In Depth interviews - September 11

Tuesday - 9/11/2012, 5:07pm 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:

Kim WeaverDirector of External Affairs, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

The Thrift Savings Plan may be paying a house call to your agency. If they do, don't worry, they're supposed to do that.

Kim Weaver, the director of external affairs at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages the TSP, tells In Depth the relationships in the agencies are important to the TSP.


Tom ShoopEditor-in-Chief, Government Executive

When the government provides a service but no one gives credit, does it still make a difference? Tom Shoop, the editor-in-chief of Government Executive, says government is so saddled with a feckless reputation that the fact that it still manages to do important, life-saving work, such as helping end drug shortages, should garner widespread positive news coverage.

"You'd think any time an agency did tackle a significant problem, it would be the kind of 'dog bites man' story that would garner a fair amount of public attention," Shoop wrote on his GovExec blog.


David MarinPrincipal, Podesta Group

The State Department is scrapping a plan to buy 35,000 Kindle e-readers from Amazon. Back in June the department, was considering a five-year, $16.5 million contract to purchase the Kindles.

But now the State Department says it needs more time to research and evaluate its requirements. David Marin, a principal at the Podesta Group, discusses why the deal fell apart.




Valerie MelvinDirector of Information Management and Technology Resource Issues

A mixed bag of results is in for agencies trying to get rid of backlogged FOIA requests. The attorney general set new guidelines in 2009, and since then the departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Homeland Security have tried different ways to remove the logjam.

Valerie Melvin,a director of Information Management and Technology Resource Issues at the Government Accountability Office, discusses agencies' progress in processing FOIA requests.

FOIA: Additional actions can strengthen agency efforts to improve management (related link)


Also on the show:

Agency of the Month: Recruitment, hiring and employee morale at DHS