Federal Drive interviews - June 20

Wednesday - 6/20/2012, 9:22am EDT

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Audio will be posted later today.

Today's guests:

Carol BonosaroPresident of the Senior Executives Association

When the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, passed two months ago, supporters hailed it as a way of keeping federal employees honest and transparent. Its chief purpose is to prevent lawmakers from profiting from insider knowledge. But it also requires career senior executives to disclose financial trades within 30 days, so the government can include them in a public database. Now some federal employees employees are crying foul. They say it burdens senior executives with reporting requirements and could even open them up to identity theft.

Read more: SEA cites identity theft as unintended consequence of STOCK Act


Robert LevinsonDefense Analyst at Bloomberg Government

Reverse auctions — contractors underbidding one another in a controlled environment — have waxed and waned over the years. Now with agencies worried about budgets, reverse auctions are popping up a lot.

Levinson has been looking into reverse auctions, in particular by the Pentagon.

Read more: Reverse auctions not all a bed of roses, one expert says


Pete KasperowiczReporter at The Hill newspaper

You would think that something called the "farm bill" would have to do with farms. But you would be mostly wrong in thinking that. Four out of every five dollars in the $80 billion legislation goes toward funding SNAP benefits — or food stamps, as they used to be called. Plus, the Senate recently passed more than 70 amendments to the bill, most unrelated to farms.

Read more: Republicans want food stamps cut in big farm bill


Neil GordonInvestigator at Project on Government Oversight

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Russia of sending attack helicopters to Syria to help the regime fight a civil war. But the arm of the Russian government doing those deals also has a brisk business here — with the Pentagon. The Defense Department is buying helicopters from Rosoboron Export to help arm the Afghan Air Force as our military withdraws. Lawmakers and others, including the Project on Government Oversight, are demanding an explanation.