Federal Drive Show Blog - December 12, 2013

Thursday - 12/12/2013, 9:33am 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:

Erica Groshen
Commissioner
Bureau of Labor Statistics

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The main objectives behind the Symposium of the U.S. Statistical Agencies hosted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month were to increase public understanding of the power and impact of statistics and to encourage more young people to choose statistics as a profession. Several agencies organized the event in celebration of the International Year of Statistics 2013. Erica Groshen is the Commissioner of Labor Statistics. She spoke with Tom about how statistics measure up.

Geoff Haskett
Regional Director
Fish and Wildlife Service

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The Fish and Wildlife Service has proven it's possible to reverse environmental damage and restore a habitat to its historic condition. It took years, but FWS managed to rid an Alaskan island of rats. Five years later, the birds have returned. Geoff Haskett is the Regional Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. He spoke with Tom about why the rats took so long to get rid of in the first place.

Joe Petrillo
Procurement Attorney
Petrilo & Powell, PLLC

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Bribes and kickbacks were an unfortunate reality of contracting during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In a recent example before the court of federal claims, contractor Kellogg Brown & Root found out that illicit conduct traveled high on the corporate chain of command. Tom spoke with procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo of the law firm Petrillo and Powell for Federal Drive's Legal Loop segment.

Steve Leggett
Program Coordinator
National Film Preservation Board

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At one time going to the movies meant seeing moving pictures but hearing an organist improvise the soundtrack. The Library of Congress has found that nearly 70 percent of American's silent film titles are missing because of loss or neglect. Library officials have developed a database to help them track silent films around the world. Tom spoke with the program coordinator for the National Film Preservation Board, Steve Leggett.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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For the second time in the last two years, the Veterans Affairs Department decided to stop using reverse auctions to buy products and services. The decision comes as lawmakers are growing more concerned about whether agencies are getting ripped off under this approach. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller discussed details on why reverse auctions are coming under scrutiny.

Jared Serbu
Reporter
Federal News Radio

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The federal spending agreement Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Paul Ryan announced this week would ease up on sequestration cuts to the Defense Department during 2014. But the Air Force is telling its program managers they shouldn't expect to see relief on their acquisition programs. Federal News Radio's DoD Reporter, Jared Serbu, explains how the Air Force is handling financial uncertainty.

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.