FCW Insider: Sept. 11

The latest news and analysis from FCW's reporters and editors.

The 2020 Federal 100

This year's Fed 100 winners show just how much committed and talented individuals can accomplish in federal IT. Read their profiles to learn more!

Comment: Delivering outcomes, building trust

Few things will derail a project as fast as a lack of focus on mission outcomes and maintaining trust, ACT-IAC CEO Dave Wennergren writes.

OPM nominee deflects questions about conspiracy tweets

John Gibbs, the HUD official selected to lead the Office of Personnel Management, wasn't pressed by lawmakers on a history of controversial tweets of conspiracy theories and calling the Democrats the party of Islam.

OPM plans to field employee survey next week

The long-delayed Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey will kick off on Sept. 14.

Quick Hits

*** Census Bureau tech got plaudits from the Government Accountability Office's Chris Mihm at a Sept. 9 hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but the compressed schedule for reporting on the population count is still a cause for concern.

Mihm testified that the online response option "worked…pretty much without a hitch" and noted that "when this is over in terms of the fundamental bedrock enumeration is the…use of technology is going to be a generally positive story." However, Mihm also said there are worries about the accelerated schedule – to get enumerators out of the field a month early and cutting processing time from 150 days to 90 days.

"Either one of them would be a very difficult lift," Mihm said. "The two of them together could be an extraordinary one for the Census Bureau."

*** 18F released a two-part guide to help states and federal agencies eliminate or mitigate much of the risk involved in taking on technology projects, especially custom software projects managed on a waterfall delivery process. To produce the guide, 18F researchers delved into "lessons learned from failed IT projects, and interviewed agencies to uncover common pain points."

*** A consortium of more than 300 environmental groups including the National Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation is urging Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt to remove William Perry Pendley from his post as acting head of the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley's nomination to lead BLM on a permanent basis was recently pulled by the White House.

That withdrawal "is a clear admission that Mr. Pendley is fundamentally unfit for the job and incapable of receiving Senate confirmation," the letter states. "Leaving Mr. Pendley in charge of [BLM] in his current capacity exercising the authority of the Director or in any other leadership role is unacceptable."