Federal Drive Show Blog - May 29, 2013

Wednesday - 5/29/2013, 9:35am 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:

Verna Jones
director, Veteran's Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission
American Legion

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There are a lot of reasons why the Department of Veterans Affairs is facing a backlog of hundreds of thousands of disability claims. But one big one is that most claims that come through the door involve a lot of manual paperwork. Each one turns into a research project as claims raters hunt for documentation across federal agencies. VA is now formally partnering with two large veterans groups, the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans, to help vets send in their claims with all the documentation they need in the first place, eliminating a lot of the back and forth.

John Roth
director, Office of Criminal Investigations
Food and Drug Administration

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What happens when companies flout your agency's regulations? You bring in the big guns. That's true at the Food and Drug Administration. The in-house office of criminal investigations goes after those companies and individuals who break FDA rules and become public-health threats.

Stephen Ayers
Architect of the Capitol

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There's a lot more to the office of the Architect of the Capitol than keeping an old pile of sandstone and marble in good shape. The architect is responsible for more than 17 million square feet of space. Less visible is how the office tracks its finances and shares them with the public. For that, the Architect has received a Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting from the Chief Financial Officers Council and the Office of Management and Budget.

Elise Viebeck
staff writer
The Hill newspaper

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The Department of Health and Human Services has stepped into high gear to implement the Affordable Care Act, as several of the law's deadlines approach. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been taking heat over the controversial law from both sides of the aisle.

Related Story: Sebelius on hot seat amid rising angst over ObamaCare rollout (The Hill)

From Our Reporters

We've all heard of the dreaded retirement tsunami expected to hit the federal government. But what if we told you it isn't coming. Federal News Radio's special report, Retirement Conundrum, examines these miscalculated retirement predictions.Jeff Neal, former chief human capital officer at the Homeland Security Department and senior vice president at ICF International, told Federal News Radio's Jack Moore that people spend too much time looking at the number of federal employees eligible to retire.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) isn't satisfied with the Homeland Security Department's answers about why Richard Spires took leave and eventually resigned as the department's CIO. Thompson once asked DHS for more specifics on the situation. In the latest edition of his biweekly feature, Inside the Reporter's Notebook, Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller discusses this latest turn of events.

MORE FROM THE FEDERAL DRIVE

House chairman subpoenas documents on Benghazi (Federal News Radio)

Defense Begins Delivering Furlough Notices (Gov Exec)

IRS names financial manager new chief risk officer (Federal News Radio)

Tax overhaul: IRS scandal could lead to changes (Federal News Radio)

OPM Launches USAJOBS and Operating Status Mobile Apps (OPM)

Deaths at Atlanta VA hospital prompt scrutiny (Federal News Radio)

Gunfire at Caracas strip club hurts 2 US officials (Federal News Radio)

Obama to Name Furman To Run Economic Council (The Wall Street Journal)

Air Force grounds F-15s on Okinawa for inspections (Federal News Radio)

Air Force Begins Reinstating Suspended Personnel at Nuclear Launch Site (NTI)

DoD close to approving cyber attack rules (Federal Times)

Feds in NY: Costa Rica money biz a hub for crooks (Federal News Radio)