Federal Drive Show Blog - November 19, 2013

Tuesday - 11/19/2013, 10:11am EST

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:

Ben Geman
Staff Writer
The Hill Newspaper

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It's been nearly four months since Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced plans to restructure his department. Change has come quietly. Last week, President Barack Obama named two academics to help Moniz lead the department. Ben Geman writes the E2 blog for The Hill Newspaper.

Allison Hickey
Undersecretary for Benefits
Veterans Affairs

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Shortly before Veterans Day, the Veterans Affairs Department said it had slashed its backlog of disability claims by a third since March. Now, 93 percent of claims older than a year have been resolved. It's finally some good news for a part of the department that has been repeatedly battered on Capitol Hill. Allison Hickey is the undersecretary for benefits at the Veterans Affairs Department.

Joe Klimavicz
Chief Information Officer
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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The government has an $80 billion annual tab for information technology. Much of it goes to operations and maintenance. Two administrations over more than a dozen years have pushed agencies to reduce those costs so there's more money for new things. One strategy: using shared services. In our special report, A New Era in Technology, we get an update on the status of shared services from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chief Information Officer Joe Klimavicz. He also heads up the CIO Council's shared services task force.

Shefali Kapadia
Web Editor
Federal News Radio

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Today we're kicking off a special series, A New Era in Technology. In preparation, Federal News Radio surveyed nearly 900 federal employees and contractors to find out what they really think of the IT they use each day. Web Editor Shefali Kapadia talked to Tom and Emily about the survey.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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Vendors say there's a new trend in federal technology shopping, and it's sacrificing long-term benefits for short-term savings. They say agencies are increasingly using the concept of lowest-price, technically acceptable to buy complex products and services. As part of our special report, A New Era in Technology, Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller explores why agencies are moving to LPTA and how it's changing the way they buy technology and services.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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The Pentagon has fewer dollars to invest in technology, but it's trying to make the best of a bad situation. As part of our special report this week, A New Era in Technology, Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu reports on how the Defense Department is trying to innovate around the idea of controlling cost in new military systems.

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.