10:00 pm, May 26, 2015

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  • 3

  • The GSA Debacle
    Don Carr
    Conferences and workshops are as important in the federal workplace as they are in the commercial workplace. It is what keeps us up to speed with industry standards, processes, and practices. On that note there should be a standard procedure feds must follow to schedule conferences and workshops. An agency should be required to put its workshop concepts into a request that goes forward to some oversight office for the agency (the Resource Manager?) for review and recommendation of approval/disapproval by the agency director. Approval should be required of the agency's top director. The OMB needs to provide standard guidelines for conferences, including costs, locations, and attendance. The DoD has an outstanding joint ethics regulation that could provide material to be included in such guidelines. Federal agencies should have to detail what they want to do, how they want to do it, what kind of speakers they want to have, and what kind of practical exercises they want to do during a conference. Conferences should be limited to a maximum of three days since there is absolutely no subject, topic, or project the federal government would undertake that would require more than three days to discuss. A maximum number of people per conference should be mandated. The requesting agency should furnish at least three different proposals from midgrade hotel conference facilities. Most important, requests by a federal agency to conduct a conference or workshop should include detailed discussion of precisely how the event will benefit the taxpayer.
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  • GSA freewheeling culture
    Unfortunately, the point made to the effect that GSA's problems are limited to its PBS component is not true. Memories are apparently short in this regard. Several years ago, GSA's Federal Supply Service came a cropper when it was found that FSS managers were playing fast and loose with the rukles governing the revolving fund used by FSS in its procurement operations for agencies using GSA's Federal Supply Schedule. PBS managers didn't learn from the mistakes of their FSS peers it appears, and indeed were even more abusive of their own revolving fund, which is used to manage agencies' rental arrabgements for GSA-owned or managed space. It does appear that GSA management as a whole has a rather cavalier attitude toward accountability and prudent fiscal management; they seem to believe that the ordinary "rules of the Federal road" don't pertain to them. It is time for what the military calls a serious "attitude adjustment" to be applied to that troubled agency's senior management cadre.
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  • No surprise Cardin blame at Business
    Are we to buy this "tail wags the dog" explanation. Leaders take accountability. Business is just the next scapegoat in the Obama blame game. We especially shouldn't be surprised that Maryland's Ben Cardin goes on the attack against business --Maryland government under Governor Martin O'Malley has one of the most antogonistic relationships with Business in the country! This is a luxury few other states can afford as Maryland's affluency (and Cardin's voting base)is largely reliant on federal government jobs held by Maryland residents. This is a long overdue wake up call to government - big business tightened their belts a long time ago (1990's),save the CEO's. Perks and parties are a thing of the past for everyone other than the feds and federal contractors, who systematically are overpaid. This entitled and self-indulgent attitude is prevalent across government -it IS NOT isolated to GSA or to the current administration. The federal government should be cut in half at minimum. The government seems to think it is their role to create jobs for the sake of creating jobs. If they would think more like Business people, they would realize that government should support business in creating private sector jobs - and stop biting the hand that would otherwise feed Maryland and the Country. Dan Bongino for Congress!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
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