Federal Drive Show Blog - July 16, 2013

Tuesday - 7/16/2013, 12:34pm EDT

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today's Interviews:

Click here to view a video about the Forest Products Laboratory.

David Kretschmann
Research Engineer
Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory

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It's the second day of the Major League Baseball All-Star break. But you won't see as many broken bats as in years past. David Kretschmann, a research engineer at the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory, has been studying why bats shatter as part of a consulting agreement with MLB. His work has led to a 50 percent reduction in the number of broken bats over the past five years.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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The bipartisan No Labels Caucus will introduce a bill this week to pressure agencies to use strategic sourcing. It's one of nine bills the caucus is introducing to make the government more efficient and effective. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller told Emily and Tom what he knows so far about the legislation.

Alex Bolton
Staff Writer
The Hill

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Things could get ugly in the Senate today. Democrats are accusing Republicans of holding up key presidential nominees. The solution, they say, is to change the historic rules on filibusters and to let a simple majority of senators confirm nominees. For insight, Emily and Tom spoke to Alex Bolton, a staff writer for The Hill.

Devon Hewitt
Government Contracts Lawyer and Partner
Protorae Law

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Like most civilian employees at the Defense Department, those who handle payments have to take 11 days of furloughs this summer. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service says federal employees shouldn't notice any difference but contractors might have to wait a bit longer for their paychecks. Devon Hewitt, a government contracts lawyer and partner at Protorae Law, spoke to Tom and Emily about the DFAS furloughs.

Ernie DuBester
Chairman
Federal Labor Relations Authority

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Negotiations between agency leaders and employee unions can get heated, especially where furloughs and budget cuts are concerned. Take the IRS. Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel wants to cancel bonuses promised to unionized employees. Disputes like these often land in the lap of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Now, the independent agency has released a timely guide to negotiability. Ernie DuBester, chairman of the FLRA, joined Tom and Emily with details on the guidance.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don't see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.