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FCW : November 30, 2012
November 30, 2012 FCW.COM 17 President Barack Obama won re- election Nov. 6, with the results in Ohio clinching the victory late that evening. Now that the concession and victory speeches are in the record books, the work of transitioning to the second term begins. Obama s transition will be a less radical one than Republican challenger Mitt Romney would have led, but it is common for agency leaders and other political appointees to step down or change jobs as a second term begins, so many career employees can expect new people to ll those roles. And sequestration adds a wild card to the transition. Unless Congress issues a repeal or delay before the end of the year, the president will have to deal with massive budget cuts set in motion long ago, which could leave agencies grappling with funding reduc- tions of 8 percent to 10 percent. "There is so much uncertainty this year," said Mark Forman, co- founder of Government Transac- tion Services and former adminis- trator of e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget. "You have to figure on an agency- by-agency basis, looking at [which congressional committee] chairman or ranking member may have lost seats, gure out if they should try to put one more year [into a] pet program, or if they are going to not do anything or let it ride. There s a lot of program- specific impact, and folks have to watch because of the possible change- over this year." A lot will be happening in the period between the election and the inaugu- ration, said Alan Balutis, senior direc- tor at Cisco Systems Internet Business Solutions Group and former CIO at the Commerce Department. He was also a member of the Obama-Biden Transi- tion Team in 2008. "A lame-duck Congress will be com- ing back to deal with sequestration, the debt limit, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and a host of other issues that they haven t dealt with throughout the 112th Congress to date," he said. "It will take a pretty seasoned executive to keep a hand on the helm during this time." The challenge for agency managers and other employees is to keep work- ing despite all the turbulence above and around them. Although the politi- cal landscape will change, the jobs of most non-political employees will not --- until the new appointees settle in and set their agendas. Step 1: Brief the new chiefs Even though the president is staying in of ce, his new appointees will need help getting up to speed, a responsi- bility that falls to career managers. Those activities should already be under way, said Bob Suda, a former federal IT leader and now president of Suda and Associates, and they should be carried to completion before the inauguration. It s important to do that work with alacrity and professionalism regardless of how you feel about the election results, said Ira Hobbs, for- mer Treasury Department CIO and now vice chairman at large at the Industry Advisory Council and principal of cer of consulting rm Hobbs and Hobbs. "The incoming [appointees], regard- BY MICHAEL HARDY "THERE'S A LOT OF PROGRAM- SPECIFIC IMPACT, AND FOLKS HAVE TO WATCH BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBLE CHANGEOVER THIS YEAR." --- MARK FORMAN, GOVERNMENT TRANSACTION SERVICES
November 15, 2012