Budget Woes to Impact Federal I.T. Pros

There’s no doubt that federal agencies are going to have to figure out ways to get far more efficient in the coming months, according to Darrell West of the Brookings Institution.  What’s looming over I.T. budgets of federal agencies is the “fiscal cliff,” scheduled to go into effect at the end of this month.

Last year, a bipartisan deficit-reduction agreement mandated $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts of domestic and defense programs if the U.S. Congress does not take further action on looming national debt concerns.

If all the “fiscal cliff” mandates take effect, $600 billion could be saved starting next year, but impact the economy enough to make a new recession likely, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which also says that the resulting weakening of the economy will lower taxable incomes and raise unemployment, generating a reduction in tax revenues and an increase in spending on such items as unemployment insurance. With that economic feedback incorporated, the deficit will drop by $560 billion between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, CBO projects.

Daniel Hertzberg, contributor, believes that the changing economic face of government investment might cause:
1) Concentrating authority—including budget decisions—in the hands of agency CIOs, especially if Congress passes the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act.
2) The likely addition of computer-based collaborative tools now in use in the commercial and corporate sectors that have yet to gain wide acceptance in the public sector: like replacing interagency emails and phone calls with group chats, badges and polls and using technologies like Gchat, Google’s instant messaging program, and Google Drive, the collaborative document writing program.
3) During the next four to eight years, government agencies might promote the concept that employees voluntarily bring their own laptops, pads and smartphones to use in the workplace. It’s been hinted that agencies might even consider offsetting this new “burden” with a financial allowance to employees.

There’s no doubt that federal agencies are going to have to figure out ways to get far more efficient in the coming months, according to Darrell West of the Brookings Institution.  What’s looming over I.T. budgets of federal agencies is the “fiscal cliff,” scheduled to go into effect at the end of this month.

Last year, a bipartisan deficit-reduction agreement mandated $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts of domestic and defense programs if the U.S. Congress does not take further action on looming national debt concerns.

If all the “fiscal cliff” mandates take effect, $600 billion could be saved starting next year, but impact the economy enough to make a new recession likely, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which also says that the resulting weakening of the economy will lower taxable incomes and raise unemployment, generating a reduction in tax revenues and an increase in spending on such items as unemployment insurance. With that economic feedback incorporated, the deficit will drop by $560 billion between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, CBO projects.

Daniel Hertzberg, contributor, believes that the changing economic face of government investment might cause:
1) Concentrating authority—including budget decisions—in the hands of agency CIOs, especially if Congress passes the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act.
2) The likely addition of computer-based collaborative tools now in use in the commercial and corporate sectors that have yet to gain wide acceptance in the public sector: like replacing interagency emails and phone calls with group chats, badges and polls and using technologies like Gchat, Google’s instant messaging program, and Google Drive, the collaborative document writing program.
3) During the next four to eight years, government agencies might promote the concept that employees voluntarily bring their own laptops, pads and smartphones to use in the workplace. It’s been hinted that agencies might even consider offsetting this new “burden” with a financial allowance to employees.

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