Federal News Countdown: Big data, Democratic platform and the continuing resolution

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Jon Desenberg, senior policy direct, The Performance Institute
Dan Mintz, chief operating officer, Powertek Corporation

Jon Desenberg’s stories
#3 GSA workers racked up $7.7M in travel costs
From CNN:

The General Services Administration – already under scrutiny for excessive spending – spent $7.7 million over the past four years to transport hundreds of employees who work full-time from their homes to various government conferences and meetings across the country, according to records released this week by the federal agency.

#2 Reid, Boehner announce stopgap spending deal
From Federal News Radio:


Top congressional leaders have announced a deal to keep the government running on autopilot for the first six months after the current budget year ends Sept. 30. The announcements from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) are aimed at averting any chance of a government shutdown this fall.

#1 Democrats mostly ignore feds in platform
From The Washington Post:

When you’re taking money out of someone’s pocket, the least you could do is give them a pat on the back. Yet, in the midst of the federal pay freeze that President Obama recently urged Congress to extend and an administration plan to charge federal employees more for their retirement benefits, the Democratic platform, revealed at the party’s convention in Charlotte, offers the workforce no words of support.

Dan Mintz’s stories
#3 Management successes paving the way for One-DHS
From Federal News Radio:

Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano coined the phrase “One DHS” with the idea of ensuring the 22 components worked more closely together and moved toward a common goal of securing and protecting the nation. And nowhere is this concept more accepted and tested than with the back-office functions of the department.

#2 Amazon Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD set new lows for tablet prices
From The Washington Post:

Amazon sent a shot across Apple’s bow Thursday with the introduction of a 4G tablet that’s hundreds of dollars cheaper than the iPad. Actually, the company introduced four tablets and a new e-reader: the light-up Kindle Paperwhite e-ink reader, a new version of the Kindle Fire and three versions of an enhanced tablet called the Kindle Fire HD.

#1 Local Governments: Ready for Big Data?
From Forbes:

News yesterday from the U.S. Census Bureau that there are 89,004 local governments in the United States today. All ready for transformation by big data? Last year, Mckinsey estimated that the application of big data in the public sector in Europe “could save more than “100 billion ($149 billion) in operational efficiency improvements alone… not including using big data to reduce fraud and errors and boost the collection of tax revenues.” Big data could potentially reduce the costs of administrative activities by 15 to 20 percent, said Mckinsey, and “can play a similar role in other countries and regions.”