Federal News Countdown: IT reform bill, strategic sourcing and fiscal cliff

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Jim Williams,senior vice president of global professional services, Daon
Jon Desenberg, Senior Policy Director, The Performance Institute

Jim Williams’ stories
#3 The world isn’t going to end this month, NASA says
From the Patriot News:

There are theories floating around, preparations being made and websites updating to keep people “informed” about the pending end of the world, Dec. 21. The Mayan calendar ends with the winter solstice this year, plus there’s supposedly an ancient planet headed our way.

#2 OMB touts contract reductions, amplifies strategic sourcing push
From FCW:


Federal contract spending declined for the third year in a row in fiscal 2012, the Office of Management and Budget announced, decreasing by 4.5 percent from fiscal 2011. In fiscal 2011, the government spent $537 billion in contract costs, and in fiscal 2012, it spent $513 billion.

#1 A primer: Fiscal cliff deal at a standstill as deadline looms
From Los Angeles Times:

Republicans and Democrats are wrestling with a variety of riddles that have come to be known as the fiscal cliff, a double whammy of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the start of the new year. Here is a primer on unraveling the knotty political and economic threads.

Jon Desenberg’s stories
#3 Applying Evidence to Social Programs
From New York Times:

Despite a myriad of new government programs and spending over the last 40 years, the system has failed to improve economic and social well-being for an astonishingly large segment of the American population. There is a different way forward, focused on increasing the effectiveness of existing funds. This way forward could be an excellent fit as the administration and Congress ponder a second-term agenda for President Obama with little new money to spend.

#2 DIA sending hundreds more spies overseas
From Foreign Policy:

The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said. The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units.

#1 Is it time to revisit Clinger-Cohen?
From FCW:

The time has come to revise the framework that dictates the acquisition process for federal IT, according to two lawmakers in what might be a rare moment of bipartisan agreement.