Federal Drive with Tom Temin

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When he's not tooling around the National Capital region on his motorcycle, Tom Temin interviews federal executives and government contractors who provide analysis and insight on the many critical issues facing the Executive branch. The Federal Drive is found at FederalNewsNetwork.com and 1500 AM in the Washington D.C. region.

Episode Date
Congress is told, two groups need more accountability and oversight
00:20:27
What do the oil and gas industry and the Capitol Hill Police have in common? Both need a bit more oversight from Congress, according to my next guest. Joining the Federal Drive with a two-for-one set of recommendations, Project on Government Oversight Policy Analyst Tim Stretton.
Jun 18, 2021
When it comes to pesticides permits, the EPA is supposed to be a stickler for the rules
00:19:39
EPA senior officials failed to follow standard operating procedures in 2018, when they signed off on permit renewals for certain pesticides. Including leaving scientific documents out of the decision. For details, the Federal Drive turned to health scientist in the office of the inspector general at the EPA, Alton Reid.
Jun 18, 2021
The DOD's plan for contractor cybersecurity lacks a few things, money's only one of them
00:22:03
You can hardly swing a cat these days and not hit somebody talking about the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program. The Defense Department's strategy for buttoning up the Defense industrial base. My next guest says the CMMC approach is good in theory, but lacks anywhere near the resources to get it done. He's not only director of information security at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, but also a founding member of the CMMC Accreditation Body, Chris Golden joined the Federal Drive to discuss.
Jun 18, 2021
CISA under pressure to put more teeth in cyber requirements following Colonial Pipeline attack
00:17:43
Recent ransomware attacks have some members of Congress looking to boost the budget and the authority of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The Colonial Pipeline attack has lawmakers concerned about CISA’s ability to defend critical infrastructure. More now from Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday.
Jun 18, 2021
What lies ahead for federal cybersecurity
00:20:22
Agencies faced more than 30,000 cyber incidents in fiscal 2020, an 8% increase over the year before. Email phishing and website authentication continue to be among the biggest attack vectors hackers are using to get to agency networks and data. But despite this escalation, the annual Federal Information Security Management Act or FISMA report to Congress, highlights real progress. Chris DeRusha is the federal chief information security officer. He tells executive editor Jason Miller why the report, along with the recent executive order, lays out the cybersecurity path forward.
Jun 18, 2021
Navy faces protests on contract for maintenance and logistics support
00:19:06
When soliciting bids under a task order contract, the government isn't obligated to have full-on negotiations. Contracting officers can have interchanges with bidders, but even these have to be done fairly, or else bidder is likely to protest, as the Navy found out recently. Procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo brings us the case.
Jun 17, 2021
How the National Park Service controls the size of its picturesque bison herd
00:20:30
From rattlesnakes to bison, the wildlife are part of the attraction in places like the Grand Canyon National Park. But it's 2021, not 1821, and the bison herd must be controlled. That's why the National Park Service has initiated what it calls a lethal reduction. Joining the Federal Drive to explain how it works, spokesman Kaitlyn Thomas.
Jun 17, 2021
Customs and Border Protection modernizes a process most people don't even know it does
00:20:47
U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to spend $46 million to update something you might not even know it does. Namely, the inspection of cargo coming into the United States not by sea or air, but by rail. Here with a look into this program, CBP's Aaron Bowker.
Jun 17, 2021
DoD's virtual remote program for telework pushed through some long-term workforce plans
00:20:39
This week, the Defense Department shut down Commercial Virtual Remote – the cloud-based collaboration service it set up to help employees telework during the pandemic. CVR was always meant to be a temporary solution, but it worked so well that it pushed the military services to speed up their plans to move the workforce to long-term implementations of Office 365. Those projects are now years ahead of schedule. Danielle Metz is the deputy DoD CIO for information enterprise. She talked with Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu about what the department learned from CVR.
Jun 17, 2021
Military families should expect moving delays this summer as companies recover from COVID
00:20:52
Military relocations have happened in fits and starts throughout the pandemic. For a few months, the Defense Department even completely stopped service members from moving to new orders. Now service members are facing a different problem: supply and demand. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione reports.
Jun 17, 2021
Pent up demand for VA services driving record 2022 budget request, agency says
00:19:37
Congress is turning its attention to 2022 budget negotiations. But the talks about funding the Department of Veterans Affairs sound a lot like those of years past. VA is on track for another record budget next year if the Biden administration gets its way. Democrats said the extra resources will fund VA programs that have been unattended in recent years. But Republicans wonder whether it's simply too much. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 16, 2021
Navy considers how to repair multiple battle-damaged ships simultaneously
00:18:50
More than 75 years have passed since the Navy has had to repair several battle-damaged ships all at once. Now naval planners are wondering whether this capability might be needed once again. But the way they're going about planning it is operating without a compass. Federal Drive with Tom Temin got more information from the Director of Defense Capabilities and Management Issues at the Government Accountability Office, Diana Maurer.
Jun 16, 2021
'Nowhere to go but up.' Biden's zero-emission federal fleet hits roadblocks
00:19:38
The Biden administration is calling on agencies to transition the federal automobile fleet to zero-emission vehicles. But agencies have a long way to go to meet that goal. The current inventory of plug-in electric vehicles is less than 1 percent of the overall fleet and agencies have been slow to purchase more. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss more details.
Jun 16, 2021
NIH doctor a Sammies award finalist award for addressing higher COVID-19 rates among minorities
00:20:32
For a variety of reasons, many Black, Latino, Native American and other minorities had higher rates of COVID-19 - contracting it and and being hospitalized - than the national average. Last summer, Dr. Gary Gibbons decided to do something about it. He's the director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, and he's a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program (Sammies). He spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more.
Jun 16, 2021
Library of Congress seeks public's help in releasing WWII-era Law Library documents
00:20:21
The Library of Congress just launched a new crowdsourcing campaign to expand access to unreleased Law Library documents dating back to the World War II era. For what it's all about, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to the the director of the Law Library editorial and publishing office, Luis Acosta, and law library senior legal information specialist, Stephen Mayeaux.
Jun 16, 2021
Contractors are also trying to sort out that return-to-work guidance from the White House
00:21:26
The head scratcher guidance from the White House last week purported to help agencies plan for people to return to federal offices. That included both federal employees and contractors. For how contractors are reacting, the Federal Drive turned to the executive vice president for policy at the Professional Services Council, Stephanie Kostro.
Jun 15, 2021
IT modernization and cybersecurity are nearly one and the same now. What comes next?
00:18:55
It took eight thousand words to do it, but the Biden Administration's executive order on cybersecurity, the latest in a long list of similar executive orders, makes cybersecurity improvement a central element in IT modernization. My next guest, the former chief information security officer at the National Security Agency, says shared or centralized cyber services could help get the job done faster. Chris Kubic is now with Fidelis Cybersecurity
Jun 15, 2021
The State Department recognizes excellence in U.S. companies doing business overseas
00:20:57
Soon the State Department will honor U.S. companies doing business overseas. Companies that demonstrate American Values and international best practices. It's the latest round in the Award for Corporate Excellence program, now in its 22nd year. For more on the program, the acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, Peter Haas.
Jun 15, 2021
What’s taking so long for the Army to update its on-base lodging?
00:19:48
The Army often hosts officials on its installations and it keeps them in on-base lodging. The rooms used to be little more comfortable than jail cells. Now they've become a bit plusher. The Army turned to contractors to improve its rooms, but the service is still dealing with some issues. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione joined the Federal Drive to discuss.
Jun 15, 2021
GSA set to alter cloud buying landscape with new policy
00:19:39
For more than a decade, agencies have heard from both industry and federal experts that one of the best things about commercial cloud services is that you can "pay by the drink." Like electricity, you only pay for what you consume. More than a decade after the Cloud First policy, that consumption based model is still difficult to achieve for most agencies. In his weekly Reporter's Notebook, executive editor Jason Miller has exclusive details about why buying cloud services off the GSA schedule may finally meet the long-held goal of paying only for what you use.
Jun 15, 2021
Congress seems to get deeper and deeper into its own maze
00:17:10
Looking at Capitol Hill this week, you almost see two Congresses. The one working through ordinary items like confirmation hearings. And the one deeply stalemated over the big questions, like how much money to commit to anything. With a view to the week ahead, Bloomberg Government Editorial Director Loren Duggan.
Jun 14, 2021
This researcher is discovering what the Navy can learn from sharks
00:20:54
Navy planners believe unmanned, underwater vessels will eventually become an important component in operations. Now an associate at the Navy Research Laboratory is close to a breakthrough in a crucial part of future vehicles, their external surfaces. Joining the Federal Drive with more on the research and why it's important, research associate Nicole Xu. And her NRL mentor Jason Geder.
Jun 14, 2021
What large organizations learned about soldiering on through the pandemic
00:23:24
For people who worked through the pandemic often complain, half in jest, about suffering from Zoom fatigue. But the fact is having the right digital technologies in place ensured continuity for the federal government no less than in many industries. To figure out what industry and government learned in all of this, Microsoft commissioned a study by a group called the Economist Intelligence Unit. Joining the Federal Drive with highlights, Microsoft regulated industries president Toni Townes-Whitley, and Economist Intelligence Unit managing editor Michael Gold.
Jun 14, 2021
DoD, USO give military service members and spouses new resources for careers
00:19:46
The USO has long been providing in-person help to troops and their families. Now it’s doing the same thing virtually. The USO is offering to pair service members and spouses with career mentors online. The plan to is help transitioning troops and military spouses find jobs in the civilian world. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione spoke with Sunny Babauta Lee, transitions program management specialist at USO, and with the USO programs manager for the military families team, Laura Zabriskie.
Jun 14, 2021
Biden’s cyber nominees promise ‘coherence’ among agencies to prevent future breaches
00:18:52
Cyber talent is coming into the Biden administration. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is one step closer to getting a permanent director, and the White House is about to get its first National Cyber Director. They’ll get support from Biden’s pick to run the General Services Administration, who’s committed to making federal networks more resilient. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman has more.
Jun 14, 2021
The National Security Agency worries about how smart cars are getting
00:20:14
Anyone driving to the store to buy hamburger knows how vulnerable the nation's infrastructure has become to cyber attacks. Both the energy and food industries have been hit in recent weeks with ransomware. But what about cars and trucks themselves? The more they become rolling, connected computers, the more they'll attract cyber attacks. Now the National Security Agency has teamed up with Morgan State University to learn more about vehicular vulnerabilities. Joining the Federal Drive with details, the director of the Cybersecurity Assurance and Policy Center at Morgan State, professor Kevin Kornegay.
Jun 11, 2021
For federal agencies, the Biden budget proposal is like a lottery nearly everyone wins
00:21:37
The Biden administration has proposed showering every federal agency with expanded money, with the exceptions of the Homeland Security and Defense Departments. If it get enacted, how would agencies deal with double digit increases? For some possible answers, the Federal Drive turned to former federal chief financial officer and White House official Doug Criscitello, now with Grant Thornton.
Jun 11, 2021
How Homeland Security seeks better and better biometric recognition technology
00:22:52
Machines can read your fingerprints, your handprints, your face and your eyes. But biometric recognition technology is far from perfect. That's why the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate is planning its third annual Biometric Technology Rally, taking place this fall. For a look at the state of the art, the Federal Drive spoke to the director of the S&T's Biometric and Identity Technology Center, Arun Vemury.
Jun 11, 2021
DoD’s new electronic health record rollout is now about one-third complete
00:17:51
The Defense Department has just wrapped up the biggest deployment so far of its new multibillion dollar electronic health record. The latest wave of MHS Genesis installations just about doubled the system’s footprint in a single day, and the massive IT project is now about a third of the way finished. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has an update on what Defense health officials have learned so far, and how the system will integrate with VA’s EHR project.
Jun 11, 2021
Biden administration details its vision for agency reopening, post-pandemic telework
00:19:42
The Biden administration is out with new, highly-anticipated guidance on agency reopening. It's a dense, 20-page doozy. It lifts overall occupancy caps on the number of employees who can work at the office. But agencies have to jump through several hoops first. Beyond that the guidance describes a broader vision for future of federal work. And the Biden administration didn't skimp on the details. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to walk us through it all
Jun 11, 2021
Sometimes it takes an academic eye to spot the flaws in a practical system, like federal IT acquisition
00:19:04
Why exactly are so many federal information technology acquisition programs late, over budget, and not always delivering hoped-for results? It might be one of the most studied topics in public management. Now a supply chain and operations researcher at the University of Minnesota may have an answer. Dwai Roy joined the Federal Drive to discuss.
Jun 10, 2021
Veterans Affairs ramps up efforts for post-pandemic help
00:20:31
The American Rescue Plan law directed $17 billion in new money towards veterans. For how the Veterans Affairs Department plans to use the money, the Federal Drive turned to the acting VA undersecretary for benefits, Tom Murphy.
Jun 10, 2021
A experienced DoD acquisition and contracting hand now steering a professional organization
00:26:20
The National Contract Management Association has a new president. The organization, with thousands of federal practitioners and contractors as members, has chosen for this year's president retired Air Force lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Contract Management Agency, Wendy Masiello.
Jun 10, 2021
Air Force faces first test from Congress in divesting from legacy systems
00:18:40
The Air Force is trying to retire $1.4 billion worth of legacy systems next year. The one thing standing in its way? Congress. Members often object to losing systems located in their districts. Air Force officials faced their first test with Senate appropriators earlier this week. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined the Federal Drive with more.
Jun 10, 2021
IRS seeks authority to fast-track more hires as its builds up depleted workforce
00:18:45
IRS is asking Congress for help fast-tracking more hires as its builds up its workforce. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig tells lawmakers the agency needs a budget on-par with the Biden’s administration’s proposal, to ramp up by filling critical staffing shortages. But IRS says a lengthy hiring process is keeping in-demand talent from joining the agency. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman has more.
Jun 10, 2021
Census Bureau senior scientist, Sammies finalist, to thank for game-changing data developments
00:21:44
Turning handwritten notes or forms into machine readable data has been a challenge for the Census Bureau for decades. And for the last several decennial counts, Census has gotten better and better at it. That's thanks in large part to the work of Paul Friday. He's a senior computer scientist with 60 years of service, and a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program. He spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more details.
Jun 09, 2021
IRS procurement shop develops web app to predict contract spending
00:17:24
The IRS, among other things, obligates $2.5 billion a year in contract spending. Strangely, one of the most common yet important questions in the contracting process is really hard to answer: When will a contract actually be signed by a contracting officer? Now the IRS procurement shop has developed a web app that produces a prediction. For how they did it and why it matters, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to the Director of Analytics Research and Technology in the Chief Procurement Office, Alicia Miller.
Jun 09, 2021
State Department has work to do in terms of embassy construction, cybersecurity
00:21:10
In its latest look at how the State Department manages itself, the Government Accountability Office found State has made a lot of progress against a long list of recommendations. But a few biggies, like embassy construction and cybersecurity, still need some real attention. Joining Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the rundown was the GAO's Director of International Affairs and Trade Issues, Jason Bair.
Jun 09, 2021
Who is a CDO’s boss? Survey finds mixed role in agency hierarchy
00:19:14
Two years after Congress passed the Evidence Act, requiring agencies to name chief data officers (CDOs), they are still carving out a niche in their agencies’ operations. Chief data officers in a recent survey describe facing a mix of supervisory titles at their agencies from the agency head to the chief information officer. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman had more details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 09, 2021
VA sees trust improve by 24% in five years, thanks to veterans experience effort
00:24:48
The Department of Veterans Affairs is on a multi-year mission to improve veterans' experiences with the agency. Its surveys show trust by veterans is up 24% over the last five years. Trust varies among veterans demographics: 80% of men said they trust the department compared to 74% of women veterans. That's all according to VA's own data published on the department's website for the first time. For how VA obtained the feedback, Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko spoke with VA's new chief veterans experience officer, John Boerstler, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 09, 2021
For contractors, the GSA multiple awards schedule could be a safe harbor in the year ahead
00:20:40
While Congress debates the virtues of the Biden administration's blow-out budget proposal for 2022, contractors should be adjusting their approaches to their federal customers. Here with some of the dynamics now at work, federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Jun 08, 2021
The Air Force finds, an algorithm can help predict an officer's future performance
00:21:53
Can artificial intelligence help in the management of human intelligence, or human talent management. That's the specific question the Rand Corporation decided to look into. Joining the Federal Drive with what investigators found, RAND policy researcher David Schulker.
Jun 08, 2021
For helping transitioning member of the military, the Labor Department ups it game
00:21:04
The Labor Department is in the early stages of a year-long pilot program for veterans about to leave military service, and their spouses. Labor describes it as an enhancement to its long running Veterans Employment and Training Service. With how it works, the Federal Drive turned to Labor's deputy assistant secretary for policy for the VETS program, James Rodriguez.
Jun 08, 2021
Army tackling service member suicide by turning to its soldiers
00:20:01
The Army often turns to its soldiers for innovative ways to solve problems. The Army’s 18th Airborne Corps has been conducting a series of what it calls Dragon Innovation Challenges over the past 10 months. The competition is modeled after the TV show Shark Tank. In the latest round, the Army focused on the challenge of soldier suicide. For more, Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione spoke with 18th Airborne Corps innovation officer Colonel Joe Buccino.
Jun 08, 2021
Federal CFO's planning for possible retirement wave
00:20:16
The fewest number of federal employees retired in 2020 than in any of the last 10 years. But with more than 30 percent of all federal employees eligible to retire in 2022, succession planning efforts are particularly important for agency functions like financial management which expects to be hit hard by long-time employees heading into the sunset. Federal News Network executive editor Jason Miller spoke with members of the CFO Council, who authored a recent strategy where succession planning was a key focus areas. Mike Wetklow, deputy CFO at the National Science Foundation, Ben Ficks, deputy CFO at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Steve Kunze, the deputy CFO at the Commerce Department—outline CFO Council plans for the future of its workforce.
Jun 08, 2021
Let's face it - Congress has more to chew than it can digest
00:21:56
Now that it's been on the street for more than week, the Biden administration's proposed budget for fiscal 2022 is about to have its hearing in Congress. For this and what else is ahead, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Jun 07, 2021
Contractors who want better post-award debriefings, now's your chance to speak up
00:18:54
Contractors have long complained that they don't get enough information in debriefings, those informational meetings contracting officers often grant after they've made the award. Well now, you've got until July 19 to comment on a proposed change to the Defense supplement of the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Prompted by a 2018 provision of the defense authorization law, debriefings would get a big enhancement. For more, the Federal Drive turned to RJO attorney Jeff Chiow.
Jun 07, 2021
DARPA launches a project to fix a persistent battlefield communications problem
00:19:57
Battle field networks that reconfigure themselves to maintain communications even in contested environments, that's what a new DARPA contracting opportunity is all about. It seeks a control layer that works by itself, so warfighters have one less distraction. Joining the Federal Drive with details, program manager Dr. Mary Shurgot.
Jun 07, 2021
NARA calls in DoD to help resolve its backlog of veteran records requests
00:33:51
The pandemic hasn't been especially kind to federal agencies that deal primarily with paper. The National Archives and Records Administration houses millions of military and medical documents that veterans need, to apply for federal benefits. Most are still paper. Employees at the National Personnel Records Center are handling some records requests. But today the center has about 500,000 pending records requests and another 400-thousand records that need refiling. Scott Levins is the director of the NPRC in Saint Louis. In part one of his conversation with Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko, he explains how the backlog accumulated.
Jun 07, 2021
Returning to the office, it's about a lot more than the office or the building
00:19:42
Many employees, federal and otherwise, want to return to their offices to work. Not because the offices are so great, but because they want to renew the human connections that have weakened over the past year or so. Smart managers understand how connections can spark several important benefits to employees and to the organization. Joining the Federal Drive with more, American University professor Bob Tobias.
Jun 04, 2021
This top-level executive has left the Defense Department, but not the defense industry
00:27:45
After four years directing acquisition and sustainment activities in the Pentagon, you change a thing or two. And you learn a thing or two. Now former undersecretary Ellen Lord, who served for the duration of the Trump administration, has joined the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory as a senior fellow.
Jun 04, 2021
Navy starting to get a grip on its troves of data
00:20:02
The Navy is starting to make some major strides toward corralling its scattered warehouses of data. The main effort is to offer data management as an enterprise service for both the Navy and the Marine Corps. The platform is called Jupiter. Over the past year, the Navy Department has onboarded thousands of users, and started advanced analytics on 30 different data use cases. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has more on what the Navy’s learned.
Jun 04, 2021
DoD comptroller, Defense Logistics Agency setting unattended bots in motion
00:20:20
Agencies information technology are moving on from automation pilots, and taking the next step by setting their network-traveling bots free to work around the clock. The Defense Logistics Agency has released nearly 100 unattended bots, and the DoD Comptroller is gearing up to run its own unattended automation scripts. The Pentagon isn't alone. Citizenship and Immigration Services is rolling out automation as a service to help its workforce get more done. For an update on this work, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the RPA program manager at USCIS Meikle Paschal. And, who you’ll hear first, the Robotic Process Automation program manager for the DoD Comptroller’s office, Erica Thomas.
Jun 04, 2021
How the Census Bureau knocked down stupid and potentially harmful internet rumors
00:20:54
Rumor mongering on the internet, it's a constant threat. Last year, rumors threatened to muck up the 2020 decennial census count. My next guest built partnerships between the Census Bureau and the largest internet companies to successfully tamp down rumors and help maintain public trust in the bureau and the count. He's a division chief of the bureau's IT Service Management Office, and a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program, Zack Schwartz.
Jun 03, 2021
How a Frankenstein version of equipment landed a Defense contractor in court
00:19:24
If your product doesn't meet the government's specifications, it can be dangerous, in more ways than one, to try and rig something up. But that's what a manufacturer of food processing equipment did, with predictable results. Federal procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo is here with more on the case.
Jun 03, 2021
Customs and Border Protection enhances international cooperation on supply chain security
00:22:53
Nearly every agency is involved in supply chain security in one way or another. Now Customs and Border Protection has expanded a cooperative agreement it's had for years, with the World Business Alliance for Secure Commerce Organization. With more on the agreement and what they'll actually do, CBP's Executive Director for Cargo and Conveyance Security, Thomas Overacker.
Jun 03, 2021
With readiness concerns rising, Coast Guard gets flat budget for 2022
00:17:58
The armed services aren’t seeing much of a change in funding from the 2022 White House budget. It looks like the Coast Guard is in the same cutter. The Biden administration’s budget request asks for $13.1 billion for the Coast Guard. That’s only $300 million more than 2021. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined the Federal Drive with the details.
Jun 03, 2021
Biden administration sets mid-July deadline to finalize agency reentry plans
00:18:42
Agencies have new deadlines now to finish and submit reentry plans for their employees and contractors. The instructions come from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. And they call on agencies to detail a phased schedule for bringing more employees back into the office. They'll also describe what post-reentry personnel and workforce policies will look like. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive with what this all might mean for you.
Jun 03, 2021
Business groups support proposed postal reforms under some conditions
00:22:58
Now that a serious effort at Postal Service reform seems to be making traction in Congress, business groups are lining up to support it — but with some caveats. Federal Drive with Tom Temin got one view from the executive director of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, Art Sackler.
Jun 02, 2021
White House's FY22 budget request reveals details for federal contractors
00:19:37
The White House hasn't released all of the details on its 2022 budget request, but enough is out so that federal contractors are getting the picture. Joining with reaction to this and a couple of other recent developments, the Executive Vice President for Policy at the Professional Services Council, Stephanie Kostro spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 02, 2021
Two NASA programs account for majority of agency's delays, extra costs
00:20:27
In its 13th annual look, the Government Accountability Office found that major programs of NASA tend to be late and over budget. But two programs account for most of the delays and cost overruns. For the latest, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to the GAO's director of contracting and national security acquisition issues, William Russell.
Jun 02, 2021
USPS sends first RIF notices to non-union employees, seeks to raise mail prices above inflation
00:19:38
The Postal Service wasted no time using its latest rate-setting authority. It aims to jack up price of a first-class postage stamp at the end of the summer to 58 cents. But that's just one step in its 10-year strategy to reach firm financial footing after nearly 15 years of net losses. It's also moving ahead with a reduction in force that impacts agency management. For the latest, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 02, 2021
For IT, cyber policy goals, dig beneath the numbers of Biden’s 2022 request
00:19:15
Usually, the annual budget request to Congress is more of a policy document than a spending plan based in any sort of reality. The Biden administration's first full budget request fell short on the policy side, particularly around technology and cybersecurity. Unless you know where to look. Well, you're in luck — Federal News Network's Executive Editor Jason Miller does know where to look, and he joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with highlights from weekly feature the Reporter's Notebook.
Jun 02, 2021
That Biden administration's skinny budget for the civilian side looks like a triple double X
00:21:09
At $6 trillion for fiscal 2022, the Biden administration's budget proposal is nothing if not ambitious. It includes more than $100 billion increase in the so-called discretionary spending to operate the government itself. For early reactions in Congress and how the proposal is likely far on the Hill, the Federal Drive spoke to Bloomberg Government editorial director Loren Duggan.
Jun 01, 2021
Warm weather and longer days make some feds think of those with food insecurity
00:17:54
Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of hot dogs and beer might be at hand, but there are far too many Americans living with food insecurity. So now it's time to kick off this year's Feds Feed Families summer food drive, led by a team at the Agriculture Department. Joining the Federal Drive with details, the national chairwoman of Feds Feed Families, Christa Speekmann.
Jun 01, 2021
The Coast Guard expands its mentoring program, and modernizes it with matching software
00:20:28
Active duty, reserve and civilian members of the Coast Guard are beginning to take advantage of a newly expanded mentoring program. Besides one-on-one traditional mentoring, the new program has several other formats, such as one-time speed mentoring for specific issues. Joining the Federal Drive with more, the chief of the Coast Guard's Office of Leadership, Commander Julie Kuck.
Jun 01, 2021
The Biden administration's proposed Defense budget is going to force some tough choices
00:22:06
As the Biden administration had been signaling for some time, its proposed Defense budget for 2022 is essentially flat. Should it come to pass, it would force some difficult questions and choices for the Pentagon. For insight, the Federal Drive turned to the director of Defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Todd Harrison.
Jun 01, 2021
DoD budget largely flat, cuts legacy systems for modernization
00:20:01
A lot happened in the world of DoD on Friday afternoon just before the long holiday weekend. The Biden administration released its budget proposal, and now we know just how austere its plans are for the Defense Department. Plus, we now know more about DOD's immediate future plans for its contested JEDI cloud computing project. Federal News Network's Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione have more.
Jun 01, 2021
DoD budget largely flat, cuts legacy systems for modernization
00:20:01
A lot happened in the world of DoD on Friday afternoon just before the long holiday weekend. The Biden administration released its budget proposal, and now we know just how austere its plans are for the Defense Department. Plus, we now know more about DOD's immediate future plans for its contested JEDI cloud computing project. Federal News Network's Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione have more.
Jun 01, 2021
Biden proposes federal pay raise in 2022 budget
00:21:33
After round one back in April, the Biden administration is out with a more detailed budget request for next year. This time the president is detailing his plans for every single agency, the federal workforce, and yes, a 2022 pay raise. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive with the details.
Jun 01, 2021
Are military domestic abuse cases next to get a prosecution overhaul?
00:08:04
It now looks like sexual crime cases occurring in the Armed services are going to end up handled by an independent prosecutors. Now members of Congress are starting to look at how other crimes are handled by the Defense Department. Domestic abuse was in the spotlight this week and Defense officials faced some serious questions. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined Tom Temin on THE FEDERAL DRIVE to discuss the issue.
May 28, 2021
Industry urges DCSA to accelerate security clearance transformation efforts
00:08:51
Transferring the governmentwide security clearance business to the Pentagon is one of those good news stories. The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency has the inventory under control. And it is conducting background investigations more quickly than it was three years ago. Plans are in the works to modernize an outdated security clearance system. But industry wants the White House to put the pedal to the metal. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive with more.
May 28, 2021
How the west was won. Not by guns, but by the Postal Service.
00:12:14
You might have thought -- if you thought about it at all -- that the expansion of the Postal Service in the 19th century followed the settling of the Western half of the United States. But one historian just authored a book that tells us that the Postal Service, in fact, enabled the settling of the West in a historically short time. The book is: Paper Trails: The U.S. Post and the Making of the American West. The author is Cameron Blevins and he discusses his research with Federal Drive.
May 28, 2021
It's official. Agencies must have zero trust in their networks. Now what?
00:10:31
It's been building for a while, the move to implement an architecture known as zero trust in agency information technology networks. Now the Biden administration has specifically called for zero trust, in the recent executive order on cybersecurity. The Federal Drive's Tom Temin discuss what zero trust actually is and the effect it will have on IT spending patterns, with Forrester Research security and risk analyst Steve Turner.
May 28, 2021
The Army seeks a way for soldiers to team up with robots
00:15:50
Soldiers have long talked to their weapons, mechanical things that become almost part of them. But talking to weapons will take on a whole new meaning under a project underway at the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. Researchers there are exploring how natural language processing can help soldiers interact with robotic and autonomous platforms expected to become more important in future combat situations. Tom Temin discussed the soldier-robot alliance with DEVCOM researcher Felix Gervits on Federal Drive.
May 28, 2021
Industry calls on agencies to do more to bring in commercial software innovation
00:19:30
More than three dozen technology companies told the Office of Management and Budget, it’s time to end the buy versus build debate for software. Three industry groups and 44 technology companies are pressing the White House to make clear to agencies that they should follow the long-standing off the shelf requirement so they can take more advantage of commercial innovations.
May 27, 2021
Support for a new proposed law to boost whistleblowers at the Veterans Affairs Department
00:20:18
Not one but two bills would add vim and vigor to the Whistleblower Protection Act as it applies to the Veterans Affairs Department. Joining the Federal Drive with summaries and why she thinks they're a good idea, the policy counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, Melissa Wasser.
May 27, 2021
Congress again ponders the next round of whistleblower reform
00:20:23
A bill from the House Oversight and Reform Committee would fix what members see as holes in the legal protections for whistleblowers. Among other things, it would give whistleblowers who claim retaliation access to jury trials if the Merit Systems Protection Board drags its feet. Joining the Federal Drive with analysis, whistleblower attorney Debra D'Agostino.
May 27, 2021
Postal reform bill could raise health premiums for federal workers, employee group warns
00:20:59
A bipartisan postal reform bill intended to bring financial relief to the Postal Service may have equally large implications for the rest of the federal workforce. That's according to the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. NARFE says the bill could ultimately raise premiums for employees and retirees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The legislation has momentum. And for the first time in years, Congress is excited about a postal bill that it says has a real shot of becoming law. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive with the latest.
May 27, 2021
Thousands of Air Force families are waiting months for child care, according to report
00:19:32
The Air Force is in the midst of a serious childcare shortage. A new report obtained by Federal News Network finds thousands of children are waiting months to get services. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined the Federal Drive with more.
May 27, 2021
Navy transitioning more than 200K users to new online collaboration platform next week
00:17:34
Commercial Virtual Remote – the online collaboration platform the Defense Department used throughout the pandemic – is shutting down in just a few weeks. But like the other armed services, the Navy realized fairly quickly that it doesn’t want to do business without the capabilities CVR provided. So instead of taking years to build a long-term replacement, the Navy did it in just six months. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has more on what the project taught IT leaders about agile development.
May 26, 2021
IRS plans 'significant hiring' to stay ahead of 52K employees expected to leave in coming years
00:20:49
The IRS just wrapped up another extended filing season. Now it’s gearing up for a big hiring initiative. The agency is feeling pressure to answer more taxpayers’ phone calls and get tougher on tax cheats, but it’s also trying to get ahead of a workforce retirement wave on the horizon. The Biden administration is pushing more funding for the IRS but that plan is a tougher sell for Congress. For the latest update, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 26, 2021
Sammies finalist organized voucher program to keep foster children who age out off the streets
00:19:57
Foster children eventually grow up. Some 20,000 reach 18 years of age each year and then they're on their own. Concerned that many of them ended up homeless, Ryan Jones organized a federal housing voucher program. He is the deputy director for the Housing Voucher Management and Operations division at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program along with colleagues Michelle Daniels and Charles Eldridge. Jones spoke more about his work to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 26, 2021
Do tech companies' AI investments actually overlap with national priorities?
00:22:10
A lot of corporate research effort goes into artificial intelligence and machine learning. But do the top tech companies' investments coincide with national priorities for competitiveness and scientific leadership? That's what Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology set out to discover. Research fellow Tim Hwang joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the findings.
May 26, 2021
FDIC has some weak financial controls for contracts
00:17:37
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which ensures the financial soundness of the banking system, has a few weak financial controls of its own. That's what the Government Accountability Office found in reviews of FDIC contracting in two investigations. Now auditors have a couple of more recommendations for the agency. For the details, the GAO's Director of Financial Management and Assurance issues, Jim Dalkin, spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 26, 2021
If you sell pencils to the government, they'd better be environmentally friendly pencils
00:20:24
The Biden administration's push for mitigating what it believes is a changing climate, is moving more deeply into procurement. That means contractors selling pretty much everything to the government must start thinking about how to present their products as climate friendly. More now from federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
May 25, 2021
For state governments, the REAL ID mandate might seem more unreal than ever
00:20:09
Some time in the distant past, Congress imposed a mandate on states to issue driver's licenses and other forms of identification tied to a stack of documents that would verify the IDs. One form of enforcement would be denial of boarding commercial aircraft unless the passenger could produce a REAL ID. The latest deadline for enforcement to start was to have been this October. Now the Biden administration has pushed it back to May of 2023, citing the pandemic. For reaction, the legislative director for homeland security and public safety at the National Governors Association, Mary Catherine Ott.
May 25, 2021
The National Science Foundation is looking for a few good ideas for a whole new network
00:21:20
It might be time for a whole new type of computer and communications network. One that's more resilient and more resistant to cybersecurity threats than networks as we know them today. That the idea behind a program at the National Science Foundation called Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems, or RINGS. Joining me with details, Acting Deputy Division Director Thayga Nandagopal.
May 25, 2021
Air Force will turn its tankers into flying hotspots in first deployment of ABMS
00:19:20
The Air Force is enhancing its capabilities in the sky and on the ground, with new networking capabilities of its planned, new fleet of tankers. And with a revised, and accelerated spending plan to fix some of its aging hangars. Plus, DOD's Special Operations Command is looking to enhance the interconnectedness of its weapons platforms. This and more in this week's DOD Reporters Notebook with Federal news Network's Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione.
May 25, 2021
How users drove GSA’s design of new acquisition platform
00:19:17
Many contractors are hoping the General Services Administration took to heart the lessons from the last time it launched a new acquisition platform. Now its rolling out the new SAM.gov site. Back in late 2019, GSA merged the old FedBizOpps portal into the Beta.Sam.gov site, only to face months of criticism and frustration by industry and agency contracting officers. In his Reporter's Notebook this week, Federal News Network's executive editor Jason Miller writes about the new SAM dot gov platform and why GSA believes it will serve its customers better
May 25, 2021
What Congress is considering for your agency in the week ahead
00:22:23
Nothing has quite jelled enough to be headed to the president for signing, but many bills concerning federal agencies and their operations are simmering in Congress. Postal Service reform ten bills about veterans and Veterans Affairs, and a couple of key nominations. For the latest, the Federal Drive turned to WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller.
May 24, 2021
It's never too early for contractors to start planning, when Congress is talking trillions
00:19:11
No one knows what an infrastructure law would look like. But it seems likely Congress will end up printing another $1 trillion anyhow. It might be months before the spending takes final form. But now is the time for contractors to start planning to get their share. More now from the senior vice president for information solutions at Deltek, Kevin Plexico.
May 24, 2021
By this measure, United States leadership is accelerating
00:21:05
A couple of weeks ago the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its 11 millionth patent. Only three years after awarding number 10 million, in a count that began in 1836. For what this latest milestone says about USPTO and about the nation, we turn to the man temporarily in charge, Drew Hirshfeld.
May 24, 2021
DoD wants to pay more attention to weapon sustainment, seeing successes in new acquisition polices
00:18:18
Sustainment accounts for 70% of a military weapon’s lifecycle cost. The Defense Department says it can do a better job of planning to control those costs, and make sure products last longer in the field. DoD is expected to issue new procurement guidance on the matter. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined the Federal Drive to go over the details.
May 24, 2021
Newest batch of Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship program
00:18:26
The State Department is bringing onboard the fifth cohort of students for its Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship program. Students receive scholarships and internships, in return for a five-year commitment to the Foreign Service. The fellowship supplies in-demand tech talent for the department, with a focus on diversifying the Foreign Services ranks. For more, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the program’s manager, Patricia Boerner. And with two of the fellows, Taylor Rainey and Carissa Nguyen.
May 24, 2021
What Atlantic Diving Supply says about itself and its DLA contract
00:21:26
Atlantic Diving Supply has been a successful federal contractor, but one that has attracted controversy. Mainly over whether it is in fact a small business in winning positions on contract vehicles set aside for small business. For what the company itself has to say, the Federal Drive spoke with its general counsel, Adam Casagrande.
May 21, 2021
A controversial but successful federal contractor, what people say about it
00:21:39
It's paid false claims fines. It's been investigated by the Justice Department. Members of Congress have expressed outrage over it. It appears to be a large enterprise. And yet this year Atlantic Diving Supply received a slot on a $33 billion, 10-year deal from the Defense Logistics Agency, for which only small businesses were supposed to qualify. We'll hear what the ADS says about this. But first, from the Project on Government Oversight, senior investigator Nick Schwellenbach.
May 21, 2021
The smallest federal agency looks after the biggest creatures on earth
00:22:57
Judging by its employees' 100 percent participation in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the Marine Mammal Commission is an engaging agency. It might be the smallest, with 12 people. Besides filling out surveys, what else do they do there? For more, the Federal Drive turned to its executive director, Peter Thomas.
May 21, 2021
VA accountability office says it’s improved, but whistleblowers aren’t so sure
00:18:57
VA's Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection is at a crucial moment in its short lifetime. The House is considering new legislation, with the goal of improving the office's performance and effectiveness. And the Senate is hopeful new political leadership will right the ship at OAWP. Current leaders at the VA accountability office say things have improved. But whistleblowers aren't so sure. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.
May 21, 2021
Veterans Affairs says no evidence of data loss from SolarWinds hack
00:17:04
Another big federal agency says it escaped unscathed from the Solarwinds hack. Leaders from the Department of Veterans Affairs told Congress yesterday they’re now confident that none of their data was compromised, even though the vulnerable Orion system was installed throughout VA’s networks. But VA’s security practices are still far from perfect. The Federal Drive got an update on the department’s cyber posture from Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu.
May 21, 2021
Unions are licking their lips at the prospect of big infrastructure spending
00:18:34
President Biden has said he wants publicly funded infrastructure projects to be built with unionized labor. And unions are ready for the task. For one view of the prospects for what most people understand by the word infrastructure, we turn to the secretary-treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department at the AFL CIO, Greg Regan.
May 20, 2021
Transportation Security Officers are carefully watching a bill in Congress that could change their lives
00:20:57
Transportation Security Officers, or TSO's, aren't all that well paid relative to other federal law enforcement people. And although they have union representation, they don't have the full rights of regular Title 5 federal employees. A bill under debate in Congress right now would move TSO's to Title 5 and into the General Schedule system, presumably giving them a raise. With what TSOs themselves think about all this, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 333, Joe Shuker.
May 20, 2021
Labor relations at the Social Security Administration are going from bad to worse
00:21:26
A federal arbitrator recently stopped the Social Security Administration from moving ahead on a partial labor contract with the Association of Administrative Law Judges. The remaining parts of the proposed contract are tied up in federal court. Now, in what the union sees as a breakthrough, the arbitrator has ordered Social Security back to the bargaining table. Yet the administrative law judges say Social Security management refuses to bargain with them. For an update, union president Melissa McIntosh.
May 20, 2021
CFO Council's new workforce strategy looks to help create the financial manager of tomorrow
00:20:25
The government doesn’t need more financial management employees who are just accountants. No, the modern financial management employee needs a set of skills that are much different today than 30 years ago when Congress passed the CFO Act. That's why the CFO Council released a new workforce strategy. Federal News Network executive editor Jason Miller sat down virtually with the three main authors: Mike Wetklow, deputy CFO at the National Science Foundation; Ben Ficks, deputy CFO at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Steve Kunze, the deputy CFO at the Commerce Department, to discuss how the CFO Council plans to help create the financial manager of tomorrow. Hear more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 20, 2021
Best shot at USPS reform in Congress gets better with 20 senators supporting bipartisan bill
00:18:40
An important part of the Postal Service’s 10-year reform plan notched forward in Congress, when the House Oversight and Reform Committee approved the Postal Service Reform Act. The bipartisan legislation is the Postal Service’s only legislative request in its reform plan. USPS executives say the bill, if enacted, would save the agency $58 billion over the 10 years. It would end the requirement that USPS "prefund" retiree health benefits. And it would require future retirees enroll in Medicare. But lawmakers are also tinkering with other USPS reform ideas. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman has more.
May 20, 2021
Veterans Affairs only spent about half of CARES Act money so far, GAO says
00:19:03
Twenty billion dollars is nothing to sneeze at, even for a department as big as Veterans Affairs. But that's how much extra VA got in the CARES Act aimed at pandemic relief and passed in March of last year. This year, though, VA has only obligated about half the money. The Director of Health Care issues at the Government Accountability Office Sharon Silas spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin about what else the watchdog agency found.
May 19, 2021
Do federal grants need tweaking for better results?
00:24:06
The federal government spends more on grants each year than it does on procurement. Yet procurement seems to get the constant reform attention. Now a detailed study from the IBM Center for the Business of Government offers a detailed plan for how the government might get better outcomes from the grants it gives. The study's author Shelley Metzenbaum joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more details.
May 19, 2021
Leading infectious disease expert nominated for Sammies career achievement award
00:21:28
Progress on the pandemic might appear to be embodied in the face of one elderly gentleman you see on TV all the time. But in fact many people were on to a then-nascent virus in late 2019. Among them is one of the nation's leading infectious disease experts, a veteran of H1N1, West Nile, Ebola and Zika. Now she's a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program. Principle Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anne Schuchat, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 19, 2021
Federal agencies begin to lift mask requirements for fully-vaccinated employees
00:18:17
Agencies are lifting mask requirements for fully vaccinated federal employees and contractors. The new guidance comes from the Office of Management and Budget. And it follows last week's announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss what this could mean for getting you back to the office.
May 19, 2021
First scientific study of troops and vaccine take-rate finds wide disparities
00:18:13
The Defense Health Agency is out with its first study of who is getting the coronavirus vaccine and who is not. The report sheds light on some hesitancy within the military about getting the shot and also disparities connected to race, gender, service and occupation. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more.
May 19, 2021
EINSTEIN program may be getting a bad rap
00:20:15
The Homeland Security Department's EINSTEIN cybersecurity program has been an easy punching bag for so-called experts and lawmakers over the last five months. At hearings and at conferences, the value of EINSTEIN continually came into question after the SolarWinds and other cyber attacks. In his weekly feature, the Reporter's Notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about why these so-called experts and lawmakers are misinformed and why the EINSTEIN program is much more successful than most people know.
May 18, 2021
Biden’s DoD will huddle about how to replace CMO position
00:20:09
The Defense Department no longer has a chief management officer. But it still needs a solid dose of management. That came to light in a recent hearing for the Biden administration's nominee for DOD Comptroller, Michael McCord. For more on this and other recent developments, the Federal Drive turned to Federal News Network's Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione.
May 18, 2021
Whistleblower advocates say federal employees need some educating
00:19:32
A big holiday is coming up in July. It celebrates free people who don't stay silent in the face of wrongdoing. No, not Independence Day July 4th. It's National Whistleblower Day on July 30. Now the National Whistleblower Center has urged federal agency heads to offer educational programming about July 30. The Federal Drive got more now from the chairman of the National Whistle Blower Center and partner at Korn, Kohn and Colapinto, Stephen Kohn.
May 18, 2021
This Homeland Security program helps agencies deal with some nasty and ongoing cyber threats
00:20:05
Lots of agencies are hearing chirp, chirp these days. Not cicadas but alerts from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. It has a system called the CISA Hunt and Incident Response Program, CHIRP. It's designed, in the agency's words, to help network defenders find indicators of compromise from two recent and broadscale attacks. For more, the Federal Drive turned to CISA deputy associate director Jermaine Roebuck.
May 18, 2021
Contractors design strategies for dealing with the latest executive order on cybersecurity
00:20:31
That executive order on cybersecurity from the White House last week. Where do you even begin with an 8,000-word tome with dozens of deadlines and action items. Contractors have been parsing it out. For one view, the Federal Drive turned to the executive vice president for policy at the Professional Services Council, Stephanie Kostro.
May 18, 2021
Congress hints, Postal Service reform might be a real possibility this year
00:22:12
Even as it debates a trillion here and a trillion there, Congress hasn't overlooked some of the close-to-home issues like federal pay. They're full back in town and fully engaged. For what to look for in the week ahead, the Federal Drive turned to Bloomberg Government congress reporter Jack Fitzpatrick.
May 17, 2021
The next EEOC conference tackles the latest developments in unlawful discrimination
00:19:31
Each year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hosts a training conference for HR and EEO practitioners in both government and industry. The topic: conflicts in employment laws. With what's on the top of the agenda in the ongoing efforts to stop unlawful discrimination, the Federal Drive turned to the EEOC's director of federal sector programs, Dexter Brooks.
May 17, 2021
The State Department has a few contracting oversight issues in Iraq, of all places
00:20:21
The United States will likely be involved in Iraq at some level, for a long time. It still has contracting going on via the state department. Recently State's Office of Inspector General looked at whether contracting activity was properly staffed to ensure oversight. For more, the Federal Drive turn to the director of the OIG's office of audits, Mike Vennemann.
May 17, 2021
State Dept. honoring diplomats for Foreign Affairs Day
00:18:52
The State Department celebrates Foreign Affairs Day each May as part of Public Service Recognition Week. Former diplomats treat it as a kind of homecoming. But it’s also a solemn occasion to honor employees who have died in service of American Diplomacy. The American Foreign Service Association added 71 names of the fallen this year to a memorial plaque in the lobby of the department’s headquarters. The names span generations of federal service. For more on this ongoing project, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with association President Eric Rubin.
May 17, 2021
DoD strengthens its emphasis on data, gives CDO new responsibilities
00:18:37
The Defense Department is refining its position on data in order to prime itself for the information technologies of the future. A memo signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks puts in place new measures to make data and its management an integral part of the future of the military. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined the Federal Drive with more.
May 17, 2021
An Energy Department lab is perfecting a way to speed up TSA airport screening
00:20:20
One of the most annoying and delay-inducing procedures in airport passenger screening is shoe removal. Now, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed and are in the midst of commercializing a way to scan shoes still on their owners' feet. For more, a PNNL chief engineer Mark Jones.
May 14, 2021
This federal executive spends her days looking after the welfare of four U.S. presidents
00:19:28
Few images of Americana are more widely recognized than the giant presidential sculptures of Mount Rushmore. But there's much more to running a big national park than keeping viewing wall in good repair. So we're pleased to welcome the new superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Park, Michelle Wheatley.
May 14, 2021
An update on efforts by the Veterans Affairs Department to prevent veteran suicides
00:22:07
The prevention of veteran suicides has been a ongoing and high priority for the Veterans Affairs Department. Efforts go far beyond hotlines and other operational measures, and extend into research. Both research and operational support have a locus at VA's Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center in Aurora, Colorado. For an update, we turn to the center's director, Dr. Lisa Brenner.
May 14, 2021
Disability claims backlog will get worse before it gets better, VA warns
00:18:41
The Veterans Benefits Administration had its disability claims backlog under control. And then the pandemic hit. It now stands at nearly 192,000 pending claims. And VA says it'll likely get worse before it gets better. The department is relying on contractors to speed up work and bring the backlog down to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year. But Congress worries VBA and its contractors may sacrifice speed for quality. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.
May 14, 2021
Agencies on the clock to fix long-standing cyber challenges
00:19:26
The White House launched both a cyber sprint and a marathon with its much-anticipated executive order. It lays out dozens of deadlines for agencies to shore up their networks and data. These range from creating a plan in 60 days to move to a zero trust architecture to encrypting data at rest and data in transit in the next six months. Federal News Network executive editor Jason Miller joins me to break down this ninth cyber executive order in the last 11 years.
May 14, 2021
An agency learns an old procurement lesson: Judge bids how you say you will
00:17:56
It seemed like a long shot. But an IT contractor successfully protested an award made by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, even though the protester had higher prices. But the NGA failed to follow its own plan for how it would evaluate bids. The Federal Drive got the details from Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Joe Petrillo.
May 13, 2021
Pulling troops from Afghanistan is easy. Everything else, not so much
00:18:16
The U.S. planned withdrawal from Afghanistan comes with huge logistical and contracting challenges. Getting the troops on planes or ships, that's the easy part. With details of what the government and its contractors actually face in fulfilling the Biden administration new policy, the Federal Drive turned to Bloomberg Government reporter Roxana Tiron.
May 13, 2021
A big appetite for U.S. armed forces around the world might be hurting military readiness
00:22:48
Every year, the Pentagon develops a Global Force Management Plan to determine how it’ll deploy assets around the world. But DoD’s regional combatant commanders are allowed to ask for more – and they often do. A bipartisan group of House members is concerned, those additional requests for forces have become so routine, they’re hurting military readiness by stretching the force too thin. In a new letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, they ask several questions about whether it’s time to rethink DoD’s force management practices. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), who signed the letter, discussed it with Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu.
May 13, 2021
Navy wants to leverage industry systems to get a jump on digital engineering
00:19:18
The Navy wants to embrace digital engineering to help speed up its acquisition process and cut its long-term sustainment costs. To do that, it needs “digital threads” that span all the way from a new system’s initial design through its eventual retirement. And to jumpstart the process, officials are considering ways to use the digital engineering platforms defense contractors have already built to design their own systems. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has details.
May 13, 2021
More resources for IRS won’t fix decade of problems ‘overnight’ — but it’s a start
00:20:07
The IRS needs more than just money and personnel to shrink a what agency officials say is a growing gap between what taxpayers owe, and what the agency collects. That’s what current and former IRS officials told members of the Senate Finance Committee this week. The agency also needs more data from banks and other financial institutions, and more technology to use the data. Commissioners have been saying this for years. For more, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with former commissioner Charles Rossotti.
May 13, 2021
New Senate Sergeant at Arms describes long-term security issues following Jan. 6
00:21:58
Talk about walking into a tough situation. Before the shattered windows were swept up in the January attack on the Capitol, the sergeants at arms of both the House and Senate, and the chief of the Capitol Police were all gone. Solving the long-term security issues for the Capitol falls to a new crew. For one view of what's ahead, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to one member of that crew, the new Senate Sergeant at Arms Ret. Army Lt. Gen. Karen Gibson.
May 12, 2021
2021 Sammies finalist developed testing for emergency response robots
00:21:46
We take them for granted now - robotic vehicles operating in emergency or disaster situations. Reliance on robots didn't just happen. Among other things, it took the establishment of accurate and repeatable testing methodologies, to know for sure if a robot could traverse a rocky slope or a smoky building. For his work at developing advanced robotics testing, Adam Jacoff is a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program. He's the robotics research engineer in the intelligent systems division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and he spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 12, 2021
GAO finds some agencies' rudimentary IT modernization plans won't pass muster for TMF
00:20:49
Building a house takes two things: Money and a solid plan. The same is true for IT modernization. Now, thanks for a ballooning technology modernization fund, agencies will have the money they've said they need. Their plans, though, need a little work. That's according to the director of the information technology and cybersecurity team at the Government Accountability Office, Kevin Walsh, who spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 12, 2021
Congress wants more 'walk,' less 'talk' on diversity and inclusion efforts at VA
00:19:29
Congress and employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs said they've heard the talk from new VA leaders about their plans for new diversity and inclusion initiatives at the department. Now they're calling on VA to walk the walk. And they're concerned the new initiatives won't trickle down to local VA facilities and midlevel managers. Some may be resistant to change. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 12, 2021
New Army technology could be a gamechanger for heavily bleeding injuries
00:18:29
The Army Research Laboratory, part of the Combat Capabilities Development Command, is close to disseminating a new technology that will stanch bleeding in difficult-to-treat body areas. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione talked about the new invention with one of the ARL’s chemistry division chiefs Robert Mantz on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 12, 2021
The so called regular appropriations work is getting later and later, and that's not good
00:19:59
The longer it takes the Biden administration to get its final fiscal year 2022 appropriation request out, the worse it'll be for federal contracting. By one account, the final numbers might not gel until February. My next guest says that would have a serious and negative impact on federal procurement, you know, buying stuff from contractors. For more, federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
May 11, 2021
VA health facilities, still operating in pandemic mode, get a checkup from the inspector general
00:20:06
The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General is in the midst of a region-by-region look at how well its facilities perform their mission. It's something the IG does every three years. This time around, no surprise, the Covid pandemic is a big part of the look-see. In fact, inspectors themselves had to switch to online visits. For what they found so far, the Federal Drive turns to deputy assistant inspector general Mary Toy.
May 11, 2021
When the pandemic hit, the Veterans Health Administration was more ready than its patients
00:21:13
When the pandemic hit the United States, the Veterans Affairs Department famously switched to mostly virtual visits for primary health care. No surprise there, VA was already deep into a plan to be ready for such a disaster. But telehealth did have some issues, mainly having to do with VA Video Connect, the VA's system for doing video visits. Here with details, the VA's deputy assistant inspector general for healthcare inspections, Dr. Julie Kroviak.
May 11, 2021
Pentagon preparing sole-source contract to replace Defense Travel System
00:18:46
With more business travel returning for people in the defense department, the cumbersome Defense Travel System is cranking up more. Now, though, it looks as if the Pentagon is going to replace the whole system, and officials have already begun contract talks. With this and other late DOD matters, Federal News Network's Scott Maucione and Jared Serbu.
May 11, 2021
GSA claims success of TDR pilot, but industry experts not sold
00:19:35
The General Services Administration is celebrating the success of a five-year-old pilot, to use data to get better prices for federal buyers. While initial data demonstrates the value of Transactional Data Reporting, industry experts say there are a host of issues that GSA still must resolve. In his weekly feature, the Reporter's Notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about what comes next for GSA's Transactional Data Reporting effort.
May 11, 2021
Congress will focus on the IRS and the Transportation Security Administration this week
00:19:59
More money to expand the IRS, and raises for TSA officers. Both are on the agenda as Congress returns to Washington this week. They're both part of the so-called infrastructure bill the Biden administration has put forth. For how this might play out, the Federal Drive turned to WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller.
May 10, 2021
A multi-sector task force has ideas for taking on the threat from ransomware
00:22:15
Ransomware, hackers hijacking systems and demanding big money to release them, has become more than a threat for state and local governments and school districts. So far the federal government has been lucky. Now a coalition of companies and non profits called the Institute for Security and Technology has come up with a long list of recommendations for dealing with ransomware. For more the president and CEO of the Cyber Threat Alliance and for White House cybersecurity special assistant, Michael Daniel.
May 10, 2021
The government's drive for continued air travel safety improvement enters a new phase
00:28:56
Airline safety has increased nearly 100 percent in the last couple of decades. But the challenge isn't over. There's still a big gap in average safety among nations. Bacterial and viral disease increasingly fly first class around the world. And new modes of navigation make the whole system more vulnerable to cyber attacks. That's the gist of new research by the Mitre Corporation. Joining the Federal Drive with more, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slate, and MITRE aviation chief Gregg Leone.
May 10, 2021
NSF’s unique R&D effort aims to solve societal challenges
00:19:29
To help solve the threats climate change poses to the oceans and cybersecurity threats to communications systems, the National Science Foundation is taking a unique approach. Through its convergence accelerator, NSF both funding research and bringing together a broad group of experts, all with a goal of commercializing the innovations. For more, Federal News Network's Jason Miller spoke with the head of the NSF’s convergence accelerator, Doug Maughan.
May 10, 2021
A former federal cybersecurity chief is now helping from an academic standpoint
00:21:01
The Software Engineering Institute, operated by Carnegie Mellon University as a federally funded research and development center, has a new name at its CERT Division. The Division's new director is Greg Touhill, a retired Air Force Brigadier General former federal chief information security officer joined the Federal Drive to discuss his new role.
May 07, 2021
How Defense contractors are preparing for cybersecurity certification
00:19:57
One Defense cybersecurity initiative from the Trump era is gaining steam in the Biden. That would be CMMC, the Cybersecurity Model Maturity Certification Program. It a program with many moving parts, all aimed at making sure Defense contractors can be trusted with controlled, unclassified information. Two cybersecurity companies the CMMC ecosystem, found in a survey earlier this year that the program will be costly and difficult for contractors. Joining the Federal Drive with more, Apptega's vice president of Marketing, Scot McLeod and the director of consulting at SecureStrux, Thad Wellin.
May 07, 2021
An update on a big program to help cybersecurity of the defense industrial base
00:28:56
Even for the government, the Defense Department's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program is a complicated apparatus. It's goal is ultimately to ensure that DOD agencies can be reasonably sure their data held by contractors and subcontractors is secure. Central to CMMC is a group known as the Accreditation Body. Joining the Federal Drive with an update, the chairman of the Accreditation Body Board of Directors, retired Air Force Col. Karlton Johnson.
May 07, 2021
USPS opts for reduction in force for non-union employees in agency restructuring’s final phase
00:17:12
The Postal Service is opting for a non-voluntary reduction in force, of its non-bargaining unit employees. It’s part of an agency restructuring that started once Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took office. USPS is also lifting a hiring freeze on management jobs, and sending out a second round of voluntary early retirement offers ahead of the RIF. For more on the state of the USPS and its workforce, we’re joined by Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman.
May 07, 2021
Space Force lays out plan to become military’s first ‘digital service’
00:17:09
Leaders of the Space Force have already said they want to build the new organization as the U.S. military’s first “digital service.” Now, they’re rolling out some details on what exactly that means. A new document explains four separate lines of effort that’ll try to pull of a digital transformation from top to bottom. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has details.
May 07, 2021
Can you spare a $2 a day for a month, for a worthy cause?
00:19:47
It's not too late to get on a 35-day challenge. The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund is looking for feds and supporters of public service to walk, run, swim, even roll your wheelchair for 35 miles, and you've got 35 days to do it. Joining the Federal Drive with details, FEEA executive director Joyce Warner.
May 06, 2021
Customs and Border Protection apprehends its share of illegals at the nation's entry points, some with four legs, some with no legs.
00:21:04
People trying to cross the southern border illegally make most of the news these days. But the Customs and Border Protection also apprehends illegal entrants, those with four legs, or maybe no legs at all. People constantly attempt to smuggle animals of all sorts into the United States. With how they do it and what happens when they get caught, the Federal Drive spoke with two supervisory CBP Agriculture Specialists, Ginger Perrone and Robert Ford.
May 06, 2021
A federal union president makes the case for unions in the federal workplace
00:22:16
We conclude our series, Federal Unions, For Better or Worse, exploring the role of unions in the federal workforce. This week we've heard from a highly pro-union academic, an anti-union right-to-work advocate, and a long-time federal executive who's of mixed views. The Federal Drive heard from the president of one of the major unions itself, the National Treasury Employees Union's Tony Reardon.
May 06, 2021
Is the General Schedule the best way to raise pay, morale for TSA workers?
00:19:20
The starting salary for an officer at the Transportation Security Administration can be as low as $29,000 a year. Congress agrees TSO's are underpaid. But members can't agree on what they should do to resolve pay and morale issues at TSA. House Democrats are trying a third time to pass legislation they believe would help. The bill would give TSOs a chance to earn a salary under the General Schedule. But others say Congress should find a way to ditch the General Schedule, not add more people to it. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko explains.
May 06, 2021
Space National Guard plan nearing completion, Guard chief says
00:18:32
The Space Force is settling into its position as the newest branch of the military. But the possibilities for a reserve and Guard unit are still in flux. There may be some movement on the issue coming soon though. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione reports.
May 06, 2021
Elevated State Dept. chief diversity officer looks to move needle on decades-long challenges
00:28:01
The State Department’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer is busy drafting a multi-year diversity and inclusion strategy. The department's previous diversity officer juggled multiple responsibilities but Secretary of State Antony Blinken distilled the position to focus exclusively on longstanding workforce challenges. For more on what the new job entails, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the person Blinken tapped for the job: Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley. Hear more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 05, 2021
OMB tells agencies how they can win some of the $1B in the Technology Modernization Fund
00:21:17
The General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday said they'd made big changes to how they'll administer a billion-dollar fund for modernizing federal information systems. Among other things, the new guidance emphasizes changes to the repayment model for the Technology Modernization Fund. But a new, faster time frame poses challenges. Federal News Network's Jason Miller has been following this development closely, and joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for what he's learned.
May 05, 2021
GAO worried foreign adversaries are getting their hands on NIH-funded discoveries
00:20:23
When federal agencies make financial grants to science and technology researchers, scouring their proposals for possible conflicts of interest is a big part of the process. But some agencies are focused on financial conflicts, and less on guarding against the risks of new scientific discoveries being sent to potential foreign adversaries. That appears to be the case with the National Institutes of Health, according to the Government Accountability Office. Candice Wright is acting director for Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics at GAO. She talked about the problem with Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 05, 2021
Sammies 2021 finalists announced for outstanding federal service
00:20:30
One good thing about the last year's seemingly endless crisis is the opportunity to render outstanding public service. And that's what this year's class of Service to America Medalist finalists have done. Announced this week, many have risen to the challenge of the pandemic. For a review, the President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service Max Stier joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
May 05, 2021
After some agencies restore federal unions' official time, new House bill would eliminate it
00:18:36
The Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies have restored to federal employee unions so-called official time, or the right to do union business during regular working hours. Official time was sharply curtailed during the Trump administration. Now a Republican-backed bill in the House would eliminate official time. It's called the Do Your Job Act of 2021. Good or bad idea? For one view, and the third in our series, Federal Unions: For Better or Worse, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to the Vice President of the National Right To Work Committee Greg Mourad.
May 05, 2021
That $15 wage proposal for federal contractors, will it help or hurt?
00:20:25
The Biden administration wants federal contractors to pay their employees a minimum of fifteen dollars an hour. For some contractors it's a moot issue. For others, it would have a lot of implications for profits and competitiveness. Joining the Federal Drive with analysis on a couple of topics, the president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, David Berteau.
May 04, 2021
The federal spending calendar is getting decidedly lopsided
00:19:17
For decades observers of federal spending patterns have focused on the rush to use up contracting dollars in the fourth quarter. But this year an equal but opposite phenomenon has emerged. Agencies releasing fewer and fewer dollars with of contracts in the first quarter, when there's a whole year ahead to get things done. According to my next guest, that could lead to misspending and lots of other problems. Joining the Federal Drive with more, Fearless chief growth officer and former EPA chief technology officer, Greg Godbout.
May 04, 2021
This experienced federal executive says tension with employee unions is a good thing
00:28:45
Pretty much taken for granted, federal employees unions have been around for more than a century. The National Federation of Federal Employees dates to the World War One era. The next big push came from President John F. Kennedy, whose executive order 10988 launched the modern era of federal unions. So what is their proper role today … and do they help or hinder what Kennedy called the effective conduct of public business? We're exploring the question in a series of interviews this week. Yesterday we heard from academic Jim Perry of Indiana University. Next, the Federal Drive spoke with with a long-experienced federal human capital practitioner in the intelligence community and at Homeland Security. He's now a professor at the University of South Florida, Ron Sanders.
May 04, 2021
Calls to move military sexual assault cases to independent prosecutors reach a boiling point
00:18:54
The case of the murdered Army soldier Vanessa Guillen is causing ongoing repercussions for the entire military. As pressure grows to take the prosecution of sex crimes out of the military chain-of-command altogether. One proposal would create an independent prosecutor for such crimes. It's all in this week's DOD Reporter's notebook by Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione.
May 04, 2021
Sen. Hassan’s technical fix of MGT Act is a major step to overhaul latest IT modernization challenges
00:18:55
Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) has a plan to fix an oversight gap in the last major federal technology law Congress passed. And it can't come soon enough for agencies like USAID and Commerce. In his weekly Reporter's Notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about why the New Hampshire Democrat's goal to fix the Modernizing Government Technology, or MGT Act, is critical to the broader IT modernization effort. Jason joined the Federal Drive to discuss.
May 04, 2021
In some ways you have to pity Congress, trying to spend trillions it doesn't have
00:20:30
What exactly is Congress and the administration talking about when they throw around infrastructure spending? For what possible plans are that involve agencies like the Transportation Department, the Federal Drive turned to someone who's been following the details closely. Bloomberg Government congress reporter Jack Fitzpatrick.
May 03, 2021
The Defense Department brings super-high-tech learning programs to two historically black universities
00:19:38
The research and engineering unit at the Pentagon has made some important investments at two historically black colleges, Howard University and Delaware State University. Under its research and education program, it will establish centers of excellence in some highly contemporary technologies. For more, the Federal Drive turned to the program director for science at historically black and minority serving institutions, Evelyn Kent.
May 03, 2021
What is the best role for unions in the federal workplace?
00:23:04
For better or worse, public administration and the people who carry it out deal regularly with employee unions. Do unions help or hinder that public administration? In the first of a four-part series, Federal Unions, for Better or Worse, the Federal Drive got the perspective of someone who has studied this issue for 50 years. He's distinguished professor emeritus at Indiana University, Dr. James Perry.
May 03, 2021
DoD targets 2028 for first clean financial statement audit
00:17:41
Pentagon financial leaders say they’re making measurable progress toward finally earning a clean audit opinion. So much so, that they’re now willing to predict a tentative date when it’ll happen: 2028. That’s based on a series of corrective action plans designed to fix the major issues that have turned up so far in the first three years of audits. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has an update on DoD’s long journey toward auditability.
May 03, 2021
Senators growing frustrated with SSA’s closed offices, pandemic workarounds
00:18:28
The vast majority of the Social Security Administration workforce has been teleworking for nearly 14 months. SSA field and local offices are either closed to the public or by appointment only, with managers handling mass volumes of mail and requests for in-person services. But managers and members of Congress say the current model is unsustainable. And they say SSA has an opportunity to reimagine the way it delivers service whenever the pandemic ends.
May 03, 2021
Do federal employees get pay increases regardless of their job performance?
00:14:33
The Merit Systems Protection Board recently confirmed what most federal employees already knew: Everybody gets a step-pay increase whether they deserve it or not. Supervisors say too many people aren't suited to their jobs or even unwilling to do them. Federal Drive with Tom Temin talked about this with Bob Tobias, a professor in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University.
Apr 30, 2021
Troy E. Black: The highest-ranking enlisted Marine discusses the process to recreate the workout uniform
00:14:34
Many adjectives describe the Marine Corps. How about this one: thorough. The Marines are in the midst of a thorough testing program for something that might seem like a simple thing: A new workout uniform. Federal Drive with Tom Temin talked with the 19th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Troy E. Black.
Apr 30, 2021
An update on a CDC program to improve the total health of people
00:18:01
The words workplace and worker health have taken on whole new meanings in the year-plus-long pandemic. But NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is on a long-term research program. Through its own work and that of grantees, it's looking to develop what it calls integrated, holistic approaches to worker well-being. With an update on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin, is the director of NIOSH's Office for Total Worker Health, Dr. Casey Chosewood.
Apr 30, 2021
The pandemic has hit one federal group harder than most, children of military service members
00:14:19
It was already difficult being the child of an active duty military member. Long periods of separation, frequent moves, the danger a parent could be injured or worse. The pandemic has magnified those issues, as we hear from the senior director of strategic partnerships at the military service organization Semper Fi and America's Fund, Greg Frey.
Apr 29, 2021
The FDIC partners with an engineering school to work on the next round of innovation
00:19:59
In an unlikely-sounding paring, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has formed what it calls a strategic partnership with engineering school at Duke University. Students will work with the FDIC on innovation in topics like finance and risk management. Joining the Federal Drive with more, the director of Duke's Master of Engineering in FinTech and Cybersecurity programs, Dr. Jimmie Lenz.
Apr 29, 2021
Expedited hiring can save an agency's backside, but it comes with risks
00:13:54
The Veterans Health Administration already had a lot of job vacancies before the pandemic. But the COVID crisis made the vacancies more acute. So VHA went to expedited hiring, with the goal of getting people on board within three days of an offer. That strategy get 'em in, but it does some with risks. For more on the possible downside, the VA's deputy assistant inspector general Leigh Ann Searight.
Apr 29, 2021
After years of complaints, House committee considering changes to VA accountability office
00:13:43
Congress has fielded complaints about the VA's Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection since that office's inception. The office has not gotten especially high marks from the VA inspector general or whistleblowers either. Now a House committee is considering legislative changes. Members agree something needs to change with the current VA accountability office. But they can't agree yet on what those changes should be. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.
Apr 29, 2021
Court keeps Amazon’s JEDI challenge intact, dealing blow to DoD, Microsoft
00:08:28
Yesterday, a federal judge made a long-awaited ruling in the long-running JEDI Cloud saga. And it was not the one the Defense Department wanted. The Court of Federal Claims says Amazon Web Services can proceed with its claims that the JEDI contract was tainted by improper political influence. That means the multi-billion dollar contract – which has already been delayed by years of litigation – is in for even more delays, if not outright cancellation. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has covered the JEDI saga every step of the way, and he’s here now to explain the latest.
Apr 29, 2021
Federal IT acquisition and security stuck on High-Risk List
00:18:10
Federal spending on information technology and cybersecurity passed the $100 billion mark - annually. Yet IT acquisition and ensuring security remain stubbornly on the High-Risk List maintained by the Government Accountability Office. Many longstanding GAO recommendations remain undone. A director on GAO's IT and cybersecurity team, Kevin Walsh, had the latest on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 28, 2021
DoD potentially vulnerable to private military companies controlled by other nations
00:16:42
In Russia, private military companies controlled by oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin pose a growing threat to U.S. interests. Senior military fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and active duty Marine Corps Lt. Col. Joe Moye, said the Defense Department needs to develop a strategy to deal with so-called PMCs. U.S. armed forces could find themselves in hot conflict with PMCs - then what? He offered some answers on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 28, 2021
GSA re-energizing commitment to battling climate change
00:13:42
Green might be the General Services Administration's new favorite color, but not because of money. GSA is energizing its commitment to green government across its entire portfolio of products and services. Federal News Network executive editor Jason Miller joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss how GSA plans to do its part to battle climate change.
Apr 28, 2021
SBA executives ‘beyond doubt’ that teleworking employees are more productive
00:13:43
The Small Business Administration relied on telework to nearly triple its workforce during the pandemic so it didn't need to expand office space. Now the SBA is considering the benefits of making telework a permanent way of life for its workforce. Agency officials said it would help employees respond faster to natural disasters and managers recruit from a broader pool of talent. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 28, 2021
Prospective Army contractor snagged by hidden GAO rule
00:13:48
There's a hidden trap in the Government Accountability Office's rules for contract award protests. The trap closed on the foot of one contractor trying to do business with the Army. Procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo of Smith Pachter McWhorter joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the details.
Apr 28, 2021
Why GSA's Schedule program might not be getting as much attention from vendors as it deserves
00:14:46
With so much attention on a series of forthcoming multiple award contracts, it might be easy for companies to forget about the old, reliable, GSA Schedule. As our next guest reminds us, the Multiple Award Schedule contract did record business last year. Larry Allen is president of Allen Federal Business Partners. He talked with the Federal Drive about why the schedule contracts might not be getting the attention they deserve right now.
Apr 27, 2021
More than ever, military members and their families need a dose of financial literacy education
00:13:56
For a variety of reasons, career military families are, on the whole, less financially literate than the general population. That's according to an annual survey of financial readiness conducted by First Command Financial Services. In the latest findings, the gap appears to be widening. For more details, Tom Temin talked with First Command president and CEO, Mark Steffe
Apr 27, 2021
Economic Development Administration hits milestone in CARES Act fund distribution
00:16:28
This agency has given out more than $1 billion in grant money under the Cares Act passed last year. And it gets another $3 billion under the American Rescue Plan. If you're thinking Small Business Administration, think again. It's the Economic Development Administration. Tom Temin talked about pandemic relief with the Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary for Economic Development, and the Chief Operating Officer of the EDA, Dennis Alvord.
Apr 27, 2021
In spite of it all, federal employee engagement rises in 2020 FEVS
00:13:55
Employee engagement topped 72% in 2020. Up four points from the previous year. That's according to the results of the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. The Office of Personnel Management acknowledges the results could be surprising given the challenges of the last year. But federal employees in some ways are more engaged because of those challenges. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to run through the results.
Apr 27, 2021
Is CISA’s third cyber emergency directive in five months a sign that things are getting worse?
00:07:49
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency required agencies to take action against a major problem with the virtual private network software from Pulse Secure.
Apr 27, 2021
What might happen if Congress goes along with the Biden administration's plan for $100 billion in research money
00:16:39
The National Science Foundation would get an extra $50 billion under a proposal from the Biden administration. The NSF would establish a technology directorate, and give out grants for advanced chip making, communications, and other technologies deemed crucial to American competitiveness. Biden also wants tens of billions for other research initiatives. Joining the Federal Drive with how this might all work, North Carolina State University industrial and systems engineering professor Julie Swann.
Apr 26, 2021
Biden to outline 'American Family Plan' at address to joint session of Congress
00:15:33
President Biden will give his 'not' the State of the Union speech to Congress this week. So more parts of the administration's agenda could come into sharper focus, and give Congress more things to disagree on. Federal Drive with Tom Temin welcomed WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller for a preview of this and other matters in the week ahead.
Apr 26, 2021
A new Government Publishing Office project makes you ask, are they serious?
00:16:50
The Government Publishing Office wants to make every government document accessible online. Every government document. Let that sink in for a moment. For how they'll chase everything down, and why, the Federal Drive turned to the GPO director, Hugh Halpern.
Apr 26, 2021
Pentagon now using direct-hire authorities for a third of its cyber workforce
00:12:58
It’s been five years since Congress started giving the Defense Department new authorities to hire cyber professionals quickly. But DoD is finally putting those tools to use in a big way. This year, it’s onboarded thousands of new employees using direct hire authorities. And the department has made a big dent in how long it takes to complete the hiring process. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has an update on DoD’s efforts to build its cyber workforce.
Apr 26, 2021
Lawmakers ask FEMA how to avoid future communication breakdowns during disasters
00:12:29
FEMA is dealing with about 960 declared disasters around the country right now. And there's at at least one in every state. What's more, they're not all pandemic related. There’s the influx of migrants at the southern border, lingering winter storm damage, and prepping for wildfire and hurricane seasons, But it was COVID-19 after all that shed light on the weaknesses in FEMA’s command and supply chains. More from Federal News Network's Amelia Brust.
Apr 26, 2021
The pandemic affected the Postal Service's finances in both bad, and good ways
00:14:21
Expenses rose, but so did financial liquidity. That sort of summarizes what happened to the U.S. Postal Service throughout the pandemic. Here with more on what a detailed look at the USPS found, the cost and pricing audit director for its office of inspector general, Sherry Fullwood.
Apr 23, 2021
For this atmospheric exploration, NASA teams up with Germany's space agency
00:15:38
A teaming arrangement between NASA and Germany's Aerospace Center has started focusing on the earth's mesophere and lower thermosphere, where scientists say they have a lot to learn. They're using an instrument known as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA. With how the joint venture works and what each country brings to it, the Federal Drive turned to the director of the SOFIA science mission operations, Dr. Margaret Meixner.
Apr 23, 2021
The DEA keeps an eye on a problem that predated the pandemic, and will be here long after
00:14:43
Sometimes forgotten during the pandemic is that drug overdose deaths have continued to rise. After the Covid threat recedes, the opioid addiction crisis will rage on. That's why the Drug Enforcement Administration puts a lot of resources into its periodic drug take-back days. Here with a behind-the-scenes look, acting DEA administrator D. Christopher Evans.
Apr 23, 2021
Ahuja vows to bring stable leadership to OPM after years of turnover at the top
00:13:11
The Office of Personnel Management is a small step closer toward permanent leadership. Kiran Ahuja is the president's pick to lead OPM. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee considered her nomination yesterday. Committee members say OPM needs to rebuild confidence and develop an innovative plan for federal workforce. Ahuja acknowledges she has a tough job ahead of her if confirmed. More now from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.
Apr 23, 2021
Lawmakers want to end 8-year debate over the definition of data centers
00:15:01
It’s been eight years and OMB and Congress still can’t see eye-to-eye over what should be a simple definition of a data center. After memos, policies and laws, the concept of a data center continues to cause heartburn among federal technology leaders and lawmakers. We saw that on display at the bi-annual hearing on the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act scorecard. Federal News Network’s Jason Miller heard the hearing and joined the Federal Drive to discuss.
Apr 23, 2021
How the National Parks are preparing for a mostly post-pandemic summer
00:15:39
As the National Park Service enters its second spring since the pandemic, growing numbers of Americans are vaccinated and looking forward to a little normalcy outdoors. So there's special meaning in this year's annual National Parks week. Spokeswoman Kathy Kupper has a few of the highlights.
Apr 22, 2021
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has problems with detention centers
00:17:42
It may not look like it from the television images, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement does maintain standards for the detention of illegal immigrants. But it doesn't always follow them. That's what the Homeland Security Office of Inspector General found at the La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, one of 200 such facilities around the country. Here with details, Principal Deputy Inspector General Glen Sklar, and OIG senior advisor Ellen McSweeney.
Apr 22, 2021
Cybersecurity is one of those rare issues in Congress with bipartisan agreement
00:15:57
Few federal management challenges seem as intractable as the need for better cybersecurity. The Solar Winds incident provided the latest evidence. Pretty much everyone agrees. Now the Biden administration has mostly filled out the top cybersecurity positions. For what should happen next, we turn to a leading Congressional voice for cybersecurity, New York congressman John Katko (R-N.Y.).
Apr 22, 2021
Army to start unifying enterprise, tactical networks by next year
00:12:12
The Army has spent decades building what leaders say are artificial boundaries between the IT networks soldiers use at their home stations and the ones they use on the battlefield. And since that’s no way to win a war against a near-peer adversary, it’s time to finally bridge that divide. The Army plans to start implementing concepts that are meant to unify its enterprise and tactical networks as soon as next year. Details from Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu.
Apr 22, 2021
New platform allows VA to help homeless veterans faster
00:15:29
The Department of Veterans Affairs says it's directing help to homeless veterans more quickly thanks to its Status, Query, and Response Exchange System, or SQUARES. The platform helps homelessness service providers determine who's eligible for assistance. That process used to take weeks or months. Now it can take minutes. For more about the platform and how it fits into VA's IT strategy, Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko spoke with the senior director of the digital transformation center at VA's Office of Information and Technology, Thomas Guido.
Apr 22, 2021
CBP seeks to enhance data sharing with USPS to combat drug trafficking
00:16:29
A plan to enhance the screening of international packages for illegal opioids like fentanyl is coming into focus at Customs and Border Protection. CBP is gathering feedback on an interim final rule that strengthens the collection and sharing of advance electronic data on packages coming into the U.S. This rule is part of CBP working with the Postal Service to stand up the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention plan, something Congress ordered in 2018. For more on how the rule puts CBP one step ahead of drug smugglers, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the agency’s Executive Director for Cargo and Conveyance Security, Thomas Overacker, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 21, 2021
Navy, Coast Guard partnership takes on illegal fishing, climate change and China
00:16:21
The Navy is constantly at sea, but how much is it thinking about the neighboring fish? The Coast Guard and Navy are teaming up to combat illegal fishing. The issue fits in with great power competition and climate change issues, especially as China pushes its own fishing vessels into gray zones in the ocean. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione spoke with Ocean Power Technologies CEO George Kirby and a member of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Sea Land Air Military Research Initiative, Ray Buettner. Hear more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 21, 2021
FirstNet adds 5G to first responder network as part of AT&T contract, expanding rural broadband
00:00
Four years in, the FirstNet program is adding 5G technology to the nation's first responder network. And it's been steadily building out coverage in rural parts of the country. Here with a progress report on the fourth anniversary of its contract with AT&T, the CEO of the FirstNet Authority, Ed Parkinson, spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 21, 2021
VA needs to staff up suicide prevention teams for greater effectiveness
00:13:40
Like homelessness, suicide among veterans is a persistent and tragic problem which the Department of Veterans Affairs has been working for years to prevent. Now the Government Accountability Office has come out with some recommendations on how VA can better staff-up and use its suicide prevention teams. For more insight, the GAO's Director of Health Care Issues, Debra Draper, spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 21, 2021
Coast Guard trying to keep online Bring Your Child To Work Day a positive experience
00:13:27
Coast Guard members are working to make the upcoming Bring Your Child to Work Day something special, even if it will be mostly online. In fact online they can do things that would likely be out of the question in person. For the details, the Assistant Commandant for Capability, Rear Adm. John Mauger, spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 21, 2021
More than troops will be departing Afghanistan, like a slew of contractors
00:16:38
Per President Biden's policy in Afghanistan, the remaining couple of thousand troops will soon return. Now contractors supporting both the troops and a number of services over there, are trying to get answers about what's ahead. Here with some of the questions, Professional Services Council and CEO David Berteau.
Apr 20, 2021
Pt. 2: The Energy Department moves to bolster production of strategic minerals from U.S. soil
00:14:39
We continue our discussion of how the federal government can bolster domestic production of rare-earth elements crucial to electric vehicles and other energy imperatives. For more on the elements themselves and why they matter, the Energy Department's program manager for Research and Development Consortia, Dr. Mike McKittrick.
Apr 20, 2021
The Energy Department moves to bolster production of strategic minerals from U.S. soil
00:15:51
If you like electric cars, then you've got to have ample supplies of critical elements needed to make them, like lithium and cobalt. Trouble is, the U.S. is highly dependent on foreign sources for most of the 35 rare-earth elements needed for batteries, wind turbines and other items. Now the Energy Department has launched a $30 million grant program to support increasing domestic supplies of rare-earth element. For details, we'll have two guests. We'll hear from Mike McKittrick, Energy's Research and Development Consortia Program Manager. But first, for an overview of the program, we'll hear from the acting director of the Materials Sciences and Engineering Division in Energy's basic research unit, Dr. Andy Schwartz.
Apr 20, 2021
Army wants new vendor to handle large-scale cloud migrations
00:14:55
The Army might be a ground-based force, but it's spending more time in the clouds, commercial cloud computing. In fact, with some solid experience in migrating computing workloads to the cloud, Army brass are considering a revised strategy for large scale migrations. Just one story in this week's DOD Reporters Notebook with Federal News Network's Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione.
Apr 20, 2021
OMB, OPM to set up new hiring assessment line of business as part of IT modernization push
00:14:56
The last 15 years of federal agency IT modernization seems to be culminating under the Biden administration...a perfect combo of technology maturation, pandemic's impact and real funding from Congress. In his weekly feature, the reporter's notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about how the Biden administration is trying to pull all of these pieces together to finally make sustained progress on moving off legacy systems. Jason joined the Federal Drive to discuss.
Apr 20, 2021
The burners are lit, but the budget debates on Capitol Hill are just warming up
00:15:53
A busy and contentious agenda on Capitol Hill doesn't mean the budget and priorities for your agency are off the table. In fact, the House budget committee chairwoman says she's hoping to have bills on the floor this summer. The Federal Drive got more now from Bloomberg Government congress reporter Jack Fitzpatrick.
Apr 19, 2021
NIST partners with an industry that's become fresh prey for cyber hackers
00:10:34
Feds will eventually travel again on business. And when they do, their personal data will end up in property management systems. The systems hotels use to manage and book space. Turns out these systems are vulnerable to hackers seeing personal information. Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology has released results of focused work with the industry to help the situation. Joining the Federal Drive with more, National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence engineer Bill Newhouse.
Apr 19, 2021
How the State Department uses artists and artwork as part of its worldwide diplomatic effort
00:16:20
For the State Department, diplomacy and projecting American values around the world relies on the foreign service staff had ambassadors. But it uses other means to enhance the mission. Like art and artists. For more on the Art in Embassies program, the acting director of State's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, Henry Jardine.
Apr 19, 2021
IRS too ‘outgunned’ to shrink $1T tax gap, Rettig tells Congress
00:13:48
After a decade of budget and workforce cuts, the IRS says it has limited manpower to go after tax cheats. That means the tax gap between what taxpayers owe and what the agency collects is growing. But a bigger budget for the agency doesn’t mean it can bring on new employees as quickly as it would like. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman has more.
Apr 19, 2021
Military family members take health care cost concerns right to the top
00:14:53
The Military Coalition, a group representing millions of service members and their families has appealed right to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Their concern: Rising out-of-pocket costs for Tricare, planned cuts to medical billets, and possible lower funding for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science. Joining the Federal Drive with more, the director of health affairs of Military Officers Association of America, Karen Ruedisueli.
Apr 16, 2021
The DEA has a foundation, and it's been up to some star-studded work
00:16:05
You might not have realized the Drug Enforcement Administration has a foundation. It's been working for 20 years to help young people find healthy alternatives to drug use. It recently held a major fundraiser in connection with some big stars of Broadway. Joining the Federal Drive with details, the DEA Educational Foundation's chairman of the board, Bill Alden.
Apr 16, 2021
The agencies' watchdogs get together on the issue that affects everyone, diversity and inclusion
00:15:47
A new working group has arisen at the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, the collective of all the federal IG's. The new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work Group aims to make sure the IG offices' workforces are sufficiently diverse. Joining the Federal Drive with what the work group will do and how it will operate, the acting inspector general of the Education Department, Sandra Bruce. And Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation IG, Jay Lerner.
Apr 16, 2021
Pentagon believes it escaped unscathed from SolarWinds, Microsoft hacks
00:12:06
The Defense Department was just about as exposed as anyone else, to the global-scale cyber vulnerabilities involving SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange software. But even after months of probing their own networks for signs of compromise, Defense officials say it looks as though they dodged a bullet. As Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu reports, there are no signs that foreign hackers managed to actually make use of those cyber flaws.
Apr 16, 2021
Another year, another record-high budget request for VA
00:15:00
The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has some challenges to work through with its electronic health record. But it's confident it can fix them. And it's confident the Cerner Millennium platform will eventually be an improvement over VA's legacy health record. Some members of Congress are skeptical. And they don't see how it's possible for VA pause the rollout and still meet its $16 billion, 10-year budget and timeline. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.
Apr 16, 2021
DARPA awards a super-high-tech artificial intelligence research project
00:17:07
A recent award by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, to the University of Massachusetts is aimed at advancing machine learning in a way that mimics the human mind. The award went to the university's Biologically Inspired Neural and Dynamical Systems, or BINDS, lab. For what this research is all about and why it's important, the BINDS Lab director, Hava Siegelmann.
Apr 15, 2021
For 30 years, she's risen through this agency's ranks, always with the constituents in mind
00:15:38
Each year the Federal Managers Association honors one of its own, as Manager of the Year. Joining the Federal Drive is this year's honoree. She's the director of policy and systems for the Railroad Retirement Board, Kimberly Price.
Apr 15, 2021
DoD is still unbalanced on readiness, but is it trying to do too much?
00:14:15
The Defense Department brass have fretted about readiness for years. After getting budget bumps, the Pentagon still isn’t prepared for the missions it’s setting itself up for. That’s according to a recent Government Accountability Office. Is DoD is setting itself up for failure? Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined the Federal Drive to discuss what he's been finding.
Apr 15, 2021
The investigation into the mysterious medical problem facing State Dept. employees continues
00:14:17
The State Department has spent years trying to unravel a medical mystery. Since 2016, dozens of diplomats overseas have reported sudden bouts of dizziness, cognitive problems and hearing loss, brought about with no underlying conditions. The department stood up a Health Incident Response Task Force to lead an interagency investigation, but the specific source of the maladies remains unknown. For more on where the task force goes from here, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the task force’s senior advisor, Ambassador Pamela Spratlen.
Apr 15, 2021
Some lawmakers want to rethink military benefits as service member families go hungry
00:14:47
Hunger among members of the U.S. military and their families might not be a widely known problem. But some in Congress are taking notice. A bipartisan bill is in the hopper to give struggling military families a basic allowance for everyday needs. Recently, MAZON, an organization dedicated to fighting hunger, came out with a report detailing military food insecurity. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione spoke with MAZON CEO and President Abby Leibman on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 14, 2021
VA faces pivotal moment with EHR after months of lingering usability problems
00:14:44
The Department of Veterans Affairs was quick to praise success of the initial deployment of its new electronic health record last fall. But nearly six months in and VA employees and congressional overseers say the EHR deployment in Spokane, Washington, was far less successful than what the agency initially touted. Clinicians said they're still experiencing usability problems. Members of Congress believe VA has some tough decisions ahead now that it's launched a strategic review of the program. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the latest.
Apr 14, 2021
Biden White House operating on historic numbers of EOs, memos
00:19:12
The late historian Arthur Schlesinger memorialized the term "imperial presidency" back in the early 1970s. Given the scores, perhaps hundreds, of executive orders issued by recent administrations, the term seems prophetic. Now the government is operating in the wake of an historic number of executive orders, memoranda and proclamations from the Biden White House. Ohio State law professor Peter Shane offered an assessment and historical perspective on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 14, 2021
How can the National Labor Relations Board retain staff, morale?
00:14:56
Like a hot air balloon with a pinhole, the National Labor Relations Board has been steadily losing people and the morale of those remaining. The Government Accountability Office has some recommendations for plugging the hole. For more, the GAO's acting director for Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues, Thomas Costa, spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Apr 14, 2021
NOAA's data sharing agreement with windmill developer could yield ocean insight for both parties
00:12:47
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signed a first-ever data sharing agreement with a private company - a developer of offshore windmill farms. Both parties have an interest in learning more about what's going on in coastal waters. For the whys and wherefores of the agreement, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to NOAA's integrated ocean and coastal mapping coordinator, Ashley Chappell.
Apr 14, 2021
Questions for the GSA administrator nominee, on what the job will actually involve
00:15:12
Robin Carnahan, President Biden's nominee for administrator of the General Services Administration, has a software development background. So can she take on the range of challenges GSA faces in acquisition and real estate? We get analysis from long-time GSA watcher, federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Apr 13, 2021
How will Homeland Security pivot to violent domestic extremism?
00:18:15
The Department of Homeland Security, by order of the Biden administration, is reportedly shifting resources to the challenge of what the administration calls violent domestic extremism. For a little perspective on this, we turn to an expert on cyber warfare, surveillance, terrorism and whistleblowers, R-Street Institute senior fellow Paul Rosenzweig.
Apr 13, 2021
Has the time come for a Millennial version of the security clearance criteria?
00:18:01
Having taken over the security clearance apparatus, the Defense Department has been busy updating the technology process for clearance. But what about the criteria for granting or withholding clearance? A deep dive by the RAND Corporation says it might be time to revise them because, well, times have changed. For more, RAND social scientist and report co-author, Marek Posard.
Apr 13, 2021
OMB blocks sale of National Archives facility listed as underutilized, citing tribal records
00:12:57
The Office of Management and Budget is pulling its approval of selling the Federal Archives and Records Center in Seattle, citing a lack of communication with the communities that rely on those records. It’s one of a dozen high value, but underutilized federal properties identified by the Public Buildings Reform Board a year ago. The rest of the board’s recommendations haven’t made much traction either. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more.
Apr 13, 2021
Inglis, Easterly tapped for cyber leadership roles at White House, CISA
00:13:58
The White House is filling two key cybersecurity roles at the National Security Council and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. These two are among the most prominent technology leadership positions that needed to be filled by the Biden administration. In his weekly feature, the Reporter's Notebook, Federal News Network Executive Editor Jason Miller wrote about these nominations in some detail. He joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more.
Apr 13, 2021
The committee to reform the House itself is off to a running start in the 117th Congress
00:17:41
The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress is something of an odd duck. It has 50-50 party membership. Members of the two parties sit among one another. They don't seem to bicker. Now the committee has held detailed hearings on its agenda in the 117th Congress. Joining the Federal Drive with an update, committee chairman and Washington representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA).
Apr 12, 2021
Infrastructure is ready for America, but is America ready for infrastructure?
00:15:52
Congress, with the backing of the Biden administration, is going to make a fresh run at funding for the nation's infrastructure. Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers confirmed that the infrastructure could stand some rebuilding. For what impact the Biden plan could have and how to pick the most worthy projects, the Federal Drive turned to civil engineer and former ASCE president, Greg DiLoreto.
Apr 12, 2021
State Department policy may be changing but one commission moves steadily along, with some pointed advice
00:16:50
Secretary of State Tony Blinken is changing course in many ways from his predecessor, Mike Pompeo. One thing both men share is the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. The commission's charter just received renewal from State. Joining the Federal Drive with an update on the commission's work, executive director Vivian Walker.
Apr 12, 2021
Civilian agencies would see a 16% spending boost under Biden’s 2022 budget
00:12:48
The president's 2022 budget request is out, or part of it. Administration officials previewed several broad priorities and topline spending numbers on Friday when they released the so-called skinny budget. For the first time in years, civilian agencies are the big winners. President Biden is recommending a 16% increase in civilian agency spending. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to break down the numbers.
Apr 12, 2021
DoD entering a ‘paradigm shift’ in how it addresses, tracks brain injuries
00:12:57
The Defense Department is learning that even vibrations, let along the bang, from some guns can be unhealthy for the brain. The Pentagon has taken steps to learn more about traumatic brain injuries in recent decades. Medical leadership says it’s entering a paradigm shift in how it approaches brain health. The strategy, which is in draft form now, takes into account the potential head injury exposures service members endure over the whole of their career. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione talks about the new plan with DoD brain injury specialist Kathy Lee.
Apr 12, 2021
A big goof by the government isn't enough to sustain this bid protest
00:12:31
Even if the government releases confidential information about an incumbent contractor during a recompete, too bad. It's not enough to sustain a protest. That's what a State Department contractor found out when information useful to competitors leaked out. Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Joe Petrillo sorts out this case for the Federal Drive.
Apr 09, 2021
Should the government reinforce its plan for a backup global positioning system?
00:21:40
The global positioning system on which so much of modern life depends faces two basic threats. One, it's easy to spoof, placing things at locations other than where they actually are. Second, it's vulnerable to interruption, say, if another nation wanted to make mischief with GPS satellites. My next guest says it's time to fund a plan already in place for the Transportation Department. She's a former deputy assistant secretary of DOT, now teaching economics at George Washington University, Diana Furchtgott-Roth.
Apr 09, 2021
Defense contractors explore new ways to develop systems faster and cheaper
00:21:40
Both the armed services and contractors are trying to speed design and prototyping of new platforms and weapons using digital techniques. They're taking traditional computer aided design and updating it with artificial intelligence and machine learning, giving development a sort of autonomy it's never had. And building more sophisticated virtual environments in which to test new platforms. For one view of how industry is doing this, the Federal Drive turned to the president of Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Wes Kramer.
Apr 09, 2021
Army Futures Command modernizing the service starting with its workforce
00:14:03
The Army Futures Command is in charge of pushing novel ideas and modernizing the service. As such, the Command itself it needs a high caliber workforce. Now the Command has started refining the groups it targets for recruitment, using some of its own novel ideas for human capital. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione spoke with Army Futures Command’s Chief Human Capital Officer, Kate Kelley.
Apr 09, 2021
USPS' 10 year plan is going to be a tough sell to consumers
00:13:48
The Postal Service tells commercial customers that higher rates for slower service are necessary to keep the agency from running out of cash. That’s a key part of the 10-year plan reform plan it released in March. But mailers say the plan is a tough sell that will accelerate a decline in mail volume already made worse by the pandemic. For more analysis of plan, and its chances of getting off the ground, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute, Paul Steidler.
Apr 09, 2021
The NSA gathers together the top minds in what it calls the science of security
00:14:17
HotSOS, it might sound like something in the condiments aisle. But it's actually an annual event held by the National Security Agency. Hot Topics on Science of Security, its formal name, will be held online next week. For what happens at the event and some of science challenges in security, the Federal Drive checked in with NSA science researcher, Adam Tagert.
Apr 08, 2021
Once again, the kids show their mettle in cybersecurity
00:16:37
For more than a decade, the Air Force Association and Northrop Grumman have conducted the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, matching teams of middle- and high school students who find and fix cybersecurity flaws. Winners were announced just last week. Joining the Federal Drive with more about the program, CyberPatriot commissioner and retired Brig. Gen. Bernie Skoch.
Apr 08, 2021
How the Army is starting to think differently about the Arctic
00:15:59
If the Arctic region is the roof the world, the Army is starting to think differently about what could be lurking up there. Like Russia. Last month the Army released a new strategy called Regaining Arctic Dominance, aimed at helping secure U.S. interests in the region. Joining the Federal Drive with some of the details in the strategy, Army strategic planner Elizabeth Felling.
Apr 08, 2021
White House running out of time to restore functionality to MSPB, congressmen warn
00:14:28
There's bipartisan concern in Congress now about the status of the Merit Systems Protection Board. The MSPB hasn't had a quorum for more than four years. And it hasn't had a single board member for more than two. The agency's only partially functional. At least its administrative judges are still issuing initial decisions on some appeals. But federal employee groups and a bipartisan pair of House members worry a federal court will shake up MSPB operations before the White House and Congress can get around to restoring a quorum. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to explain.
Apr 08, 2021
OMB turning up the pressure on agencies to migrate to the new IT modernization and telecommunications contract
00:15:36
The Office of Management and Budget is applying new pressure to agencies to meet the goals of the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions or EIS program. Federal News Network has learned OMB is asking for an update by July 1st on agency progress and plans for achieving the deadlines for using the network and telecommunication modernization contract. This requirement in the IT passback guidance comes just before agencies fell well short of the General Services Administration’s March 31st goal to have at least 50 percent of their network and telecommunications inventory transitioned to the new contract. Allen Hill is the deputy assistant commissioner for category management in the Office of the IT Category in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service and oversees the EIS program. He tells executive editor Jason Miller about the status of the initiative.
Apr 08, 2021