Federal Drive Show Blog - June 14, 2013

Friday - 6/14/2013, 10:39am 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:

Martha Dorris
deputy administrator for citizen services
General Services Administration

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How do you unearth innovation from not just the same old contractors or build a search engine that navigates the labyrinth of federal agency websites? You don't have to because Martha Dorris, the deputy administrator for citizen services at the General Services Administration already has. She spends her days developing crowdsourcing platforms and unlocking government data for public use with websites like USA.gov, Challenge.gov and USASearch. Her efforts have earned her a nomination for a Service to America Medal.

Steve Lord
director of homeland security and justice issues
Government Accountability Office

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For three years now, the Transportation Security Administration has been using behavioral observation methods that are impossible to prove successful. TSA deployed the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program nationwide before determining whether it had a scientifically valid basis. A recent Homeland Security Department inspector general report raised these concerns. But the Government Accountability Office has been recommending for years what TSA should do to make the program viable.

James Hoeker
attorney
Husch Blackwell

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Pepco customers aren't the only ones worried about power outages during stormy or hot days. President Barack Obama quietly signed an executive order last week directing agencies to help modernize the nation's electric grid. It blames federal reviews for slowing critical upgrades. Jim Hoecker served as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the Clinton Administration. He now practices energy law with the firm Husch Blackwell.

Tom Romeo & Bruce Caswell
Maximus, Inc.

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A cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, is establishment of health care exchanges. Each state is supposed to have one. Health and Human Services sets the standards. Citizens go to a website and pick a health care insurance provider. To help shed light on how a health exchange actually works, we turn to Bruce Caswell, the president and general manager of health services at Maximus and Tom Romeo, the president of federal services at Maximus.

From our reporters:

What exactly is the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative? The lack of a clear definition is leading some in Congress and in industry to question the program's real intent. One of the main questions coming out of the House Small Business Committee hearing Thursday was whether these contracts should be mandatory. Lawmakers and industry associations, and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy are not seeing eye-to-eye on that issue and several others. Federal News Radio's Jason Miller gives us the details on the growing debate and concern over strategic sourcing.

The Senate Armed Services Committee appears poised to copy its House counterpart in rejecting the Defense Department's request for another round of military base closures. But DoD maintains it needs to shed excess infrastructure one way or another. Keeping bases it doesn't need is costing it billions of dollars every year. Federal News Radio's DoD Reporter Jared Serbu files this report.

MORE FROM THE FEDERAL DRIVE

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NSA leaker Snowden not welcome in UK (Federal News Radio)

The Papers of the Founding Fathers Are Now Online (White House)

Correspondence and other writings of six major shapers of the United States (National Archives)

Issa's postal reform proposal OKs 5-day delivery, modifies prefunding (Federal News Radio)

Information Technology: Additional Executive Review Sessions Needed to Address Troubled Projects (GAO)

Supreme Court archive has about 14K hours of audio (Federal News Radio)

Reminder: IRS To Be Closed June 14 Due to Budget and Sequester; Filing and Payment Deadlines Unchanged (IRS)

Congress panel widens probe of IRS 'Tea Party' scrutiny (Reuters)

Report: Department of Defense, DD 1414, Base for Reprogramming Actions (DoD)

DOD Report Details Sequestration Impact (AIA)

House considers jail term for military sex assault (Federal News Radio)

( ISC) Introduces Expert-Level Cyber Forensics Certification (( ISC) )