In Depth interviews - August 17

Friday - 8/17/2012, 2:47pm EDT

This is the In Depth 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:

Evan LesserFounder and Managing Director, ClearanceJobs.com

Government security clearances are getting approved faster. But it's not making much difference in how agencies and contracting firms are recruiting. A survey from ClearanceJobs.com says less than one in five organizations have actually updated their recruiting practices because of the faster processing times. Evan Lesser reports that obtaining Top Secret security clearance still takes two to three times as long as lower-level Secret clearances. Nearly half of hiring managers surveyed said they've lost great job candidates due to long wait times.

View the full survey results here.


Tim McManusVice President for Education and Outreach, Partnership for Public Service

Your agency is letting you help close the skills gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Office of Personnel Management director John Berry has released a memo outlining how CHCOs can start approving volunteer hours for employees to help young people develop STEM skills. Tim McManus shares why the move is a smart idea.

Read John Berry's memo on flexible scheduling for STEM activities.

OPM: Agencies can use flexible work schedule for science, engineering activities (Related Story)


Bev GodwinDirector of the Federal Citizen Information Center Office, Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, GSA

The GSA's new social media registry went live this week, allowing consumers, taxpayers, contractors and even other feds the chance to verify whether that Facebook account for the Consumer Product Safety Commission is legit or if they are following John Boehner's official Twitter feed. Agencies began registering their social media accounts with the government-wide database earlier this year. Godwin says the database will also give the GSA the ability to track how government agencies and programs use social media.

Verify if your favorite government social media accounts are the real deal at USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov.

GSA opens public portal to governmentwide social media registry (Related Story)


Tammy FlanaganSenior Benefits Director, National Institute of Transition Planning,

We're all familiar with the backlog of retirement applications at the Office of Personnel Management that can keep feds waiting for months on end....getting only partial checks while OPM processes their retirement packages. But OPM says it's trying to reduce the wait...the agency has a goal of 90 percent of all new claims within 60 days, and it's issued new guidance designed to help agency HR managers submit "healthy" retirement claims. Tammy Flanagan tells to In Depth how ready-to-retire feds can smooth their transition and start collecting their pension.

Retirement claims tick up, but OPM continues cutting backlog. (Related Story)

OPM breaks down the basics of phased retirement (Related Story)


Also on the show:

Pentagon IG details 'multiple forms of misconduct' by AFRICOM general

Cliff-Walking 101

Panetta announces new Senior Executive appointments