In Depth Show Blog - July 12, 2013

Friday - 7/12/2013, 8:00pm EDT

This is the In Depth 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 guests:

Trey Hodgkins
Senior Vice President for the Global Public Sector
TechAmerica

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The perennial debate over how much the federal government should pay to compensate the executives of government contractors is heating up again. The Obama administration has proposed — via DoD's annual package of legislative proposals — that reimbusements be capped at the level of the President's salary: $400,000 dollars, not including the perks of the office. Right now, executive salaries are reimbursed by the government to the tune of about $760,000 dollars. Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president of the Global Public Sector at TechAmerica, joins In Depth with more on the pay debate.

Tammy Flanagan
Senior Benefits Director
National Institute of Transition Planning

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Just thinking about your retirement itself can be a confusing process. Tammy Flanagan, the senior benefits director at the National Institute of Transition Planning, joins In Depth with a simple checklist any mid-career federal employee can use to plan for retirement.

Midcareer Checklist (related link)

Jason Healey
Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative
Atlantic Council

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The Defense Department had their first face-to-face meeting with Chinese officials specifically to try and lay a groundwork for future cyber relations. The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed the issue further today when he met with China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi on the U.S.-China military relationship. Jason Healey, director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative, joins In Depth to discuss the developments.

Pat Tamburrino
Chief of Staff
DoD's Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness

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This week, the Defense Department began mandatory, unpaid furloughs for about 85 percent of its civilian workforce — forcing about 650,000 employees to take one day per week off without pay. As for the other 15 percent, we get a lot of questions here at Federal News Radio about who's exempt from furlough and why. We posed a few of those questions to Pat Tamburrino, the chief of staff to DoD's undersecretary for personnel and readiness. He tells In Depth in general, the Pentagon tried to impose the furloughs as consistently as possible.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)
Ranking Member
House Homeland Security Committee

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Today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced she's leaving office. She's expected to become the president of the University of California system later this year, assuming the board of regents there approves her selection. She's served in the top job at the government's third largest department since 2009. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who's overseen DHS during that time as the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee talked with In Depth about what he thinks she accomplished during her tenure and what the President should be looking for in the next secretary.

Steven Grundman
George Lund Fellow
Atlantic Council

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With a threats of a tightening budget, the Defense Department is looking for more ways to get the biggest bang for its buck. DoD released a new report on the how major defense acquisition programs (MDAP) are performing. The report looks at the cost of defense acquisitions and how they perform over time. Steven Grundman, George Lund Fellow on emerging defense challenges at the Atlantic Council, joins In Depth to discuss the DoD acquisition budget.


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