Federal Drive Show Blog - January 15, 2014

Wednesday - 1/15/2014, 9:31am EST

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today's Interviews:

Justin Herman
Social Media Program Manager in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies
General Services Administration

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So you've got a Twitter handle. And you post messages, maybe some photos, on Facebook. Many agencies know how to get the word out on social media. But it's not an one-way street. There are conversations to be had and data to collect. Justin Herman is social media program manager at the General Services Administration.

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Judge Dana Lee Marks
President
National Association of Immigration Judges

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The numbers show immigration courts are climbing an uphill battle. The system has a backlog of 350,000 cases. The Executive Office for Immigration Review says roughly half of the 220 judges are eligible to retire. That's on top of 32 current vacancies. Judge Dana Lee Marks is president of the National Association of Immigration Judges. She says stress and burnout come with the job.

Andy Monday
Chief of Logistics in the Enabling Support Division
U.S. Transportation Command

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The Transportation Command is in the midst of an effort to change how it tracks shipments and identifies what's in them. It's switching to an international standard for its active radio frequency tags. TRANSCOM officials think it will save money and improve logistics. Andy Monday is chief of TRANSCOM's Logistics Enabling Support Division.

Shadrock Roberts
Principal GIS Analyst
USAID

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Some people give blood, or money, to help disaster victims. Others get online. Digital volunteers are playing a bigger role in response and recovery efforts. That was clear in last year's Typhoon in the Philippines. And it's something that the U.S. Agency for International Development wants to see more of. Shadrock Roberts is principal geographic information systems analyst at USAID.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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Agencies are spending tens of millions of dollars less on travel and conferences today after repeated scandals came to light in 2012. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers want to make sure agencies stay frugal, without missing important opportunities. Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller has more from a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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Federal agencies are wrestling with the challenge of turning their vast storehouses of data into information that can drive decisions. One Defense Information Systems Agency official says he's making progress. DISA is in the early stages of a cloud-based, big data analytics platform called Acropolis. The new tool is already absorbing data from systems across the department. Bill Keely is the deputy chief technology officer for mission assurance at DISA. He tells Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu about Acropolis.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don't see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.