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6:02 am, July 31, 2014

Federal News Radio News Stream

The News Stream is a continuously updated list of every story, interview, panel discussion, and feature added to FederalNewsRadio.com. As a story is posted to the website, it will appear at the top of the News Stream. Never miss a beat with Federal News Radio's News Stream.

SES reform: Is it about improving accountability or just plain politics?

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the Senior Executive Service Accountability Act that, if approved by the full House, the Senate and the President, would significantly change conditions of employment for members of the Senior Executive Service. But, is it a good bill, asks former DHS CHCO Jeff Neal.

Tuesday - 07/29/2014, 02:24am EDT

Shutdown: Not Again!

Worried about a repeat of last year's government shutdown? Senior Correspondent Mike Causey tells us whether there's another October surprise in your future.

Tuesday - 07/29/2014, 02:00am EDT

Annuities, pensions, TSP and Social Security

Co-hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan answer your questions about the "three-legged stool" of retirement planning.
July 28, 2014

Monday - 07/28/2014, 09:12pm EDT
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An update on GSA's SmartPay program

Host Mark Amtower discusses the SmartPay program with David Shea, director, Office of Charge Card Management at the General Services Administration.
July 28, 2014

Monday - 07/28/2014, 07:31pm EDT
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DoD gave security clearances to thousands of 'federal tax cheats'

About 83,000 Defense Department employees and contractors, who held or were determined eligible for a security clearance, owed more than $730 million in unpaid taxes as of June 2012, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Per GAO's recommendations, the Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and DoD are now working to include tax-compliance checks to enhance security clearance processes.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 04:33pm EDT

David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

New chairmen of Senate Committees and subcommittees could have a dramatic impact on your agency's oversight, and the demands Congress makes of your committee. And the potential flip of the Senate from Democratic to Republican control looks more and more likely. David Hawkings is Senior Editor of Roll Call and writes the Hawkings Here blog at RollCall.com. On In Depth with Francis Rose, David said the lineup of new chairs would have more experience than people think.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 03:56pm EDT
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Valerie Melvin, Director of Information Management and Technology Resources Issues, GAO

The National Technical Information Service is supposed to be a repository where federal agencies can find -- and buy -- new research publications. But lately the new research from NTIS isn't new, and 95 percent of it's available online for free. Valerie Melvin is Director of Information Management and Technology Resources Issues at the Government Accountability Office. She testified about the agency's financial future before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight. Valerie shared her conclusions on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 03:53pm EDT
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Ben Fitzgerald, senior fellow, Center for a New American Security

The cyber attacks on small federal agencies demonstrate the cyber domain is an ecosystem, and the federal government is one of many different cyber cultures. One expert says a map of the different cultures can help agencies prevent cyber attacks. Ben Fitzgerald is senior fellow and director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He explained that and other cybersecurity strategies on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 03:49pm EDT
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Robert Farley, assistant professor, UK Patterson School

"Cut it some slack" is what Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall asks critics of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Kendall made those comments Thursday at a ceremony marking the delivery of two F-35s to Australia. The F-35 isn't likely to go away soon, but the buzz about what would replace it may be getting a little louder. Robert Farley is assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. He writes in The National Interest about five options for replacing the F-35. He said on In Depth with Francis Rose that one choice is restarting the F-22 line.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 03:46pm EDT
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Keith Trippie, Chief Executive Officer, The Trippie Group

Uncle Sam a venture capitalist? Imagine a board room with honchos from government, finance and Silicon Valley. A board of directors for the federal government, solving its toughest challenges with the latest concepts and cutting edge technology. Keith Trippie is CEO of the Trippie Group and a former Homeland Security executive. He says if the government follows a Silicon Valley venture capital model the taxpayer would win. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain why.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 12:45pm EDT
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Roger Kodat, Project Director, National Academy of Public Administration

The trustees who oversee Social Security have released a mixed report on the program's solvency. Retirement will be okay until 2034. The disability trust fund, however, has just two more years. But what about the Social Security Administration itself? As a large agency responsible for delivering hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits each year, it also has long term challenges. Those hurdles are detailed in a study by the National Academy of Public Administration. Project Director Roger Kodat joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the major challenges at SSA over the next 10 years.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 12:42pm EDT
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Martin Matishak, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

Congress is a step closer to transforming the Veterans Affairs Department. House and Senate negotiators have agreed to a $17 billion deal. Among many things, the bill will provide funding for veterans to seek care at non VA facilities. Martin Matishak, staff writer for the Hill Newspaper, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to break down the numbers.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 12:39pm EDT
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Grants to be awarded for job-driven training initiatives

Agencies have until Oct. 1 to make competitive employment training grants more job-driven, according to a memo from the Office of Management and Budget. This follows the push from both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for agency training programs to focus on connecting employees to the right jobs.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 11:01am EDT

Monday federal headlines - July 28, 2014

The Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air. In today's news, a tentative deal on VA reform, agencies get an 'A' in renewables.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 09:54am EDT

US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said "free-wheeling militia violence" prompted the move.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 09:43am EDT

Kenneth Gillilland, Attorney, ARDEC

If you want to wave a red flag to get contractors' hackles up, just say the words, "lowest-price, technically acceptable." It may not sound like best value, but in a world of tough budgets, that's the way agencies are going. How can the strategy work for both sides? Kenneth Gilliland, an attorney with the Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center spoke to Tom Temin at the National Contract Management Association World Congress at National Harbor. View photos and listen to more interviews from the conference.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 09:19am EDT
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Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

The General Services Administration is turning one idea to make acquisition easier on agencies into reality. It's kicked off five government-wide pilots under its category management initiative. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller writes about it online in his Reporter's Notebook. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive with details.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 09:12am EDT
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Jamie Sybert, Director, and David Kirschbaum, Principal, Baker Tilly

Contracts are like marriages. Everyone enters into them optimistically and with the best intentions. But, they don't always work out. Sometimes an agency has to terminate a contract. Termination requires care, though. Jamie Sybert is a director, and David Kirschbaum is a principal at the accounting and contracts advisory firm Baker Tilly. They spoke with Tom Temin at the National Contract Management Association World Congress. They've got advice for clean separations. View photos and listen to more interviews from the conference.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 08:38am EDT
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Erville Koehler, General Services Administration

It may seem crazy, but it's possible to get would-be federal contractors to bid against each other to drive prices down* That's the idea behind reverse auctions. All you need is the right platform. The General Services Administration operates the Government-Managed Reverse Auction Platform. Tom Temin spoke to Erville Koehler, a federal acquisition service regional 4 commissioner at GSA, at the National Contract Management Association World Congress at National Harbor. View photos and listen to more interviews from the conference.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 08:33am EDT
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Agencies use of renewable energy at all-time high

Agencies released sustainability scorecards showing progress toward green goals. Overall, agencies have exceeded goals and reduced greenhouse gases, pollution and waste and increased renewables.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 06:20am EDT
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