Government website developers may want to shift focus to mobile device access

In today's Federal Newscast, new numbers the General Services Administration's Digital Analysis Program shows an increasing amount of users accessing government...

  • It may be time for government website developers to think mobile first. A new analysis from the General Services Administration’s Digital Analytics Program found that 43 percent of traffic to government websites in June 2017 were from smartphones or tablets. DAP said the data should be taken into account during the develop and design phase. (General Services Administration Digital Analytics Program)
  • New guidance is out to help agency leaders track, measure and reward employee performance. The Office of Personnel Management said its own research shows keeping employees continuously engaged leads to better performance. The guidance comes as agencies re-evaluate how to measure and reward employee performance under the president’s government reorganization executive order. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • The amount of rehiring going on at the Internal Revenue Service is raising concerns. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported between January 2015 and March 2016, the IRS rehired 200 former employees with previous misconduct and performance problems. TIGTA recommended providing hiring officials with access to former employee conduct data. IRS said it is updating its policies to reflect the audit. (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration)
  • President Donald Trump signed similar legislation expanding the G.I. Bill. What Congressional supporters call the “Forever G.I. Bill” is the biggest expansion of veterans education benefits since the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill became law in 2008. Among other changes, the act removes a use-it-or-lose-it component that required veterans to use their college benefits within 15 years. It also extends benefits to Purple Heart recipients and the survivors of military members killed on active duty. The new law is also meant to incentivize veterans to enroll in science, technology, engineering and math courses by giving them extra payments for studying STEM fields. (Federal News Radio)
  • Here’s some good news for supporters of the Thrift Savings Plan Modernization Act. The Congressional Budget Office said it will not increase net spending or budget deficits. A good score from CBO means the bill can more easily head to the floor for votes. Government Oversight committees in both chambers approved the bill last month. (Congressional Budget Office)
  • A former Secret Service agent already heading to jail for money laundering, pleaded guilty to stealing even more money. Shaun Bridges admitted to stealing nearly $400,000 in bitcoins from a digital wallet owned by the federal government. Bridges’ first arrest happened when he admitted to stealing $800,000 in the cryptocurrency during his investigation of the online black market, Silk Road. (Department of Justice)
  • A seminal cybersecurity guidance is receiving an update. The National Institute of Standards and Technology responded to the call for cybersecurity to be more proactive and broad-based to the types of IT it applies to. NIST released the fifth iteration of special publication 800-53 yesterday. The one-year effort includes changes to make the controls more consumable by diverse groups including mission and business operations; engineering organizations and industry building system products and services. NIST made six major updates including making the privacy and security controls more outcome based and integrating risk management approaches. NIST is accepting comments on the draft revision through Sept. 12. (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • The Homeland Security Department is planning to abandon a policy that gave refugee status to children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras A change in immigration policy became effective yesterday. DHS terminated the parole component of the Central American Minors, or CAM, program. The Obama-era policy let parents legally into the U.S. to  apply for temporary, emergency resettlement of minor, unmarried children from the three countries. DHS rescinded approvals already granted if the children haven’t already arrived. (Government Publishing Office)

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