Expect 2003's hot topics to still be hot next year

Related Links

Hot Topics

It's been a year of hot management and procurement topics for the GCN Reader Survey.

Take competitive sourcing'please, according to a vast majority of our survey respondents.

The debate has been fierce this year over competitive sourcing'a major item on the President's Management Agenda'and its chief instrument of implementation, OMB Circular A-76.

The White House and its allies on Capitol Hill want to overhaul A-76, which supplies a format for comparing the costs of in-house against commercial services and letting contractors and federal employees compete for the work.

But a GCN survey in July on competitive sourcing found that few rank-and-file IT managers are buying the Office of Management and Budget's hard sell.

In fact, more than three-quarters in the survey said they view A-76 as simply a means to outsource government jobs to industry.

Moreover, most survey participants said the A-76 effort is having a negative impact on the morale of government workers. 'Morale is down already,' grumbled a civilian-agency manager.

Another item on the President's Management Agenda is the strategic use of human capital. In June, GCN examined government IT work force trends and the much-discussed crisis in human capital.

Sixty-three percent of respondents reported a shortage of IT workers at their agencies but fewer than a third said their agencies are doing enough to recruit and retain IT specialists.
'There's not enough staff to do the work,' a systems specialist said.

IT project management is another big issue. OMB has initiated a push to require commercial certification for federal project managers. In an August survey, nearly half of respondents agreed that OMB's certification drive is a good idea.

At the same time, most managers in the survey said that project management experience and a successful track record were the most important qualifications. Certification came in third on the list. 'There's nothing like hands-on, real-world experience,' a General Services Administration IT specialist said.

Want some insight on other major issues in government IT this year? Take a look back at 2003 surveys on key trends in public-key infrastructure, e-mail and e-records policies, wireless technologies, wireless security and mobile computing.

No doubt most of these issues will still be on the front burner in 2004


  • Russia prying into state, local networks

    A Russian state-sponsored advanced persistent threat actor targeting state, local, territorial and tribal government networks exfiltrated data from at least two victims.

  • Marines on patrol (US Marines)

    Using AVs to tell friend from foe

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for ways autonomous vehicles can make it easier for commanders to detect and track threats among civilians in complex urban environments without escalating tensions.

Stay Connected