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FCW : January 2013
The Defense Department s two top leaders have instructed the military services to get serious about planning for budget cuts. A memo from Deputy Defense Sec- retary Ashton Carter included guide- lines for addressing looming scal uncertainty and gave military agen- cies the green light to freeze civilian hiring, terminate temporary hires and reduce base operating funds. Also on the chopping block are expenses that could include business IT. "Given the overall budgetary uncer- tainty faced by the department, and in particular the immediate operational issues presented by the [continuing resolution], it is prudent to take cer- tain steps now in order to help avoid serious future problems," Carter wrote. Beyond the personnel guidance, the memo gives of cials permission to cut travel, training and conference expenses. It also encourages short- term measures to curtail "adminis- trative expenses such as supply pur- chases, business IT, ceremonies, etc." Officials must also provide the undersecretary and the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering with an assessment of the scal uncertainty s impact on research priorities for all science and technol- ogy accounts. At a Jan. 10 Pentagon briefing, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta noted a potential "perfect storm of budget uncertainty" in sequestration, the con- tinuing resolution and an impending debt-ceiling debate. "Regardless of what Congress does or fails to do, we still have an obliga- tion to protect this country," Panetta said. "So for that reason, I ve asked the military services and the other components to immediately begin implementing prudent measures that will help mitigate our budget risk." --- Amber Corrin DOD agencies directed to buckle down on spending Trending 8 January 2013 FCW.COM agency-friendly terms-of-service agreements for social media have been negotiated by GSA 62 TANK When the General Services Admin- istration announced a government- wide terms-of-service agreement with Pinterest on Jan. 8, some agencies had been on the photo-sharing site for months. So what s wrong with federal of ces simply agreeing to a site s standard terms? Simply put, most free social media products are "incompat- ible with federal law, regulation or practice," said GSA spokeswom- an Jackeline Stew- art. Federal agen- cies that make use of new platforms without negotiating an alternative terms-of-service agreement risk legal headaches, copyright issues and an assortment of other problems. GSA has helped ease confusion in recent years by developing a terms- of-service template that highlights common concerns for agencies and suggests ways to resolve them. The negotiated amendment to Pin- terest s terms of service, for exam- ple, acknowledges that agency- and user-generated content may meet the definition of federal records and could require the "transfer of permanently valuable records to [the National Archives and Records Administration] in a format and man- ner acceptable to NARA at the time of transfer." "Centrally negotiated terms of serv- ice reduce duplication across the government and minimize the work needed for individual agencies to get up and running on these social media platforms," Stewart said. --- Frank Konkel Why you really should read those terms of service Pinterest is the latest social media site to alter its terms for agencies.