Modular and Agile development appear to have much in common, but they aren't synonymous. A modular project need not adopt Agile for the software component. In partnership with Chantilly, Va.-based Market Connections, we surveyed federal employees on agencies' adoption of modular project management.
The Office of Management and Budget provided guidance to agencies on how to deal with the Do Not Pay list of government contractors ineligible for work because of past fraud while still adhering to privacy laws, an Aug. 16 memo (.pdf) from OMB Director Sylvia Burwell says. Burwell set out the procedure for using the list, where agencies can access information about the eligibility of contractors.
The Obama administration's reform plan and contracting guidelines support agency adoption of a modular approach. However, modular contracting has been the preferred contracting method for major IT projects since 1996. In partnership with Chantilly, Va.-based research firm Market Connections, we asked federal IT managers about their agencies' adoption of modular approaches to major systems in light of the OMB reform plan.
The Government Customer Service Improvement Act (H.R. 1660), which passed by a voice vote, would task the Office of Management and Budget with setting targets for the time taken to respond to email and telephone calls as well as to process benefits and payments. The bill also calls for OMB to guide agencies on how to effectively publish customer service contact information.
The Senate Appropriations mark of the fiscal 2014 spending bill for general government funding includes the full request for the e-Government Fund and the Federal Citizen Services Fund. Appropriators routinely fund the e-gov fund at less than the authorized ceiling or the White House request, although whether that's necessarily a sign of lack of commitment to e-gov projects is a matter of debate.
Identifying who belongs to the federal grant workforce is not straightforward, a report from the Government Accountability Office says. Some agencies use grant management specialists in tandem with subject-matter experts to oversee grants, while others use subject-matter experts only.
When developing fiscal 2015 budget requests, agencies should draw on existing program performance metrics to make resource allocation decisions and develop new ways for evaluating whether programs are effective, a July 26 Office of Management and Budget memo on budget submission guidance says.
"I am satisfied that they are taking it seriously, but I want to be careful with the word 'satisfied.' I'm very encouraged by the signs that I have seen," Howard Shelanski told the House Small Business Committee. Shelanski was confirmed as the new OIRA administrator on June 27, replacing Cass Sunstein.
The risk status of information technology projects listed on the IT Dashboard isn't verified and shouldn't necessarily be trusted, acknowledged Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel during a July 25 House hearing. "We don't in OMB, in my office, track the self-reported status as the key indicator of performance on investments. It's a fool's errand to track self-reported," he said.
The House Appropriations Committee approved July 17 a spending bill for the coming fiscal year that would combine the e-government fund with the Federal Citizen Services Fund within the General Services Administration to create a single "Information Engagement for Citizens Fund."