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
Services contractors are dealing with a lot of new federal mandates
00:09:35
From zero trust roadmaps to carbon reduction, federal agencies are moving under a lot of agendas. They all end up being contractors' concerns, too. To get some details on those agendas, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Stephanie Kostro, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Professional Services Council.
Nov 29, 2022
Why presidential transition planning makes or breaks an administration
00:13:02
Like most of the public, federal employees stand by and watch as presidential administrations come and go. Every president is flawed, but they have varying degrees of success in office. Success is highly influenced by how carefully presidents prepare for their transitions to office. This interview by Federal Drive host Tom Temin is with the co-author of what might be the first definitive study of modern transitions, which includes interviews with transition planners themselves. That co-author is David Marchick, currently the Dean of the Kogod School of Business at American University.
Nov 29, 2022
We take a look at the recruiting situation for the U.S. Coast Guard
00:09:49
Recruiting challenges for the Army and Air Force mean they have trouble meeting end-strength goals. But what about the Coast Guard? It has also been having trouble meeting yearly goals. To find out how the Coast Guard is responding, Federal Drive host Tom Temin checked in the Commander of the Coast Guard Recruiting Command, Capt. Richter Tipton.
Nov 29, 2022
Groups urge CISA to develop simple mechanism for cyber incident reporting
00:07:28
There are a range of viewpoints on how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency should craft forthcoming cyber incident reporting regulations. But one common refrain amid the debates over who should be required to report and what exactly constitutes a reportable incident: CISA should develop a simple mechanism that makes it easy for organizations across 16 critical infrastructure sectors to report cyber incidents within the 72-hour window required under the law.
Nov 29, 2022
Bills, amendments linger in Congress with lasting implications for feds
00:25:06
Lawmakers have until Dec. 16, when the current continuing resolution expires, to pass the rest of the appropriations bills and fund the government next year, but it’s not the only item on the congressional to-do list with big implications for the federal workforce. Many of those additional items are included as amendments under the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2023. There are more than 1,000 amendments to the NDAA, and at least a handful of them have the potential to change the federal hiring process, federal benefits, retirement and much more.
Nov 28, 2022
Congress continues to work on what amounts to an agenda for the lame duck session
00:20:13
The remaining days of the 117th Congress leave both chambers with a bit of an agenda. Perhaps topping the list for the Senate is keeping its record of passing Defense authorization bills by the end of the calendar year. To get an update on all this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Bloomberg Government deputy news director Loren Duggan.
Nov 28, 2022
A Library of Congress scholar seeks to re-create communities lost from American cities
00:21:44
Americans old enough to remember when many cities had thriving Chinatown neighborhoods may wonder what happened to them. Now the Library of Congress has launched a program to recreate lost Chintatowns as immersive 3-D models. To learn more about the project, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with the Library's 2023 Innovator in Residence, Jeffrey Yoo Warren.
Nov 28, 2022
Housing and Urban Development gets a long punch list
00:24:12
From eliminating rats and mold in housing, to managing the agency's human capital, the Housing and Urban Development inspector general has issued a list of priority open recommendations. It is the first report of its kind from the HUD OIG. To inquire about the highlights, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Inspector General Rae Oliver Davis.
Nov 28, 2022
VA embarks on year-end push to implement workforce elements of PACT Act
00:21:01
The Department of Veterans Affairs is embarking on a year-end push to implement all the workforce provisions of the recently passed PACT Act as the agency prepares for a historic expansion of VA benefits and care.The agency is looking to bring on more health care workers in anticipation of a major expansion of VA health care under the PACT Act. The VA begins to adjudicate those health care and benefits claims at the start of the New Year. Undersecretary for Health Shereef Elnahal told the Senate VA Committee on Nov. 17 that the agency expects to complete all PACT Act policy changes around hiring by the end of the calendar year.
Nov 28, 2022
The Open Season countdown has started, so it's time to sharpen that insurance pencil
00:21:29
The clock is ticking on open season, the time when federal employees choose next year's health insurance. Choosing can require a lot of research and calculation. To offer a platform for some good advice, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with insurance expert consultant, Walt Francis.
Nov 23, 2022
Poor treatment of working dogs occurs across the government
00:20:43
That sniffing dog at the airport? It's one of 5,000 pooches federal agencies put to work to detect explosives and drugs or aid law enforcement and anti-terror work worldwide. But, unfortuately, the dogs don't always get the humane treatment they deserve. That's according to the Government Accountability Office. To learn more, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Steve Morris, Director of Natural Resource and Environmental Issues at the Government Accountability Office.
Nov 23, 2022
How Congress could update the most important law no one ever hear of
00:24:02
Administrative procedures -- how government agencies go about their business when dealing with the public -- was codified just after World War II. Since then, the Administrative Procedures Act has been only lightly modified. Is it time for significant reform? For one view, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with American University administrative law professor Jeffrey Lubbers.
Nov 23, 2022
Pentagon releases zero trust strategy to guide DoD cybersecurity priorities
00:20:26
The Defense Department officially unveiled a zero trust strategy and roadmap today laying out how DoD components should direct their cybersecurity investments and efforts in the coming years to reach a “target” level of zero trust maturity over the next five years. The release of DoD’s zero trust strategy follows on the heels of the White House Office of Management and Budget’s federal zero trust strategy published earlier this year. DoD’s strategy lays out a detailed and ambitious plan for defense components to attain specific zero trust capabilities by 2027.
Nov 23, 2022
Federal appeals court latest stop for immigration judges union to get recertified
00:20:35
An immigration judges union is making its case before a federal appeals court to regain full recognition, after losing its collective bargaining status under the Trump administration. The National Association of Immigration Judges is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn a two decisions by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to eliminate union’s status. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with NAIJ President Mimi Tsankov.
Nov 23, 2022
ICIT honor CISA Director Jen Easterly
00:19:51
At the Institute of Critical Infrastructre Technology Awards Dinner and Gala on 11/10/22, Federal Drive host Tom Temin caught up with Jen Easterly, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Nov 22, 2022
ICIT recognizes these two leaders in cybersecurity: Kemba Walden and Candice Frost
00:21:33
At the Institute of Critical Infrastructre Technology Awards Dinner and Gala on 11/10/22, Federal Drive host Tom Temin caught up with two honorees: Kemba Walden, the Principal Deputy National Cyber Director and Candice Frost, the JIOC Commander at United States Cyber Command.
Nov 22, 2022
The government is buying so much, it needs to expand the acquisition workforce
00:21:40
Lots of functions in government need more people. Acquisition is no exception. Getting in the people they need is a top priority of chief acquisition officers. And they've got lots of options to do so. For more on this topic, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Nov 22, 2022
The Defense Innovation Unit explores batteries for electric tactical vehicles
00:23:46
They say an Army moves on its stomach. And, perhaps its vehicles on fossil fuel. But it would appear those vehicles are getting less dependent on gasoline and diesel, and more dependent on batteries. General Motors is developing battery pack prototypes for the Defense Innovation Unit, as a matter of fact. To go further down the road on this topic, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with JD Johnson, VP of Business Development for GM Defense and retired Army three-star general.
Nov 22, 2022
It’s not just low pay causing retention issues for federal firefighters
00:27:11
Although low pay is the challenge most commonly discussed for federal wildland firefighters, it’s not the only factor leading to retention issues with the frontline workforce. Other challenges, such as poor work-life balance and limited workforce diversity, pile onto the difficulties in retaining these federal employees.
Nov 22, 2022
‘Timely versus accurate’ DoD struggles shed light on cyber incident reporting challenges
00:20:29
DoD and its contractors are still struggling to share timely, accurate information about cyber incidents peppering their networks.
Nov 21, 2022
How agencies are trying to keep early-career employees in federal jobs
00:21:05
With millennial and Generation Z employees projected to comprise a large portion of the U.S. workforce by 2025, the Office of Personnel Management is pushing forward on more incentives to recruit and retain early-career federal employees. It’s particularly important right now, said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja, because of the current imbalance in how many early-career employees there are in the federal workforce, versus the nationwide workforce.
Nov 21, 2022
Now the question is what the lame duck Congress will be able to do
00:24:16
Whether you think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leaving on a wave of glory or on a broomstick, things are shifting in Congress. In the meantime, she's still speaker for the remainder of the 117th Congress, affectionately known as the lame duck. Federal Drive host finds out what the lame duck will do, as he spoke with WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Nov 21, 2022
A costly new climate rule is coming for federal contractors
00:20:54
The Biden administration has proposed a new rule for federal contractors. It wants them to report their greenhouse gas emission levels, financial risks, and what the proposals calls "science-based emissions reduction targets." To get one industry view on the proposed rule, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the federal counsel for the Associated General Contractors of America, Jordan Howard.
Nov 21, 2022
An argument in favor of a space national guard
00:20:39
In 2019, when Congress and the Trump administration enacted the U.S. Space Force, they left out something: A space national guard. After all, there are Army and Air Force civilian auxiliaries. There's even a Navy Militia. Last month, a Biden administration policy statement came out against a space national guard. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with someone who makes the argument in favor: Col. Michael Bruno, the Chief of Joint Staff, Joint Force Headquarters in Colorado.
Nov 21, 2022
How the new National Defense Strategy is being received in areas with lots of contractors
00:24:03
When the Pentagon released its latest four-year national defense strategy, it became must reading for contractors and their associations. To find out more about how it is being received in one region with a substantial defense economy, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Mark Faulkner, who is now President of the Institute of Defense and Business.
Nov 18, 2022
Did you even know the government has a National Ice Center?
00:27:24
The U.S. National Ice Center. It sounds like a hockey rink. But actually it's an agency, operating under the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. Actually a collaboration of several agencies: the Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Coast Guard. To find out more about the National Ice Center, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke, in studio, with the center's director and commanding officer, Navy Commander Casey Gon.
Nov 18, 2022
Fifth year of DoD financial audits shows little progress toward clean opinion
00:20:34
The Defense Department closed out its fifth year of full-scale financial audits with a failing grade — a result that’s not surprising in and of itself, considering that officials have previously predicted that getting a clean opinion would take a decade or more from the time the audits started.
Nov 18, 2022
Will NITAAC’s CIO-SP4 be crushed by 117 protests?
00:19:57
If past is prologue, the CIO-SP4 services contract vehicle is in danger of being crushed by protests. It's supposed to be the next big offering from NITAAC, the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center. Unsuccessful vendors filed at least 117 complaints with the Government Accountability Office over the last two weeks. Federal News Network executive editor Jason Miller joins Tom Temin with the latest.
Nov 17, 2022
Fixed-price contracts mean exactly what they're called: FIXED-price
00:21:35
A fixed-price contract. It is a common strategy for the government. Contractors need to understand that every word in that three-word phrase is there for a reason. If inflation, COVID, and/or supply-chain problems drive up your costs, tough luck. That point was reinforced in a recent lawsuit, about which Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke about with Zach Prince, Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney.
Nov 17, 2022
If the IRS gets bigger, so should taxpayer protections
00:22:56
If the IRS gets all the money Congress promised it over the next ten years, its enforcement powers will grow a lot. One school of thought is that protections for taxpayers should also get a plus-up. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Dean Zerbe, who is a proponent of Congress passing a taxpayers rights bill. Zerbe worked on the IRS reform commission in the late 1990s, and is an attorney working for tax whistleblowers.
Nov 17, 2022
One inspector general tells the agency it means busines
00:24:35
The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is using the weight of a dozen audits to prod a major HHS into action. At issue are overpayments made to hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The IG has done repeated audits of the payment process and found problems, but isn't convinced it's getting through to CMS. For the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Truman Mayfield, the Assistant Regional Inspector General.
Nov 17, 2022
What to do if the stock market gyrations are making you seasick
00:20:35
The best antidote to the current stock market might be Dramamine. The swooping ups and downs are enough to give anyone motion sickness. For some strategic advice, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with certified financial adviser Art Stein.
Nov 16, 2022
The GAO ponders a steady drop in bid protests coming its way
00:22:04
For the 5th year in a row, the number of bid protests presented for adjudication by the Government Accountability Office has dropped. In 2018, GAO heard more then 2,600 cases. Last year, that number was only 1,600. To find out what might be going on, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Edward Goldstein, GAO's associate general counsel.
Nov 16, 2022
What a great time to be a member of the Election Assistance Commission
00:22:51
If the nation learned anything in the last couple of weeks, it's that the process of voting is anything but simple. People overseas and people with disabilities can encounter logistics barriers to voting. The operations of elections is where the Election Assistance Commission comes in. To learn more about that operation, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with commission chairman Thomas Hicks, who also just became a fellow at NAPA: the National Academy of Public Administration.
Nov 16, 2022
Contractors ponder the murky midterm election results
00:21:21
What does this mean for us? That's what federal contractors are asking themselves in the aftermath of the mid-term elections. Government will apparently end up divided, at least that's the best prediction at the moment. For a dive into this topic, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with David Berteau, the President and CEO of the Professional Services Council.
Nov 15, 2022
The Patent and Trademark Office collaborates with IBM to aid inventors
00:22:57
Patent applications are on the rise. Successful ones require knowing what else is out there in an inventors field. That's called prior art, which is also growing. To help inventors navigate and understand prior art, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has enlisted artificial intelligence technology from IBM in a project called the Intellectual Property Advisor with Watson Demonstration System. For the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Graham Katz, from IBM's expert labs team.
Nov 15, 2022
Meet the guy who makes sure FEMA arrives at a disaster fully prepared
00:22:44
When disaster occurs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is often the most visible presence. Behind the visible efforts, FEMA has a mission- support function that ensures the right money, equipment and people are in place. Against that backdrop, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Eric Leckey, who supervises the work just described. He's the Associate FEMA Administrator for Mission Support and a newly named fellow of NAPA, the National Academy of Administration.
Nov 15, 2022
Feds in Gen X and Gen Z both want more work flexibility, but often for different reasons
00:31:53
Improving retention of federal employees is a long-standing challenge for agencies, but the way to incentivize feds to stay in public service may differ, depending on their age. Although federal employees in Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, and those in Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, both value flexibility in a workplace, they seek it out for different reasons. Many Gen Z employees entered the workforce after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, making remote work flexibilities practically essential to them, according to Paul Pietsch, senior manager for federal workforce research at the Partnership for Public Service.
Nov 15, 2022
After dipping toe in digital signature pool, Labor now ready to jump right in
00:22:36
The Labor Department has always required citizens to fill out forms by hand, sign them with a pen and send them back by mail or possibly scan them in and email them back. But the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program decided in early 2022 to take the plunge into digital signatures. Robin Crisp, an IT officer in the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s Business Application Services at the Labor Department, said in less than six months his office helped Labor make the break from wet signatures.
Nov 15, 2022
After dipping toe in digital signature pool, Labor now ready to jump right in
00:22:36
The Labor Department has always required citizens to fill out forms by hand, sign them with a pen and send them back by mail or possibly scan them in and email them back. But the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program decided in early 2022 to take the plunge into digital signatures. Robin Crisp, an IT officer in the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s Business Application Services at the Labor Department, said in less than six months his office helped Labor make the break from wet signatures.
Nov 15, 2022
You're not the only one squinting to understand what's happening on Capitol Hill
00:09:09
The duck is officially lame, with apologies to our real-life feathered friends. The 117th Congress, at least the House, will be back in session this week and casting votes. For a look into what remains before the arrival of the 118th Congress, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Bloomberg Government Deputy News Director Loren Duggan.
Nov 14, 2022
The Air Force seeks a better approach to the thorny problem of software licensing
00:19:33
The Air Force tests airplanes before it buys them. Now it's testing software programming tools before buying them. It's goal is to obtain the best tools for its modernization efforts, both for Air Force programmers and for contractors. To take a closer look at the "Digital Tools for All initiative," Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the lead program manager in the Air Force Digital Transformation Office, Vince Pecoraro.
Nov 14, 2022
How China takes American know-how and technology right from under our noses
00:12:11
Can it be? Scientists from China work on sensitive projects at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, then go back to help China with what they've learned. A study by Strider Technologies said this has happened in 162 cases, giving the Chinese government a short cut to hypersonics, submarine detection, and autonomous vehicles. To get the study details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Greg Levesque, Strider co-founder and CEO.
Nov 14, 2022
Better data, training, hiring processes are key to cyber workforce strategy, groups say
00:06:59
There are a lot of ideas for how the White House National Cyber Director’s forthcoming workforce strategy could help address a nationwide cyber talent shortage. The office issued a request for information on cyber workforce, training and education last month. The window for submitting a response closed Nov. 3. For federal agencies, the challenge is especially acute as they struggle to compete with private sector salaries and job flexibilities.
Nov 14, 2022
Biden to nominate Danny Werfel as IRS commissioner, overseeing $80B to rebuild agency
00:07:22
The IRS, setting course on a decade-long push to rebuild its workforce and modernize its legacy IT, may soon be led by a figure who previously steered the agency through difficult times. The White House announced Thursday that President Joe Biden intends to nominate Danny Werfel to lead the IRS for a five-year term. Werfel holds more than 15 years of federal experience across the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, and previously served as an acting IRS commissioner.
Nov 14, 2022
Army wants vendors' input on plan to overhaul its data enterprise
00:18:31
The Army wants industry to help it change the way it structures its data. A newly-released request for information is a key first step in building a federated, decentralized model the Army calls the Unified Data Reference Architecture.
Nov 11, 2022
DISA’s Thunderdome pilot heading into make or break decision point
00:21:00
Like Mad Max movie from the 1980s, DISA’s choice will focus on survival — in their case from cyber attacks. Federal News Network’s executive editor Jason Miller joins Tom Temin to discuss what factors DISA is weighing about whether to move forward with this zero trust prototype.
Nov 10, 2022
When inspectors general fail, the backstop itself seems to fail
00:20:08
So who's watching the watchdogs? - Inspectors general occasionally fail in the exercise of good conduct or exemplary leadership. When they do, there is a special committee of the Council of Inspectors General that is supposed to take action. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with someone -- Joanna Derman, policy analyst at the Project on Government Oversight --who argues that the committee, known as the Integrity Committee, has fallen short of is responsibilities.
Nov 10, 2022
Veterans deal with unique financial and lifestyle challenges
00:21:22
The nation's veterans have served the country. But life after the military often comes with special financial challenges. Today's inflation is making some of those challenges a little tougher. As Veterans Day approaches, we check in with the president of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, Mike Meese.
Nov 10, 2022
Meet the newest member of a key council influencing how your agency operates
00:23:47
A federal attorney steeped in administrative law now has a chance to influence it. He's general counsel at AmericCorps. He has also spent years developing and teaching courses on administrative law and government oversight. Now he's just been appointed a member of the council of the Administrative Conference of the United States. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Fernando Laguarda.
Nov 10, 2022
Justice Department, GSA working on common standards for FOIA tech
00:08:00
The Freedom of Information Act community is developing new technology standards to help improve FOIA processes and standardize common services like case management tools across government. The Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy and the Office of Government Information Services at the National Archives are working with the General Services Administration’s Office of Shared Services and Performance Improvement to advance shared FOIA business standards, according to Lindsay Steel, chief of FOIA compliance staff at OIP.
Nov 09, 2022
Can a 10-year federal infrastructure plan really sustain itself for 10 years
00:09:28
The Action Plan from the Biden Administration seeks to ensure projects across the nation get done on time and on budget. They've already hired 25,000 people to help state and local governments. But the plan has a 10-year horizon. That could spell trouble. For analysis, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with American University Professor Bob Tobias.
Nov 09, 2022
If this VA program was a high school, people would complain about the dropout rate
00:10:06
The Veterans Affairs Department is in the midst of a five-year pilot program. It's called VET-TEC or Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses. The Government Accountability Office found that the program has some problems, including that a third of the veterans enrolled drop out. For more on this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Dawn Locke, GAO's Acting Director for Education, Workforce and Income Security.
Nov 09, 2022
An update on doings of a crucial federal agency almost no one ever heard of
00:13:59
President Biden recently appointed four new members to the 10-member Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States. The Council is not an agency widely known to the public. For an update, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Chairman Andrew Fois.
Nov 09, 2022
OPM removes two federal skills gaps from its high-risk list, but three positions remain
00:08:11
Agencies have made progress on closing skills gaps for a couple of federal jobs, but there’s still work ahead for other critical roles, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Based on agencies’ progress so far, OPM identified which of five different governmentwide positions should be kept on its high risk list, and which can be removed based on federal agencies’ progress.
Nov 09, 2022
Fewer contractors are protesting bids and awards
00:10:13
Figures from the Government Accountability Office show a 12% drop in the number of contracting protests in fiscal 22. Protests are down 40% since 2018. What does it all mean? Federal Drive host Tom Temin's guest thinks the protests that do happen, have a lot of impact. This conversation is with Federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Nov 08, 2022
How costly is federal paperwork? Well, this is costly.
00:09:48
Digital services and modernization are pillars of the Biden administration's management agenda. These efforts don't just matter to federal agencies though. Business is thoroughly behind efforts to streamline government services. The Chamber of Commerce has put some numbers on what paperwork costs the economy each year, and how many hours it eats up. Federal Drive host Tom Temin gets the details from Chamber VP Jordan Crenshaw.
Nov 08, 2022
VA tries a novel way to ensure veterans get to their medical appointments.
00:10:29
The Veterans Health Administration has been working on a deal with the ride service Uber to help rural veterans get to their appointments. A test has been running since July at the VA medical center in Memphis, Tennessee. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about this with in-studio guest Dr. Indra Sandal, from the VHA innovation fellowships program.
Nov 08, 2022
VA considering steps to shorten wait times for veterans needing medical care
00:10:02
Long wait times for certain types of treatment continue to occur at the Veterans Health Administration. Pain management is among the conditions for which veterans have to wait. Federal Drive host Tom Temin's guest said that in California, the wait for pain care can last 78 days. Temin talked about the reasons this is so, and how it can be fixed, with Former Mississippi Senator Trent Lott.
Nov 08, 2022
CISA signature federal cyber program warrants more than a passing anniversary nod
00:20:41
The continuous diagnostics and mitigation program turned 10 years old last month. And what a long strange trip it's been for C-D-M. As agencies move toward zero trust and face an ever changing cyber threat landscape, CDM has hit stride. In his weekly Reporter’s Notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about where the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is taking the program next.
Nov 07, 2022
Tomorrow's vote has a lot of nerves on edge on Capitol Hill
00:23:01
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband is recovering. But the attack at the Pelosi home in San Francisco has Congress rattled once again about security. More anxiety comes from the possibility of a party switch in the House or Senate or both. To take a look at all of this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Mitchell Miller, Capitol Hill Correspondent for WTOP.
Nov 07, 2022
How to find data on millions and millions of pandemic federal funding awards
00:31:04
We are all familiar with that ubiquitous fast-food-chain sign: "Billions and Billions Served." The same could be said of federal disaster spending. Millions and millions of awards, billions and billions of dollars. The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, made up of inspectors general, recently launched a group of dashboards to help people see which agencies got how much money and where all that money went. To explore the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Michael Horowitz, Justice Department IG and PRAC chairman.
Nov 07, 2022
The troubled F-35 jet sure spreads the money around
00:20:42
No one knows what the F-35 aircraft can do in a war, say, over Taiwan. One thing we do know is the fifth-generation fighter, now something like 20 years in development, has economic significance. Something like $72 billion F-35 dollars is spread throughout the U.S. economy every year. For more details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Kevin Michaels, the managing director of AeroDymanic Advisory.
Nov 04, 2022
Nurses at one Veterans Affairs facility win a double-digit pay increase
00:19:23
Registered nurses working for the Veterans Health Administration in Las Vegas recently got a 12% raise. This after promising to hold a big rally. That got management to sit down with the Title 38 employees. For the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Linda Ward-Smith, president of Local 1224 of the American Federation of Government Employees.
Nov 04, 2022
The Federal CIO talks about her office's governmentwide operating plan
00:25:52
They're operating under a continuing resolution, but agency information technology staffs are working hard on modernizing. Recently the office of the Federal Chief Information Officer came out with what it called a governmentwide operating plan. CIO Clare Martorana said the plan should not be confused with a strategy. At the recent ACT-IAC executive leadership conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Federal Drive Host Tom Temin caught up with Martorana and asked what the difference is between a plan and a strategy.
Nov 04, 2022
Advocacy groups raise concerns about federal pay system amid growing wage gap
00:20:45
Federal employees’ wages are falling further behind those in the private sector, according to new data from the Federal Salary Council.The council reported that in 2022, federal workers earned 24.09% less in wages alone than their private sector counterparts. In 2021, the pay gap by the same measurement was 22.47%. In comparison, the Biden administration’s federal pay raise request is 4.6% for next year, composed of a 4.1% overall increase and a 0.5% pay locality increase. The National Treasury Employees Union, in light of the council’s report, reemphasized its push for an even larger federal pay increase in 2023.
Nov 04, 2022
HUD emphasizing need to do front-end fraud risk assessments for programs
00:20:41
Elliott Johnson Jr. is a senior management analyst in the HUD's Office of the Chief Risk Officer. He tells executive editor Jason Miller about a new tool that will help mature the agency’s processes, and reduce fraud.
Nov 03, 2022
How government email systems screw up contract bid solicitations
00:21:05
As long as the government has had competitive procurement, one rule has stood firm. If a bid comes in late, tough luck for that bidder. But the rule got harder to interpret when email replaced hand-delivered envelopes or faxes. What if a server crashed? What if a bid got stopped by a spam filter? Now a new case has muddied the rule. For the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Zach Prince, Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney.
Nov 03, 2022
What your agency can expect if the government gets redivided after the midterms
00:21:39
If the Senate or the House (or both) switch to Republican control come January, you can expect a different approach to government oversight. To explore specifics and possibilities, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Molly Reynolds, the senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.
Nov 03, 2022
An accomplished federal CFO has a forum to share lessons learned
00:22:03
No agency can operate effectively without a solid financial framework. That's where chief financial officers come in. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with someone who has operated as a CFO at large federal agencies and at two major universities. At the moment Gwendolyn Sykes is the CFO of the Secret Service and a new follow at the National Academy of Public Administration or NAPA.
Nov 03, 2022
Survey: As agencies turn to hybrid work, many feds want more remote options
00:21:12
As agencies pivot their thinking about the role of hybrid work — a mix of in-person and telework opportunities — for the federal workforce, some federal employees are raising questions about the reasons behind working in the office at all. Close to two-thirds — about 64% — of respondents in an exclusive Federal News Network online survey said they were satisfied with their current work situation. But at the same time, the requirement of working in the office at least once a week was a pain point for some.
Nov 03, 2022
Even Anthony Fauci will have to get his retirement papers through the creaky OPM machinery
00:21:45
In a recent speech, OPM Director Kiran Ahuja pledged to improve the tangle around submitting retirement applications and getting annuities figured out. As year-end approaches and people think about retirement plans, Federal Drive host Tom Temin welcomed to his show, a new regular guest to discuss benefits, investment and retirement: Abraham Grungold spent 36 years as a working for the federal government and is the owner of AG Financial Services, which specialized in federal employees.
Nov 02, 2022
When it comes to is workforce, FEMA has some work to do
00:21:50
A survey back in 2019 showed nearly one-third of employees at FEMA had experienced discrimination or harassment. Since then, the agency has taken a number of steps to reduce the incidence of these problems. A new check by the Government Accountability Office shows FEMA could do more. For the latest, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with GAO's director of homeland security and justice issues, Chris Currie.
Nov 02, 2022
The Sustainable Infrastructure, Resilience and Climate Consortium
00:24:20
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations Energy and Environment have formed a partnership. Together they want to establish a new entit called, "The Sustainable Infrastructure, Resilience and Climate Consortium." Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke about it with West Point assistant professor of mechanical engineering and deputy director of the center for innovation and engineering, Todd Davidson.
Nov 02, 2022
Army diving ‘headfirst’ into SBOMs to secure software supply chain
00:18:58
The Army is exploring how to use Software Bills of Material requirements in contracts, potentially putting the military department at the leading edge of federal organizations looking to use “SBOMs” to secure their software supply chains. In an Oct. 21 request for information, the Army’s acquisition directorate is seeking feedback on “effective, streamlined, and innovative ways” to improve software supply chain security, specifically through the use of SBOMs.
Nov 02, 2022
50,000 companies on hold because of GSA’s UEI validation problems
00:20:06
It’s now November, and the General Services Administration still hasn’t fixed the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) transition to the new validation service that began in April. And as many as 50,000 companies and grantees still are waiting to fix validation issues that is causing delays in awards and in getting paid. The almost six-month old problem continues to cause broad concern across industry and on Capitol Hill.
Nov 01, 2022
Industry reacts to the latest strategies out from the Defense Department
00:21:37
China, data, campaigning, modernizing are just some of the key words in two just-out documents. The National Defense Strategy and the DoD's Strategic Management Plan -- not surprisingly -- emphasize rivalry with China and the need to protect space and cyber assets. For what industry sees initially in these documents, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, David Berteau.
Nov 01, 2022
A big-city official comes to D.C. to deal with infrastructure
00:21:24
The infrastructure spending bill enacted earlier this year includes $7.5 billion to install chargers for electric cars. In response, the Energy and Transportation Departments set up a joint office. For what the office will do and how it'll do it, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with its newly appointed director, Gabe Klein.
Nov 01, 2022
Are senior federal employees violating ethics rules en masse?
00:23:25
Thousands of career and political federal employees own stock in companies their agencies regulate, according to a recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal. If so, it's largely in violation of federal ethics rules. For what they found, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Journal, James Grimaldi.
Nov 01, 2022
Pentagon plans new initiatives to tackle long-term sustainment costs
00:19:07
New military weapons platforms are quite expensive — and nearly always more expensive than they were supposed to be. But almost no matter what the up-front price tag is, it’s just a shadow of the all-in cost to keep that ground vehicle, aircraft carrier or fighter jet outfitted with parts and available for its mission until it’s eventually retired.
Nov 01, 2022
A lot's been happening while Congress is on recess, focusing on the mid-terms
00:19:32
Congress continues on its recess, as House members and a third of the Senators focus on the mid-term elections. But there's plenty going on, including that yearly bugaboo, the debt limit. The Federal Drive got more from Bloomberg Government deputy news director Loren Duggan.
Oct 31, 2022
Defense spending on advanced technologies keep trending up
00:23:33
Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin gave a new task to the Defense Innovation Board, to establish a National Defense Science and Technology Strategy. It covers 14 critical topics such as quantum science, hypersonics and artificial intelligence. Turns out, spending on these technologies has been rising, according to analysis by Govini. Joining the Federal Drive with more, Govini's vice president of strategy, Billy Fabian.
Oct 31, 2022
Homeland Security struggles with screening border crossers who get transferred inland
00:22:50
Certain migrants to the United States are allowed to stay pending immigration court proceedings. That means Homeland Security must keep track of their family status and where they end up. But it doesn't do such a great job. The Federal Drive got more now from principal deputy inspector general Glenn Sklar, and the assistant counsel to the inspector general Natalia Segermeister.
Oct 31, 2022
NASA taking a page from DHS' Procurement Innovation Lab
00:21:37
You may have heard of the PIL, the Procurement Innovation Lab, at the Homeland Security Department. Well get ready for the NAIL, the NASA Acquisition Innovation Lab. Karla Smith-Jackson is the senior procurement executive and deputy chief acquisition officer at NASA. At the ACT-IAC ELC event in Hershey, Pennsylvania last week, Smith-Jackson told Federal News Network's Jason Miller about how NASA is modeling its newest effort after DHS’s highly successful initiative.
Oct 31, 2022
AFGE heightens calls for major SSA workforce improvements at union rally
00:22:16
A group Social Security Administration employees rallied outside SSA’s headquarters in Baltimore earlier this week. They're frustrated. SSA staffing is at its lowest in decades. Large numbers say they plan to leave next year. Bosses from the American Federation of Government Employees urge the agency to improve telework opportunities and raise pay. They're also pressing Congress to give the agency more funding and staff. More now from Federal News Network’s Drew Friedman.
Oct 31, 2022
CISA unveils voluntary cybersecurity performance goals
00:22:20
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released long-awaited cybersecurity performance goals this week. The measures promise to help critical infrastructure companies and other firms prioritize the adoption of key security measures. Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday joined the Federal Drive with the latest.
Oct 28, 2022
How the Postal Service keeps tabs on over-the-top salaries
00:21:02
The Postal Service, like nearly every federal entity, has strict legal limits on how much executives can get paid. There are a few exceptions though. Each year the Postal Office of Inspector General does and audit to make sure the agency stays in compliance. Here with this year's findings, the deputy assistant inspector general for finance and pricing, Alan MacMullin.
Oct 28, 2022
A seasoned Air Force investigator takes over a crucial cybersecurity office
00:22:22
The Defense Department's Cyber Crime Center, known as DC3, has a new executive director. Joining the Federal Drive with what's news at the DC3 and what he plans for this crucial office, Jude Sunderbruch.
Oct 28, 2022
If intentions ruled, the federal government would have the highest customer experience ratings anywhere
00:20:38
The Biden administration has made customer experience offered by agencies a management imperative. Yet satisfaction scores keep trending down. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has analyzed the situation and found one thing the government needs to strengthen is how it measures digital services effectiveness. The ITIF's policy fellow Eric Egan joined the Federal Drive to discuss.
Oct 27, 2022
For contractors, the wait-and-see mode for the vaccine mandate keeps rollin' along
00:24:10
The vaccine mandate for government contractors has been in limbo ever since an appeals court decision limited the scope of a nationwide injunction on the mandate made by a lower court. Now the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has finally updated its website regarding enforcement of the mandate. The main takeaway? There's more guidance to come. For what *that* means, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke with attorney Matthew Haws, a partner at Jenner and Block.
Oct 27, 2022
A checkup on cybersecurity with Energy Department C-I-O Ann Dunkin
00:22:38
Cybersecurity poses a never-ending challenge to federal information technology people. Now supply chain security has jumped into the pile of concerns. One chief information officer has put cyber defense at the center of her efforts. At the ACT-IAC executive leadership conference earlier this week in Hershey Pennsylvania, I caught up with Energy Department CIO Ann Dunkin. I asked her about whether all those Energy Labs make up a special supply chain risk.
Oct 27, 2022
USCIS is moving out once again ahead of the technology curve
00:20:46
When it comes to technology, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has always been a unicorn. The agency has about 95% of its online applications in the cloud. It was on the zero trust journey well before there was a bandwagon. Rob Brown is USCIS chief technology officer. At the ACT-IAC Conference earlier this week in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Brown told Federal News Network's Jason Miller about plans to break new technology ground by hiring a director of user experience.
Oct 27, 2022
Navy to break up some big contracts to increase small business participation
00:17:30
The Navy spent $18.4 billion on small business prime contracts last year. Navy officials want to create even more opportunities for small businesses in fiscal 2023, and hold large contractors accountable for their subcontracting commitments. For more, Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday.
Oct 27, 2022
Another federal effort to fill another important workforce need
00:20:11
The COVID-19 pandemic stretched the healthcare community to the limits, underscoring the need to further enhance public health resources across the country. In a move towards that goal, AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched the new Public Health AmeriCorps (PHA) to support the recruitment, training and development of the next generation of public health leaders. The Federal Drive had the chance to speak with Michael Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps to find out how this new facet of his agency will work.
Oct 26, 2022
Coming to an algorithm near you: A big, federally-focused training data set
00:21:12
Contractors trying to develop artificial intelligence applications for the government face a challenge. Namely, a good data set for training the algorithms. Now a big, new, federally-oriented dataset is coming from an unlikely source. The Federal Drive got the details from Bloomberg Government reporter Josh Axlerod.
Oct 26, 2022
As the U.S. military struggles, some C2 challenges for special forces
00:21:48
Reliance on the U.S. military's special forces has increased steadily over the past 20 years. More operations using more people in more trouble spots. Auditors have found that the Special Operations Command has trouble with oversight of its command and control, or C2, structures. Partly this is a data problem. For details, the Federal Drive turns to the director of defense capabilities and management issues at the Government Accountability Office, Cary Russell.
Oct 26, 2022
OPM clarifies how agencies can help feds apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver by Oct. 31 deadline
00:18:23
The Education Department's Public Service Loan Forgiveness program has had some ongoing issues with public servants meeting relatively strict eligibility requirements. The department has tried to fix the problem with a limited-time waiver, but it leaves a few questions unanswered about the future of the program. With less than a week before the temporary waiver expires, the Office of Personnel Management is also sharing how agencies can help federal employees with their PSLF applications. Joining the Federal Drive with more, Federal News Network’s Drew Friedman.
Oct 26, 2022
SSA union seeks $16.5B in emergency funding to rebuild depleted workforce
00:18:33
A union seeks emergency funding for the Social Security Administration to rebuild its depleted workforce. The American Federation of Government Employees Council 220 is asking Congress for $16.5 billion to support SSA for the rest of fiscal 2023. More than half the funding would go toward hiring more employees. The SSA workforce is at its lowest headcount in decades. For an update, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman joined the Federal Drive with more.
Oct 26, 2022
GSA may have sunk the prospects for its brand new governmentwide contract
00:21:44
Alliant 3. To those in the know, this is the name of a promising new governmentwide acquisition contract for technology services. The request for proposals is now out, and open for comments. One move by the General Services Administration threatens the whole deal, in the view of our next guest. The Federal Drive's Tom Temin spoke with Federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Oct 25, 2022
How a proposed European Union cybersecurity law could affect things on this side of the Atlantic
00:22:47
Last month the European Commission drafted a law called the Cyber Resilience Act. Its an extensive framework aimed at improving cybersecurity in the E-. For the implications on this side of the Atlantic, the Federal Drive turned to the senior policy analyst at the ITIF Center for Data Innovation, Kir Nuthi.
Oct 25, 2022
More support for those affected by suicide from the Pentagon
00:24:00
The Defense Department is now offering two online courses that provide support and guidance for those affected by suicide.? The courses cover things such as communication techniques, ways to connect or stay connected to a support system, and reminders for how to maintain physical and mental health during a very difficult time. To learn more about them, the Federal Drive spoke with Dr. Andrew Moon, Acting Director for Research, Evaluation, and Data/Surveillance for the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, along with Lisa Valentine, who you'll hear from first. She's the Program Manager, Casualty, Mortuary Affairs & Military Funeral Honors for the Defense Department.
Oct 25, 2022
GSA is giving agencies a glimpse of what the future of work could be
00:21:41
The General Services Administration is offering agencies a glimpse of what the future of work could look like. Starting in early November, GSA will open up its shared work spaces in three cities as well as its future of work headquarters laboratory. Robin Carnahan is the administrator of GSA. She tells executive editor Jason Miller at the 2022 ELC conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania about how GSA is helping agencies envision how their employees will work differently in the coming years.
Oct 25, 2022
You'd be surprised with what takes up most of the Senate's time
00:22:00
It might be the great deliberative body, but much of what the Senate Deliberates on is pretty mundane. Such as, the nomination for undersecretary of Agriculture for marketing and regulatory programs. What do Senators think about this? The Federal Drive got some insight from WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Oct 24, 2022
The Pentagon inspector general evaluates a 10-year military diversity effort
00:19:19
The Defense Department has been working under a leadership diversity plan since the Obama administration. A special commission issued a long list of recommendations back in 2011. And that stemmed from a mandate in the Defense authorization law from 2009. For how the department has done, the Federal Drive turned to the program director for diversity and inclusion evaluations in the DOD office of inspector general, Dana Johnson.
Oct 24, 2022
The State Department seeks fresh talent for its diplomatic security operation
00:22:20
The State Department has several annual fellowship programs designed to bring in new talent. We've been bringing you their stories here on the Federal Drive. Today we're talking about the William D. Clarke, Senior Diplomatic Security Fellowships. Joining the Federal Drive with the details, the assistant secretary of State for Diplomatic Security, Gentry Smith.
Oct 24, 2022
Microsoft working with CISA on assessment tool for cloud security configurations
00:20:28
Agencies are carrying out a lot of business these days using cloud computing technology, and now they have some new guidance for securing those applications. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released minimum security configurations for eight Microsoft 365 services last week. For more on how this could help agencies improve their cybersecurity, Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday, spoke with the security chief technology officer at Microsoft Federal, Steve Faehl.
Oct 24, 2022
Federal employee engagement stabilizes in 2022 FEVS
00:21:12
Results are out for the 2022 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey – or FEVS. The annual survey from the Office of Personnel Management produced a couple of ups and downs in the two years following the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, federal employee attitudes seem to have calmed down a bit. Joining the Federal Drive with the details, Federal News Network’s Drew Friedman.
Oct 24, 2022
IG: Climate change to add to Treasury Department's workload as well
00:06:38
In today's Federal Newscast, you can add the treasury department to the list of agencies whose workload may significantly increase due to climate change.
Oct 24, 2022
An influential Congressional staffer is now a NAPA fellow
00:30:17
Among this year's fellows added to the National Academy of Public Administration are several still-working, senior federal employees. One of them is prominent on Capitol Hill and Federal Drive host had a chance to conduct this extended 17-minute interview with her. She's Wendy Ginsberg, staff director for the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Oct 21, 2022
VA holding ‘all hands on deck’ event to onboard critically needed hires more quickly
00:21:42
The Department of Veterans Affairs hired more employees in fiscal 2022 than at any point in recent history. But top VA officials say more action is needed to build up the agency’s workforce, given a high rate of attrition and increasing healthcare demand from veterans. VA Undersecretary for Health Shereef Elnahal told reporters Wednesday that the agency needs to hire about 52,000 employees per year just to keep up with the rate of health care workers leaving the agency, as well as an increase in veterans entering the VA health care system.
Oct 21, 2022
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh talks about DEIA issues with FNN's Drew Friedman
00:24:37
The Agriculture Department is making a big push for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. It just established a six-step strategic plan for DEIA. This as the agency also tries to rebuild its workforce after attrition during the Trump administration. Federal News Network’s Drew Friedman got the details from USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh.
Oct 20, 2022
White House leaders see ‘momentum’ in ambitious federal cybersecurity overhaul
00:20:22
The effort to overhaul federal cyber defenses has “momentum” behind it, most notably in helping agencies distill broad cybersecurity objectives into specific technology investments as part of the annual budgeting process, according to White House leaders. Federal Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeRusha said the White House’s zero trust strategy gives cybersecurity leaders the ability to “disaggregate and do strategy-based budgeting all the way down to a technology investment.”
Oct 20, 2022
What exactly should federal policy be when it comes to integrated circuits?
00:21:48
Congress recently agreed to throw tens of billions of dollars at the semiconductor industry. The idea was to expand production of vital circuits in the United States. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with someone who has done extensive analysis of the chip industry and says there should be more to policy than national security. He's assistant professor of management at Radford University, Zach Collier.
Oct 20, 2022
How to make citizens feel good about federal call centers
00:23:45
Call centers, those invisible nests of operators that purport to help citizens with questions about government services, are a bane to agency after agency. Calls don't get picked up. Or people make a pot of coffee while on hold. Questions aren't answered. Callers get bounced from operator to operator. Worst of all, those badly-designed automatic call routers. There's gotta be a better way. Federal Drive host Tom Temin looked into how to make call centers more empathetic, with Deloitte Consulting's Marc Mancher.
Oct 20, 2022
They teach military members' kids. Now they'd like a contract.
00:21:59
The Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, employs 500 teacher for the children of service members stationed in Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Bahrain. The teachers, part of a bargaining unit called the Overseas Federation of Teachers, haven't had a new contract in 28 years. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with someone who knows what the teacher want: President of the Overseas Federation of Teachers, Linda Hogan.
Oct 20, 2022
Feds nearing retirement: Is it always a good idea to pay off that mortgage?
00:22:19
Federal employees have family and professional lives. They also have financial lives. Today we're inaugurating a monthly talk with a man who has long experience in federal financial management and investment strategies. He was a regular on our Federal News Network show, "Your Turn," hosted by the late Mike Causey. Now he'll be a monthly guest here on the Federal Drive. For his inaugural interview in this space, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talks with financial planner Arthur Stein.
Oct 19, 2022
The GSA stuggles to keep a real estate sale program on track
00:22:51
The General Services Administration has completed two rounds of a three-round plan to sell off unneeded federal buildings. It hasn't gone well, according to Congressional auditors. Sales took too long, and a special recommendation board said it therefore didn't have the money to discover other buildings to sell. Can this program get on track? For details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the acting director of physical infrastructure issues at the Government Accountability Office, Jill Naamane.
Oct 19, 2022
A look inside the small but potent Office of Special Counsel
00:21:20
The Office of Special Counsel, which handles whistleblower and Hatch Act Cases, is something of an enigma to many federal managers. The law firm Shaw Bransford and Roth, which produces the weekly FEDTalk Show here on Federal News Network, has organized what federal managers need to know to better handle OSC investigations. For the highlights, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Shaw Bransford senior counsel James Heelan.
Oct 19, 2022
Federal judge finalizes $63 million settlement for OPM data breach victims
00:20:21
Victims of one of the largest data breaches to ever hit the federal government are one step closer to a payout, more than seven years later. A federal judge on Friday finalized the Office of Personnel Management’s settlement agreement with current and former federal employees, as well as federal job applicants, impacted by a major data breach in 2015.District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in a fairness hearing at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said the $63 million settlement for breach victims was “fair, reasonable and adequate.”
Oct 19, 2022
For 2023, federal retirees will see largest COLA increase in over 40 years
00:21:07
Federal retirees and Social Security recipients are about to get the largest increase in their cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in over four decades.The COLA will increase 8.7% for 2023, the Social Security Administration announced on Oct. 13. But not all federal retirees will see that amount added to their checks. Those in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) will receive a 7.7% COLA starting in January.
Oct 19, 2022
Agencies have a transparency problem when it comes to Section 508
00:21:25
The 24-year-old law requiring agencies to ensure technology is accessible by people with disabilities isn't not exactly being ignored. But there is a lack of data about just how well agencies are complying. In his weekly reporter's notebook, executive editor Jason Miller covers what the Biden administration can do to make sure its diversity, equity inclusion and accessibility efforts don't ring hallow. Jason joins me now to discuss.
Oct 18, 2022
Contractors are suddenly facing a slew of mandates and they're all expensive
00:22:15
Contractors face the prospect of higher mandatory wages and treating independent subcontractors like employees. And that's not all. The vaccine mandate might be coming back. How are companies reacting? To find out, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Stephanie Kostro, Executive VP for policy at the Professional Services Council.
Oct 18, 2022
How one defense contractor wants to advance directed energy
00:21:26
Directed energy -- lasers -- somehow always seem to be the weapon of the future. Military grade lasers are too heavy or require too much power to be practical. Booz Allen Hamilton thinks its engineers have answers for high-energy lasers. The company has a new unit called HELworks to bring it all together. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about all that (and more) with Booz Allen VP Joe Shepherd.
Oct 18, 2022
Meet the legislative branch diversity officer who's the latest NAPA fellow
00:21:25
Among this year's class of new fellows of the National Academy of Public Administration, are a few people from the legislative branch. Among them, Zina Merritt, the chief diversity management officer at the Government Accountability Office. She talked with Federal Drive host Tom Temin.
Oct 18, 2022
Having exhausted January 6, the Hill falls nearly silent
00:20:36
With the final paroxysm of the January 6 hearings over, Congress is on an extended recess. Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin knows he won't have to deal with budgetary matters until after the November elections. So to examine what to expect then, he spoke with Loren Duggan, Bloomberg Government deputy news director.
Oct 17, 2022
Telehealth is on the rise and so are telehealth cyber attacks
00:21:55
Telehealth -- on the rise at Veterans Affairs and in the private sector -- has one thing in common with every other digital service: It's a cybersecurity risk. Now the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is planning a healthcare project to establish best practices for security and privacy in telehealth situations. To find out more about the project, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Ron Pulivarti, senior cyber engineer.
Oct 17, 2022
What's in the White House study on crypto policies and regulations?
00:23:10
Recently, the White House released a document called the Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets. It summarizes Treasury Department studies of potential crypto policies and regulations. For what it could mean for federal regulators and the digital asset industry, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke to Dennis Kelleher, Co-founder and President of Better Markets. Kelleher is also a former member of the Federal Reserve's Banking and Securities Agency Review Team.
Oct 17, 2022
Biden administration’s cyber regulatory plan comes into focus
00:19:51
The White House and agencies are moving forward with new cyber rules for critical infrastructure, as the Biden administration looks to take advantage of existing laws to address digital threats on a sector-by-sector basis in the absence of Congressional action on cybersecurity regulations.
Oct 17, 2022
Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service is in modernization mode
00:20:51
Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service acts like a hub for the government's payments and collections. Now the bureau is looking to make more payments digitally and to prevent improper payments. It's is also creating a Chief Customer Office to oversee all of this modernizing. For more on all of this, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke Tim Gribben, the bureau’s commissioner.
Oct 17, 2022
82 agencies sign MOUs to gain more time to transition to EIS
00:20:01
EIS, CIO-SP4, Oasis-Plus and Ascend, the alphabet soup of contracts on the horizon will keep vendors busy over the next six months. The General Services Administration and others are pushing forward to set up and otherwise nurture these multi-billion dollar vehicles. Federal News Network executive editor Jason Miller has some new detail about where many of these contracts are heading.
Oct 14, 2022
DoD establishes new CIO to unify IT efforts in Office of the Secretary of Defense
00:35:28
Every military service, and just about every Defense organization of any significant size, has its own chief information officer. Until now, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) was a bit of an outlier, with no single official responsible for overseeing the technology its 18,000 people use. That’s now changing. In a Sept. 30 memo, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks granted new CIO authorities — covering all of OSD — to the department’s directorate of administration and management (DA&M). Danielle Metz, formerly the DoD CIO for information enterprise, will now serve within that office as the OSD CIO.
Oct 14, 2022
The scope of pandemic relief fraud keeps on ballooning
00:23:31
Documents obtained by the Project on Government Oversight or POGO, show the Small Business Administration forgave millions of loans it knew might be fraudulent. SBA issued the loans under the Payroll Protection Plan, a big element of federal pandemic relief. To get into some details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with POGO senior investigator Nick Schwellenbach.
Oct 14, 2022
Maj. Gen. Richard Heitkamp talks with Tom Temin at AUSA
00:21:43
The Army Corps of Engineers is all about infrastructure, in particular the nation's waterways. When the infrastructure bill was signed into law, the Corps got a good chunk to get after some overdue work. At this week's Association of the U. S. Army conference, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the Corps's deputy commander, Maj. Gen. Richard Heitkamp. They began their discussion addressing the Corps' work in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Oct 14, 2022
Maj. Gen. David Wilson talks with Tom Temin at AUSA
00:23:17
Whether forces at peace or actively engaged, the business of keeping the Army equipped, fed and fueled never really ends. At the Association of the U.S. Army conference earlier this week, Federal Drive host Tom Temin caught up with the commander of the Army Sustainment Command, Maj. Gen. David Wilson.
Oct 13, 2022
Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler talks with Tom Temin at AUSA
00:22:59
The Army may operate primarily on the ground. But it relies on space communications to maintain freedom of movement and situational awareness, as well as to guard against known and emerging missile threats. At the Association of the U.S. Army Conference, AUSA, Federal Drive host Tom Temin got an update from the commander of the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler.
Oct 13, 2022
Federal building security agency short-staffed amid rise in threats
00:18:49
Federal employees and their office buildings are facing an increase in threats at a time when the agency sworn to protect them is running into challenges to fill law enforcement vacancies. The Federal Protective Service secures 9,500 federal buildings across the country. But FPS Principal Deputy Director Kris Cline said last month that about 21% of its authorized positions remain vacant, and that filling them is a “continued challenge.”
Oct 13, 2022
Federal building security agency short-staffed amid rise in threats
00:18:49
Federal employees and their office buildings are facing an increase in threats at a time when the agency sworn to protect them is running into challenges to fill law enforcement vacancies. The Federal Protective Service secures 9,500 federal buildings across the country. But FPS Principal Deputy Director Kris Cline said last month that about 21% of its authorized positions remain vacant, and that filling them is a “continued challenge.”
Oct 13, 2022
How two letters of the alphabet blew an award protest into a court case
00:19:44
Can the simple misspelling of your own company's name turn a simple contract award protest into a full-blown court case. We're talking federal contracting. So of course it can. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about this strange case, of the added two letters with Joe Petrillo, Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney.
Oct 13, 2022
Case alleging racial discrimination in NASA’s employee evaluations set to move forward
00:20:32
Thousands of current and former NASA employees saw a major step forward in a racial discrimination case that’s nearly a decade old. The case can now proceed as a class action lawsuit after Supervisory Administrative Judge Stephanie Herrera at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission certified two classes of employees on Sept. 30. The employees who originally filed the case will represent more than 2,000 agency workers.
Oct 13, 2022
NEW ATOP FEW: President Pamela Richards of Federally Employed Women (FEW) talks with FNN
00:20:13
Increasing collaboration among federal employees and expanding benefits are a couple top priorities for the advocacy group, Federally Employed Women, or "Few." But the newly elected president of the organization said along with those initiatives, closing the generational gap in the federal workforce is another goal high on her to-do list. Federal News Network's Drew Friedman sat down with "Few" President Pamela Richards to discuss the details of her plans for the organization in her new leadership position.
Oct 12, 2022
Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler talks with Tom Temin at AUSA
00:22:10
Not much can happen in the Army without the products and services that clothe, feed and equip the soldiers. Responsibility for acquiring most of what the Army needs falls to the Army Contracting Command. For an update, at the Association of the U.S. Army conference in Washington, Federal Drive Host Tom Temin caught up with the Contracting Command’s commander, Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler.
Oct 12, 2022
Lt. Gen. Omar Jones talks with Tom Temin at AUSA
00:20:51
It’s the world’s premier expeditionary force, yet every U.S. Army soldier has a home or a home base. Often that home is in housing provided by the Army itself. Army housing has been a sore subject for residents, Army leadership and Congress. But there’s been progress. For an update on that and other matters, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked at the Association of the U.S. Army conference, with Lt. Gen. Omar Jones, the Commander of the Installation Management Command.
Oct 12, 2022
Why Veterans Affairs has persistent issues with managing acquisition
00:22:28
As the biggest civilian agency, the Veterans Affairs Department buys lots of stuff every year, from building construction to aspirin. Yet, according to Government Accountability Office auditors, VA falls short in planning and managing its crucial acquisition workforce. To discuss the comprehensive survey of that workforce, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Shelby Oakley, GAO's director for contracting and national security acquisitions.
Oct 12, 2022
CBP, TSA expanding facial recognition for traveler identity verification
00:18:10
Both Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration continue to expand the use of facial recognition technology to verify traveler identity, with both agencies touting both the security and customer experience benefits of using biometrics, while pledging to safeguard privacy and security. CBP has processed 223 million travelers since introducing the biometric entry-exit program at airports and other locations since 2018, confirming about 175,000 overstays with non-citizens leaving the country, as well as more than 1,600 imposters at ports of entry, according to Diane Sabatino, deputy executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations at CBP.
Oct 12, 2022
The Senate is spending the day on a piece of annual legislation that really matters
00:22:23
The Senate is back in session today from recess, mainly to work on the annual Defense Authorization Act. Traditionally Congress sends this bill to the president before the end of the calendar year. For more on this and what else is happening in Congress, we turn to WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Oct 11, 2022
Will agencies get a 2023 budget in December? Don't hold your breath
00:22:28
Two weeks into the continuing resolution, agencies hoping to start new initiatives are looking towards December 16. That's when Congress promised to establish a 2023 budget. History shows, that's a pretty thin reed to lean on. My next guest isn't ruling out the possibility of a full-year continuing resolution. Larry Allen is president of Allen Federal Business Partners.
Oct 11, 2022
Homeland Security's research wing is looking for more partners
00:22:06
A new guide from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, is full of information for potential partners to take part in collaborative research. And develop long-term partnership opportunities. To learn more, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke with Megan Mahle, Director of Industry Partnerships in DHS' Office of Innovation and Collaboration.
Oct 11, 2022
GSA leadership, IG continue to butt heads over schedule price reasonableness
00:20:58
The long-standing debate over whether prices on the GSA Schedule contract are fair and reasonable has reached a new level of, DIScord. GSA's inspector general makes what to some will be a shocking series of recommendations about schedule prices. And GSA's Federal Acquisition Service responds with contempt for those suggestions. In his reporter's notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about the latest episode in this long-running squabble over schedule prices.
Oct 11, 2022
Army launches several new initiatives to incorporate small firms' technologies into its systems
00:29:46
Among other things, initiatives aim to incentivize large prime contractors to incorporate innovations from small businesses into their bid proposals and give contracting officers better tools to manage intellectual property rights.
Oct 11, 2022
The Senate has returned and will try to focus on the NDAA
00:22:18
The Senate back from recess and in session today, mainly to work on the annual Defense Authorization Act. Traditionally, Congress sends this bill to the president before the end of the calendar year. To discuss that possibility and what else is happening in Congress, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Oct 11, 2022
Will agencies get a 2023 budget in December? Don't hold your breath
00:22:23
Two weeks into the continuing resolution, agencies hoping to start new initiatives are looking toward December 16. That's when Congress promised to establish a 2023 budget. History shows, that's a pretty thin reed to lean on. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with an expert who is not ruling out the possibility of a full-year continuing resolution. Larry Allen is president of Allen Federal Business Partners.
Oct 11, 2022
DHS offers guide to develop industry partners for collaboration
00:22:01
A new guide from the A new guide from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate … is full of information for potential partners to take part in collaborative research. And develop long-term partnership opportunities. To learn more, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke with Megan Mahle (MAIL), Director of Industry Partnerships in DHS' Office of Innovation and Collaboration. is full of information for potential partners to take part in collaborative research and develop long-term partnership opportunities. To learn more, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke with Megan Mahle, Director of Industry Partnerships in the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Innovation and Collaboration.
Oct 10, 2022
Army may have cracked the code on BYOD: 20,000 devices coming online next week
00:31:58
The Army is about to begin its first large-scale deployment of a technology that will let soldiers use their own phones and tablets to connect to government networks — a notion that, as recently as a few years ago, would have seemed like a pipe dream because of various legal, policy and cybersecurity concerns. On October 11, the Army will start rolling out the bring your own device (BYOD) program to 20,000 new users. While that number is extremely small compared to the total force of military members, civilians and contractors, it’s massive by comparison to the limited tests it’s conducted during pilot efforts so far.
Oct 07, 2022
Army may have cracked the code on BYOD: 20,000 devices coming online next week
00:31:58
The Army is about to begin its first large-scale deployment of a technology that will let soldiers use their own phones and tablets to connect to government networks — a notion that, as recently as a few years ago, would have seemed like a pipe dream because of various legal, policy and cybersecurity concerns. On October 11, the Army will start rolling out the bring your own device (BYOD) program to 20,000 new users. While that number is extremely small compared to the total force of military members, civilians and contractors, it’s massive by comparison to the limited tests it’s conducted during pilot efforts so far.
Oct 07, 2022
IRS awards $1K bonuses to ‘surge team’ employees tackling tax return backlog
00:19:15
The IRS is telling temporarily reassigned “surge team” employees that they will need to continue their work cutting down the agency’s pandemic-era backlog of tax returns through the end of the year. But to thank employees for their efforts, which have cut the backlog by more than half since the start of the year, the IRS is giving these frontline workers a onetime $1,000 bonus.
Oct 07, 2022
A snapshot of federal rule-making and its wide scope
00:21:14
Rule-making is one of the most widespread activities in the federal government. And while there are extensive rules for rule-making itself, the extent of annual rule-making is impressive when you add it all up. Federal Drive host Tom Temin, talked wit a man who has been keeping a tally for years and has a few ideas for reform. Wayne Crews is the vice president for policy and senior fellow at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Oct 07, 2022
A snapshot of federal rule-making and its wide scope
00:21:14
Rule-making is one of the most widespread activities in the federal government. And while there are extensive rules for rule-making itself, the extent of annual rule-making is impressive when you add it all up. Federal Drive host Tom Temin, talked wit a man who has been keeping a tally for years and has a few ideas for reform. Wayne Crews is the vice president for policy and senior fellow at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Oct 07, 2022
More than ever, contractors need a vehicle strategy to capitalize on a growing federal market
00:24:25
Federal spending on contracts for goods and services continues to grow in many categories. But, according to research by Deltek, there is increasing consolidation of contracting vehicles by the government. That means companies, more than ever, need to understand what Deltek calls "best-fit opportunities." To talk about this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Kevin Plexico, Deltek's Senior VP.
Oct 07, 2022
More than ever, contractors need a vehicle strategy to capitalize on a growing federal market
00:24:25
Federal spending on contracts for goods and services continues to grow in many categories. But, according to research by Deltek, there is increasing consolidation of contracting vehicles by the government. That means companies, more than ever, need to understand what Deltek calls "best-fit opportunities." To talk about this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Kevin Plexico, Deltek's Senior VP.
Oct 07, 2022
The Weather Service can never know too much about water
00:21:39
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through the National Weather Service, is trying to upgrade its ability to analyze water resources. It wants its forecasters to have better insight into flooding potential or water quality. Now it's asking for help from the information technology industry. For details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Fred Ogden, the chief scientist for water prediction at NOAA and with scientist Fernando Salas.
Oct 06, 2022
The Weather Service can never know too much about water
00:21:39
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through the National Weather Service, is trying to upgrade its ability to analyze water resources. It wants its forecasters to have better insight into flooding potential or water quality. Now it's asking for help from the information technology industry. For details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Fred Ogden, the chief scientist for water prediction at NOAA and with scientist Fernando Salas.
Oct 06, 2022
A new look at an old problem: Contractors who don't pay their taxes
00:08:23
The IRS has been making progress toward eliminating a longstanding problem. Namely, companies who are delinquent in their federal taxes, but that nevertheless receive federal contracts. For the most recent figures, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with LaToya George, the director of the Office of Audits at the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Oct 06, 2022
It's that time of year again for feds to donate to the cause or causes of your choice
00:21:44
The 2022 Combined Federal Campaign hosted its virtual kickoff earlier this week, which means federal employees can now start donating their time and money to causes of their choice. To learn what's in store for this season, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Vince Micone, the chairperson of the Combined Federal Campaign in the National Capital Region.
Oct 06, 2022
After Log4j and SolarWinds, CISA tells agencies to routinely scan networks for devices, potential bugs
00:19:32
Agencies are starting out Cybersecurity Awareness Month with a new directive to routinely scan their networks for new devices and potential cyber vulnerabilities after recent high-profile cyber incidents exposed a lack of real-time visibility into federal networks.The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a binding operational directive on Monday for “improving asset visibility and vulnerability detection on federal networks.” The goal of the mandate, it states, is to “make measurable progress toward enhancing visibility into agency assets and associated vulnerabilities.”
Oct 06, 2022
Hundreds of employees join Feds Feed Families event aiming to end hunger, encourage healthy behavior
00:20:18
Donning a sea of orange T-shirts, federal employees walked down the National Mall last week, but it wasn’t just for a morning stroll through the city.The group of roughly 150 feds, from agencies including the departments of Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), showed up to the culmination of an interagency effort to collect food donations across the federal workforce. The Feds Feed Families (FFF) initiative, a governmentwide program aiming to help end hunger, boost engagement and promote healthier lifestyles, finished with a 30-minute walk downtown on Sept. 29. Called Feds Walk in Support of Health and Hunger Relief (FedsWISH), the event celebrated a total of 7.2 million pounds of food donations, and counting, to the FFF initiative this year.
Oct 06, 2022
A national laboratory comes up with a new version of a very basic metal
00:22:33
Cars, planes and boats will be stronger and longer lasting thanks to a new metal alloy. It was developed by scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. To hear more about how they did it, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with program manager Allen Haynes and research and development staff member Alex Plotkowski.
Oct 05, 2022
Industry can live with the latest orders on secure software development
00:21:29
Industry groups seem to support the Biden administration's September 14 memo on secure software development. It lays out a detailed way for agencies to acquire software so they're, in theory, assured of the security of the software supply chain. To discuss this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Gordon Bitko, the senior vice president of policy at the Information Technology Industry Council.
Oct 05, 2022
State Department ‘virtualizing everything’ to assess Foreign Service candidates
00:20:20
The State Department, once a relative stranger to telework for most functions prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, is taking steps to allow Foreign Service candidates to participate in some assessments virtually. Don Bauer, the chief technology officer of the department’s Global Talent Management Bureau, said the bureau is “virtualizing everything” it does to assess Foreign Service candidates, in an effort to diversify its pool of applicants.
Oct 05, 2022
Retiring after nearly 40 years, GAO Public Affairs Specialist Fuller O. "Ned" Griffith has stories to tell...
00:22:51
Tom Temin almost never interviews Public Affairs Officers on the Federal Drive. In fact, Temin said, "I never have. They're never the story." Federal Drive host Tom Temin did make an exception recently. One of the most enduring Public Affairs Specialists -- and someone Federal News Network has worked with steadily for many years -- retired. So Temin wanted him to tell his story. He's Fuller O. Griffith, better known as Ned, from the Government Accountability Office.
Oct 05, 2022
The Bureau of Fiscal Service in the Treasury Department is managing and measuring risk in a whole new way
00:21:11
Where once risk management was just a matter for the chief financial officer, now the bureau's entire senior leadership cadre is involved. Nicole Puri is the bureau's chief risk office and the past president of the Association for Federal Enterprise Risk Management. She tells executive editor Jason Miller about how enterprise risk management has spread into a range of agency functions, even budgeting.
Oct 04, 2022
IG community looking at its own DEIA efforts
00:19:37
The Inspector General community is taking a closer look at diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility trends in their own offices. The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, CIGIE, created a DEIA working group in 2020. Many IGs have expressed interest. For what the working group is looking at to advance diversity. Federal News Network's Drew Friedman spoke with Education IG and working group chairwoman Sandra Bruce, and FDIC IG Jay Lerner, who's the groups' vice chairman. You'll hear Bruce first.
Oct 04, 2022
Federal contractors are already thinking about December 16, when the continuing resolution expires
00:22:17
Contractors are nervous about the Continuing Resolution the government has been operating under since Saturday. Perhaps more troubling is the expiration of the research and development tax credit of 100%. Now it's back to 20% and that has big ramifications, according to Federal Drive host Tom Temin's guest for this interview: David Berteau, President and CEO of the Professional Services Council.
Oct 04, 2022
A conversation with Catherine Emerson, the Justice Department's deputy attorney general and chief human capital officer
00:19:06
Federal employees on the front lines of national security and law enforcement sometimes need a bit more care and attention than others. This interview guest of Federal Drive host Tom Temin is Catherine Emerson, who has a had a long career in this branch of human resources. The former chief human capital officer of the Homeland Security Department is now deputy attorney general and chief human capital officer at the Justice Department. She and Tom discussed what it takes to provide good employee experience.
Oct 04, 2022
Now that it has a quorum, a progress report from the Merit Systems Protection Board
00:26:02
After several years of vacancy, the Merit Systems Protection Board has a full complement of three members who, after their Senate confirmations, faced a backlog of thousands of appeals to decisions that had been made by administrative law judges. What's it been like? To find out, Federal Drive host was joined in studio by MSPB member Tristan Leavitt.
Oct 04, 2022
Congress steps off the government shutdown cliff. So now what?
00:20:58
You're at work today. That's the good news. It went down to the wire, but Congress managed to get that continuing resolution passed. It lasts until December 16. For what comes next, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Jack Fitzpatrick, Bloomberg Government Congress reporter.
Oct 03, 2022
A conservation group is glad the Bureau of Land Management is moving back to D.C.
00:21:22
Lots of people were unhappy, when, during the Trump administration, the Bureau of Land Management headquarters moved from Washington D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado. The idea was to put management near the lands they oversee. At least one support group, the Public Lands Foundation, is happy BLM is moving back to D.C. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the foundation's president, Mary Jo Rugwell.
Oct 03, 2022
The Navy's supply command fosters an award-winning small business program
00:22:56
Mentor-protégé arrangements between large and small contractors have proven effective in helping primes -- and the government itself -- reach their annual small business goals. The yearly Nunn-Perry Awards honor Defense Department mentor-protégé setups that have been notably effective. One of this year's three awards went to the Naval Supply Systems Command. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with NAVSUP's director of small business, Chris Espenshade.
Oct 03, 2022
CISA aims to expand cyber defense service across fed agencies, potentially further
00:22:07
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is rolling out a new service to help defend a wider range of agency systems from cyber attacks, and CISA is looking to potentially expand the tool beyond federal systems, according to an agency official leading the effort. CISA is rolling out a Protective Domain Name System (DNS) service to all federal agencies after spending the last year beta testing the tool.
Oct 03, 2022
Federal employees will pay 8.7% more, on average, toward 2023 health premiums
00:20:19
Participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will see a significantly larger increase to their health premium costs in 2023, compared with the last few years. Federal employees and retirees, on average, will pay 8.7% more in health premiums, the Office of Personnel Management announced on Sept. 30.
Oct 03, 2022
Talking technology with Army Chief Data Officer David Markowitz
00:20:09
The Army is taking steps to put data analytics and artificial intelligence at the heart of decision-making. It’s already had success doing that with predictive maintenance of vehicles and in cyber operations. But the Army faces challenges getting get the right data to people on the battlefield. For an update, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke David Markowitz, the Army’s chief data officer.
Sep 30, 2022
Talking technology with Army Chief Data Officer David Markowitz
00:20:09
The Army is taking steps to put data analytics and artificial intelligence at the heart of decision-making. It’s already had success doing that with predictive maintenance of vehicles and in cyber operations. But the Army faces challenges getting get the right data to people on the battlefield. For an update, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke David Markowitz, the Army’s chief data officer.
Sep 30, 2022
This is only a test. Or is it? An update on the National Public Warning System
00:22:31
The Homeland Security Department has issued new guidance to operators of the National Public Warning System, who are distributed throughout the U.S. The guidance is how to protect the system from electromagnetic pulses or EMP, whether caused by sunspots or a nuclear detonation. The guidance was a joint effort of several DHS components. For details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke to Brent Talbot, Science and Technology Directorate program manager Brent Talbot. They first discuss: Why EMP and why now?
Sep 30, 2022
The long and twisted story of the biggest crook in Navy history
00:22:50
The name Fat Leonard has become synonymous with corruption. Leonard Glenn Francis operated the biggest bribery scheme the Navy has ever experienced. Under house arrest for years awaiting final sentencing, Leonard slipped away last month after cutting off his ankle bracelet. Now -- caught in Venezuela -- what will happen to him now? For analysis, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with attorney Anthony Kuhn, managing partner of Tully Rinckey.
Sep 30, 2022
The long and twisted story of the biggest crook in Navy history
00:22:50
The name Fat Leonard has become synonymous with corruption. Leonard Glenn Francis operated the biggest bribery scheme the Navy has ever experienced. Under house arrest for years awaiting final sentencing, Leonard slipped away last month after cutting off his ankle bracelet. Now -- caught in Venezuela -- what will happen to him now? For analysis, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with attorney Anthony Kuhn, managing partner of Tully Rinckey.
Sep 30, 2022
A distinct lack of transparency emerges in federal regulatory activity
00:30:00
Major regulatory changes and new rules -- which one agency or another deal with almost daily -- require that affected parties be notified. But a notice in the Federal Register is not enough, and agencies need to do more or they risk losing in court. That's according to a recently completed analysis done on behalf of the Administrative Conference of the United States. To find out the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with study co-authors E. Donald Elliot, a professor at Yale Law School and Josh Galperin, a law professor at Pace University.
Sep 29, 2022
Why contract award debriefings are no mere formalities
00:21:04
Contractors have long urged agencies to expand the debriefings they give to losing bidders after making an award. In one recent case, an enhanced debriefing lead to a turnover in the award. The new award turned out to be protest proof. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about the project, worth tens of millions of dollars, with Joe Petrillo, Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney.
Sep 29, 2022
A federally funded lab comes up with a potential solution to safe use of drones in the national air space
00:23:12
Manned and unmanned aircraft operating safely together is still an air traffic control challenge. It's a step closer to a solution thanks to an award-winning project at a federally funded research and development center know as FFRDC. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked to someone who shed light project, Wes Olson, a retired Air Force officer, who is now a group leader at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory.
Sep 29, 2022
Remembering Mike Causey: Federal community loses a peerless reporter – and a friend
00:19:48
The federal community lost a peerless reporter and friend this week. Longtime Federal News Network columnist Mike Causey died on Monday at 82. Before joining the Federal News Network team in the early 2000s, Mike wrote his daily Federal Diary column in The Washington Post for 40 years. Since joining our newsroom in the early 2000s, Causey wrote and went on the air about matters crucial to federal employees, including salary and benefits issues, investing, health care and retirement planning.
Sep 29, 2022
At the Health Resources and Services Administration, all system are go when it comes to telehealth
00:20:36
Whether it was used during the height of the pandemic -- or if it is used now -- because of its convenience, telehealth has become a mainstay in the healthcare field. The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the Health and Human Services Department, is trying to spread the word about its resources available to help people understand telehealth and the implications of using it. For more, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke with the Director for the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth at HRSA Heather Dimeris.
Sep 28, 2022
5G and how it's changing the way they think at the VA
00:25:31
5G, the latest wireless communication technology, has started to change how agencies think about networks, both from a physical infrastructure standpoint and for how it can enhance service to employees and constituents. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about this with a man at the forefront of this thinking at the Veterans Affairs Department. He is Dr. Tom Osborne, Director of VA's National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation.
Sep 28, 2022
Federal bank regulations needs a bit of tightening up.
00:20:26
The pandemic changed federal banking regulations. Mainly because auditors could not go to banks in person to check the books and the procedures. Regulators figured out a way to do remote bank supervision, but they all did not update their risk profiles, according to the Government Accountability Office. To find out more about what GAO uncovered, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Michael Clements, GAO's director of financial markets and community investment.
Sep 28, 2022
Income plays a role in participants’ likeliness to change TSP contributions, FRTIB finds
00:19:53
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board highlighted its efforts to remove barriers to better understanding Thrift Savings Plan services for some underserved groups. The board aimed to find out how participants’ salaries affected their understanding of TSP, as well as their likelihood to make changes to their TSP contributions, in a recent study.
Sep 28, 2022
Income plays a role in participants’ likeliness to change TSP contributions, FRTIB finds
00:19:53
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board highlighted its efforts to remove barriers to better understanding Thrift Savings Plan services for some underserved groups. The board aimed to find out how participants’ salaries affected their understanding of TSP, as well as their likelihood to make changes to their TSP contributions, in a recent study.
Sep 28, 2022
You don’t speak DoDAF? The Navy feels your pain with its new plain language design concept
00:21:02
The Department of Navy has more than a dozen reference architectures ranging from zero trust to cybersecurity to the Joint All Domain Command and Control or JADC2 program. The problem is very few people who are developing systems in these areas reads or understands these often complex and dry documents. In his weekly feature, the Reporter's Notebook, executive editor Jason Miller writes about how the Department of Navy is trying something new to drive standardization around application development.
Sep 27, 2022
Contractors nervous as Congress hints at a government shutdown
00:21:37
It's a bit of a nerve wracking time for contractors. Congress is currently flirting with the possibility of a government shutdown, as well as the potential yearlong Continuing Resolution no one wants. Add to that the fact that inflation is making it harder to conduct business and getting permission to increase prices remains difficult. For an idea of how to handle these obstacles, the Federal Drive's Eric White with Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners.
Sep 27, 2022
Do arbitrators go easy on federal employees who challenge being fired?
00:22:30
Union arbitrators routinely reinstate fired federal employees who grieve their dismissals, according to an analysis of cases conducted by a think tank. The conservative-leaning America First Policy Institute said the arbitrators' rate of reinstatement is way higher than that of the Merit Systems Protection Board. For details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with director of the Institute's Center for American Freedom, James Sherk.
Sep 27, 2022
VA inches closer to getting the bodies it needs for its largest research project ever
00:22:39
The Million Veteran Program of the Veterans Affairs Department doesn't quite have a million participants. Not quite yet. But it did recently reach 900,000, when a retired reservist and purple heart recipient joined up. For an update on what VA calls its largest research project ever, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with program director Suma Muralidhar.
Sep 27, 2022
Continuing resolution hitting last-minute hurdles in Congress
00:22:09
The continuing resolution to keep the government's lights on next week. It's hitting some last minute political hurdles related to, of all things, the so-called inflation reduction act. For details on this and other critical matters in Congress, WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Sep 26, 2022
New course would teach feds to manage latest IT
00:21:59
Management of new information technology: It's always been a challenge in the federal government. Now a new course at the University of Maryland's business school aims to fix that. Many federal career mangers have voiced a need for such a course. Joining me with more about it, professor and assistant dean Joe Bailey.
Sep 26, 2022
New course would teach feds to manage latest IT
00:21:59
Management of new information technology: It's always been a challenge in the federal government. Now a new course at the University of Maryland's business school aims to fix that. Many federal career mangers have voiced a need for such a course. Joining me with more about it, professor and assistant dean Joe Bailey.
Sep 26, 2022
How to improve the Foreign Service
00:21:43
The United States is not as sharp at diplomacy as it needs to be. That's the chief finding of the American Academy of Diplomacy. Earlier this year it published a series of policy and practice recommendations for the State Department. They focus on the idea of multilateral diplomacy. For highlights, we turn to two long-serving former ambassadors. Marc Grossman is vice chairman of the Cohen Group. Marcie Reis is now a national security consultant.
Sep 26, 2022
Pandemic broke down some, but not all barriers for IGs
00:21:25
The 10th annual survey of inspectors general changed in two major ways. First, the Association of Government Accountants focused entirely on the impact of the pandemic on the oversight community. Second, AGA brought in more state and local oversight executives because of how closely they worked with federal officials over the last two years. Ann Ebberts, the CEO of the Association of Government Accountants, said the biggest challenge that emerged from the survey was about data sharing across the different organizations. She said the recognition that federal, state and local auditors could work faster and smarter if agencies and Congress removed some of the major roadblocks to sharing data.
Sep 23, 2022
That new learning agenda may not be enough to actually improve agency performance
00:18:34
The Office of Management and Budget last week released what it called a learning agenda for federal agencies. It's the research they need to do to answer big questions. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with someone who wonders whether the learning agenda actually gets to the root challenge of agency performance: Bob Tobias, professor in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University.
Sep 23, 2022
Congress's own reform committee wraps up its work and now its time to vote
00:24:26
For several years, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress has been developing ideas for just that: Updating a whole branch of government. Recently it held its final hearing. Earlier in September it introduced a resolution to advance 32 recommendations the committee itself endorsed. For a summary and what comes next, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with committee chairman Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and vice chair Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.).
Sep 23, 2022
Air Force meets 2022 recruiting goal, but faces myriad short and long-term challenges
00:21:07
In 2022, recruiting has been a very tough business for all the military services, and the Department of the Air Force is no exception. It met its goals for the active duty force this fiscal year, but it had to pull out all the stops to do so. The Air National Guard and Reserve, meanwhile, are thousands of troops short, and officials say 2023 looks to be at least as difficult as this year was.
Sep 23, 2022
Los Alamos researchers develop a way for 5G to be more useful to the military
00:23:09
If the widely touted fifth generation communications network is to fulfill its promise, it needs a better antenna. Now researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed an antenna they call a game changer for 5G and military communications. Federal Drive host Tom Temin found out some more about it with John Singleton, an electrical engineer and fellow at Los Alamos.
Sep 22, 2022
Los Alamos researchers develop a way for 5G to be more useful to the military
00:23:09
If the widely touted fifth generation communications network is to fulfill its promise, it needs a better antenna. Now researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed an antenna they call a game changer for 5G and military communications. Federal Drive host Tom Temin found out some more about it with John Singleton, an electrical engineer and fellow at Los Alamos.
Sep 22, 2022
Will telehealth -- which exploded during the pandemic -- continue to boom?
00:22:59
We know telehealth expanded a lot during the pandemic. Now we know how much. The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has pulled together data showing that in the first year (2020) more than 28 million Medicare beneficiaries received telehealth services. To find out more, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Andrew VanLandingham, the IG's senior counselor for Medicaid policy.
Sep 22, 2022
We take a look at exactly how inflation has hit federal contractors
00:21:34
Inflation has seeped into every area of the economy, both goods and labor. For federal contractors, operating under fixed-priced contractors, and for the Defense Department, the pressure is real. Now the National Defense Industrial Association has completed a detailed look at just how inflation has affected budgets. Federal Drive host got the highlights from the association's chairman, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro.
Sep 22, 2022
Senate Dems ‘pushing to follow suit’ after House passes bill to block any future Schedule F
00:19:02
The Preventing a Patronage System Act cleared the full House in a vote of 225-204, showcasing an effort to prevent the possible return of the Trump-era Schedule F executive order. The bill would prohibit future White House administrations from creating any new federal job classification without congressional approval, but the timing on the Senate’s version of the legislation remains uncertain. Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), introduced a companion bill in August and applauded the passage of the bill in the House on Sept. 15. The lawmakers added that they will be pushing to follow suit in the Senate.
Sep 22, 2022
The Pentagon offers a shred of hope for inflation relief on fixed-price contracts
00:20:57
The Federal Acquisition Regulation is clear, fixed-price contracts are just that: Fixed price. There's no provision for adjustments because of inflation. Or is there? A memo last week from the Defense Pricing and Contracting office offers some hope. Federal Drive host spoke with someone who has studied the memo closely: Zach Prince, a partner at Smith Pachter McWhorter.
Sep 21, 2022
The Pentagon offers a shred of hope for inflation relief on fixed-price contracts
00:20:57
The Federal Acquisition Regulation is clear, fixed-price contracts are just that: Fixed price. There's no provision for adjustments because of inflation. Or is there? A memo last week from the Defense Pricing and Contracting office offers some hope. Federal Drive host spoke with someone who has studied the memo closely: Zach Prince, a partner at Smith Pachter McWhorter.
Sep 21, 2022
A troublesome rocket engine isn't the only problem plaguing NASA's Artemis program
00:21:29
Twice postponed launches of its big new rocket may indicate deep problems with NASA's Artemis program, as it makes plans to get back to the moon and eventually to Mars. The basic guidance the agency uses to manage Artemis may not be suited to such a complex enterprise, at least according to the Government Accountability Office. For more on this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Bill Russell, the GAO's director of contracting and national security acquisitions.
Sep 21, 2022
An unprecedented case arises on the status of a union of Park Service employees
00:23:29
The Federal Labor Relations Authority has to hear an unprecedented case, in for review. Normally, once a federal union is certified, no decertification vote can occur for at least a year. The question is: Can a decertification vote take place within a year, if the original certification occurred without a vote in the first place? Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about that with Mark Mix, the President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Sep 21, 2022
An unprecedented case arises on the status of a union of Park Service employees
00:23:29
The Federal Labor Relations Authority has to hear an unprecedented case, in for review. Normally, once a federal union is certified, no decertification vote can occur for at least a year. The question is: Can a decertification vote take place within a year, if the original certification occurred without a vote in the first place? Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about that with Mark Mix, the President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Sep 21, 2022
Lawmakers, veterans support organizations pitch new VA administration for education, employment
00:20:10
The Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program has been struggling with a number of challenges for years. Two plans to create an updated case management system have failed since 2015, with a total cost of $26 million, and the contract for the third attempt isn’t expected until March. VR&E counselors are understaffed and undertrained. The program lacks data on outcomes for veterans, especially those who leave the program unfinished. Too few veterans are being educated on the benefits available to them, and some of those benefits are too difficult to qualify for. That’s why some members of Congress and Veterans Support Organizations think a fourth administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs is necessary to add focus on transition, employment and education.
Sep 21, 2022
Martorana pressed about IT project oversight, role of Federal CIO by House lawmakers
00:21:33
Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana’s time before the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations on September 16 lacked many of the trite lines of questioning that have usually come with federal IT hearings. There were no complaints about the definition of a data center. Lawmakers did a nice job of keeping big “P” politics to a minimum. And concerns about specific constituent issues were mostly left out during questioning.
Sep 20, 2022
Union organizers gain access to contractors, when they're working on government projects
00:23:00
Contractors working in buildings controlled by the General Services Administration, might get buttonholed by a union organizer. That's allowed now under a rule the GSA just finalized. What do contractor executives think about that? Federal Drive host Tom Temin talk about that with Stephanie Kostro, the executive vice president for policy at the Professional Services Council.
Sep 20, 2022
Now, a modern way to share and use data generated by Congress
00:20:28
Congress has hundreds of members, thousands of employees, and a collection of monumental buildings. Now it has an application programming interface, or API. For more about APIs and how this one will help spread information about the legislative branch, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with product owner Andrew Weber and the director of IT design and development, Jim Karamanis, both from the Library of Congress.
Sep 20, 2022
A red letter day that embraces and celebrates the best and brightest of the federal workforce
00:20:27
You have heard their interviews for months here on the Federal Drive. This evening -- September 20, 2022 -- this year's Service to America Medals recipients will be honored in D.C. at the Kennedy Center. Federal Drive host Tom Temin, who interviewed 20 Sammies finalists, had one more interview in him: This one with Max Stier, the President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service.
Sep 20, 2022
Air Force creates new office to settle internal ‘squabbles’ over ABMS
00:18:05
The Air Force is setting up a new management structure to ride herd over its Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), the Air Force’s contribution to the Pentagon’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) project. Officials say ABMS has demonstrated progress in some key technical areas, but those advancements haven’t always been coordinated with one another. At the top of the new management structure for what Air Force officials have previously termed the “internet of military things” will be a brand new program executive office: The Air Force calls it the PEO for Command, Control, Communications and Battle Management, or PEO-C3BM.
Sep 20, 2022
Federal CISO: Software security memo is an enabler of the digital future
00:20:56
The fifth and final memo from the Office of Management and Budget to meet the goals outlined in the May 2021 cybersecurity executive order maybe its most daring. OMB is initiating a change to how agencies buy and vendors develop commercial software that may set the tone for decades to come. Chris DeRusha, the federal chief information security officer in OMB, said this memo is more than just another cyber mandate.
Sep 19, 2022
Continuing the conversation about continuing resolutions, and other happenings on the Hill
00:21:18
The Continuing Resolution that Congress is debating, is sort of like COVID. You know it's coming, but how bad will it be. CRs can go for days or they can go for months. Last year's went nearly halfway through the fiscal year. To find out how this one is shaping up, Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with Loren Duggan, Bloomberg Government deputy news director.
Sep 19, 2022
The Veterans Health Administration takes on one of the pandemic's most vexing challenges
00:20:36
For many people who contract the COVID virus, the illness comes and goes. Others develop what's known as long covid. Symptoms last weeks or months. The Veterans Affairs Department has developed what it calls a whole health approach to long covid. With how VA practitioners are dealing with long covid, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Dr.Elizabeth Brill, the deputy assistant undersecretary for health.
Sep 19, 2022
What does the future hold for the Army in the air?
00:29:34
The Army might be the nation's primary ground combat force, but it has lots of assets that fly, like missiles and helicopters. For an update on what is ahead for these platforms, Federal Drive host Tom Temin travelled to the Deep South to speak with Dr. James Kirsch, the acting director of the Aviation and Missile Center, within the Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command in Huntsville, Alabama.
Sep 19, 2022
DARPA launches new program to let small innovators behind the classified curtain
00:12:51
For a lot of would-be defense contractors, the world of classified contracts is a bit of a Catch-22. You can’t get classified work without a security clearance, and you can’t get a security clearance without a contract that demands classified work. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking to solve that problem with a new initiative it calls “BRIDGES.” The basic idea is to give small firms a chance to show they’ve got the technical acumen or creativity to solve the sorts of problems DARPA’s working on in the classified arena. If it looks like the answer is yes, the agency itself will sponsor them for a security clearance.
Sep 19, 2022
Agencies have new ways to consider workforce improvements with OMB’s final learning agenda
00:20:05
The Office of Management and Budget released its final version of the first-ever governmentwide learning agenda, to help implement the Biden administration’s broad management goals.The learning agenda, which OMB finalized on Sept. 15, created research questions to help advance the priorities specifically outlined in the President’s Management Agenda.
Sep 16, 2022
A discussion about climate change with an earth scientist at PNNL
00:21:52
Lots of federal scientists are connected to ongoing research on the atmosphere, energy, and the question of climate change. Federal Drive host Tom Temin recently got a sort of survey of these topics with an earth scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a delegate to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Dr. Claudia Tibaldi. First question addressed weather versus climate.
Sep 16, 2022
VBA needs to tighten up procedures to get poison-water benefits to Camp Lejeune veterans
00:21:35
Maybe you've seen the lawyer ads on TV. For a period of some 35 years, a million people were potentially exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, the Marines' base camp in North Carolina. Since 2017, veterans from that era are presumed to have service-related illnesses from drinking that water. Now the Veterans Affairs Department inspector general has found, the Veterans Benefits Administration hasn't done a great job processing the claims. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about this with deputy IG for audits and inspections, Brent Arronte.
Sep 16, 2022
Some trends in America prompting a new marketing approach to recruit soldiers
00:20:08
Government managers are supposed to use data-driven approaches in decision-making. That's what the Army is doing in trying to recruit more candidates to ROTC and to boost a flagging effort at regular soldier enlistment. Federal Drive host talked about this with Brigadier General Alex Fink, chief of Army Enterprise Marketing, a relatively new unit the Army placed in Chicago.
Sep 16, 2022
DoD issues deviation after continued UEI transition delays
00:19:50
The delays have gotten so bad with the transition to the new unique entity identifier (UEI) on SAM.gov that the Defense Department isn’t requiring contractors to have a new number to do business with them for the next six weeks. The Defense Pricing and Contracting office issued a deviation to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on Sept. 8 that allows the services and defense agencies to do business with companies who aren’t fully registered in the governmentwide acquisition system.
Sep 15, 2022
White House releases post-SolarWinds federal software security requirements
00:19:09
Agencies will require software vendors to self-certify that they’re following secure development practices under new White House guidance, but it leaves the door open for departments to mandate third-party security assessments as well. The new guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, “Enhancing the Security of the Software Supply Chain through Secure Software Development Practices,” stems from last year’s cybersecurity executive order.
Sep 15, 2022
This federal doctor's research has made HIV/AIDS manageable and saved lives
00:21:48
When it tragically hit the scene, some 40 years ago, HIV/AIDS was a fearsome scourge. Today it's manageable. Many people with it can lead normal lives. Much of the lifesaving research into the virus and the disease has been conducted at the National Institutes of Health. Federal Drive host talks to someone who was NIH all those years ago, Dr. Clifford Land, the clinical director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as afinalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program: THE SAMMIES.
Sep 15, 2022
A plan emerges to lower the prices on military spare parts
00:20:59
The prices of spare parts have long been a bugaboo for the military. Now the Senate version of the 2023 defense authorization bill (NDAA) contains something called a Progress-Payment Incentive Pilot program. For how it works and what the benefits would be, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Julia Gledhill, a defense analyst with the Project on Government Oversight or POGO.
Sep 15, 2022
A plan emerges to lower the prices on military spare parts
00:20:59
The prices of spare parts have long been a bugaboo for the military. Now the Senate version of the 2023 defense authorization bill (NDAA) contains something called a Progress-Payment Incentive Pilot program. For how it works and what the benefits would be, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Julia Gledhill, a defense analyst with the Project on Government Oversight or POGO.
Sep 15, 2022
Health and Human Services launches a drive for your blood, but in a good way
00:22:40
The pandemic has depressed blood and plasma donations to what the Department of Health and Human calls historic lows. So the department has launched a public campaign to get more people to donate. Federal Drive host Tom Temin got the details from B. Kaye Hayes, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Disease and the Director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy.
Sep 15, 2022
OPM’s Harris: There’s a connection between remote work and DEIA
00:20:46
Although many have said the youngest generation in the workforce heavily prefers more remote work and telework opportunities, the full picture is more complicated.The future of those remote flexibilities looks a little different, after factoring in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, said Khalilah Harris, the Office of Personnel Management’s new deputy chief of staff.
Sep 14, 2022
Why judicial branch employees sued over a rule on political activity
00:21:06
The Hatch Act prohibits political activities by federal employees on the job. It only applies to executive branch agencies. So when the head of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts enacted new rules for that agency's employees that went even further than the Hatch Act, not everyone was on board. Two employees filed a lawsuit. Federal News Network's Eric White spoke with one of the attorneys involved. He's legal director for the D.C. chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Art Spitzer.
Sep 14, 2022
This federal construction project has dragged on through four administrations
00:22:55
The Homeland Security Department's headquarters project might be one of the longest-running construction programs in government history. Planning started more than 17 years ago. The latest estimates peg the completion date at 2027, another five years. Now, the Government Accountability Office reports the latest cost and schedule estimates lack detail and, perhaps, reliability. Federal Drive host got some details on the mater from Chris Currie, GAO's director for Homeland Security and Justice issues.
Sep 14, 2022
On October 3, the State Department will launch a fellowship-and-internship-program named for Colin Powell
00:22:19
As part of its drive to modernize and diversify its workforce, the State Department will add new fellowhips and internships to its roster. The Colin Powell Leadership Program will open to college students and recent graduates and, its planners hope, prepare them for long-term success at the State Department. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about the program with Beth Sheppard, deputy director of talent services at the State Department.
Sep 14, 2022
CISA goes on tour to get feedback on cyber incident reporting rules
00:19:54
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is taking the development of landmark cyber incident reporting regulations on an 11-stop roadshow, as it seeks feedback on a number of key questions about the forthcoming rules. CISA previewed a request for information today on the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022. Under that law, passed earlier this year, the agency is developing regulations that will require critical infrastructure entities to report cyber incidents to CISA within 72 hours and ransomware attacks within 24 hours.
Sep 14, 2022
Contractors race for year-end business, while agencies rush to spend
00:21:26
Federal agencies are moving into the spend-it or lose-it stage of the fiscal year, with just two weeks to go. But it looks like when the books are closed, contract obligations for fiscal 2022 will have been bigger than last year. To get all the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Sep 13, 2022
Can the government prevent a grid shutdown from a quantum cyber attack?
00:23:48
If wind and solar don't wreck the energy grid, emerging quantum computing sure could. Brownouts here and there could turn into a sudden national catastrophe. For how the federal government can help prevent it, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Duncan Jones, the head of cybersecurity at Cambridge Quantum.
Sep 13, 2022
The Army tries a new tactic to fill its pipeline with future officers
00:20:41
Each generation brings new recruitment challenges for the Army. That's why the Army is constantly seeking fresh messages to deliver through its marketing channels. Maybe you remember "Be All You Can Be" or "The Army of One." Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about the latest recruiting challenges and the Army's newest marketing campaign, with Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, the Chief Marketing Officer for the U.S. Army.
Sep 13, 2022
A conversation with the STEM director at the U.S. Naval Academy
00:20:54
The Navy is many things: sailors, ships, submarines, airplanes. In some sense, it's a science and technology enterprise. You know, STEM. Federal Drive host Tom Temin made a recent visit to the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dalhgren, Virginia and spoke with Joseph McGettigan, a former Navy captain (and Dalhgren commanding officer), who is now director of the STEM Center at the Naval Academy.
Sep 13, 2022
Soon we'll know how long the Continuing Resolution will be
00:20:02
A government shutdown in three weeks is unlikely, but Congress still has to work out the details of a Continuing Resolution. Then there's the matter of the $47 billion in immediate spending the White House has requested for COVID relief and a few other things. For the latest , Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with WTOP Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller.
Sep 12, 2022
So is the vaccine mandate for federal contractors on or off?
00:22:09
A three-member panel of federal judges upheld an injunction that stopped the mandate that federal contractors have COVID vaccinations. It was not a unanimous decision. The same panel -- to which the Biden Administration had appealed the injunction -- agreed that the injunction should not be nationwide. Confusing? You bet. Federal Drive host Tom Temin tried to cut throught the confusion by talking with Jenner and Block partner Matthew Haws.
Sep 12, 2022
A program to foster intergovernmental cooperation points to some one-year accomplishments
00:23:39
A program established by the National Academy of Public Administration just marked its first year of operation. The Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships has already contributed to NAPA's work on the grand challenges in public administration. For more, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the center's director Nancy Augustine.
Sep 12, 2022
White House developing cyber workforce strategy to be more ‘action oriented’
00:19:04
The White House is pulling together a new cybersecurity workforce strategy that promises to help the federal government grapple with longstanding cyber workforce challenges, including an emphasis on stronger implementation mechanisms to ensure agencies follow through on the plan’s goals and objectives. Agencies have long struggled to compete with the private sector for cyber talent. Mounting cyber threats combined with a tight labor market cast an especially acute focus on efforts to recruit and retain the technology workforce at this year’s Billington Cyber Summit in Washington.
Sep 12, 2022
The latest DoD attempt at improving contractor cybersecurity, runs into a buzz saw
00:24:18
Industry has lodged a pretty strong objection to the latest version of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program, known as CMMC. The Defense Department has been working and reworking CMMC for several years. It's an attempt to make sure contractors have the controls in place to safeguard controlled unclassified information. The Coalition for Government Procurement has raised the latest objections. In this interview, Federal Drive host Tom Temin gets the latest from Rob Metzger, a coalition member and procurement attorney.
Sep 09, 2022
The federal government knows when people are born, but not always when they die
00:25:45
You've heard the stories. People receiving Social Security payouts after they've died. It all stems from whether the Social Security Administration has the latest and most complete death records. Problem is, those are administered by the states. Last year Congress asked the National Academy of Public Administration to examine the sources of data for Social Security and how well it can access them. To ask about what they found, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the study's co-author, Barbara Bovjberg.
Sep 09, 2022
Pentagon planning new guidance to help contractors squeezed by inflation
00:20:23
The Defense Department is preparing new guidance that would give its contracting officers more flexibility to reimburse vendors whose costs have ballooned because of inflation, updating an earlier policy document that industry groups complained did too little to prevent contractors from bearing the full brunt of higher prices.The update is in the final review stages and should be published within the next week, said Dr. Bill LaPlante, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment. A key focus would be to offer relief to companies who signed firm fixed-price contracts with the government before inflation took hold.
Sep 09, 2022
Pentagon planning new guidance to help contractors squeezed by inflation
00:20:23
The Defense Department is preparing new guidance that would give its contracting officers more flexibility to reimburse vendors whose costs have ballooned because of inflation, updating an earlier policy document that industry groups complained did too little to prevent contractors from bearing the full brunt of higher prices.The update is in the final review stages and should be published within the next week, said Dr. Bill LaPlante, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment. A key focus would be to offer relief to companies who signed firm fixed-price contracts with the government before inflation took hold.
Sep 09, 2022
New approach to buying digital services slowly becoming the norm
00:21:18
Four years ago when the Office of Federal Procurement Policy set a deadline of 2022 to train acquisition workers to buy technology differently, it thought it was giving agencies plenty of time to accomplish this goal. The idea of the Digital IT Acquisition Professional Program (DITAP) came from a competition held in 2015 to improve the federal government’s approach to buying digital services. Joanie Newhart, the associate administrator for acquisition workforce programs at OFPP, said agencies will come close to meeting deadline set in 2018 to institutionalize the DITAP process.
Sep 08, 2022
Without good data, it's tough to plan complicated procurements
00:20:09
You'd think the government would be the most skilled buyer of office supplies in the world. It has the most offices after all. But a recent attempt at a blanket purchase agreement landed the General Services Administration into a big fat protest with Office Depot. To learn more about this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney Joe Petrillo.
Sep 08, 2022
What good is a clinical trial if nobody knows what the results were?
00:20:42
The National Institutes of Health could be called Clinical Trials - R - Us. It funds or conducts dozens of medical trials every year. Trials come with statutory requirements to report results. Now the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has found shortcomings in NIH reporting on clinical trials. For more on this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with HHS assistant regional inspector general Sylvie Witten.
Sep 08, 2022
The National Science Foundation teams up with its counterpart in the Czech Republic
00:20:22
The National Science Foundation has joined up with the Czech Science Foundation, the NSF's counterpart in the Czech Republic. The two agencies are funding research into an area you probably never thought of. Namely: How to produce gamma rays with high powered lasers. Somebody has to think about this and Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with one of them, the head of the NSF office of international science and engineering, Kendra Sharp.
Sep 08, 2022
Navy Safety Command will use surprise inspections, stand down authority to prevent future accidents
00:21:05
In recent years, the Navy struggled with a handful of accidents that led to the death of sailors and damage to expensive warships.The collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a commercial ship in 2017, which killed 17, was an alarm bell for the Navy. Since then, after multiple reviews and Congressional investigations, the Navy is changing its approach to safety and in March elevated its Navy Safety Center to the 2-star-led Navy Safety Command.
Sep 08, 2022
White House expects CR ahead of fiscal 2023, seeks $47 billion in emergency spending
00:18:31
The Biden administration, expecting Congress will need more time to pass a comprehensive spending package for fiscal 2023, is requesting $47 billion in emergency funds to last through the end of the calendar year. Nearly half the funding would go toward the federal government’s response to COVID-19. That includes the rollout of updated booster shots approved this week by the Food and Drug Administration and restarting a program to deliver free COVID-19 rapid tests to households. The administration is also seeking emergency funding for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 to support its response to the monkeypox outbreak, as well as supporting the war in Ukraine and providing domestic disaster relief.
Sep 07, 2022
Contractors are happy the vaccine mandate has mostly evaporated
00:22:27
Services contractors are wondering just what their options are now that the Biden administration lost an appeal of a federal court ruling. The ruling upheld an injunction against the contractor vaccine mandate. But the same three-judge panel also said the injunction should not be national. Now companies are wondering whether every contracting officer will have read the confusing advice from the White House. To learn more, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, David Berteau.
Sep 07, 2022
The armed services are drowning in ink
00:22:09
If the armed services didn't allow tattoos, they'd probably have to cut the forces in half. In recent years, they've relaxed rules on allowable tattoos, responding to the fact that ink has become a cultural norm. It's also become a recruitment and retention issue. The Government Accountability Office surveyed the armed forces' policies and came up with a few recommendations. For the details, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with GAO's director of defense capabilities and management issues, Brenda Farell.
Sep 07, 2022
The Pentagon has a long list of to-dos from its inspector general
00:21:43
Everything about the Defense Department is large. The budgets. The number of people. The number of vehicles, buildings, projects, offices, and programs. Also big is the list of management and operational improvement recommendations from the DOD inspector general. For an update, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with the IG technical director for follow-up and quality assurance, Valerie McMichael.
Sep 07, 2022
Congress cares about one thing now and its not 2023 appropriations
00:21:10
Congress treks back to Washington this week with only a few legislative days left before the end of the fiscal year. They'll have to deal with government funding. To get the outlook, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Bloomberg Government Deputy News Director Loren Duggan.
Sep 06, 2022
Work team performance during the pandemic gets mixed reviews
00:20:13
The debate rolls on. Is remote and teleworking good for productivity and team performance? There's no clear answer, but some fresh research on how people feel about team performance gives a slight edge to, "Yes, things have improved in the last two years." Federal Drive host Tom Temin talk about this with the director of client solutions at Eagle Hill Consulting, Andrew Edelson.
Sep 06, 2022
Meet the FEMA administrator who ensured millions got covid vaccines early on
00:23:34
Do you recall when the first COVID vaccines came out in early 2021. It turned from a scientific problem to a logistics problem. How would they distribute millions of doses to Americans clamoring to get them. It fell to FEMA's Robert Fenton to coordinate the set-up of 39 mass vaccination centers and 1,600 smaller ones across the country. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Fenton, a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program, the region 9 administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and recently named by President Biden to head up the country's efforts against monkeypox.
Sep 06, 2022
NARA looks to double down on email records approach with texts, other messages
00:20:25
The National Archives and Records Administration is looking to expand a successful approach for managing email records to text messages and other digital communications as part of a bid to help agencies with an ever increasing deluge of electronic records.The issue has become only more prevalent after COVID-19 forced agencies to work more remotely and widely adopt video meetings, chat messaging apps and other digital tools to carry out official government business. “The virtual environment has impacted electronic records management,” Laurence Brewer, the U.S. chief records officer at NARA, said during an Aug. 23 event hosted by the Digital Government Institute in Washington. “I think we’re still learning what the implications are as new tools continue to be developed that allow agencies to connect and collaborate electronically.”
Sep 06, 2022
VA CIO DelBene making the cyber gates a little higher, more well-rounded
00:20:27
The Department of Veterans Affairs is setting up cybersecurity check points before an application can get on the network. The idea isn’t to replace the authority to operate (ATO) process, but it’s about becoming a great engineering organization like those in the private sector. Kurt DelBene, the assistant secretary for the Office of Information and Technology and chief information officer at VA, said these new cyber gates is part of how VA is embracing a more well-rounded approach to their ATOs.
Sep 06, 2022
A FOIA request goes after years of confidential contractor information
00:21:18
A freedom of information act request by a reporter seeks four years worth of federal contractor reports. Companies would have filed the reports -- concerning their equal opportunity hiring records -- with the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs at the Labor Department. The information could be confidential. Contractors have just a few weeks to file an objection with OFPPC. To take a deeper look at all of this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Piliero Mazza attorney Kevin Barnett.
Sep 02, 2022
How the Space and Missile Defense command made itself the best place to work in the Army
00:23:18
Armed services and Defense Department organizations range all over the place when it comes to the "Best Places To Work" rankings. The Army, for example, had a middling index of about 63 in the latest list, slightly below the governmentwide average. But the Army Space and Missile Defense Command had an index of 77.5, on par with some of the best-rated agencies. That score makes it the best place to work in the Army. For how the command went about working on its employee satisfaction issues, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with its Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Lead, Dana Henslee. She's a member of the command's Civilian Workforce Development Office.
Sep 02, 2022
State Dept launching two fellowships to build diverse next-generation workforce
00:18:57
The State Department is launching two new fellowships meant to bring on a diverse next generation of hires into the ranks of its Civil Service and Diplomatic Security Service. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that the department will launch the Colin Powell Leadership Program, which will recruit college students and recent graduates to join the Civil Service.
Sep 02, 2022
DoD reports ‘tragic’ uptick in military sexual assaults, vows to implement reforms
00:19:06
The Defense Department is in the midst of implementing a series of Congressionally-mandated reforms meant to address sexual assault in the military. And the latest numbers show change can’t come soon enough.According to figures the Pentagon released Thursday, sexual assault is more common than at any time since DoD started keeping data. Reporting, meanwhile, is down, as is military members’ level of trust in the military justice system.
Sep 02, 2022
GSA, CISA turning to AI tools, standards to help secure federal supply chains
00:20:57
Agencies are finding out there's a lot more that goes into trusting the vendors that they work with besides what they can easily see. But new tools are giving agency acquisition and cybersecurity workers something equivalent to an MRI scan of companies. Federal News Network’s Jason Miller joins me with more on how agencies are using these technologies to better secure their supply chains.
Sep 01, 2022
A window into what changes at the CDC might look like
00:22:24
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leadership recently announced the agency will undergo an overhaul to address the causes of repeated missteps during the pandemic. For how that might look, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke to Dr. Julie Swann, distinguished professor and department head in the department of industrial and systems engineering at NC State University. Dr. Swann specializes in health and humanitarian research.
Sep 01, 2022
Getting technical at the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command in Alabama
00:21:55
The armed forces have all been pursuing better technology for directed energy like laser beams for weapons of the future. Lasers have been around for decades, but making them operational on ships, ground vehicles or aircraft is another matter. In the second of three interviews from the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Alabama, Federal Drive host Tom Temin caught up with the acting director of the command's technical center, Mike Krauss. It's where much of the directed energy work takes place and where Krauss said research focuses on several technology areas such as direct diode lasers.
Sep 01, 2022
Meet the guy who oversaw the recovery of more than a billion dollars of stolen pandemic relief
00:24:29
The government showed how fast it could spend money when the Congress printed trillions for pandemic relief. Now it's the morning after. Roy Dotson led a nationwide criminal investigation that so far has clawed back more than a billion dollars that was awarded to fraudsters under the Paycheck Protection Program. His efforts also prevented maybe twice that much from going out. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Dotson, an assistant special agent in charge of the Secret Service and a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program.
Sep 01, 2022
Cyber accreditation body says key CMMC document to face changes
00:20:43
The accreditation body behind the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program is planning to revise a draft process document released last month after it was roundly criticized for being overly complex and prescriptive. During a Tuesday public meeting, Cyber Accreditation Body Chairman Matthew Travis emphasized that the “CMMC Assessment Process” document, referred to as “the CAP,” is a pre-decisional draft. The Cyber AB released the first public version of the document in late July. It lays out a procedural guide for how CMMC assessments of defense contractors should be run.
Sep 01, 2022
The government is not a business, so why should it act like one
00:20:56
In the last several years, Congress has passed -- and three presidents have signed into law -- massive expansions of the federal government. Now the government has new programs to launch and thousands of people to hire. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about this and more with Bob Tobias, who cautioned that the public sector should avoid the mistake of trying to act like business, a piece of advice the government often gets. Tobias is a professor in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University.
Aug 31, 2022
How the Treasury Department plays whack-a-mole with financial weaknesses
00:21:57
The larger the budgets and deficits grow, the more elusive auditable financial statements of federal finances seem to get. The Government Accountability Office reports that the Treasury Department has made good progress on some deficiencies. But new ones have popped up. Federal Drive host Tom Temin got the latest info from GAO's director of financial management and assurance issues, Dawn Simpson.
Aug 31, 2022
How the ground-based Army defends against threats in the air
00:30:07
Thirty-some years after the end of the cold war, missiles remain a threat to United States. And now space, where most crucial military communications occur, has become a contested domain. For an update on how the military deals with these threats, Federal Drive host Tom Temin travelled to Huntsville, Alabama to speak with with the deputy to the commander of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) Richard De Fatta. The retired Army colonel is now the senior civilian executive at SMDC. The conversation began with where the command fits into the military organizational chart.
Aug 31, 2022
The military is facing a new global threat: extreme heat
00:20:09
As the Defense Department keeps its eye on China and Russia, a new rival is also emerging for the military to contend with — heat.Extreme heat is becoming an increasingly prevalent challenge. A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the number of extreme heat days have tripled since the 1980s and are likely to continue to increase.
Aug 31, 2022
Former U.S. Chief Statistician Nancy Potok talks to FNN's Jory Heckman about a National Secure Data Service
00:20:13
The National Science Foundation is testing ways to streamline data sharing in and out of government. It's got two years to build a National Secure Data Service to standardize data access. It will then recommend to Congress whether to continue the program. For how the National Secure Data Service might function, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with former U-S Chief Statistician Nancy Potok.
Aug 31, 2022
Why government shouldn't try to act like businesses
00:20:56
In the last several years, Congress has passed and three presidents have signed into law massive expansions of the federal government. Now the government has new programs to launch and thousands of people to hire. But my next guest cautions the public sector should avoid the mistake of trying to act like business, a piece of advice the government often gets. Bob Tobias is a professor in the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University, and he joins me now.
Aug 31, 2022
Treasury's progress, challenges with auditable financial statements
00:21:57
The larger the budgets and deficits grow, the more elusive auditable financial statements of federal finances seem to get. The Government Accountability Office says the Treasury Department has made good progress on some deficiencies. But new ones have popped up. We get the latest from the GAO's director of financial management and assurance issues, Dawn Simpson.
Aug 31, 2022
How missile defense adapts to the contested domain of space
00:30:07
Thirty some years after the end of the Cold War, missiles remain a threat to United States. And now space, where most crucial military communications occur, has become a contested domain. For an update on how the military deals with these threats, I spoke with the deputy to the commander of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command at his office within Redstone Arsenal at Huntsville, Alabama. Richard De Fatta is a retired Army colonel, now the senior civilian executive at SMDC. We started with where the command fits into the military org chart.
Aug 31, 2022
Veterans Affairs shines among big agencies when it comes to employee contentment
00:20:40
The Veterans Affairs Department was the only large agency to improve its employee satisfaction score last year. It raked number five in the large agency "Best Places to Work" listing. Gina Grosso, the VA’s Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration, told Federal News Network’s Drew Friedman, that COVID-19 really changed how the VA, like many other agencies, is thinking about its own workforce.
Aug 30, 2022
The fate of the SBIR program hangs in the balance of the next month
00:20:44
In about 30 days, one of the longest running and most successful small business programs will expire. The House will have 14 days in September with votes scheduled to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program when it returns to Washington, D.C. after Labor Day. Meanwhile, the Senate reconvenes on Sept. 6 and doesn’t spell out how many days it plans to be in D.C. and voting on bills. To be sure, the fate of the SBIR program hangs in the balance of what Congress can do by Sept. 30.
Aug 30, 2022
Some do's and don'ts for contractors as the end of the fiscal year approaches
00:21:54
The vacation season for federal contractors is over. Just a month remains in the fiscal year. Now they're working overtime to make numbers. But now's not the time to make mistakes that could cost you future business or draw a protest. Federal Drive host Tom Temin got a few year-end do's and don'ts from federal sales and marketing consultant Larry Allen.
Aug 30, 2022
Federal scientists find a way to reduce the costs of running nuclear power plants
00:22:37
If the nation is to have a so-called green future, many scientists and engineers believe more nuclear power generation will be part of the equation. Nukes are expensive to operate. But researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory think they've found a way to use artificial intelligence to drive down costs. For more, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Roberto Ponciroli, Argonne's principal nuclear engineer.
Aug 30, 2022
Video conference calls might be limiting your creativity
00:21:08
The zeitgeist of the past two years could well be embodied by the video conference call. These virtual conference rooms have become the principal way groups communicate with so many people teleworking or still wary of COVID. Now a detailed academic study shows that the video meeting format limits creativity relative to how many ideas people come up with when they meet in person. Federal Drive host Tom Temin went in serach of the details by talking with the study's principal author Melanie Brucks, assistant professor of marketing at Columbia University.
Aug 30, 2022
A peek into some of the contractor support needed for NASA's big day
00:21:17
With the planned launch of its new heavy rocket and a payload headed to orbit the moon, it's a red letter day for NASA. Lots of contractors are working-on and behind-the-scenes and will be doing so for the duration of the mission. On Friday, Federal Drive host Tom Temin caught up with Nate Apodaca of Leidos, a company that has several information technology support contracts to help NASA keep the lunar enterprise going. The conversation took place before Nate, a Leidos vice president and division manager, departed for Florida.
Aug 29, 2022
What to do about election process worries tha continue to bedevil the country
00:21:45
You might have heard, mid-term elections are only a few months off. Questions persist about the security and integrity of the ballot-casting and counting process. For what the threats actually are and what officials can to do mitigate them, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Mike Hamilton, chief information security officer at Critical Insight.
Aug 29, 2022
How its managers say the IRS will deal with the latest spending bill
00:21:08
The latest tax-and-spending bill provides nearly $80 billion for the IRS. But that's over 10 years. More than half of the money is designated for enforcement, but there's also a few billion for what the bill calls taxpayer services. For with what they're anticipating, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Chad Hooper, the president of the IRS centered Professional Managers Association.
Aug 29, 2022
DHS eyes plan to use self-assessments to evaluate contractor cybersecurity
00:20:32
The Department of Homeland Security is preparing a rule to ensure contractors are meeting cybersecurity requirements, with DHS touting a process for evaluating its vendor base through self-assessments rather than relying on a third-party certification program like the Pentagon.DHS has spent the past year conducting multiple “pathfinders” to test out a method for ensuring companies are meeting cyber hygiene clauses in their contracts. DHS issued a self-assessment questionnaire to a subset of its contractors last fall. The questionnaire was geared at measuring whether the companies were complying with a 2015 Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation for safeguarding sensitive information.Ken Bible, DHS’ chief information security officer, says the work has convinced DHS it can use the approach more broadly.
Aug 29, 2022
DoD unveils plan to better brain health of service members
00:20:31
After years of work and study, the Defense Department is finally releasing a cohesive action plan for all military services to follow regarding brain health and traumatic brain injuries.Medical professionals in the military have previously described the plan as a “paradigm shift” in the way the Pentagon approached brain health. The plan moves the military away from the old way of addressing dangerous impacts to the head as single, standalone incidents and instead considers those exposures in a broad spectrum over a service member’s career.
Aug 29, 2022
DoD to release, start implementing new zero trust strategy by Oct. 1
00:18:55
The Defense Department is ready to get serious about transitioning its network defenses to zero trust principles. The Pentagon expects to release a formal zero trust strategy by mid-September, wants to have an enterprise-wide zero trust implementation in place by 2027, and is already in talks with commercial providers about how to implement zero trust in the cloud. Last year’s White House executive order on cybersecurity told all federal agencies to draw up plans to move to a zero trust architecture. DoD published its first reference architecture shortly before the EO, and has since updated it to a 2.0 version. But Defense officials said the strategy set to be released next month will lay out the specific steps DoD components and their vendors will need to take to implement zero trust.
Aug 26, 2022
Veterans express displeasure at the way things came out for the U.S. in Afghanistan
00:20:33
The debates continue over the abrupt departure of American forces from Afghanistan a year ago. It's a done deal, but it still rankles many veterans of the warns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Federal Drive host Tom Temin got one view about this from Cole Lyle, the executive director of the veteran advocacy group Mission Role Call.
Aug 26, 2022
Veterans Affairs takes a new step towards improving customer experience
00:22:49
Sometimes the key to what you want is right under that flowerpot on your windowsill. Many agencies are working to improve customer experience. An important element of that is convenience in identification and verification of those accessing digital services. Now the Veterans Affairs Department has expanded its use of login.gov. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke about all of this and more with John Rahagi, the VA's digital services expert.
Aug 26, 2022
Can government go green without overhauling procurement rules?
00:20:54
Procurement power is a major pillar of the Biden administration’s Federal Sustainability Plan. As the country’s single biggest landlord and one of its largest energy consumers, the federal government’s purchasing power can either drive markets toward energy efficient innovation, or maintain the status quo. Dorothy Robyn has worked at the two largest real property holders in federal government, as a former commissioner of the Public Buildings Service at the General Services Administration, and as a former deputy undersecretary for Installations and the Environment at the Defense Department. When making federal facilities more energy efficient, she said the experiences differed in that, GSA sees buildings as its mission while DoD does not.
Aug 26, 2022
Everybody talks customer experience. This Veterans Affairs managers has done something about it.
00:21:54
The Veterans Affairs Department has been concentrating on improving service to its veteran constituents. And its had some success. Surveys show a 24% jump in trust in VA over the past few years. One career manager who gets a lot of the credit is the VA's deputy chief veterans experience officer. For her work, Barbara Morton is a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program.
Aug 25, 2022
Inspectors General may finally be getting some of the transparency they need to be effective
00:21:12
Federal inspectors general are a vital conduits to let Congress and the rest of us know when agencies or public officials have taken a wrong turn. But their work is quite a bit less useful when no one can read it. The House has included several measures intended to increase I-G transparency in its versions of the 2023 appropriations bills, many of them at the urging of the Project on Government Oversight. Joanna Derman is a policy analyst at POGO. She talked with Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu about some of those recommendations.
Aug 25, 2022
Electric cars seem to be on the near horizon, but what about electric planes?
00:23:19
It’s probably going to be a while before you get on a commercial aircraft that runs on renewable energy instead of jet fuel. But getting the infrastructure in place to make that sort of thing happen takes a lot of planning, which is why we have organizations like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. N-REL has been working on a study that tries to map out the ways in which land-based aviation infrastructure will need to change to make concepts like electric-powered aircraft practical. Scott Cary is the lead program manager for the lab’s ports and airports program. He talked with Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu about what the study’s uncovered so far.
Aug 25, 2022
Electric cars seem to be on the near horizon, but what about electric planes?
00:23:19
It’s probably going to be a while before you get on a commercial aircraft that runs on renewable energy instead of jet fuel. But getting the infrastructure in place to make that sort of thing happen takes a lot of planning, which is why we have organizations like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. N-REL has been working on a study that tries to map out the ways in which land-based aviation infrastructure will need to change to make concepts like electric-powered aircraft practical. Scott Cary is the lead program manager for the lab’s ports and airports program. He talked with Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu about what the study’s uncovered so far.
Aug 25, 2022
An update on NBIS' effort to replace legacy systems
00:20:40
The Pentagon is rolling out new software that underpins the future of security clearance investigations and personnel vetting. The National Background Investigations Services, or NBIS, is expected to fully replace a suite of legacy systems by next year. For the latest, Federal News Network’s Justin Doubleday, spoke with the executive program manager for NBIS at the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, Jeff Smith.
Aug 25, 2022
OPM pushing people from underserved communities to apply for federal jobs
00:29:05
Part of the Office of Personnel Management's work to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, hinges on encouraging individuals from underserved communities to join the federal workforce. At a White House summit in Atlanta this week, OPM's new Deputy Chief of Staff Khalilah Harris highlighted the Biden administration's efforts to connect local community members directly with federal leaders and resources. Harris is calling on members of diverse communities to look and apply for federal job opportunities. But she tells Federal News Network's Drew Friedman, it's also crucial to travel to these underserved communities, to help spread the word.
Aug 25, 2022
Government be warned: Contractors do not have to keep cost reimbursement records forever
00:19:37
The Defense Contract Audit Agency or DCAA, found something out the hard way. If it takes to long to audit cost reimbursement support documents held by contractors, tough. The government is still responsible for the costs. A recent Armed Services Contract Board of Appeals delivered that outcome in a case that Federal Drive host Tom Temin discussed with Zach Prince, a partner at Smith Pachter McWhorter.
Aug 24, 2022
Government be warned: Contractors do not have to keep cost reimbursement records forever
00:19:37
The Defense Contract Audit Agency or DCAA, found something out the hard way. If it takes to long to audit cost reimbursement support documents held by contractors, tough. The government is still responsible for the costs. A recent Armed Services Contract Board of Appeals delivered that outcome in a case that Federal Drive host Tom Temin discussed with Zach Prince, a partner at Smith Pachter McWhorter.
Aug 24, 2022
Advice from the GAO on how to deal with the coming CR (Continuing Resolution)
00:20:12
Congress has managed to appropriate $6 trillion or $7 trillion for this and that in the past few years. But it's never been able to pass a regular federal budget on time. The upcoming September 30 deadline will bring another Continuing Resolution. CRs do not have to spoil agency planning. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about that with Jeff Arkin, the director of strategic issues at the Government Accountability Office.
Aug 24, 2022
Two American generals talk about the Sister Rivers Agreement with Vietman, Laos, and Cambodia
00:29:31
The Mississippi River has two things most rivers lack: it's got its very own commission, established by Congress in 1879. And it has a sister river: the Mekong of Vietnam and Cambodia fame. The Mekong also has a four-nation Commission that also includes Laos and Thailand. Under the auspices of the State Department, since 2010 the two river commissions have had a memorandum of understanding to work together. The current president of the Mississippi River Commission is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Maj. Gen. Diana Holland. She also leads the cooperative training and engineering activities of the two commissions. Federal Drive Host was joined, in studio, by Holland and Brig. Gen. Kirk Gibbs for this interview.
Aug 24, 2022
New pilot program will give Army Guard members childcare on drill days
00:19:41
The Army National Guard is embarking on a new pilot program to provide service members with childcare for their weekend drill sessions.The program will start in September in six states: Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Washington State, Virginia and Ohio. The care will be free and take in children from six weeks to 12 years of age. The National Guard will pair with Child Care Aware of America, a not-for-profit organization focused on affordable childcare, to find available providers.
Aug 24, 2022
The suspension, debarment process could be improved, but not by DoJ taking the lead
00:20:16
The number of contractors suspended and debarred hit a 12-year high in 2014 with 1,929 vendors or executives debarred and another 1,009 suspended from federal acquisition. Compare those numbers to what the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee reported in its fiscal 2020 report released earlier this year: 1,256 companies or executives debarred and 415 suspended. That’s a 34% drop in the number of debarments and a 59% reduction in the number of suspensions.
Aug 23, 2022
Federal unions have a way to locate unrepresented employees, OPM says
00:19:40
The Office of Personnel Management has offered some extra help to federal unions looking to add eligible employees to their membership rosters. Federal unions have tools available in FedScope, OPM’s online federal employee database, to identify which agencies have the largest amounts of unrepresented workers, said Tim Curry, OPM’s deputy associate director for accountability and workforce relations, in an email obtained by Federal News Network. “OPM is assessing ways to improve, consistent with applicable law, data transparency on bargaining unit eligibility in all agencies,” Curry wrote.
Aug 23, 2022
Contractors say this latest labor proposal aims to fix a non-existent problem
00:20:26
Services contractors see a lot of questionable policy coming: An executive order on a new contractor keeping the employees of the displaced incumbent. Project labor agreements on major construction is another. For the latest reaction on all this, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Stephanie Kostro, the executive vice president for policy at the Professional Services Council.
Aug 23, 2022
The Center for Data Innovation regarding the AI report card.
00:24:58
From federal policymakers to agency implementers, we’ve heard a ton of talk about artificial intelligence. But neither group has done nearly everything it’s said it wants to do to promote effective uses of AI. That’s one takeaway from a new AI report card from the Information Technology Innovation Foundation. Hodan Omaar is a policy analyst who developed the report card for ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation. She talked about some of the findings with Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu.
Aug 23, 2022
At Veterans Affairs, they're looking at treating some mental health problems with psychedelics
00:25:28
You might have thought psychedelic drugs want away with the Woodstock generation. But Veterans Affairs researchers are studying the question of whether psychedelics can be effective treatments for certain mental disorders. For details Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke Dr. Rachel Yeduda, the mental health director at the James Peters medical center in the Bronx.
Aug 23, 2022
Army once again delays newest release of its pay and personnel system overhaul
00:13:53
Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army is supposed to usher in a new era of benefits management for the service. However, its rollout has been plagued by delays over the last year. The Army recently decided to push back the latest release of the program again. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione is here to give us more.
Aug 22, 2022
Advice for how the government can confront the reality of a fragmented internet
00:18:52
WWW stands for worldwide web. But the internet as envisioned in the early 1990s has devolved into fragments. Foreign actors in many sections of the internet actively seek to deny the United States and its allies free use of the internet. They even try to foster civil unrest and violence. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with someone who said this reality ought to be more baked into U.S. foreign policy. He was part of a task force looking at this by the Council on Foreign Relations, former CIA officer Guillermo Christensen, now with the law firm K & L Gates.
Aug 22, 2022
There's no 2023 budget, but lots of new money is flowing into at least some federal agencies
00:15:39
The latest spending bill from Congress is not the regular appropriations for fiscal 2023. The so-called Inflation Reduction Act famously showers more than $80 billion on the IRS over 10 years. But there's more. To get a rundown, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Bloomberg Government congressional reporter Jack Fitzpatrick.
Aug 22, 2022
A small team of federal investigators is still at work on a tragic building collapse
00:19:52
The infamous collapse of the Florida condominium tower made millions nervous about their own buildings. The case isn't over. Since the June, 2021 tragedy, a team from the National Construction Safety Team at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology has been on the case. It preserved critical parts of the building in a secure warehouse. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked with a member of the NIST team, the director of disaster and failure studies, Tanya Brown-Giammanco.
Aug 22, 2022
Acquisition workers now have a much easier path to track continuous learning requirements
00:15:45
Earlier this summer, the federal civilian contracting community all went back to zero. That is, zero hours of training. But don’t worry, that actually was a good thing because the Federal Acquisition Institute and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy shut down a legacy training system and placed the finishing touches on its new one. The move away from the Federal Acquisition Institute Training Application System (FAITAS) and to a commercial system from Cornerstone OnDemand, which started in June 2021, came to completion in May with the launch of the continuous learning module.
Aug 22, 2022
One big lesson from the COVID pandemic
00:14:33
One big lesson from the COVID pandemic: you need solid data to mount an effective response. And that was one of the CDC’s biggest challenges in the early days of COVID-19. Things we know now – like the fact that minority communities were disproportionally impacted – were tough to nail down at the time. That’s because CDC had pretty limited demographic and socioeconomic data on the virus’s impacts. The Health and Human Services Inspector General found the CDC did manage to fill in some those data gaps over time, and some of what it did could help inform future public health responses. Adam Freeman is a deputy inspector general in the OIG’s Office of Evaluation and Inspections. He talked with Federal News Network’s Deputy Editor Jared Serbu.
Aug 19, 2022
The GPO resets with a new five-year strategy
00:23:31
A reskilled workforce and a continuing move toward a digital future are among the strategic imperatives laid out by the Government Publishing Office. GPO's new, five-year plan has a theme: America Informed. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talk about the details with GPO director Hugh Halpern.
Aug 19, 2022
Army nearly ready to move thousands of users to BYOD, virtual desktop programs
00:14:29
The Army is just weeks away from finally letting a significant cadre of soldiers and employees use personal mobile devices to connect to government systems. It’s part of a much larger endeavor to create a “unified network” that relies much more heavily on cloud technologies, zero trust principles and commercial solutions.The Army has been engaged in serious testing of technologies to underpin a bring-your-own-device strategy (BYOD) since at least last year. Now, officials are ready to roll it out to an initial user base of potentially thousands of soldiers and Army civilians.The pilot project should be underway within the next 45 days, said Lt. Gen. John Morrison, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for command, control, communications, cyber operations and networks.
Aug 19, 2022
USDA’s new answer to cutting food waste by 50%: Jelly ice
00:16:45
Halfway through an interagency goal to reduce food waste, the Department of Agriculture may have found the answer in a new way to keep food fresh. An investment from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is paving the way for a new type of ice cube to revolutionize how industries and individuals keep food cold and curb food waste. In 2015, the USDA, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration, set the country’s first-ever food loss and waste reduction goal, to cut food waste by 50% by 2030. Jelly ice is just one component to reducing food waste. Since 2017, NIFA has invested approximately $123 million across 527 projects
Aug 19, 2022
Deputy US CTO Lynne Parker, leading federal AI expert, leaving government
00:14:29
A top artificial intelligence expert in the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations is leaving government. Lynne Parker, the deputy U.S. chief technology officer and director of the White House’s National AI Initiative Office, is returning to academia after seven years of federal service. Parker helped stand up the National AI Initiative Office last year, meant to help put federal AI research and development resources in the hands of more industry and academic partners. She’s also led efforts to develop the first federal R&D strategic plan, as well as subsequent updates.
Aug 19, 2022
Voice of America acting director gets Sammies nod for turning around employee engagement
00:19:52
You might say Voice of America was in turmoil. Big disagreements between agency staff and the Trump administration meant people were leaving, put on leave, or under investigation. A series of leaders had come and gone for several years. A day after the Biden administration started, it appointed Yolanda Lopez -- who had been removed from her job as news director only a week earlier -- as acting VOA director. Since then, employee engagement scores rose 13 points from below average to above average. Now Lopez is a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked to her in-studio at Federal News Network HQ in the DMV.
Aug 18, 2022
Health providers and electronic medical records become interoperable
00:17:54
Federal agencies’ electronic medical records are about to get a lot more interoperable with private sector health providers. Agencies like DoD and VA are already members of eHealth Exchange, the country’s biggest health information exchange network. But they’ve now reached legal agreements that will let them start using a much broader health interoperability framework. That’ll add another 20 networks to the federal interoperability picture. Alan Swenson is executive director of Carequality, the nonprofit that runs the framework. He talked with Federal News Network’s Deputy Editor Jared Serbu.
Aug 18, 2022
Roadmaps that lead to information, then to warfighting
00:18:37
It’s been six years since DoD published its first-ever roadmap to build the “information environment” into its warfighting strategies. In the meantime, Congress has been pushing the department to add more details to what “operations in the information environment,” or OIE, really means. But in the meantime, the concept has had a real impact on DoD’s spending behavior. Robert Beuerlein is a recently-retired Army information warfare officer, now a principal consultant at Frost and Sullivan. He talked with Federal News Network Deputy Editor Jared Serbu about the trends he’s seen in his research.
Aug 18, 2022
Task force eases COVID-19 screening guidance at federal facilities
00:13:59
Agencies have a new deadline to ease some of their screening testing restrictions and COVID-19 protocols. As soon as possible, but no later than Aug. 22, agencies must stop certain screening testing programs that differentiate based on a visitor’s vaccination status, the Safer Federal Workforce task force said in updated guidance on Aug. 11. Agencies can still continue to conduct any screening testing that’s consistent regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. But agencies should wait for more guidance from the task force before revising or adding any screening program
Aug 18, 2022
How one canceled federal employee unions is trying to get re-certified
00:16:36
Back in January, the union that represents immigration judges ceased to exist, at least for contract bargaining purposes. The Federal Labor Relations Authority, then dominated by a majority of Trump appointees, determined the judges are actually management employees, and not eligible for union representation. But the board’s leadership has turned over since then. The National Association of Immigration Judges is now trying to get re-recognized as a federal union. The effort has two tracks. One is before FLRA itself, which now has a majority of Biden appointees. The other is a case now pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. To take a deeper look into all of this, Federal News Network Deputy Editor Jared Serbu spokw with Mimi Tsankov, the union’s president.
Aug 17, 2022
Direct College Student Loans cost the U.S. Government Billions of Dollars
00:17:11
Back in the mid ‘90s, when the Education Department first started its current Direct Loan program for college students, the program was expected to turn a profit for the U.S. Treasury. The initial estimates were that it would bring in $114 billion over the next quarter century. Now that were here, that estimate turns out to be wrong...way wrong. The Government Accountability Office discovered the program has actually cost the government $197 billion. The reasons for that giant difference are pretty complex, so Federal Drive Deputy Editor Jared Serbu talked wit the lead author of a GAO report that examined the Direct Loan program: Melissa Emrey-Arras, GAO's Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues.
Aug 17, 2022
Federal money is flowing to support local jobs creation
00:17:16
A variety of local governments and non-profits recently received workforce training federal grants. The Economic Development Administration, part of the Commerce Department, awarded the grants under a program called, "The Good Jobs Challenge." The goal is to create job opportunities for 50,000 people. To find out how the program works, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Michele Chang, the deputy assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Aug 17, 2022
Two new innovation challenges emerge in DoD, as the competition trend continues to rise
00:15:37
Innovation challenges were once a budding idea within the Defense Department, a fun way to listen to ideas within a community and award some cash for cool products that could help agencies. But now, after changes to sexual assault and harassment policies, an app that helps soldiers book ranges, aids for loading ammunition and gadgets to save energy, it seems like Shark Tank-like innovation challenges and the products they produce are here stay. There’s Spark Tank, STEAM Tank, the Maneuver Innovation Challenge, Dragon’s Lair, the Maintenance Innovation Challenge, Pitch Days, the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Innovation Challenge, Inventors Sprints, Innovation Discovery and plenty more.
Aug 17, 2022
(Extended version) The Navy's sea mission doesn't keep it out of the space business.
00:18:53
You might not think of the Navy as being in the space business. Yet the Naval Research Laboratory has a mission that spans pretty much every domain from underwater to space. In fact, there's a new director of the Lab's Naval Center for Space Technology. Steven Meier talked with Federal Drive host Tom Temin.
Aug 16, 2022
Your (copy) right to compensation
00:08:47
Usually, when people make something creative – a book, a photograph, a website – the person who made it owns the copyright, and anyone who wants to use that work needs to negotiate the rights to use it. That’s the general rule. But general rules don’t apply all the time, which is why we have lawyers. The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board deals with a special part of copyright law where Congress has said rightsholders don’t actually have a choice over whether their works can be used, but they do need to be compensated. The board has a new chief judge. He’s David Shaw. He talk about this specific part of copyright law with Federal News Network Deputy Editor Jared Serbu.
Aug 16, 2022
There's a lot of space junk out there
00:10:26
Everybody’s heard the term “space junk.” You’re probably aware there’s a bunch of it and that it’s a risk to satellites. The Space Force tracks tens of thousands of pieces of debris every day, but that’s only the big stuff. There are an estimated 100 million pieces of smaller bits – ten centimeters or less – that we can’t see from Earth with current technology. But just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous, Alexis Truitt, program manager at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, told Federal News Network Deputy Director Jared Serbu.
Aug 16, 2022
The Navy's sea mission doesn't keep it out of the space business
00:11:02
You might not think of the Navy as being in the space business. Yet the Naval Research Laboratory has a mission that spans pretty much every domain from underwater to space. In fact, there's a new director of the Lab's Naval Center for Space Technology. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with that man: Steven Meier.
Aug 16, 2022
Three reasons why organizational conflict of interest is back in the spotlight
00:09:26
Concerns about organizational conflicts of interest among vendors providing, for instance, technology planning services and technology implementation services, is as old as federal acquisition itself. But over the last few weeks, OCI has received more attention and consideration among agencies, and it should be seen as a warning sign to batten down those OCI hatches. First, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members introduced the Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act and it passed out of the full Senate on Aug. 2. The bill is a direct response about a potential OCI between McKinsey and Associates, drug development companies and the Food and Drug Administration — more on that later.
Aug 16, 2022
IRS hits $80 billion jackpot, now embarks on hiring surge to rebuild workforce
00:08:12
The IRS is getting its shot to rebuild its workforce and bring its IT into the 21st century, after more than a decade of belt-tightening. The House on Friday passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk. The $740 billion spending bill allows a broad swath of federal agencies to staff up over the next decade, but none will go through the kind of transformation the IRS will face. The bill gives the IRS $80 billion over the next 10 years, with more than half that money going toward its tax enforcement operations. But the IRS expects the money will help it bring on the next generation of its workforce and make long-deferred investments in its IT that will improve taxpayer services.
Aug 16, 2022
VA set to grow its health care workforce with new pay incentives after Biden signs PACT Act
00:07:59
A new law sets the stage for a larger health care workforce at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Honoring Our PACT Act gives VA the resources it needs to staff up its health care workforce to treat post-9/11 combat veterans exposed to toxic burn pits during their military service. President Joe Biden said VA will be able to move more quickly to determine a veteran’s illness and related military service. For a look at what this means for VA employees, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk more.
Aug 15, 2022
An update on Capitol Hill with WTOP's Mitchell Miller
00:08:18
After months of back and forth, the legislation that eventually came to be known as the Inflation Reduction Act is a done deal. The House passed the huge reconciliation bill on Friday afternoon on a party line vote. And though it addresses a wide variety of Democrats’ spending priorities over the next decade, Congress still hasn’t dealt with the budget for next year – the fiscal year that starts just a little over six weeks from now. Federal News Network Deputy Editor Jared Serbut talked about the goings-on in Washington, D.C. with Mitchell Miller, WTOP’s Capitol Hill correspondent.
Aug 15, 2022
Trust in government continues to decline
00:12:54
Public polling shows a continuing decline in Americans’ trust in government. There are obviously a lot of factors behind that – and a lot of noise in the data – but one indicator is the number of Americans who’d urge their kids to pursue a government career. It was 56% as recently as 2010. This year, it’s down to 39%. Federal Drive Deputy Editor Jared Serbu talked about this with Paul Light , a nonresident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, and a professor of public service at NYU. For years, Light has tracked the data on what Americans want from government and how they feel about it.
Aug 15, 2022
OMB looking for budgets that are data driven
00:07:27
The Office of Management and Budget wants next year’s federal agency budget submissions to be more data driven than they’ve been in past years. Larry Allen, the president of Allen Federal Business Partners, said that is a fine in principle, but the whole idea rests on the notion that agencies have high-quality data to support their programs in the first place. Mr. Allen talked about this with Federal News Network Deputy Editor Jared Serbu.
Aug 15, 2022
Pentagon advisers want DoD to build out agreements between small and large defense businesses
00:06:46
For the past 30 years, Congress has continued to renew the Defense Department’s Mentor-Protégé Program — but only as a pilot. The program, which pairs up established defense companies with small businesses for mutually beneficial gains, has been continually saved from the chopping block by lawmakers since 1991. Now, after an in-depth look from outside business experts, the Defense Business Board is recommending Congress make the program permanent once DoD makes a few tweaks.
Aug 15, 2022
DHS marks expansion of bug bounty efforts with impending contract awards
00:07:33
The Department of Homeland Security is planning to award up to four contracts as early as next month for vetted security researchers to find software bugs in DHS systems, including at live hacking events. DHS released the “Hack DHS: Crowdsourced Vulnerability Assessment Services” request for proposals Aug. 3. Companies have until Aug. 15 to submit “phase one” proposals so DHS can complete an “advisory down-select.” Companies that get through the first phase will have until Aug. 30 to submit phase-two proposals, which includes technical approach, past performance and price documentation.
Aug 15, 2022
Senate committee calls on VA, DOJ to improve accessibility to federal technology
00:06:59
Senate lawmakers are pushing the departments of Justice and Veterans Affairs, along with all agencies, to improve the accessibility of their online services. The Senate Special Committee on Aging looked into the accessibility of federal technology, specifically for seniors and individuals with disabilities, as well as older and disabled veterans.
Aug 12, 2022
Postal unions demand USPS ramp up hiring to address understaffing
00:08:15
The Postal Service’s two largest unions are weighing in, more than a year into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year agency reform plan.The National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union are calling for USPS to increase hiring, adding that long-term understaffing is taking a toll on employee morale.
Aug 12, 2022
At least one prime contractor is growing its own startups with promising technology
00:09:26
The government's need for fresh technologies and innovation has rippled throughout its supply base. An emerging trend has prime contractors accelerating their investments in promising startups. A case in point: A $100 million fund established by Booz Allen Hamilton. For its aims and how it works, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Brian MacCarthy, Booz Allen's vice president for tech scouting and ventures.
Aug 12, 2022
How to get a bunch of smart college students to help your agency solve the big challenges
00:08:52
What if you had a hundred colleges and universities focusing on your agency's top challenges? That's the idea behind a program called Hacking for, well, name your mission. Public administration challenges get translated into semester-long courses at various schools and the results are delivered back to the original agency. Now a bill in Congress would make it easier for all agencies to use the program, coordinated by a non-profit called Common Mission Project or CMP. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about all of this with CMP executive director Alex Gallo.
Aug 12, 2022
Two decades later, the Homeland Security Department continues to evolve
00:14:20
It's been 20 years since its creation and there are some aspects of the Department of Homeland Security that are still taking shape. In the latest change to its organizational chart, the department created a new Office of Health Security in its headquarters. In part, it’ll take the place of the former DHS Office of Health Security, but the new mission’s quite a bit broader. To find out more about this, Federal News Network's Deputy Editor Jared Serbu talked with Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, DHS’s chief medical officer.
Aug 12, 2022
This FDA lawyer was instrumental in limits on cigarette marketing
00:11:27
Since the FDA got authority from Congress in 2009 to regulate tobacco marketing, smoking rates in the United States have dropped to 10% for adults and less than 3% for minors. Much of the credit does not go to a scientist, but a lawyer. Until his retirement this past spring, Mitchell Zeller was director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products and is a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals Program. Federal Drive host Tom Temin sat down with Mitch in the no-smoking-allowed Federal News Network studios for this in-person interview.
Aug 11, 2022
Customs and Border Protection feels the return to international travel
00:08:56
One sign that the world is sort of back to normal in the COVID epoch: More people than ever are signing up for the various Trusted Traveler Programs. For an overall update, as well as how they're dealing with an applications backlog, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Carlo Cortina, Customs and Border Protection field operations branch chief.
Aug 11, 2022
Veterans Affairs makes a single front door for contractors and would-be innovators
00:11:57
For many years the Veterans Affairs Department has worked to make it easier for veterans to access VA services. Now the department is two months into an effort to make it easier for vendors -- and what the department calls "innovators" -- to put their services and capabilities before VA program and contract people. It's a website called Pathfinder. For how it works, Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke with Michael Parrish, the VA's chief acquisition officer.
Aug 11, 2022
Does the government need a FOIA enforcer?
00:08:15
A federal advisory committee is recommending Congress give a small office at the National Archives and Records Administration the ability to issue binding decisions over Freedom of Information Act request disputes. Proponents of the recommendation say it will help improve FOIA at a time when public records requests backlogs and denials are on the rise. But the idea also faces pushback, including from the office’s director. With just 10 employees and an annual budget of less than $2 million, the Office of Government Information Services, or OGIS, is charged with mediating disputes between the public and agencies over FOIA requests.
Aug 11, 2022
Navy sets up new command to help with flailing recruiting numbers
00:06:25
The military has a recruiting problem. That fact has been on display in the past couple months as all of the military services bolster enlistment bonuses and reevaluate their end strength goals for 2022 and 2023.The Navy is by no means exempt from the issue, and as of May was 1.5% below its authorized end strength. Now, in response, the service is taking the formal step of creating a new command to address at least some of its recruiting issues.
Aug 11, 2022
Feds’ pay lags 22.5% behind private sector, the Federal Salary Council reports
00:08:04
Salaries for federal employees fall significantly behind the private sector, the Federal Salary Council reported on August 5, 2022. The council reported the pay disparity between public and private sector employees, on average, was 22.47%. In late 2020, the council calculated the pay gap at 23.11%. The pay disparity is calculated based on wages only, and doesn’t include the value of benefits for the public and private sectors.
Aug 10, 2022
White House sets a high bar for customer experience across government
00:10:00
The Biden administration is setting a higher bar for customer experience across government. And it’s tapping the Veteran Affairs Department to help oversee those improvements under the President’s Management Agenda. The VA recently made it easier for veterans to track down benefits on its website. It’s now looking to integrate Login.gov as a single sign-on for all its online services. For an update on the state of VA’s customer experience, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke Barbara Morton, the VA’s deputy chief experience officer.
Aug 10, 2022
The U.S. might be out of Afghanistan, but an Army contract dispute rolls on and on
00:08:58
For the U.S. Army and one of its software contractors, the conflict in Afghanistan is still going on. An unresolved dispute over licensing of language translation software has entered a new phase, eight years after the company first claimed breach of contract. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talks about the case with Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney Joe Petrillo.
Aug 10, 2022
Defense Department sites are rife with poisons in nearby groundwater
00:08:38
Polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, known as PFAS, are suspected of affecting people's health. The chemicals last nearly forever. And, one environmental group says two out of three Defense Department sites have excessive levels of PFAS in their ground water. Federal Drive host Tom Temin discussed with Jared Hayes, policy analyst with the Environmental Working Group.
Aug 10, 2022
Does that Supreme Court decision on the EPA change the agency itself?
00:08:35
Emotions have been running high over some recent Supreme Court decisions. When the court curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency's claimed authority over electricity generation, from the reaction you might have thought Antarctica would melt next week. Federal Drive host Tom Temin talked about all of this with Devin Hartman, the energy policy director at the R-Street Institute.
Aug 10, 2022
Capitol Hill is anything but slow this summer season
00:10:41
It’s that time of year when activity on Capitol Hill usually falls into a lull. But this year’s the rare occurrence when big legislative activity is happening in August. The Senate passed a huge reconciliation bill over the weekend; the House is expected to do the same later this week. Meanwhile both houses have a lot of work waiting for them to reconcile their versions of the annual appropriations and authorization bills. To talk about at least some of those moving pieces, Federal News Network Deputy Editor Jared Serbu was joined by David Berteau, president of the Professional Services Council.
Aug 09, 2022
Congress could use a dose of artificial intelligence
00:09:44
The select committee on the modernization of Congress has been at work for several years. It's found that nearly every function in the legislative branch is due for updating. Recently the committee held a hearing on whether artificial intelligence technology could help. And if so, where. Federal Drive host Tom Temin spoke about this with Joe Mariani,the research manager for Deloitte's Center for Government Insights.
Aug 09, 2022
Even Customs and Border Protection is getting into the green movement
00:09:33