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National Security to Be First Casualty in ‘War on Sequestration’

January 29, 2013

In anticipation of the pending sequestration cuts slated to go into effect on March 1, the Pentagon recently announced that it has begun laying off many of its 46,000 temporary and contract workers, as well as delaying aircraft and ship maintenance. Even more jarring was the news that the Pentagon will inform Congress of its plans to furlough most of its full-time civilian employees, possibly asking them to take one day off per week. On January 10, outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “Regardless of what Congress does or fails to do, we still have an obligation to protect this country.  ... Read more

Monday Morning News Kick Off: Navy to Cut 3,000 Shipyard Workers; Insights Into Agencies’ Sequestration Plans; and Lockheed Delivers Solid 4th Quarter Despite Budget Fears

January 28, 2013

Welcome to the Monday morning news kick off post from the FedPulse blog.  The new sequestration deadline is nearly one month away.  As expected, the pall of uncertainty that clouded 2012 still lingers.  Be sure to check out this week’s Monday News Round Up, which features all of the latest sequestration news – as well as some good news about contract wins.  Happy Monday! Navy to Cut More Than 3,000 Shipyard Workers The Navy will cut more than 3,000 employees — almost 10 percent — from its shipyard workforce through a civilian hiring freeze and by laying off temporary workers. In addition ... Read more

Part One: Federal IT Budgets and Infrastructures Face Challenges and a New Era

January 24, 2013

This is the first in a three-part series on the future of government IT spending. Federal IT spending will be viewed with a keen eye in 2013, since there are clear indications that it will drop from its steady rate over the past four years, including fiscal year 2012. In what the Professional Services Council (PSC) calls the “Addressable IT Budgets,” the allotted IT budget is due to decline five percent, from $121.7 billion in 2012 to  $115.5 billion in 2013. As Kevin Jones at AOL Government discussed in a recent article, despite the looming threat of the sequestration spending cuts ... Read more

NASA’s Social Media Content Development is Entertaining and Informative

January 23, 2013

More often than not, the government looks to the private sector for trend-setting achievements, but that is not always the case. Contractors can take a lesson from NASA’s book when it comes to developing content and delivering it via social media. The agency is having fun with their content, while at the same time showing off its innovative work. The latter half of 2012 brought the latest entertainment craze, Gangnam Style. NASA jumped on board, posting a Gangham video parody that to date has well over 4 million views on YouTube. Social Media is taking hold in all sectors these days due ... Read more

Sequestration Delay Creates Need for Contractors to Better Understand Government Customer’s Needs

January 22, 2013

The dark clouds may have parted for a brief time with the recent sequestration delay.  But it’s already the second half of January and before we know it, we will find ourselves standing on the precipice once again. Nick Wakeman recently offered his always insightful take in a Washington Technology blog post on how the sequestration delay is presenting a ‘mixed bag’ for contactors. One passage of Wakeman’s post captured our attention: “Contractors are still caught in limbo, so the basic blocking and tackling of business remain paramount – know your customers, understand their problems, understand your weaknesses, control costs and build ... Read more

Monday Morning News Kick Off: Military Fears Dark Times Ahead; House GOP to Focus More on Sequestration Fight; CACI Prime on New Navy Contract; and Inauguration App

January 21, 2013

Welcome to the Monday morning news kick-off post from the FedPulse blog.  The combination of the MLK holiday and the Presidential inauguration make today very special in Washington, DC.  Though underneath today’s celebrations lie the ongoing feeling of uncertainty due to the pending budget cuts. Be sure to check out all of the sequestration news and much more in this week’s news round up. Happy Monday! Want to Follow Today’s Inaugural Activities? There’s an App for that The 57th Presidential Inaugural Committee unveiled the first-ever official inauguration smartphone app this week for iOS and Android platforms. House GOP Seeing Sequester, Not Debt Ceiling, ... Read more

Sequestration Preparedness: What Contractors Are Really Saying

January 17, 2013

Last month, Market Connections, Inc. issued a study that highlighted whether or not contractors believed that sequestration will happen and what they are doing to prepare for it.  With the sequestration deadline being pushed back two months, it seems that now is an ideal time to re-examine, in more depth, the findings of this survey. While many of the contractors surveyed were split on whether or not sequestration would happen, a surprising 46 percent of contractors are doing nothing until the budget issue is resolved. As part of the survey, Market Connections asked contractors how they are preparing for sequestration.   Here are ... Read more

Government Agencies Enhancing Website Usability Through Third-Party Research

January 16, 2013

Dave Glantz, Director of Research Services, Market Connections, Inc. In an era where government agencies are fully leveraging their core websites as true citizen- and constituent-facing tools, many are now taking advantage of the right usability testing to ensure maximum effectiveness. Much of this can be attributed to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) First Fridays usability testing program, which provides free usability tests to agencies’ websites.  From providing insights on navigation, content and contact information placement, this program has surveyed 450 unbiased users who have tested 26 agency websites. As a result, the program has saved the government $1.4 million in educational ... Read more

Predictions: First Half of 2013 Will Be Challenging for Government Contractors, But Things Will Improve

January 15, 2013

2012 was definitely a struggle for the government contracting community and things will remain challenging through the first half of 2013, according to Lisa Dezzutti, President and CEO of Market Connections, Inc., who was recently interviewed about 2013 trends by WashingtonExec. Though all is not dire.  Dezzutti predicts that we will settle into the ‘new normal,’ and there will be stronger revenue growth in the second half of the year when contractors have a greater understanding of the impact of the budget cuts. Dezzutti also offered the theme song for 2013, which is “I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again.”  ... Read more

Monday Morning News Kick Off: Panetta Warns of Severe Reductions; Feds to Attend Fewer Events; USPS Going Digital and Big Contract Wins

January 14, 2013

Welcome to the Monday morning news kick off post from the FedPulse blog.  Although delayed, sequestration is still top-of-mind, with the DoD warning of grounding military aircraft and ships, and much more.  But as always, there are plenty of new, noteworthy contract wins.  So, it’s not all that bad – we think.  Check out the weekly news round up and give us your take.  Is the sky really falling? Pentagon Issues Guidance to ‘Mitigate’ Budget Uncertainty Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter instructed Pentagon managers to prepare specific actions in case Congress and the White House fail to enact a new budget ... Read more

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