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11:27 pm, November 25, 2014

Congressional Spotlight

VA exec at center of FedBid procurement scandal retires

Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration deputy chief procurement officer, resigned and retired Oct. 14. She sent an email to staff announcing her decision as VA had started the process to fire her.

Tuesday - 10/14/2014, 05:53pm EDT
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Jessica Klement, Legislative Director, NARFE

Next month, 399 representatives and 28 senators seek re-election. That means federal employees can oversee and grade the people who oversee and grade their agencies. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association releases its annual scorecard in time for the election. It keeps tabs on the 113th Congress and how it votes on key legislation affecting federal employees. Jessica Klement, legislative director of NARFE, tells In Depth with Francis Rose about some of those key votes.

Tuesday - 10/14/2014, 04:06pm EDT
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New isn't always better when it comes to acquisition law

Regular review of the federal government's acquisition laws and regulations is appropriate, and even necessary, in order to keep up with changing times and circumstances. Enacting new laws, however, isn't always the solution, unless we fully understand and analyze our past paths, says acquisition policy expert Cathleen Garman.

Tuesday - 10/14/2014, 04:47am EDT

Is it time for fresh procurement reform or just a rereading of existing law?

Few activities have vexed the federal complex of Congress, agency managers, overseers and regulation-writers over the decades more than procurement. Buying things, so simple to individuals, is a highly legalized and regulated process in government. Federal News Radio's special report, Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, will look back at the past 20 years of acquisition laws enacted to gauge their impact, and look ahead to short- and long-term changes that need to happen today to make a difference in 2016 and beyond.

Tuesday - 10/14/2014, 04:13am EDT

IRS Commissioner pushes Congress for mass-transit decision

In a letter to leaders in the House and Senate tax commitees, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen reminded Congress of the importance to make a firm decision on whether to extend a mass-transit subsidy before November.

Friday - 10/10/2014, 11:36am EDT

White House now thinks smaller is better for cyber bills

Michael Daniel, the White House cyber coordinator, said the administration believes getting cyber legislation through Congress on small pieces is more likely to be successful than in one comprehensive bill. Legislation to update FISMA, to improve information sharing and to expand the workforce all have garnered bi-partisan support.

Friday - 10/10/2014, 04:19am EDT

Beth McGrath, Federal Practice Director, Deloitte

The next steps in defense acquisition reform may come from the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations asks experts from all parts of the defense acquisition community to tell them where the committee should go next to streamline defense acquisition. Beth McGrath of Deloitte is former Deputy Chief Management Officer at the Defense Department and one of the contributors to the committee's efforts. She worked to institute what she called a cost culture. She didn't use that phrase in her comments to the committee, but Francis Rose asked her if that concept was written between the lines on In Depth.

Thursday - 10/09/2014, 04:20pm EDT
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Rebecca Gambler, Homeland Security & Justice Issues Director, GAO

The drone fleet at Customs and Border Protection isn't big, but the law states that very strict oversight from the Homeland Security Department and CBP is important. Rebecca Gambler is director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues at the Government Accountability Office. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she said Congress mandated a look at CBP's drone program.

Tuesday - 10/07/2014, 04:13pm EDT
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Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is the leading force behind a bill that would reduce redundant or unnecessary reports by federal agencies. The 2014 Government Reports Elimination Act would modify or eliminate more than 50 reports that agencies produce annually for Congress. That bill has made its way through both the House and the Senate. Warner spoke with Tom Temin on the Federal Drive about the bill and the pressing issues Congress faces when it comes back after the November midterm elections.

Friday - 10/03/2014, 10:08am EDT
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NARFE finds votes impacting feds, retirees 'more polarized than ever'

Vermont and Rhode Island lawmakers were among those in Congress who consistently voted in favor of federal workers and retirees, according to the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association's latest scorecard.

Thursday - 10/02/2014, 10:34am EDT

Recipe for a successful DATA Act is part collaboration, part oversight

OMB and Treasury are creating a roadmap on how to move forward with DATA Act implementation over the next 12 to 36 months. Meanwhile, congressional and executive branch auditors are part of the oversight process from the beginning.

Wednesday - 10/01/2014, 04:03am EDT

Congressional resistance to cost-cutting opens $70B hole in DoD budget

The Pentagon will begin a new fiscal year under yet another continuing resolution. When a budget finally is passed, Defense Department officials expect Congress to reject a significant number of proposals to cut DoD's own costs.

Wednesday - 10/01/2014, 03:53am EDT
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Does the federal government really need DHS?

Doing away with DHS would result in a massive government reorganization that would most likely be even messier than the one that created DHS, says former DHS Chief Human Capital Officer Jeff Neal.

Wednesday - 10/01/2014, 02:00am EDT

Lights out for your boss

Most members of Congress are not as cute as Bambi, but they do have some similarities to the four-footed animals that are overrunning the Capitol region, says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey.

Wednesday - 10/01/2014, 02:00am EDT

Rep. Coffman calls on VA to take swift action against Susan Taylor

The chairman of the Veterans Affairs subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations wrote a letter to Veterans Affairs Department Secretary Bob McDonald wanting more details on the actions it will take in light of the inspector general report involving the deputy chief procurement officer at the Veterans Health Administration and FedBid.

Tuesday - 09/30/2014, 06:34pm EDT

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Minority Whip, House

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the government shutdown. This year that won't happen until at least Dec. 12, and most people on Capitol Hill (from both parties and both chambers) believe we won't see another shutdown for a long time. But Congress still has a way to go to get a deal done for the rest of fiscal 2015. On In Depth with Francis Rose, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said he's not sure what to expect when Congress comes back after the election.

Tuesday - 09/30/2014, 04:21pm EDT
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Justin Sink, White House Correspondent, The Hill Newspaper

President Barack Obama is going it alone for the time being. He's sending military resources to drop bombs and shoot missiles at the Islamic State line in Iraq and Syria. He's working largely without the counsel, much less consent, of Congress. Is there a big vacuum in Washington with Congress gone until after the mid-term elections? Or is there a streamlined operation without too much distraction? Justin Sink, White House correspondent for The Hill Newspaper, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details.

Tuesday - 09/30/2014, 11:05am EDT
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David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

Most people expected Congress to completely leave Washington when both houses went into recess for the fall election. But two congressional committees will have at least a few members back in town this week. David Hawkings is Senior Editor at Roll Call, and writes the Hawkings Here blog. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he explained what they might be up to.

Monday - 09/29/2014, 04:26pm EDT
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DoD to propose stricter lending protections for military members

The Defense Department is set to propose tighter rules that it says would close several loopholes in current regulations that are designed to protect service members from predatory lenders. This story is part of Jared Serbu's Inside the DoD Reporter's Notebook.

Monday - 09/29/2014, 04:17am EDT

Dana Leigh Marks, National Association of Immigration Judges

Congress left town ignoring the Obama administration's request for more funding to deal with illegal immigration. Dana Leigh Marks is president of the National Association of Immigration Judges and an immigration judge in San Francisco. When we spoke with her at the peak of the surge across the Southern border in July, she described her work as handling death-penalty cases with traffic court resources. She gave an update on the situation on the Federal Drive with guest host Emily Kopp.

Friday - 09/26/2014, 12:17pm EDT
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