Federal News Countdown: Fed response to Sandy and agency collaboration

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Ron Sanders, vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton
Larry Allen, President, Allen Federal Business Partners

Ron Sanders’ stories
#3 Pay gap between government, private sector widens to 34 percent
From Federal News Radio:

“The gap in pay between federal employees and private-sector workers has jumped 8 percentage points since last year, according to new data presented at a Federal Salary Council meeting Friday. On average, federal employees earn 34 percent less than their private-sector counterparts, according to the council’s analysis. The pay gap, which is calculated using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics based on pay in 34 locality pay areas, was 26 percent last year.”

#2 FEMA pays initial costs of Sandy-related power, transportation operations
From Federal News Radio:


“The federal government is picking up the tab to restore power and provide transportation in the areas hardest hit by Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy. “The President has directed that we do [direct federal assistance] in support of state and local governments, in particular with pumping operations and transportation operations and getting the power systems back on,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, in a conference call with reporters Thursday, two full days after the superstorm hit the Eastern seaboard.”

#1 The 7 Essentials of Cross-Agency Collaboration
From GovExec:

“GAO’s latest study on collaborative governance is based on an analysis of more than 300 past GAO reports covering issues such as homeland security, agriculture, and health, as well as a series of interviews with experts on the topic. GAO previously reported in 2005 on eight ‘key practices to enhance and sustain interagency collaboration,’ including leadership, trust, and organizational culture. That report lays out how network managers should behave. But it was largely silent on the structural mechanisms for organizing such collaborative efforts.”

Larry Allen’s stories
#3 GSA chief touts agency’s response to Hurricane Sandy
From Federal Times:

“As Hurricane Sandy lashed New York City this week, employees from the General Services Administration braved the storm to open up the Brooklyn Courthouse to serve as a shelter for emergency workers. GSA also provided the Federal Emergency Management Agency with 1,000 chainsaws to help with relief efforts in Pennsylvania and sent 34 shipments of generators, pumps and portable toilets to storm-affected areas, acting administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a blog post Wednesday.”

#2 Storm ramps up federal teleworking
From The Washington Post:

“Sandy is sitting on the federal government like a huge wet and windy blanket, a killjoy if ever there was one. Yet, despite the storm that has closed government offices along the East Coast, stopped transit systems and forced residents to hunker down in their homes, some work of the government continues to get done. A good chunk of federal employees are working while their colleagues have the day off Tuesday, for the second straight day.”

#1 Jobs Report Shows Persistent Economic Growth
From The New York Times:

“The economy may have some more underlying strength than earlier believed, according to the final job market report released before Tuesday’s presidential election. The nation’s employers added 171,000 positions in October, the Labor Department reported on Friday, and more jobs than initially estimated in both August and September.”