Russell, FCW
As the federal government has had to adapt to the new normal of working remotely since the coronavirus shuttered office doors, a number of agencies have prioritized public data sharing in an effort to collaborate on response and recovery efforts.

How Virginia Juked Its COVID-19 Data
Alexis C. Madrigal and Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic Magazine
The state is combining results from viral and antibody tests in the same statistic. This threatens to confound America’s understanding of the pandemic.

Pentagon Wants Better Data For Its Predictive Aircraft Maintenance AI
Frank Konkel, NextGov
The Pentagon’s AI center is looking to break through past challenges it has faced advancing predictive maintenance among select aircraft.

Open Government & Innovation
Free training available to become coronavirus contact tracer
Tom Temin, Federal Drive, Federal News Network
State and local health agencies are offering free training for anyone who wants to become what’s known as a COVID-19 contact tracer. The training program is organized through two organizations — the National Coalition of STD Directors and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

VA Exploring Options for a Grand Challenge to Prevent Suicide
Brandi Vincent, NextGov
The agency is looking for a contractor to help run a possible multi-phase competition, including outreach and potentially raising private-sector funds for the prizes.

Customer Service
Improving Customer Experience in the Wake of COVID-19
Scott Straub, NextGov
During a crisis when it is most important to provide an experience that gives customers confidence in their government.

Pandemic Response, Oversight, Continuity of Operations, and Telework
SBA shows dangers of fast rule-making
Tom Temin, Federal News Network
The SBA Inspector General came out with a report on the loans authorized by the CARES Act that the seven “interim final rules” mostly aligned with the Act.

Posted in Uncategorized

Accountability and Performance Weekly – April 25-May 1

Open Data, Analytics, & Data Governance
Federal Manager’s Daily Report: Progress Reported on Data Strategy Milestones
Most of the first calendar quarter milestones in the Federal Data Strategy 2020 Action Plan have been fully met, several partially met and data collection is pending on several others.

Census Bureau launches surveys, data hub to track coronavirus impacts
Dave Nyczepir, fedscoop
The Census Bureau plans to fill holes in the government’s understanding of the coronavirus’ social and economic impacts with two new surveys and an interactive data hub.

AI success in federal health agencies starts with effective data management
Joachim Roski and Catherine Ordun, FCW
In just the few months since the virus erupted onto the world stage, governments and organizations have employed AI to track outbreaks and predict where future outbreaks will occur; research and develop treatments; diagnose the disease from CT lung scans; among other uses.

What’s New in Civic Tech: Gov Data Efforts Evolve in Crisis
Zach Quaintance, Government Technology
The Pittsburgh Department of Innovation and Performance’s GIS team has created a platform to map positive COVID-19 test results by neighborhood; the California Homeless Data System team is looking to hire new tech talent; a New York City group has rolled out a new Census messaging guide; and the Connecticut Data Collaborative is now hosting online events.

The coronavirus has turned this unlikely federal agency into a predictor of economic recovery
Andrew Eversden, Federal Times
The Transportation Department’s statistical agency may be able to offer clues as to when the U.S. economy will recover.

Management & Oversight
Creating an Oversight Toolkit to Ensure the CARES Act Delivers for the American People
Evan Lee, Nextgov
Inspectors general across government need modern tools in their fight against fraud.

GAO Gives Mixed Review of Selected Management Initiatives
GAO has given a mixed review of three initiatives in the administration’s government-wide reform plan,reviewing the transfer of background investigation responsibility from OPM to DoD, addressing the government’s shortage of cybersecurity workers, among others.

Posted in Uncategorized

Accountability and Performance Weekly – April 18-24

Survey: Most Feds Say the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Had a ‘Major’ or ‘Extreme’ Impact on Agency Operations
Eric Katz, Government Executive
Only 4-in-10 of those still reporting to work say their agencies have provided adequate protections.

Coronavirus Outbreak Could Make the Upcoming Presidential Transition the Toughest Since the Depression, Nonprofit Says
Courtney Buble, Government Executive
“I think that the current crisis makes this the most important and, perhaps, challenging transition since 1932,” resource center director of the Partnership for Public Service says.

Open Data, Analytics, & Data Governance:
What all policy analysts need to know about data science
Alex Engler, Brookings Institution
Excellent resource summarizing the “buzzwords” and their pertinence to governance and policy.

Traffic Data Useful in Monitoring, Planning Around COVID-19
Skip Descant, Government Technology
Movement data pointed to an increase in vehicle activity on Easter Sunday in several U.S. counties. This revelation comes as many states urge residents to avoid nonessential travel to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Lawmakers push for answers on SBA data leak
Mark Rockwell, Derek B. Johnson, FCW
Despite a glitch that made headlines, the Small Business Administration had planned in advance to build tech tools to support legislative mandates for emergency business loans.

Needed to fight COVID-19: A program for data on social determinants of health
Joel Gurin, FedScoop
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data on COVID-19 cases is an initial basis for tracking and analyzing the spread of COVID-19, but it is not enough.

Open Government & Innovation
Senators want federal innovation centers to help state and local governments
Andrew Eversden, Federal Times
However, red tape prevents the organizations from quickly partnering with state and local governments.

Posted in Uncategorized

Accountability and Performance Weekly – April 11-17

SBA’s Continuity of Operations during the Pandemic and its Tech Enablers
Pearl Kim, GovLoop
The key enablers that keeps the agency’s operations running during the pandemic are innovative, improvisational thinking, and the technology modernization efforts that had laid a foundation to allow the agency to scale up.

A New Era of Telework Should be the Beginning of a More Flexible Federal Workforce.
Shawn Skelly, Government Executive
In the federal government, fewer than half of employees are authorized to telework, despite a requirement for agencies to incorporate telework into their continuity of operations plans.

Innovation & Open Government
The Pandemic Is a Clarion Call to Remove Barriers to Innovation
Stan Soloway, Government Executive
The COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity to put in place solutions that will benefit us all, now and in the future.

What’s New in Civic Tech: New App Traces Coronavirus Contact
Zach Quiantance, GovTech
A team of researchers at the University of California, Irvine announced the tool this week which is something governors have described as a vital step in reopening the economy. The tool is called TrackCOVID, and it is a free, open-sourced app that its creators say also ensures the privacy of those who are potentially affected.

Data Analytics, Data Governance, & Open Data
Real-time government data on pandemic remains scant as crisis continues
Jackson Barnett, FedScoop
The limited amount of publicly available real-time data on the impact of COVID-19 has raised questions on the federal government’s handling of critical information at a time when the public and other institutions depend on it to stop the virus’ spread.

GovExec Daily: Overseeing Agencies’ Pandemic Response
Adam Butler and Ros Gianfortune, Government Executive
Katherine McIntire Peters and Courtney Bublé join the podcast to discuss how IGs, agencies and Congress can account for the money in the CARES Act.

Posted in Uncategorized