The federal government will face an array of issues and challenges this year. But Dan Chenok, the executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, says a focus on strategy planning — at the beginning of the year — will save federal managers a few headaches further down the road.
Chenok points to three issues to watch for this year.
Dan Chenok’s Top 3 for 2013
Cybersecurity. The government and the world continue to put more information and transactions online; the nature of connection to this information and between people continues to be more diverse and dispersed, due to trends like increased use of the cloud and big data; and the nature of threats to the Nation changes every day. Government and industry will continue to look at law, policy, and operational responses to provide for a safe and secure cyberspace, keeping this issue at the forefront.
Manage efficiently for better government and budgetary savings. However the budget discussions turn out, agencies will be seeking ways to reduce expenses in order to meet targets. Management is often separated from the discussion of budget caps – but good management can provide savings for the government that match those seen by leading private sector companies. At the same time, good management can improve program operations, leading to measurable performance improvement – especially important with the renewed attention on performance improvement coming from OMB in light of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Amendments.
New ways to leverage non-government resources. The innovation agenda led out of the White House Chief Technology Office through the Presidential Innovation Fellows, and the increased use of challenges and prizes led by GSA and implemented by agencies, demonstrate ways to use limited Federal dollars in interesting ways that contrast with traditional contracting. Look for more use of these kinds of approaches that allow agencies to access new solutions and ideas.
Francis Rose is the host of In Depth, which airs weekdays from 8-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area and online everywhere. Francis has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He joined Federal News Radio in 2006, and launched In Depth in 2008 as a daily show focused on connecting federal executives to the information they need to do their jobs better.