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FCW : October 2015
Trending fewer DOD employees and contractors hold security clearances than in 2013 17 percent 8 October 2015 FCW.COM The nominations for the 2016 Fed- eral 100 awards are now open. So please help the most exceptional women and men in our community get the recognition they deserve! For more than a quarter-century, the awards have hon- ored individuals who go far beyond their assigned duties to make a differ- ence. The Federal 100 are the most prestigious awards in federal IT — for good reason. But it all starts with a great pool of nominees. So if you know people you believe should be among the 2016 Federal 100, please make sure our judges know about them, too. Not certain what it takes to make the Fed- eral 100? Here are five points to remember: 1. Anyone in the fed- eral IT community is eligible: career civil servants, political appointees, con- tractors, academics, even members of Congress. 2. The awards are for individual accomplishments in 2015. 3. Winners go above and beyond, whatever their level or rank. A fancy job title is not required, and just doing one’s job well is not enough. 4. You can make multiple nomina- tions. Do so early and often. 5. Impact matters. Tell us what a nominee did and what that work accomplished. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 23. Go to FCW.com/2016fed100 for details, and get started on your nominations today. — Troy K. Schneider firstname.lastname@example.org @troyschneider EDITOR’S NOTE Help us find the heroes of federal IT Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner might be better remembered for public bouts of weeping and a private fond- ness for red wine and cigarettes. But as the Ohioan prepares to leave office amid a political struggle over the direc- tion of the Republican caucus, it’s a good time to reflect on a surprising aspect of his leg- acy: promoting open data in government. “From the start of his speakership, Boehner has been a leader in pushing the house toward adopting struc- tured data formats for legislation,” Hudson Hollister, founder and execu- tive director of the Data Transparency Coalition, told FCW. Hollister is a former House staffer who helped draft early iterations of the Data Accountability and Transparency Act. He dreams of a day when legis- lative bills are linked and searchable, new legislation automatically updates the online text of the laws modified and federal dollars can be tracked from appropriations through obligations to actual spending. Boehner helped get the House closer to that vision, Hollister said. Only a few months after taking over as speaker, Boehner joined then-Major- ity Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in send- ing a letter to the Clerk of the House calling for open legis- lative data standards. It took three years, but the Boehner- Cantor team helped shepherd the Data Act into law. Despite the bill’s steep price tag — $300 million over four years — Boehner rallied the House to pass the bill three times before the Senate finally took up the legislation. Matt Rumsey, a senior policy analyst at the Sunlight Foundation, said, “Both sides of the aisle worked together” on data and transparency issues under Boehner’s leadership. Improving data quality is one part of Boehner’s legacy, Rumsey added, while the openness of the House itself is another. However, Rumsey acknowledged that “these issues are never going to rise to the level of pub- lic notice” that mainstream, hot-button issues enjoy. “These policy changes are techni- cal, they’re not sexy politically, and yet they’re so consequential when it comes to connecting Congress to the people they serve,” Hollister added. Boehner’s leadership helped move those issues forward, but of course, government has a long way to go. Agencies are still hashing out how they’ll present financial information to the American people, Data Act defini- tions still need hammering out, and the House and Senate need to join forces on a unified data structure to reach the holy grail of sensible open governance, Hollister said. But in the House, Boehner “laid the groundwork,” Hollister said, add- ing that “the House is worlds ahead of the Senate” on the issues of recording, publishing and tagging video. — Zach Noble John Boehner’s surprising tech legacy John Boehner FLICKR.COM/GAGESKIDMOREZAIDHAMID 1015fcw_003-009.indd 8 10/14/15 12:55 PM
September 30, 2015
November and December 2015