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February 2016
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The Public Manager

Navigating Federal Notices: February 2016

A roundup of the latest reports, orders, and memoranda from the key federal oversight and policy organizations.

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Centers of Excellence

According to the Government Accountability Office, both the Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administration have centers of excellence (COEs) that are expected to improve certain services throughout both agencies' healthcare systems. The GAO conducted a study on these two organizations and their implementation of COEs. The GAO emphasized the importance of having a procedure and criteria in place to develop any COE. Other agency managers may gain insight as to whether they can use this type of structure on a much smaller scale.

Go Online: www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-54

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Cybersecurity

According to the GAO, cyber-based risks to federal systems and information can come not only from intentional threats such as disgruntled insiders, hackers, or hostile nations, but also from unintentional threats such as natural disasters, software coding errors, and poorly trained or careless employees. These threat sources may exploit vulnerabilities in agencies' systems and networks to steal or disclose sensitive information, among other activities. This report catalogs typical weaknesses inside agencies and offers ways managers can encourage staff to be vigilant in how to protect themselves.

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Go Online: www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-228T

Performance and Accountability Report, Fiscal Year 2015

As a federal manager it is likely that you will interact with the GAO during the course of your career. A better understanding of the GAO—its mission and performance plan—could help during these interactions. The GAO released its annual report, which has a significant amount of information about the agency. Specifically, it describes GAO's performance measures, results, and accountability processes for the fiscal year 2015.

Go Online: www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-3SP

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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