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12:51 pm, April 18, 2015

Federal Drive

Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.

Host Tom Temin brings you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews below.

Tuesday - 04/14/2015, 09:14am EDT
Sergio Fernandez, Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Agencies have been using the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to get feedback since 2002. It's one of the main tools used by the Office of Personnel Management to monitor agencies' human capital management efforts. Now a group of researchers says the survey itself could stand some touching up. After reviewing more than 40 research articles based on Viewpoint survey data, they say there's room for improvement in survey data quality. Dr. Sergio Fernandez is an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington. He is also one of the authors of the report. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to explain more about what the research team found.

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Monday - 04/13/2015, 09:54am EDT
Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

The Defense Department is creating a new commodity technology shared service provider to serve the Pentagon and other locations in the Washington, D.C. area. DoD will issue a memo in the coming weeks to merge the Army's IT agency and other IT service providers into the Defense Information System Agency. In his biweekly feature, "Inside the Reporter's Notebook," executive editor Jason Miller has exclusive details of this new shared services set up. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to review them.

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Monday - 04/13/2015, 09:36am EDT
Ron Abrams, Joint Executive Director, National Veterans Legal Services Program

A number of veterans organization are suing the Veterans Affairs Department over a new rule regarding disability claims. The rule only went into effect a week ago, but the lawsuit claims it's eliminated most informal VA claims, and limits the types of claims VA can adjudicate. One change means that letters written into VA no longer count as claims; now everything has to be on a standardized form. Ron Abrams is a former VA staff member, and now the joint executive director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more on the lawsuit and its ramifications.

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Monday - 04/13/2015, 09:27am EDT
Adm. Paul Zukunft, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

When we last checked in with Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Paul Zukunft, the service was operating under a continuing resolution. Zukunft told us that funding was not keeping pace with the Coast Guard's need for better infrastructure, and that meant the Coast Guard wasn't keeping pace in some of its most important missions like stopping drug-runners because of its funding problems. Now, at least one thing is different: The service has a full budget for the remainder of the year. Zukunft joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive from the Sea Air Space 2015 conference at National Harbor with more on how things are operating now.

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Monday - 04/13/2015, 09:23am EDT
Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, Director, Undersea Warfare, U.S. Navy

The Navy says its aging fleet of nuclear-armed submarines can't last much longer. The Ohio-class subs now doing the job were supposed to be retired years ago. But replacing them is complicated and costly. It's also the Navy's top shipbuilding priority. Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, the Navy's director of undersea warfare, spoke about the Ohio replacement program at Sea-Air-Space 2015. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive with a preview.

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Monday - 04/13/2015, 08:58am EDT
Monday federal headlines - April 13, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal News Radio each day. It is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news, funds in the Thrift Savings Plan reach a record high of $451 billion, agencies are looking for millions of dollars to fund their digital services teams and activists call on the Senate to immediately confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general.

Friday - 04/10/2015, 09:44am EDT
Jamie Forzato, Reporter, WTOP

A case of alleged armed domestic kidnapping lands on the doorstep of a federal agency. And now a building guard is dead from gunshot wounds. WTOP reporter Jamie Forzato joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive live from Suitland, MD, with the latest on the shooting.

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Friday - 04/10/2015, 09:30am EDT
Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen continues his public persuasion tour to get Congress to better fund his agency. His latest stop: The Brookings Institution. There, Koskinen talks about the growing disconnect on Capitol Hill. He says many members want to give the IRS more responsibilities while also cutting its funding. Federal News Radio's executive editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss how Koskinen is dealing with the conflicting messages from lawmakers.

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Friday - 04/10/2015, 08:49am EDT
Friday federal headlines - April 10, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal News Radio each day. It is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news,

Friday - 04/10/2015, 06:08am EDT
Steve Buerger, Project Lead, Sandia National Labs

Robotics have advanced to a place where walking machines may soon be sent into emergency response situations too dangerous for people. This reality is made possible only through a long battery life and mechanical systems that don't eat up all the battery's energy stores. Steve Buerger is a project lead in the intelligent systems control department at Sandia National Labs. On the Federal Drive with Tom Temin, he explained how it all works.

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Thursday - 04/09/2015, 10:38am EDT
Tiffany Hixson, GSA's Federal Acquisition Service

The General Services Administration's schedules contracts program is undergoing a transformation. The first of many changes will happen over the next six months. GSA is launching its first consolidated schedule. It's working closely now with vendors who provide professional services. Tiffany Hixson is GSA's Federal Acquisition Service's professional services category executive. She told Federal News Radio executive editor Jason Miller, the FAS is trying to do a better job meeting the needs of its agency customers.

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Thursday - 04/09/2015, 10:25am EDT
Jared Serbu, DoD Reporter, Federal News Radio

By next month, the Army will start fielding equipment that gives its commanders access to the networks they need to plan missions while they're airborne and en route to a battle. It's part of a broader Army push for a seamless mission command process, regardless of where the commander happens to be. Federal News Radio's DoD reporter Jared Serbu has the story

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Thursday - 04/09/2015, 10:21am EDT
Katie Tubb, Research Associate and Coordinator, The Heritage Foundation

When Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced he would not run for re-election, he reopened the debate about nuclear waste disposal in this country. Reid had staunchly opposed a plan to store the waste at Yucca Mountain in his state. But never say never. Today five members of Congress, led by the Republican chairman of the House Environment and Economy Subcommittee are visiting the site. Katie Tubb is a research associate and coordinator for the Heritage Foundation who has studied this issue.

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Thursday - 04/09/2015, 10:10am EDT
Lynne Bernabei, Bernabei & Wachtel

Usually it's the inspectors general who accuse others of wrongdoing, whether it's spending too much money here, or treating people unfairly there. Rarely is the behavior of the IG's themselves questioned. So it's notable that now Commerce Department inspector general Todd Zinser is fighting for his job. A Democratic lawmaker, Texas Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, has called on the Obama Administration to fire Zinser. She says she has 'ample' evidence of misconduct and mismanagement. In this week's Legal Loop Lynne Bernabei, partner at the law firm Bernabei and Watchel, who often represents federal whistleblowers, spoke with Emily Kopp about Zinser's situation on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

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Thursday - 04/09/2015, 10:06am EDT
Minh Le, Director, Sunshot Initiative, Dept. of Energy

The first class of Marine trainees from the Energy Department's new solar job training program graduated earlier this year. It's called the Sunshot Initiative, and its goal is to train service members as solar panel installers and other solar industry related jobs. There are three military bases and more than 200 service members involved in the initiative. Minh Le, director of the Sunshot Initiative at the Energy Department talked about the ambitious goals of the program on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

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Thursday - 04/09/2015, 09:54am EDT
Thursday federal headlines - April 9, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal News Radio each day. It is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news, federal contractors can't discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees; Secret Service places a high-ranking supervisor on administrative leave after allegations and NASA scientists are confident they'll find alien life in the next few decades.

Wednesday - 04/08/2015, 10:41am EDT
Jared Serbu, DoD Reporter, Federal News Radio

For the past four years, the Pentagon has proposed a new round of base closures, and Congress has rejected each one. But with or without lawmakers' approval, military bases are getting smaller. DoD may even close some of them without Congress' explicit permission. Federal News Radio's DoD reporter Jared Serbu has the story.

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Wednesday - 04/08/2015, 09:55am EDT
Jorge Uquillas, Quantitative Analyst, Bloomberg Government

Information technology companies are looking for new business in places they may not have looked before, such as the federal market. That's been driving some important mergers and acquisitions lately. So has the expanding health IT market. Bloomberg Government has examined several of these recent takeovers. Jorge Uquillas is a quantitative analyst at Bloomberg. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more of what's going on in the federal supplier base.

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Wednesday - 04/08/2015, 09:52am EDT
Dr. Steve Howell, Kepler Mission Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has given its highest award to NASA's Kepler mission team. The 2015 Trophy for Current Achievement honors outstanding work in aerospace science and technology. Kepler was the first to detect Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars at distances such that those planets might harbor life. Since its launch in March 2009, Kepler has discovered more than 4,000 of these exoplanets. Dr. Steve Howell, a Kepler Mission scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more on this work.

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Wednesday - 04/08/2015, 09:48am EDT
Nick Bristow, 18F Innovation Specialist, GSA

Online security and online access for people with disabilities have collided. Many of the most common Web practices for ensuring a user is actually human can be very difficult to use if you've got a disability. For example, Techniques like CAPTCHA, which requires users to type in a distorted word or symbol, can be impossible for the blind. To remedy that, the General Services Administration's 18F tech team recently held an "Accessibility Hackathon." They want to find a way to keep dot-gov sites secure and make them more accessible. Nick Bristow is an 18F innovation specialist working on this problem. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to explain some of the team's ideas.

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