The Office of Management and Budget has proposed consolidating the process that awards more than $600 billion annually in federal grants and financial assistance.The regulations combine some paperwork and application processes and propose some timeframe changes, such as allowing indirect costs awards to extend negotiated rates for up to 4 years, "subject to the approval of the indirect cost cognizant agency."
Among the deliverables called for by OMB are for all agency chief information officers to appoint by March 25 a Section 508 coordinator and for CIOs and chief acquisition officers to by May 24 develop a plan and a schedule for completing a baseline assessment of Section 508 compliance on their websites and in IT procurement. The results of those assessments are due in December.
Federal agencies could see financial benefits through the use of enhanced use leases, but only if they adequately account for all costs and benefits of the leases, says the Government Accountability Office. It notes that some EULs do very well, such as a State Department lease in Istanbul for $20.6 million and a NASA EUL worth $147.7 million, but says most have modest gains "where the costs could more easily outweigh the benefits."
Federal agencies did not allow the public to comment on roughly 35 percent of rules that rules have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more from 2003 through 2010, says the Government Accountability Office. The concern, says GAO, is that public comments are often beneficial and responses to comments legitimize the process in the eyes of the public. During the same time period, agencies also used exceptions to not publish NPRMs on 44 percent of the roughly 30,000 non-major rules published, says the GAO.
We downloaded the spreadsheet of logged White House visitors covering the period of January through September 2012 and produced an interactive visualization out of the data. Note--the visualization requires Java; we withheld posting it online until Oracle released a patch for its zero day exploit. Go here to download it. Also, full interactivity requires going directly to the IBM Many Eyes website where we made the visualization.
Two likely areas of consolidated federal agency purchasing are janitorial and sanitation supplies, and maintenance, repair, and operations supplies; Tangherlini said teams have already formed and met to look at how spending in those areas could be consolidated. Other areas of targeted consolidation include wireless services and software, he added.
The development of President Obama's fiscal 2014 has reportedly lagged, and an official from the Office of Management and Budget says the Office of Management and Budget has not yet decided the timeline. By law, the president must submit the coming fiscal year's proposed budget no later than the first Monday in February.
The Obama administration will soon issue policy requiring new government data to be open to the public and machine readable as a default, said Todd Park, chief technology officer within the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The White House said it would issue in November such a policy in the Digital Government Strategy, a May 2012 document outlining the administration's second wave technology agenda.
In a Dec. 27 announcement, GSA says it plans to develop the Government-wide Travel Advisory Committee that will present the GSA with regular advice on ways to improve travel efficiency and effectiveness, reduce costs, develop a list of useable best practices and promote sustainability efforts.
While original scoring of the fiscal cliff compromise estimated the bill would add $3.97 trillion to the national deficit over 10 years, the White House says it actually will reduce deficits by $737 billion when the score is based on a more appropriate method.