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1:31 pm, December 22, 2014

Jared Serbu Reports

Jared Serbu covers the Department of Defense for Federal News Radio. Jared's reports can be heard Monday - Friday on the Federal Drive and In Depth.

VA chipping away at oldest disability claims in backlog

All veterans who have waited two years or more for a decision will have their cases decided by next month, the Department of Veterans Affairs told Congress. Half of the Veterans Benefits Administration's oldest cases already have been removed from the backlog.

Friday - 05/24/2013, 07:16am EDT
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DoD chooses interoperability over integration for new e-health record system

Frank Kendall says many different factors played into the Pentagon's decision to go with a competitive bidding process to develop its integrated electronic health record system, instead of adopting VA's VistA program. He said DoD wants to ensure its system is interoperable not just with VA hospitals but with civilian health facilities as well. In addition, Kendall cited cultural differences between the two large agencies.

Thursday - 05/23/2013, 06:42am EDT
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Hagel: Accountability breakdown was leading factor in sexual assaults

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he's taken several steps to improve the military's response to and prevention of sexual assaults, but that the problem can't be solved by policy directives alone. On the matter of sexual assaults, he said he believes the military's chain of command has suffered an accountability breakdown.

Monday - 05/20/2013, 05:26am EDT
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In fight over intelligence IT system, Army prioritizes access to data

The Army says hard-won lessons on the battlefield have taught it that stovepiped IT systems have no place in the business of intelligence collection and sharing. It also acknowledges that enforcing a single set of common standards comes with some tradeoffs.

Friday - 05/17/2013, 04:11pm EDT
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DoD upends slow approval process for mobile devices

In the past, DoD's security review process took so long that devices were off the market by the time the Pentagon allowed them on government networks. This week, DoD approved a secure, commercial version of Android before its manufacturer even released it.

Thursday - 05/16/2013, 02:04pm EDT
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Hagel makes 'difficult choice,' civilian furloughs to begin July 8

The Defense Department reduces the number of furlough days from 14 to 11. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said it's possible the number could drop further, but he offered no promises.

Wednesday - 05/15/2013, 05:38am EDT
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DoD's military construction budget appears safe from sequestration cuts

Funding reductions in 2013 appropriations act are sufficient to protect military construction accounts from further sequestration cuts, but funds used for upkeep on existing buildings are severely impacted.

Monday - 05/13/2013, 05:32am EDT
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DoD eases rules for health care approvals after contractor 'failure'

Citing unacceptable delays by its contractor, the Pentagon waives the requirement for preauthorization of specialty care for military members, families and retirees in TRICARE's western region.

Friday - 05/10/2013, 06:00am EDT
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DoD's budget reprogramming won't help with sequestration

Pentagon says it will use its limited budget flexibility to compensate for unexpected war costs, not to blunt sequestration. Services continue to warn Congress about how budget cuts are impacting readiness.

Thursday - 05/09/2013, 05:14am EDT
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DoD's BRAC wish hitting brick wall on Capitol Hill

The Pentagon insists it is paying to maintain much more military base infrastructure than it needs, and the problem will only get worse as the Defense Department shrinks due to budget reductions. Congress, however, remains unsympathetic.

Monday - 05/06/2013, 05:30am EDT
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DoD grants network access to Android, BlackBerry 10 devices

The Pentagon's mobile plan includes device approvals that will involve some up-front costs. The expectation is those costs will be quickly offset by eliminating the inefficiency of the slow, stovepiped and outdated approaches that have characterized DoD mobility up until now.

Friday - 05/03/2013, 05:20am EDT
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Sequestration already biting Navy, Marines readiness

Currently deployed units and those behind them are fully trained and equipped, the services say. But those next in line "aren't doing much." The fiscal 2013 budget also may be too little, too late in some ship repair and maintenance efforts.

Thursday - 05/02/2013, 05:15am EDT
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Budget turmoil creates hurdles for DoD auditability

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Tex.) is a certified public accountant who chaired a year-long series of hearings on DoD audit readiness for the House Armed Services Committee. He spoke with Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu for this week's On DoD.

Wednesday - 05/01/2013, 05:48pm EDT
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Tightening budgets force DARPA to alter course for R&D

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative technologies ever created including the Internet. But as budgets tighten, the agency's director says she's trying to figure out how to deal with an increasingly complex threat environment as less money flows into the research and development pipeline.

Monday - 04/29/2013, 05:57am EDT
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DoD acquisition managers told to think for themselves

The Pentagon's top acquisition official released guidance this week to implement the Defense Department's latest iteration of the Better Buying Power program. The plan tells acquisition managers their first priority should be to use their own expertise in making decisions.

Friday - 04/26/2013, 06:46am EDT
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Army could lose 100,000 soldiers due to sequestration

Army leaders say the belated passage of a 2013 budget helped this year's fiscal picture, but the service still is more than $15 billion short of funds. If sequestration continues, the service will shrink by at least 100,000 soldiers.

Wednesday - 04/24/2013, 07:22am EDT
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Internal watchdog blasts DoD's health IT efforts

A memo obtained by Federal News Radio points to a split in thinking inside the Pentagon's efforts to achieve interoperability with VA's electronic health record system. An assessment by the Pentagon's office of operational test and evaluation, an internal acquisition watchdog, finds DoD's project to build a new electronic health record is "likely to be detrimental to the President's goals" for interoperable health IT.

Monday - 04/22/2013, 08:02pm EDT

Military groups fight to stop DoD budget proposal

Advocacy organizations are criticizing the Pentagon's proposed fee increase for TRICARE as unfair and discriminatory.

Friday - 04/19/2013, 05:24am EDT
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Sequestration already taking toll on DoD's research and development

Defense agencies and services are pulling back hundreds of millions of dollars worth of grants and contracts. Impending furloughs will further impair DoD's ability to get money out the door.

Thursday - 04/18/2013, 05:25am EDT
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Hagel orders DoD to 'restructure' path toward integrated health record

The Pentagon delays its RFP for a new electronic health record system. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says a revised approach is coming soon.

Wednesday - 04/17/2013, 05:23am EDT
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