Federal News Countdown: Sequestration planning, GSA initiatives and pay-freeze extension

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Dan Chenok, executive director, IBM Center for the Business of Government
Jason Miller, executive editor, Federal News Radio

Dan Chenok’s stories
#3 GSA chief plans 10 strategic sourcing efforts by 2015
From FCW:

Obama administration officials are going to the janitor’s closet, the tool chest and the IT office to find the next round of savings. The General Services Administration intends to launch 10 strategic sourcing initiatives in the next two years by targeting a range of products and services that all agencies use, such as cleaning supplies, tools and wireless devices, wrote Dan Tangherlini, GSA’s acting administrator, Jan. 10 on “The GSA Blog.”

#2 Rethinking The Debt Ceiling: Fund Deficits, Not Accumulated Debt
From AOL Government:


Looking beyond the current debt crisis, the Obama Administration (and future presidents for that matter) should expect continued stiff resistance from the Congress whenever the ceiling needs to be increased. No one likes to vote for a debt ceiling increase; there’s no clear upside and plenty of down, particularly for members of Congress who were elected promising to hold the line on spending and taxes

#1 Government data goes public
From Nextgov:

When the real estate sites Trulia and Zillow both made initial public offerings this summer it was more than just a victory for the two companies, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said Tuesday. It was also a victory for the government data that underlies those two sites, he said during a keynote presentation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cloud computing and big data forum and workshop.

Jason Miller’s stories
#3 House bill blocks pay increase for feds
From Federal News Radio:

A team of House Republican lawmakers is seeking to block a slight pay raise for federal workers slated to go into effect at the end of March. In an executive order issued late last month, President Barack Obama mandated an end to the two-year pay freeze with a 0.5 percent increase for federal employees beginning March 27. Previously, Obama indicated he would up federal pay but only after a stop-gap continuing resolution funding the government on a short-term basis expired.

#2 GSA’s Tangherlini sets new priorities as part of reform efforts
From Federal News Radio:

Dan Tangherlini, the General Services Administration’s acting administrator, seems to be indicating he’s in for the long term. Tangherlini, who took over in April after a conference spending scandal rocked the agency, detailed in a memo to employees, which was posted on his blog, Monday afternoon a new mission and new priorities for GSA.

#1 OMB tells agencies to ‘intensify’ sequestration planning
From Federal News Radio:

Agencies across government should “intensify” their planning for across-the-board sequestration cuts, according to a Jan. 14 memo to the heads of executive department and agencies from Jeff Zients, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. The memo – which reiterates that agencies should not yet take steps to implement any budget reductions – directs agencies to continue planning for budgetary uncertainty.