March, 2024

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How to prevent ideas from getting lost in translation

GCN

Policy researchers and government administrators often seem like they’re speaking different languages. A new book aims to help experts communicate more clearly, so their ideas can have real-world impacts.

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Federal Government Made $236 billion “Improper Payments” Last Fiscal Year

GAO (US Government Accountability Office)

The federal government reported an estimated $236 billion in “improper payments” during the most recently completed fiscal year (FY 2023). Such payments are essentially payment errors that can be the result of many things—include overpayments.

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There are 100,000 fewer Election Day polling places in 2024

GCN

A major Supreme Court decision, a pandemic and localized issues have all conspired to reduce the number of physical voting locations. Advocates say that’s bad for democracy.

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How New Jersey’s new affordable housing law aims to ease the housing crisis

GCN

The new law lets municipalities know exactly how much affordable housing they have to build. It’s an approach that states are increasingly trying in an effort to pressure local governments to increase affordable options.

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The Ultimate Playground Inspection Handbook

Dive into the world of playground safety with this complimentary guide. It offers a detailed exploration of essential practices to ensure the utmost safety for children. Delve into inspection techniques, from assessing equipment conditions to evaluating surfacing materials. Gain insights into maintenance strategies to keep playgrounds in top-notch condition year-round.

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Why so many election officials are leaving

GCN

Some states are seeing high rates of turnover among local election officials, according to new research. It’s a troublesome trend that may have a silver lining.

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Africatown Is Still Trying to Breathe

Next City

Black and Hispanic communities in America's port cities are fighting an uphill battle against environmental racism and industrial expansion. Next up in Africatown, the Alabama neighborhood founded by formerly enslaved people: a new rail line.

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What is artificial general intelligence (AGI)?

McKinsey Public & Social Sector Insights

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is a theoretical AI system with capabilities that rival those of a human. Many researchers believe we are still decades, if not centuries, away from achieving AGI.

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Microsoft Copilot for Security and NIST 800-171: Access Control

Microsoft Public Sector

Microsoft Copilot for Security and NIST 800-171: Access Control Microsoft Copilot for Security in Microsoft’s US Gov cloud offerings (Microsoft 365 GCC/GCC High and Azure Government) is currently unavailable and does not have an ETA for availability. Future updates will be published to the public roadmap here. As of this writing we’ve received the Proposed Rule of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) 2.0, and the public comment period ended on February 26.

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State and Local Governments Should Embrace the Geolocation Capabilities of 5G

State Tech Magazine

Research has shown that 9 in 10 companies worldwide use location data, and that use is expected to grow in significance over the next few years. However, geolocation data from telecommunications service providers is currently heavily underused. And while other sources of geolocation data, such as smartphone application data, are harder to come by after recent privacy policy changes, 5G geolocation data is only improving as the technology advances.

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Why is it so hard to build housing near transit stops?

GCN

Two recent studies look at the obstacles to building more apartments and other dense housing options near transit to address environmental, urban development and housing goals.

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7 Signs Your Local Government ERP Is Holding You Back: A Guide for Small Municipalities

Local governments and municipalities serving populations under 200,000 face distinctive challenges in delivering efficient and effective services to their communities. To overcome these challenges, many rely on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems tailored to their specific needs. Not all ERP systems are created equal, and some may hinder progress rather than support it.

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Repair Cafes Are the Beating Heart of the Right-to-Repair Movement

Next City

Op-ed: Right-to-repair legislation is crucial to systemic change. But every item salvaged through America’s growing patchwork of local repair movements is its own victory.

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SCP 203: Exploring Specialty Camps (Part 2)

Summer Camp Programming

SHOW NOTES In the second installment of their discussion on specialty camp ideas, Curt and Chris share an array of unique camp themes, drawing from both their personal experiences and broader trends. They delve into a variety of specialized camp options, including cooking, survival, archery, scuba diving, music production, detective camp, and fitness camps, among […] The post SCP 203: Exploring Specialty Camps (Part 2) first appeared on Summer Camp Programming.

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Generative AI: The next S-curve for the semiconductor industry?

McKinsey Public & Social Sector Insights

The surge of interest in and use of generative AI translates to higher demand for semiconductors, pushing the industry to innovate faster and produce more capable and efficient chips.

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Raising the Bar for Multilingualism and English Learners Through a Re-Imagined National Professional Development Program (NPD)

Homeroom

The U.S. Department of Education Invites Applications for NPD Competitive Grant By: Beatriz Ceja, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) and Loredana Valtierra, Policy Advisor, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (OPEPD) The need for bilingual and multilingual teachers is critical more than ever, as over five million of our public-school Continue Reading The post Raising the Bar for Multilingualism and English Learners Through a Re-Imagined Na

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ASPA TIMES Magazine: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

PA TIMES Magazine is a publication of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), a not-for-profit corporation. This edition focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in public administration, including guest columns, insights for the field and interviews with city government DEI officers about their work at the local level.

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6 foundational capabilities you need for generative AI

AWS Public Sector Blog

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is easy to use—and that’s what makes the technology so exciting. But it’s important not to confuse ease of use with effortless deployment. The value of generative AI is inextricably linked to the technology’s reliability and traceability, as described in our earlier blog post, Generative AI: Understand the challenges to realize the opportunities.

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Supreme Court clarifies when public officials can block citizens on social media

GCN

The Supreme Court unanimously found in a pair of cases that whether a government official can block a constituent on their personal social media account hinges on if a post is a state action or is private conduct.

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What’s the Status of U.S. Assistance to Ukraine? Our First Reports on Oversight Efforts

GAO (US Government Accountability Office)

The war in Ukraine has had devastating consequences—creating a humanitarian crisis, threatening Ukraine’s democracy, and exacerbating global challenges, such as food insecurity. Congress has approved $113 billion in response to the Ukraine crisis.

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Ep 31: Exploring Camp Traditions: A Rapid Fire Discussion

Summer Camp Programming

SHOW NOTES Hosts Kelie and Shauna, after a series of serious episodes, decide to lighten the mood by introducing a fun, rapid-fire segment focused on camp traditions. Utilizing a wheel to randomize selections, they explore their experiences and thoughts on a variety of camp traditions, such as the Apache Relay, family/parent days, awards for campers […] The post Ep 31: Exploring Camp Traditions: A Rapid Fire Discussion first appeared on Summer Camp Programming.

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Sustainable Facility Maintenance Management for Small Local Governments

Unlock the potential of sustainable facility management! This guide empowers small local governments to lead with climate-resilient infrastructure, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and more. Elevate your community's resilience, reduce costs, and embrace eco-friendly practices. Discover the role of facility maintenance teams in green cleaning, sustainability analyses, and infrastructure upgrades.

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The human side of generative AI: Creating a path to productivity

McKinsey Public & Social Sector Insights

The number of employees who use generative AI is expected to soar, freeing many to focus on higher-level cognitive work. Can organizations use this moment to make jobs more people centric?

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How to balance Accessibility and Security in an AI world

Microsoft Public Sector

With the recent announcements around Copilot, especially Copilot for Microsoft 365, many agencies are excited to adopt the new capabilities and unlock user productivity and accessibility. However, there is one lingering question that has always and continues to be in the background: “How to balance accessibility, productivity and security in an AI world.

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3 Technology Trends That Improve Hybrid Work for State and Local Governments

State Tech Magazine

Whether an organization is hybrid or fully remote, having a digital-first culture and strategy for collaboration is a wise move for ensuring employees are able to do their work in any setting, at any time. This means prioritizing tools and technology that enable an agency to create a digital experience that is scalable, secure, reliable and cost-effective.

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$3.3B in federal grants announced for communities split apart by highways

GCN

The one-time infusion of cash for highway caps, bike trails and other improvements shows the Biden administration’s priorities for one of its most high-profile infrastructure initiatives.

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Proactive vs Reactive Maintenance: Making the Case for Preparedness

Discover comprehensive strategies for optimizing operations and achieving cost efficiency! This document offers insights into efficient inspections, data-driven decision-making, goal alignment, and resource optimization. It empowers local governments and maintenance departments to streamline operations and ensure significant cost savings. From aligning maintenance goals with community needs to leveraging data for strategic planning, this guide provides a roadmap for smoother, more reliable opera

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Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Impacting Elected Officials and Use of Social Media

NLC (National League of Cities)

By Amanda Karras, Executive Director, International Municipal Lawyers Association, and Stephanie Martinez-Ruckman, Legislative Director, Human Development, National League of Cities On March 15th, in Lindke v. Freed, the Supreme Court established the test for when local government officials are considered “state actors” for the purposes of the First Amendment when they post on social media.

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Silly “Survival Kits” for Summer Camp Fun

Summer Camp Programming

Long ago, I discovered a charming concept of creating playful “survival kits” to give to friends and colleagues, bringing a smile and a moment of appreciation to their day. Recently, I stumbled upon my collection of these whimsical kit ideas, and I figured they were perfect for the challenges of camp life. These kits can […] The post Silly “Survival Kits” for Summer Camp Fun first appeared on Summer Camp Programming.

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Latinos in Hollywood: Amplifying voices, expanding horizons

McKinsey Public & Social Sector Insights

Improving on- and off-screen representation of Latinos, their stories, and their culture could generate billions of dollars in new revenue for the industry, according to new McKinsey research.

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How Agencies Should Prepare for NARA’s Deadline to Digitize Federal Records

FedTech Magazine

Agencies face an uphill battle to scan, convert, tag and secure documents ahead of the National Archives and Records Administration’s deadline for digitizing permanent government records in June. Although the time, labor and cost savings of digital records will be beneficial to agencies, the sheer volume of records is daunting, requiring federal IT leaders to tap into an array of technology solutions to get the job done.

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Facility Maintenance Trends for 2024: What's Changing in the Industry?

This comprehensive article delves into the transformative trends reshaping local government facility maintenance in anticipation of 2024. From embracing smart technology for efficient management, sustainability's pivotal role to data-driven decision-making, workforce upskilling, and predictive maintenance strategies, each aspect is explored. Insights into outsourcing collaborations, digital twins, safety enhancements, and the broader industry evolution highlight the critical adaptation needed.

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Artificial intelligence outperforms humans in creative thinking

Open Access Government - Technology News

Artificial intelligence has overtaken humans when it comes to creative thinking, according to research into generative AI and its untapped abilities Researchers from the University of Alberta have conducted a study that compared the creative potential of humans against GPT-4, an advanced generative language model. PhD students Kent F. Hubert and Kim N.

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School vouchers continue momentum in state legislatures

GCN

2023 was considered a landmark year for school choice. It’s a trend that is showing no sign of slowing down, as lawmakers push proposals with fewer restrictions and costly price tags.

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How Cities Connecting Children to Nature Lead to the Launch of Nature Everywhere

NLC (National League of Cities)

From Seattle, Washington, to Doral, Florida, nearly 50 cities across the United States have moved forward over the last nine years to prioritize youth nature connection by participating in the Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) initiative, a joint national partnership with the Children & Nature Network.

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States Improve Unemployment Insurance Systems with Cloud Solutions

State Tech Magazine

Anyone in Wyoming who’s applied for unemployment benefits is familiar with the state’s Department of Workforce Services. What they may not realize: The unemployment insurance system through which claims are filed does not run on infrastructure at DWS headquarters in Cheyenne but on an offsite Microsoft Azure Government data center. The DWS moved its UI system to the cloud in 2018 using federal funding from the U.S.

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Efficiency and Sustainability: Leveraging Digital Solutions in Facility Operations

Speaker: Alan Kavanaugh, BA, CRM, CCPI ​​​​​​​Director of Loss Control & Risk Management

This session is designed to unveil the transformative potential of digital solutions in reshaping conventional practices, offering a roadmap towards greener and more efficient facilities regardless of municipality size. Attendees will learn: Insights into cutting-edge trends and strategies in sustainable facility management. Practical knowledge to effectively incorporate digital solutions for operational efficiency.