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
Sesame Street tackling race with military families
00:17:10
The Sesame Workshop has a long history of working with the Defense Department. Its goal is to help children of service members adapt to the sometimes-difficult living conditions they face. This year, the muppets are tackling race and diversity. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione spoke with the workshop Vice President Maria del Rocio Galarza.
Jul 23, 2021
Congress should invest in programs — and management
00:16:56
A trillion here, a trillion there — as Congress prepares to spend relatively more money than it spent on World War II, the question arises whether the federal workforce even has the capacity to carry out whatever programs the coming money will spawn. Bob Tobias said the government needs a parallel investment in management. The professor in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more information.
Jul 23, 2021
Governors appeal to National Guard for help with cyber attacks
00:20:11
As cybersecurity attacks interrupt government services at the state and municipal levels, governors are calling on the National Guard for help. For details on just how often this happening, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to a senior fellow at the center-left think tank Third Way, Todd Rosenblum.
Jul 23, 2021
DoD adding cybersecurity measures to network 3D printers
00:10:58
As it expands additive manufacturing all over, the Defense Department is also adding cybersecurity risk. That's because operators of networked 3D printers aren't always securing the machines or the files that drive them. For more, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to Karla Roark, program director for Audit Cyberspace Operations in the DoD Office of Inspector General.
Jul 23, 2021
Pentagon faces political battle to retire old weapons systems — and some newer ones
00:15:20
Both the Air Force and the Navy want Congress’ permission to retire some of their weapons systems. The basic rationale is to free up money for the sort of high-end warfare they say they need to prepare for. Some of those systems are decades old, and showing their age, but not all of them. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu had details on the services’ varying justifications for divestiture. Hear more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 23, 2021
Paid leave expansion for federal employees advances after contentious committee debate
00:17:58
The House Oversight and Reform Committee advanced legislation that would expand family and sick leave for federal employees, allowing them up to 12 weeks of paid time off to recover from a personal medical condition or care for a sick spouse, child or parent.
Jul 22, 2021
Warner says ‘time is now’ for cyber incident reporting legislation
00:09:24
It might sound surprising, but many federal contractors are under no obligation to report cybersecurity breaches to the government. That could changing under a new bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate this week. The Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021 would require contractors, critical infrastructure companies, and agencies themselves for that matter, to report successful cyber intrusions within 24 hours. For more, Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday spoke with one of the bill sponsors, Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 22, 2021
VHA still needs more accurate reporting of staffing numbers
00:17:52
Department of Veterans Affairs reform legislation back in 2018 required the Veterans Health Administration to report regularly on its staffing and vacancy levels. VHA officials generally meet the requirement. Now the Office of Inspector General has found that VHA has made a lot of progress in the accuracy of its reporting but still has a ways to go. Federal Drive with Tom Temin got more now from Deputy Assistant Inspector General Leigh Ann Searight.
Jul 22, 2021
Buy American initiative may push federal contractors to study shipping rules more closely
00:17:53
Federal contractors who ship stuff often overlook or don't put a lot of bother into compliance with obscure federal shipping rules. Now with a refreshed federal emphasis on Buy American, that could be a costly mistake.  Federal Drive with Tom Temin got details from Thomson Coburn attorney Jayna Marie Rust.
Jul 22, 2021
Bureau of Fiscal Service CDO tries to balance public data with security
00:25:19
Federal data isn’t much use if no one can find it. Many chief data officers are running inventories of their data, saying they've got a battle getting their agencies to think critically about it. The Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service is also assessing the maturity of its data and trying to make it more shareable. The bureau's CDO Justin Marsico works closely with its chief information officer to balance data security and availability inside and publicly. For more on getting a CDO office up and running Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with Marsico on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 21, 2021
Sammies finalist from DHS developed technique for scanning visa applications faster
00:19:26
How can the Department of Homeland Security possibly vet 40,000 people coming to the United States every day to spot the possible security threats? Until recently, it couldn't, or it took so long a terrorist could already have moved in. Lori Vislocky developed, in record time and on a shoestring, a modern information system that lets Custom and Border Protection easily screen bad visa applications. She's technical director in DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis and a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program. She joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more details.
Jul 21, 2021
Spare parts an opportunity for Pentagon to spend more efficiently
00:18:37
Defense policy will forever be debated, but nearly everyone agrees it's possible for the Pentagon to spend more wisely. One potential for savings comes from the prices for spare parts, which came up recently in Congressional hearings. The Project on Government Oversight's Mandy Smithberger testified, and she joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk more.
Jul 21, 2021
VA OIG finds weaknesses in financial management systems
00:17:24
Congress provided the Department of Veterans Affairs received nearly $20 billion to take on COVID-19. The money came with the requirement to account for it. Now VA's Office of Inspector General has found that the department worked hard to document its handling of the money. But weaknesses in VA's financial management systems raise questions. For more, VA's deputy assistant inspector general Nick Dahl spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 21, 2021
‘Confusing’ chain of command hangs over Veterans Affairs police reforms
00:17:05
Who’s in charge of the Veterans Affairs Departments police force? That's one question VA officials hope to settle as they struggle to reform VA's law enforcement arm. Government overseers said veterans and employees could be at risk in the meantime, and are pressing the VA to sort out a confusing leadership structure that could be preventing the department from instituting other changes. Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 20, 2021
National Guard readies severe budget measures to cover this year’s Capitol security costs
00:17:48
A tough congressional look at the budding Space Force and an experienced hand chosen to lead Air Force acquisition. Two of the top stories on the defense front this week. Most urgent perhaps is something of a budget crisis for the National Guard. For more, Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 20, 2021
Labor Department brings new acquisition oversight amid OFPP limbo
00:17:47
For all of its talk about yet more procurement reform, the Biden administration still hasn't appointed anyone to run the small but crucial Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Meanwhile, over at the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, something big is brewing. Federal Drive with Tom Temin talked about that with federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Jul 20, 2021
How can the IRS improve its operations for the next filing season?
00:20:18
In terms of customer service, the IRS is in a difficult spot. A delayed filing season, extra duties piled on by Congress, and some enduring technology issues. No wonder taxpayers could hardly get through with a phone call. For how the agency might improving things for the next filing season, the National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 20, 2021
A defense acquisition professor's advice on DoD innovation
00:18:08
Pentagon acquisition might not animate dinner party conversations. But it's a hugely important topic in military planning circles, and it generates reams of articles each year. That's why, each year, the Army backs a program known as the Major General Harry Greene Awards for Acquisition Writing. Among the winners of the most recent round is a professor at Defense Acquisition University, Dave Riel joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 20, 2021
DoD will soon release climate change strategy that will impact almost every facet of the military
00:17:42
The Defense Department said it was going to start considering climate change a major part of its national security planning. That was back in January. Now, the department is almost finished with its strategy. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 19, 2021
Census nominee open to post-COVID telework in bid to improve workforce morale
00:17:51
President Joe’s Biden’s pick to run the Census Bureau has outlined to Congress steps he's take to improve workforce morale. Robert Santos said Census employees worked under harrowing conditions last year, in some cases 80-hour work weeks to get ahead of pandemic delays. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee also heard from Biden’s pick to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency without a permanent director for more than four years. For more on these nominees, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 19, 2021
Remains of TWA Flight 800 will be scrapped after 25 years in storage
00:20:06
Few events have affected the National Transportation Safety Board as much as TWA Flight 800. It tragically exploded 12 minutes after departing New York back in 1996. It touched off a year's long investigation and a long list of lessons learned. Now the reassembled fuselage of the doomed 747, in storage in a Virginia warehouse for the last 25-some years, is about to be scrapped. For some perspective on the significance of the moment, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to the NTSB's managing director, Sharon Bryson. And the chief advisor for international affairs, Frank Hilldrup.
Jul 19, 2021
Library of Congress has a new chief for its digital innovation lab
00:17:23
The Library of Congress has been on a long-term quest to digitize what it can, of its collection and find new ways to connect with the public online. Now its digital innovation lab has a new chief, Nicki Saylor joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 19, 2021
COVID safety protocols, infrastructure and insurrection on Congress' agenda this week
00:18:34
Federal employees on the whole weathered the COVID pandemic pretty well, but some did get sick and some did die. Now a Senate measure would bolster safety for when feds returned to the office. WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more.
Jul 19, 2021
Post pandemic, it may be time to rethink your long term health needs
00:08:51
If the pandemic proved anything, it's never to early to start thinking about hour health care needs long term. That means now's a good time to review your needs. Federal Drive with Tom Temin talked about that with the director of wealth management at the Government Employees Benefit Association, Greg Klingler.
Jul 16, 2021
Federal banking oversight agency wants banks to help the un-banked
00:10:24
Reaching and serving people without bank accounts has been a persistent challenge for federal agencies. But on the hunch that banks themselves could helped the so-called un-banked, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has launched a tech-sprint to come up with what it describes as technologies and techniques to do just that. The Federal Drive's talked about all that with the FDIC's chief innovation officer, Sultan Meghji.
Jul 16, 2021
5 more takeaways from VA’s EHR strategic review
00:10:40
The Department of Veterans Affairs wrapped up a highly-anticipated strategic review of its massive electronic health record program. But the toughest work lies ahead. VA said it will implement a new governance structure to manage the project. And it's working on new budget estimates and a deployment schedule. VA Secretary Denis McDonough said the review findings were disappointing. But he is confident VA and Cerner can correct the missteps. Congress isn't so sure. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.
Jul 16, 2021
New Pentagon policy to accelerate use of 3D printing amid fresh cyber concerns
00:08:59
3-D printing is helping the Defense Department manufacture body armor, vehicle parts and other important stuff. But now the DoD inspector general has revealed holes in the cybersecurity of the military’s 3-D printers. For what it all means, the Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday spoke with Joe Veranese, the business systems manager at America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
Jul 15, 2021
Air Force Academy will soon start using mixed reality for hands-on learning
00:10:09
Chemistry courses can get messy. Dangerous chemicals, Bunsen burners, reactions that go wrong. And anyhow, chemistry labs are hard to replicate in remote learning. That’s why the Air Force Academy is working to create a mixed-reality lab where students can experiment safely from anywhere. For more, Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione spoke with Wale Lawal, an assistant professor at the academy, and with GIGXR CEO David King Lassman.
Jul 15, 2021
The writers of this century-old law might not recognize how it is actually followed
00:13:44
People who understand the importance of the federal budgeting process recently marked the 100th anniversary of the Budget and Accounting Act. That law set-up the system by which presidents propose budgets to Congress, which then deals with them. For one view of how the contemporary reality fits how the law envisioned things, the Federal Drive's Tom Temin talked with former Congressional Budget Office director, and now president of the conservative American Action Forum, Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
Jul 15, 2021
What it takes to keep federal technology transfer going
00:12:02
Federal News Network concludes its series on the Federal Lab Consortium and the business of federal tech transfer, with a look at the operational arm that keeps it all going. It's called the TechLink Center, and its housed at Montana State University. The Federal Drive's Tom Temin talk about it with the Center's new executive director Brett Cusker.
Jul 15, 2021
The Government Publishing Office is out early with a whole new post-pandemic work policy
00:10:33
Nearly everyone has been wondering what federal teleworking policies will look like after the pandemic. One agency has put a stake in the ground on that very question. And it's a Congressional agency: the Government Publishing Office. The Federal Drives Tom Temin got all the details from GPO director Hugh Halpern and GPO's Chief Human Capital Officer Dan Mielke.
Jul 15, 2021
Meet the federal chemist who made detecting illegal opioids faster and safer
00:09:29
One of the difficulties of controlling illegal opioids is that they come mixed with other substances. Sometimes detecting that can take hours of chemical analysis and pose dangers to law enforcement lab people. Dr. Edward Sisco is a chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who developed a way to cut the analysis time from hours to seconds. He's a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program and spoke with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin.
Jul 14, 2021
For as long as there's been a Budget and Accounting Act, there's been a congressional oversight agency
00:12:40
The Budget and Accounting Act is 100 years old, and so is the Government Accountability Office, formerly called the General Accounting Office. The agency, which is part of Congress, has come a long way from its origins in bean counting. The Federal Drive's Tom Temin got a brief overview from GAO's chief operating officer, Kate Siggerud.
Jul 14, 2021
Why being director of a consortium is more than herding cats
00:10:06
It's one thing to work on your own as an engineer. Leading a team of engineers, that's something else again. But what about running a consortium of executives from dozens of agencies, all with ideas about how to do a single function. That's what the Federal Drive's Tom Temin's guest has done for about the last year and a half: Federal Labs Consortium executive director Paul Zielinski.
Jul 14, 2021
NIST scientist develops way to analyze illegal opioids faster, earns Sammies nod
00:00
One of the difficulties of controlling illegal opioids is that it comes mixed in with other substances. Sometimes detecting it can take hours of chemical analysis and pose dangers to law enforcement lab people. Edward Sisco is a chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology who developed a way to cut the analysis time from hours to seconds. For his work, he's a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program. Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke to Sisco about his work.
Jul 14, 2021
Recounting how far GAO has come in 100 years
00:21:09
The Budget and Accounting Act is 100 years old, and so is the Government Accountability Office — formerly called the General Accounting Office. The agency, part of Congress, has come a long way from its origins in bean counting. Federal Drive with Tom Temin got a brief overview from the GAO's Chief Operating Officer Kate Siggerud.
Jul 14, 2021
Federal labs consortium director has to manage dozens of agency engineers
00:18:31
It's one thing to work on your own as an engineer, but leading a team of engineers is something else entirely. But what about running a consortium of executives from dozens of agencies, all with ideas about how to do a single function? That's what Paul Zielinski has done for about the last year and a half. For the third installment in our tech transfer series, the Federal Laboratory Consortium executive director joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 14, 2021
VA will miss its original 2022 deadline for resolving legacy appeals
00:16:58
The Department of Veterans Affairs is no longer on track to meet its goal of resolving all legacy appeals by the end of 2022. No surprise — the pandemic pushed those timelines back. Attorneys at the Board of Veterans Appeals have been teleworking and holding some hearings virtually. But delays for records and exams are slowing down progress. Now Congress wants to know what the board will do about the appeals backlog. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko had more information on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 14, 2021
FAA, Air Force among agency CDOs trying to improve data literacy
00:17:25
Chief data officers help agencies use data to improve services. Several CDOs have launched training programs to improve the data literacy of people in their agencies. For two examples, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the Deputy Chief Data Officer at the Federal Aviation Administration Marseta Dill, and Air Force CDO Eileen Vidrine, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 14, 2021
Report raises questions about commanders’ ability to handle legal decisions
00:09:07
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, which the Pentagon canceled last week, is all over except for packing away the pieces. Details on this and other matters are in this week's DOD Reporters notebook. Federal News Network's Scott Maucione and Jared Serbu joined Federal Drive's Tom Temin to discuss those topics and more.
Jul 13, 2021
Just how well do agencies alert contractors to their fiscal year buying plans?
00:10:27
Agency procurement and IT officials often remark about how closely they work with industry. But agencies vary a lot in how effectively they forecast their needs to industry, so contractors can best position themselves to meet those needs. The Professional Services Council, which represents hundreds of IT contractors, is out with its annual business forecast scorecard. The Federal Drive's Tom Temin talked about it with the PSC's executive vice president for policy, Stephanie Kostro.
Jul 13, 2021
IRS managers are in favor of the big budget boost put forth by the Biden administration
00:12:43
The Professional Managers Association, which started with managers at the IRS, are solidly behind the big budget increase the agency would get under the Biden administration's 2022 plan. The Federal Drive's Tom Temin spoke with association executive director Chad Hooper to see what else they might be hoping for.
Jul 13, 2021
A new crew takes over leadership of the Federal Laboratory Consortium
00:10:45
You might not realize the extent of the federal government's network of laboratories. They fund or conduct research is nearly every domain, and help make sure the results find their way into the market. John Eisemann is the new vice chair of the Federal Laboratory Consortium, and in his day job a technology transfer program manager at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center. He spoke with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin.
Jul 13, 2021
Meet the agency whose COVID-19 response earned near-perfect marks
00:22:14
More than 97% of employees at the Farm Credit Administration gave the agency high marks for its COVID-19 responses over the last year, the most of any large, medium or small federal organization.
Jul 13, 2021
Navy pauses work with CGI on troubled contract writing system
00:10:49
The Navy’s $223 million contract with CGI for a new contract writing system is at risk of collapse. The service says problems ranging from vendor performance to implementing an unsatisfactory and inflexible product to significant cost and schedule increases are plaguing the effort.The Army has a similar project with CGI that's not much better off. FNN's Jason Miller discussed his exclusive reporting with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin.
Jul 12, 2021
DoD requesting large fund transfer after uncertain year caused by pandemic
00:10:48
FNN's DoD reporter Scott Maucione talks with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin about: - How often the Defense Department asks for a shift in funds? - What stands out in this request? - Is anything new being funded in this request? - What will happen if DoD doesn’t get this to go through? - What are its chances for success or failure?
Jul 12, 2021
House committees are spending the week working on 'the normal kind' of budget bills
00:08:48
Appropriations for 2022 are occupying a House that this week is devoted to committee work, while the Senate has a fresh rafter of nominations to consider. Federal Drive's Tom Temin gets a look at the week ahead, as he talks with Bloomberg Government editorial director Loren Duggan.
Jul 12, 2021
This Navy civilian engineer kept some tricky technology programs going through a tough year
00:09:29
The Navy recently conferred a civilian service achievement medal on an engineer at the Electro-Optic Technology Division of its Naval Surface Warfare Center. Phillip Smith was cited for the quality of technical review processes and for maintaining that quality during the pandemic. Philip Smith talked with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin.
Jul 12, 2021
A visit with the new chairwoman of the Federal Laboratory Consortium
00:12:20
You might not think of the National Security Agency as a federal laboratory that does technology transfer. But it is. And it does. And now its technology transfer program director is the new chairwoman of the Federal Laboratory Consortium. Federal Drive's Tom Temin talked with Linda Burger.
Jul 12, 2021
A look inside at how the General Services Administration auctions off something you can's see or touch
00:18:47
GSA auctions act as the government's clearinghouse for surplus assets and equipment, even when those assets are intangible. Recently GSA auctioneers disposed of eleven lots of cryptocurrency. It had an estimated value of $377,000. For details, Federal News Network's Jonathan Tercasio spoke with the Regional Commissioner for GSA's federal acquisition service, Thomas Meiron.
Jul 09, 2021
How agencies can balance good customer experience with the need for lots of security
00:16:53
The more complex and in-demand online federal services become, the more difficult it is to offer both good customer experience and good security. A study commissioned by Transunion points up the need for agencies to up their game here. The Federal Drive got more now from Transunion's senior director of public sector identity, Stuart Levy.
Jul 09, 2021
Why industry supports the government's $110 billion bet on technology R&D
00:20:04
The technology industry is rooting for a bill the Senate passed earlier this year. The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act authorizes $110 billion over five years to fund research in artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing and related technologies. For why at least one sector like the bill, we turn to the president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, Jason Oxman.
Jul 09, 2021
Which agencies scored well in pandemic response efforts in the workplace?
00:32:05
Biden administration officials express hope they'll never again have to measure, on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, how agencies responded to a global pandemic. But there's one agency that earned a near-perfect score on its COVID-19 response efforts. 97% of employees at the Farm Credit Administration say they're satisfied with how the agency supported their physical and mental well-being during the pandemic. That's the highest score of any agency of any size on the 2020 Best Places to Work rankings. It even beat NASA. Vonda Bell is FCA's chief human capital officer. Glen Smith is chairman. They tell Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko, what they attribute the high scores to in 2020.
Jul 09, 2021
NGA using familiar arrangement to test commercial space products
00:18:25
The National Geospatial Agency is building tighter relationships with commercial space companies by using the same kind of legal agreement you enter into when you leave your car in a paid lot. So-called “bailment agreements” give NGA a chance to test a company’s product and provide some feedback. For more, Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday spoke with NGA’s Director of Commercial and Business Operations, Dave Gauthier.
Jul 09, 2021
How the government's mistaken prices disclosure derailed a big follow-on solicitation
00:16:35
When the Defense Information Systems Agency sought a new satellite services acquisition on behalf of the Navy, it included a spreadsheet so bidders could fill in their prices. But the spreadsheet included the prices from the current contract, which were supposed to be inaccessible. Uh oh. For how things turned out, Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney Joe Petrillo.
Jul 08, 2021
NIST researchers have a breakthrough that could save the lives of firefighters
00:20:42
Ever since there have been building fires, firefighters have had to worry about the dangerous phenomenon known as flashover. Now researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed an artificial intelligence tool that promises help in predicting flashover. Joining the Federal Drive with more, NIST mechanical engineer Dr. Andy Tam.
Jul 08, 2021
Lots of things multiplied in the pandemic, including applications to the trademark office
00:18:41
People sometimes overlook the T in USPTO. But trademarks are an important enabler of fair and open commerce. In fact, during the pandemic, applications to the office of trademarks, part of the Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office, exploded over the last year. For details and how they're coping, the Commissioner for Trademarks, David Gooder.
Jul 08, 2021
Bureau of the Fiscal Service showing how digitization is done
00:18:12
The Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service is showing other federal financial agencies how technology can help them replace paperwork. The bureau has published what it calls a Digital End-to-End Efficiency strategy, that walks agencies through how to identify workflows ripe for automation, and how to squeeze out the most cost. For more, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with innovation program manager Craig Fischer, but first you’ll hear from a management and program analyst with the bureau’s Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation, Cindy Good.
Jul 08, 2021
Contracting officers, grant managers on the frontlines of White House’s Made in America initiative
00:17:55
Federal contracting officers and grant managers, heads up! You are on the front lines of the Biden administration’s Made in America initiative. The latest guidance from the Office of Management and Budget details the steps they've got to take to carry out that January order. For more, Federal News Network's Jason Miller spoke, in her very first interview since taking the job, with the director of OMB's Made in America Office, Celeste Drake.
Jul 08, 2021
Pentagon cancels JEDI Cloud contract after years of contentious litigation
00:19:55
After a long and bitter legal dispute, the Defense Department has opted to cancel its signature cloud computing contract. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure deal, known a JEDI, had been awarded to Microsoft and was protested by Amazon. Now the whole project will be replaced. Federal News Network's Jared Serbu had the latest on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 07, 2021
DoD taking immediate measures to address lack of trust on sexual assault and change prosecution process
00:19:23
After months of study, the Defense Department is hearing harsh news from the commission it hired to study sexual assault in the military. The report confirmed much of what many assault survivors have been saying about DoD’s culture for years. The Pentagon is already taking steps to change some of its policies and is working with Congress to change the law. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the latest.
Jul 07, 2021
Sammies finalist recognized for handling GSA's presidential transition from Trump to Biden
00:20:31
Presidential transitions can be tense when the party in power is changing. The car ride with Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt was famously icy. Toughest in memory, though, may be the last transition: Trump to Biden. Mary Gibert handled it all on behalf of the General Services Administration, and for her aplomb, is a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program. She's GSA's federal transition coordinator and associate administrator for the Office of Civil Rights, and she spoke more about her work to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 07, 2021
DLA's inventory management system opens risky cybersecurity back door
00:19:01
Cybersecurity holes lurk everywhere. As the Defense Department hurries to get its chain of suppliers to tighten up, it's got a major unlocked backdoor of its own — namely, the inventory management systems operated by the Defense Logistics Agency. It's made some progress, but there's still a ways to go. Federal Drive with Tom Temin got the latest from the director of information technology and cybersecurity issues at the Government Accountability Office, Vijay D'Souza.
Jul 07, 2021
What to know as Q4 2021 federal spending boost gets underway
00:21:00
No matter how late Congress is in enacting the federal budget each year, one thing never changes: The fiscal year ends Sept. 30. That means the federal fourth quarter and the use-it-or-lose-it spending boost are on. For annual advice on how to deal, federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jul 07, 2021
Next question: Will the Senate go along with House oversight proposals?
00:20:09
Stronger inspectors general and more protections for whistleblowers. Those are concerns in the House these days, but will the Senate go along. We get the latest Congressional outlook from WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Jul 06, 2021
How DevSecOps can help the federal government catch up on the innovation front
00:21:18
Government IT modernization requires new strategies, and now the IBM Center for Business of Government has outlined one. Namely, a more effective approach to Dev-Sec-Ops, a way of continuously delivering secure software. Here with more, IBM fellow and former deputy federal CIO Margie Graves.
Jul 06, 2021
This member of Congress wants to make sure blockchain gets the federal attention it deserves
00:20:30
The encrypted ledger technology known has blockchain is slowly making its way into federal agency applications. But in the opinion of my next guests, too slowly. He's re-introduced a bill to establish a blockchain center of excellence within the Commerce Department. Now the bill has passed the House. With what it would do and why it matters, Representative Darren Soto (D-Fla.)
Jul 06, 2021
CISA headquarters plans finalized as DHS consolidated campus reaches ‘critical mass’
00:19:48
The Homeland Security Department is closer to having more of its component headquarters in one location. It's moving ahead with plans to build a new headquarters for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on the former Saint Elizabeths campus in Southeast D.C. The CISA headquarters advances a project that dates to the George W. Bush administration. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman joined the Federal Drive with the latest.
Jul 06, 2021
Industry calling on NITAAC to reassess CIO-SP4 solicitation, push back due date for bids
00:20:05
The much-anticipated, next great governmentwide acquisition contract is a mess. It starts with the National Institutes of Health IT Acquisition and Assessment Center, or NITAAC. The center is facing a backlash from industry over last minute changes it made to the solicitation for its $50 billion CIO-SP4 information technology services vehicle. Federal News Network's Jason Miller has been asking around. He joined the Federal Drive with why contractors are so concerned, and what they want NITAAC to do about it.
Jul 06, 2021
Expecting new employees in your agency? Time to remember the onboarding basics
00:18:04
If the Biden administration's 2022 budget request holds, many agencies would gain net new employees. That means good practices in onboarding new people will be more important than ever. My next guest says there aren't really any revolutionary ideas for welcoming new people, just good intentionality about doing it right. He's a professor in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University, Bob Tobias.
Jul 02, 2021
Why local data and local processing are key to giving better citizen experience
00:21:25
Citizens moving about their daily lives are also generating lots of data. Governments at all levels can use that data to improve the digital services they offer, especially when the data is gather and analyzed locally. In information technology terms that means edge computing. For more on what appears to be a growing trend, IDC Government Insights research director Shawn McCarthy.
Jul 02, 2021
Federal procurement fraud occurs more often than you might think
00:21:14
You might be surprised to learn the FBI has opened more than two dozen grand jury investigations this year alone, related to federal contracting fraud. Its part of the Justice Department's Procurement Collusion Strike Force is using some up-to-date techniques like data mining. For contractors, honest ones that is, it all means the need for strong compliance programs. Joining the Federal Drive with more, from the law firm Perkins Coie, partner Jon Jacobs, and senior counsel Alex Canizares.
Jul 02, 2021
Pentagon security agency aims to get background investigations software on track
00:19:30
National security agencies are leading the way in enrolling their employees in new “continuous vetting” programs for security clearance. But the IT system that forms the backbone of this background investigation strategy is still under development after a few shaky years. Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday has more.
Jul 02, 2021
VA’s EHR strategic review is complete, but path forward isn’t quite ready for primetime
00:17:39
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a growing number of IT projects on the to-do list. Financial management modernization, supply chain and logistics modernization, and many more. Then there's the IT elephant in the room. VA has a lot of attention and money focused on the electronic health record modernization program. And Congress isn't so sure VA has the bandwidth to juggle them all. More from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.
Jul 02, 2021
DoD touts gains in vaccination rates, but worries about Delta variant
00:07:19
The Pentagon is getting ready to wind down the COVID-19 task force officials stood up toward the beginning of the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean DoD considers the pandemic over. Officials say they’ve made huge strides in vaccinating servicemembers, but tighter restrictions could still return at least some bases if there are outbreaks of the Delta variant of the virus. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has an update on DoD’s COVID response.
Jul 01, 2021
USPS ‘put its thumb on the scale’ awarding delivery vehicle contract, vendor tells court
00:09:07
A vendor on the short list to build the Postal Service's next-generation delivery vehicle says it was unfairly disqualified from the $3 billion contract. The electric vehicle company Workhorse says USPS took its prototype out of consideration over a crash into a ditch that was due to a driver's error. The bid protest adds to pressure USPS is facing from Congress over the contract award. For more on these and others postal issues, Federal News Network's Jory Heckman talked with the Federal Drives Tom Temin.
Jul 01, 2021
The White House isn't kidding when it tells companies to button up against ransomware
00:11:24
Alarmed by ransomware, the White House has been telling the private sector to get serious about cybersecurity. Just this month, a letter to corporate executives and business leaders, urged companies to do what amounts to basic cybersecurity. It told companies they have a key and distinct responsibility. For what it all could mean, Federal Drive's Tom Temin talked to partner and information security group practice leader at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, Michael Borgia.
Jul 01, 2021
Cooperation between the corporate and federal sectors still has a long way to go
00:10:08
The ongoing ransomware attacks have everybody spooked. Now Congress and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are both contemplating ways to get industry to do something they've supposedly been doing for years. Namely, reporting these kinds of attacks to their corresponding federal agencies. But that mechanism has never fully developed. Federal Drive's Tom Temin gleaned some insight from the co-founder of consultancy Critical Insight, Michael Hamilton.
Jul 01, 2021
Incarceration in the Age of COVID
00:11:48
Prisons and detention facilities, in general, had some of the toughest challenges getting through the pandemic. Now the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, or PRAC, has detailed just how tough it's been. PRAC Co-chairman and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz discussed incarceration during the pandemic with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin.
Jul 01, 2021
VHA's pandemic supply chain demand compounded by longstanding issues
00:20:28
When the Veterans Health Administration had big supply problems early in the pandemic, it wasn't just a matter of high demand all over. VA has longstanding issues with supply chain and inventory management. Federal Drive with Tom Temin got the latest from Shelby Oakley, the director of contracting and national security acquisitions at the Government Accountability Office.
Jun 30, 2021
Agencies score high marks from employees on handling of pandemic, but leadership issues persist
00:16:43
This years best places to work in the Federal Government rankings show a mixed bag: Glowing reviews on handling of the pandemic but leadership issues persist. The Office of Management and Budget scores dropped through the floor. The Department of Homeland Security made improvements but finished last yet again. The rankings, from the Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group, are out, and Federal News Network's Alazar Moges examined them in detail on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 30, 2021
FDA doctor recognized for collaboration to get COVID vaccines distributed at record speed
00:20:46
It took a lot of collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and the government to get COVID-19 vaccines developed and proven safe. It might have been one of the biggest and fastest medical efforts ever. At the center of it all was the director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals. Dr. Peter Marks spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 30, 2021
What's an 'SBOM' and what does it have to do with federal cybersecurity?
00:24:14
Deep in the Biden administration's executive order on cybersecurity is the idea of software bills of material (SBOMs). The order gave the Commerce Department the task of issuing guidelines for software supply chain security. One detail asked industry to provide comments to the National Telecom and Information Administration regarding SBOM. What is it and what's it got to do with secure software? For some answers, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to the open source Linux Foundation. Kate Stewart is the foundation's vice president of dependable embedded systems, and David Wheeler is the foundation's director of open source supply chain security.
Jun 30, 2021
Industry presses for more time on cyber EO’s software transparency initiative
00:17:57
Industry groups are urging the Biden administration to take it slow on a major software transparency and security initiative. The Commerce Department is under orders to define a so-called “software bill of materials.” But contractors are wary of the potential implications for new acquisition rules. Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more details.
Jun 30, 2021
Agency ratings reveal federal government still behind private sector for engagement
00:19:54
The newest rankings of the best places to work in the federal government had few surprises. NASA and the Government Accountability Office topped the list of large and medium sized agencies respectively. But the government on average continues to lag behind the private sector. Scores are published by the Partnership for Public Service, whose Vice President of Federal Workforce Programs, Michelle Amante, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 30, 2021
Cybersecurity software tool uses trickery to ward off potential threats from hackers
00:20:32
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have come up with a cybersecurity software tool that builds on the old notion of honeypots, a way of tricking hackers into thinking they've gotten into your systems. The new technology is called Shadow Figment. Thomas Edgar, the labs senior cybersecurity scientist, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk about how it all works.
Jun 29, 2021
Bidders are scratching their heads over developments in a major NIH acquisition program
00:19:43
A last-minute modification to the request for proposals for a signature governmentwide acquisition contract has left industry a little shellshocked. We're talking about the long-awaited CIO SP4 program from the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center. NITAAC officials seemed to neutralized small business partnerships many would-be prime bidders had developed. Joining the Federal Drive with one reaction, the executive vice president for policy at the Professional Services Council, Stephanie Kostro.
Jun 29, 2021
Energy and Homeland Security team up to help agencies cut their energy bills
00:20:17
The Energy and Homeland Security Departments have agreed to work together to cut energy consumption and carbon production by DHS facilities. They've signed an agreement under which Energy's Federal Energy Management Program, or FEMP, will give technical assistance to DHS. Joining the Federal Drive with details, FEMP procurement team leader Skye Schell and agency engagement lead Hayes Jones.
Jun 29, 2021
Biden creates sweeping diversity and inclusion initiative through new executive order
00:20:29
Agencies have extensive instructions from the Biden administration on improving diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the federal workforce. President Biden signed a new order late last week. It runs more than 5,000 words. The order has a little bit of everything. It addresses unpaid internships, pay in the federal government, training, opportunities, ex convicts and even agency literature and gender pronouns. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to walk us through the new order.
Jun 29, 2021
Technology Modernization Fund board reviewing just under 100 proposals
00:20:12
Just under 100 proposals made their way to the Technology Modernization Fund Board by the June 2 deadline for accelerated consideration. These business cases are vying for some of the $1 billion Congress added to the TMF in the American Rescue Fund Act. In his weekly feature, the Reporter's Notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about how some agencies are approaching their TMF proposals and how closely Congress is watching the administration's efforts.
Jun 29, 2021
House Democrats working towards infrastructure package
00:19:54
Some significant movement is expected on infrastructure spending in the U.S. House this week. Lawmakers plan to vote on a more than $500 billion water and transportation package. That’s just one piece of House Democrats’ ambitions for infrastructure this year, and it’s separate from the approach the White House and the Senate are discussing. To bring us up to speed on the Hill, the Federal Drive was joined by Loren Duggan, deputy news director for Bloomberg Government.
Jun 28, 2021
Can the federal workforce work both at-will and non-politically?
00:21:00
The old question persists. Why should it be so difficult to remove underperforming federal employees? Our next guest argues that feds could become at-will employees with fewer job protections, and that wouldn't mean a return to the patronage system. He was Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during the Trump administration, now with the conservative America First Policy Institute, James Sherk. He talked with Tom Temin.
Jun 28, 2021
They wrote the book on how to hire veterans. Literally wrote it
00:21:58
Shrewd federal contractors and other companies like to hire military veterans, who bring valuable skills. Now two veterans have written a how-to book that seeks to teach hiring managers what they call a data driven approach to hiring and retaining veterans. Authors Kristin Saboe and Nathan Ainspan talked about the issues with Tom Temin
Jun 28, 2021
Census Bureau training 5 agencies to run ‘do-it-yourself’ data sprints
00:08:51
The Census Bureau’s Opportunity Project puts federal data to work, pairing agencies up with tech teams from the private sector to create digital projects that benefit the public. This year’s sprints focused on addressing COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery. But for the year ahead, the bureau is also working with five agencies to run these types of data sprints on their own. For more on the pandemic sprints and next steps, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the director of the Opportunity Project Director Drew Zachary.
Jun 28, 2021
Lawmakers tee up legislation to push DoD, prime contractors on supply chain vulnerabilities
00:06:00
Prime contractors may be key to fixing the Pentagon's supply chain visibility problems. Those vulnerabilities were laid bare by COVID-19 last year, and a House task force is now preparing legislation to address the issue along with other supply challenges affecting the Defense Department.
Jun 28, 2021
Pentagon CMMC review aims to address small biz cost concerns, ‘restore trust’ in assessment processes
00:09:07
The Pentagon is shedding some light on a much anticipated review of its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program. Officials said small business is at the top of their priorities. This as the chief executive of the CMMC Accreditation Body said its possible there are just weeks to go until assessments get the green light.Federal News Network's Justin Doubleday talked with the Federal Drive's Tom Temin.
Jun 25, 2021
Nonprofits employing workers with disabilities have different procurement rules from other companies
00:19:00
Can nonprofit contractors under the AbilityOne Program compete with one another on price, as if they were regular contractors going after a solicitation? That's what the Court of Federal Claims was asked to rule on. The case got to the heart of what the AbilityOne program is all about. The Federal Drive got the details from Smith Pachter McWhorter attorney Joseph Petrillo.
Jun 25, 2021
DoD launches project to quickly shift AI from labs to real-world warfighting
00:17:39
The Defense Department has a new plan to speed up its adoption of artificial intelligence technologies. The A-I and Data Accelleration Initiative – or ADA – formally launched this week. It includes four lines of effort, all designed to make sure DoD isn’t just working with A-I in experimental settings, but moving it into practical applications in combatant commands around the world. Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu has details.
Jun 25, 2021
New leadership at a group dedicated to helping the government with 5G technology
00:20:33
The National Spectrum Consortium, funded by the Defense Department, is devoted to R&D related to the emerging 5-G and related internet-of-things technologies. Now it has new executive director with Capitol Hill, Pentagon and industry experience. Dr. Maren Leed talked with Federal Drive host Tom Temin.
Jun 25, 2021
The NSA didn't oversee a $400M contract very well
00:21:28
Facilities management contracts sound like mundane things. But they're expensive, and they require no less oversight than any other type of contract. But the National Security Agency didn't do a stellar job of managing a $400 million contract for facilities and logistics. For the lessons learned, NSA Inspector General Robert Storch talked to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 25, 2021
Military leaders push back on taking crimes out of chain of command
00:19:08
Consider for a moment nonmilitary crimes like murder or larceny committed by members of the military. It looked like smooth sailing this year for a bill that took prosecution of these crimes out of the chain of command. The legislation had more than 60 sponsors in the Senate and heavy support in the House. Then the letters from top brass started coming it. Now it looks like there's a fight brewing among the military service chiefs, the defense secretary and Congress. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione has the latest.
Jun 24, 2021
OPM vows to improve PMF program amid ‘unacceptable decline’ in diverse candidates
00:19:36
The federal government's flagship leadership development program will go through a review and some changes in the coming years. The Office of Personnel Management says it wants to make the Presidential Management Fellows program more inclusive. That's after hearing from current and former fellows, and seeing what OPM calls an unacceptable decline in the number of diverse applicants. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the Federal Drive to explain what the frustrations are, and how OPM intends to improve.
Jun 24, 2021
That $15 minimum contractor wage will make the most work for the government itself
00:19:52
Among his first hundred days actions, President Joe Biden issued an executive order establishing a $15 an hour minimum wage for federal contractor employees. A detailed analysis shows the order won't affect federal spending much, but it will cause a lot of work for contracting officers. We get details from the managing director of Censeo Consulting, Curt Cote.
Jun 24, 2021
The VA never stops its search for treatments for PTSD
00:21:42
Post traumatic stress disorder is one of those maladies that affects everyone differently, and remains beyond any single cure. That's why the Veterans Affairs Department continually develops and tests new treatments. To get a sense of the range of work going on with PTSD, the director for clinical science, research and development in VA's office of R&D, Dr. Terri Gleason.
Jun 24, 2021
After more than two decades, GWACs may be due for a refresh
00:08:56
The theory behind governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) hasn't changed since the mid-1990s. But with many of the 10 GWACs run by the General Services Administration, NASA and the National Institutes of Health going through recompetes and refresh efforts in the coming years, it may be time to rethink how GWACs work. For one set of possible changes, Federal News Network's Jason Miller spoke with the executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation Matthew Cornelius.
Jun 23, 2021
State Dept. official a Sammies finalist for bringing stranded Americans home during pandemic
00:21:04
When the pandemic shut down worldwide travel, some 100,000 Americans were stranded in nations across the globe. It fell to my next guest to pull together a multi-agency team to get them home. He and the team succeeded, and now he's a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program for his work. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee spoke more to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 23, 2021
DHS biometric recognition program replacement is 3 years behind schedule
00:18:51
The Department of Homeland Security set out in 2016 to replace its facial and fingerprint recognition system. But little has gone right for the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) program. It's three years late, no components are yet up and running. The Government Accountability Office said DHS officials need to get on with a lot of procurement best practices. Federal Drive With Tom Temin got more details from the GAO's director of information technology and cybersecurity issues, Kevin Walsh.
Jun 23, 2021
National Intelligence University moving under ODNI umbrella
00:21:12
A change in parent organizations is coming to the National Intelligence University. It's about to move from under the Defense Intelligence Agency and become a part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. With what this means, plus a bit of history, the NIU president, J. Scott Cameron spoke to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 23, 2021
Popular federal websites riddled with accessibility flaws
00:20:05
Nearly half of the most popular federal websites are difficult to navigate for disabled people. That's according to research by the Information Technology and Innovation Fund. For details, Federal News Network's Jonathan Tercasio spoke with report authors Ashley Johnson and Daniel Castro on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Jun 23, 2021
If thought federal contract spending shot through the roof last year, you're right
00:20:31
Last year was a good one to be a federal contractor. Because of the pandemic and a few other things, federal contract spending went up by double digits. And there were a few changes to the list of the largest federal contractors. The Federal Drive got highlights from Bloomberg federal market analyst Laura Criste.
Jun 22, 2021
Federal criminal investigators go to court over a pay dispute
00:20:01
Federal criminal investigators are required to attend periodic training sessions. They go to any of several locations of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, FLET-C. Investigators allege that during training periods, they are asked to work overtime, but not getting the overtime they're entitled to. So they've filed a class action lawsuit. Joining the Federal Drive with details, the managing partner of the law firm McGillivary Steele Elkin, Greg McGillivary.
Jun 22, 2021
One group of federal attorneys is pushing for a little pay equity
00:20:01
They do the day to day legal work of the United States. And they didn't take the jobs to become rich lawyers. But the assistant U.S. Attorneys, career civil servants, are asking Congress to end what the attorneys feel is unfair pay disparity compared to other lawyers, in the Department of Justice. For more, the president of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Larry Leiser.
Jun 22, 2021
New Pentagon strategy for overseas cloud appears to back away from JEDI vision
00:20:01
As an organization that operates around the globe, the Defense Department needs a global approach to information technology. Even though DOD planners like centralized control, they've started look at how units outside of the continental United States can access the latest in commercial cloud technology. For this and other developments, the Federal Drive turned to Federal News Network's Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione.
Jun 22, 2021
Electronics manufacturers send warning shot across CMMC’s bow
00:20:25
Two vendors recently made it through a tough gantlet. That is, they underwent a certification exam given by the Defense Contract Management Agency. These two companies are the first to be certified to provide third-party assessments of other defense contractors under the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification or CMMC program. The assessment was done by the DCMA's Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Center. Got all that? The question now is whether vendors will decide if CMMC is worth their time or cost. Chris Mitchell is the vice president for global government relations at IPC, an industry association representing 3,000 electronic manufacturers. He tells Federal News Network's executive editor Jason Miller why a recent survey of his membership casts real doubt about whether companies will bother with CMMC requirements.
Jun 22, 2021
How did Congress move so fast on that Juneteenth law anyhow?
00:20:42
A crucial week's ahead for Congress. Democrats say they'll go to reconciliation to pass a six trillion dollar package, this as regular government operations are likely to head to a continuing resolution. The Federal Drive got the latest from WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Jun 21, 2021
The Energy Department pursues cleaner and more efficient biofuel
00:20:00
One way or another, bio-fuel will be part of the country's energy future, especially to power ships and airplanes. That's why the Energy Department's ARPA-E is spending some $35 million in grant dollars to improve the efficiency of making this class of fuel. For details, the EcoSynBio program director David Babson.
Jun 21, 2021
A procurement strategy known as category management might be stifling small business
00:20:52
A federal buying approach known as category management for several years has sought to boost efficiency by pooling requirements for various commodities. That way the government can negotiate better prices. The General Services Administration states that category management is also supposed to help the government meet its small business goals. But in fact, according to my next guest, it's reducing the population of small business contractor. For details, we turn to the CEO and co-founder of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, Margot Dorfman.
Jun 21, 2021
DHS looking to capitalize on recent FEVs success
00:35:35
The Department of Homeland Security is on a multi-year mission to improve employee engagement scores after years of being at the bottom of the pack. DHS improved overall engagement scores by four points on the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Leaders and supervisors each improved their scores by five points last year. For how they did it, Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko spoke with DHS chief human capital officer Angie Bailey.
Jun 21, 2021
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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