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Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp bring you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews on our daily show blogs.
Federal Drive Show Blog - July 1, 2013
Monday - 7/1/2013, 11:20am EDT
Federal News Radio
A couple of significant changes to federal laws that protect whistleblowers take effect today. Under any federal contract that's signed from now on, subcontractors will get protection against reprisal when they report waste, fraud or abuse. The new law is part of this year's defense authorization bill which lets contractor employees report wrongdoing to managers within their own companies. Previous laws required them to take their complaints to the government. Margie Garrison is the Defense Department's deputy inspector general for administrative investigations. She testified to Congress in favor of the changes and talked with Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu about why they're important.
Associate Special Counsel
Investigation and Prosecution Division, Office of Special Counsel
In a move cheered by whistleblower advocates, the Merit Systems Protection Board has ruled that the new Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act applies retroactively. The board says it was swayed by the vast and varied arguments filed on behalf of Coast Guard employee Thomas Day. The agency reassigned Day after he reported contracting irregularities. His case is still pending. Associate Special Counsel Bruce Fong directs the Office of Special Counsel's Investigation and Prosecution Division. He joined Tom and Emily to talk about what the ruling means.
Director, Strategic Issues
Government Accountability Office
Federal agencies spend more on grants than they do on procurements. Somewhere north of $700 billion per year. The White House recently consolidated two bodies overseeing grants into one — the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR). But, the Government Accountability Office says COFAR needs a little attention itself. GAO made several recommendations to the agency, including more transparency. Stan Czerwinski is the director of strategic issues for GAO. He joined Tom and Emily to discuss the details of the report.
National Research Council
It's not laws or politics, but culture that most prevents the federal government from tackling issues of sustainability. That's one finding in a new report from the National Research Council. A committee of academics, industry experts and former government officials looked at how agencies are addressing long-term challenges like the need for energy, clean water and healthy ecosystems. It found a lot of room for improvement. Committee Chairman Thomas Graedel, a professor of industrial ecology at Yale University, joined Tom and Emily to discuss the report's findings.
- Feds in same-sex marriages given 60 days to update benefits
- Top DHS auditor had employees write his dissertation, fired dissidents, complaints allege
- Auto loan program partners to refund about $6.5 million to servicemembers
- New NSA spying allegations rile European allies
- DoD awards contract for app store, mobile device management
- DoD moving forward with $771.8 million purchase of aircraft that the Afghans cannot operate and maintain
- NIST seeks proposals to establish new Center of Excellence on Advanced Materials Research
- July 4th fireworks scrapped at a number of bases
- How to hack Facebook in 60 seconds