Federal Drive Show Blog - May 7, 2013

Tuesday - 5/7/2013, 10:27am 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.

Today's guests:

Melanie Ann Pustay
director, Office of Information Policy
Department of Justice

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The Justice Department is trying a new mix of carrots and sticks to get agencies to process open-records requests. The department's annual compliance report to Congress describes new outreach efforts and reporting requirements. For example, agencies now have to report quarterly on how many requests they've received, processed and backlogged. That's the closest the government has ever come to real-time information. Melanie Ann Pustay, director of the Justice Department office of information policy, says the new accountability measures are working.

Tom Devine
legal director
Government Accountability Project

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A court ruling is being called a victory for federal whistleblowers. The TSA fired security specialist Robert MacLean nine years ago after MacLean gave a journalist sensitive information about the number of air marshals on flights. MacLean argued that his comments were not illegal. The Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit recently agreed with him. The Government Accountability Project's legal director Tom Devine is MacLean's attorney.

Lorelei St. James
director, physical infrastructure issues
Government Accountability Office

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The Veterans Affairs Department is staring down extensive problems with construction projects at major medical facilities. The average cost overrun of the 50 projects managed by the VA is $366 million and the average delay is a year and a half. The Government Accountability Office investigated the management of these costly and tardy projects and found inefficiencies in several places.

From Our Reporters

Agencies are launching new efforts to keep employees who have between five and 10 years of government experience. That's about the time when many are ready to move up the career ladder or move on to the private sector. Federal News Radio's Jason Miller explains what agencies doing to retain these workers.

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