2011: A Look Back



Written by Tod Tompkins

Happy New Year! As we begin 2012, a recent blog post by Washington Technology’s Editor-in-Chief, Nick Wakeman, caught my eye and inspired me to think about the year that was. In his post, Mr. Wakeman highlighted six stories that dominated the pages of his magazine and website in 2011. Is anybody surprised the budget fiasco was first on the list? Not me. Here’s what comes to mind:

  1. Continuing resolutions, or CRs – I lost count of how many potential government shutdowns and subsequent CRs were passed in 2011
  2. “Super Committee” FAIL – not even the government’s elite could figure out how to eliminate $1.5 trillion of the deficit
  3. Pay freezes and workforce reductions – didn’t government employment used to mean consistency and job security?
  4. Wasteful spending – The GAO reports on duplicative spending; Executive Orders were signed that focus on recovering funds from fraud, waste, and abuse; and Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) Wastebook 2011 documented everything from bridges to nowhere to the teaching of puppetry…enough said
  5. A new Federal CIO – Steven VanRoekel made headlines with his “Future First” initiatives – especially “Shared First” – a resolution to eliminate waste and duplication

Am I being too pessimistic? Maybe, but 2011 was not the most stellar year in the government market. Hopefully 2012 will be the “light at the end of the tunnel” that we are all looking for, and my year-end wrap-up will have more positive highlights. What does provide me optimism, however, is the feedback we are receiving on this blog…the fact that citizens are taking time to read and get involved. Let’s remain engaged, let’s share ideas, let’s try to help the government recover by providing real, thoughtful recommendations. To a successful new year…

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