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5:12 pm, July 25, 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.

ICE to restart a key element of $800 million, multiyear IT program

Agency officials said Thursday that they will switch from a custom-built to a commercial-off-the-shelf approach to modernize TECS, a mainframe system that has been operating for more than a quarter of a century. ICE spent more than $60 million before deciding to change directions after realizing the custom-built approach wouldn't work.

Monday - 02/10/2014, 04:04am EST
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VA gets new tool to speed up claims processing, reduce backlog

DoD opens its electronic medical records to VA claims processors for the first time. The goal is to shave days or weeks from the time it takes VA to decide disability claims for recently separated service members. But the launch of the system has had a few bugs.

Friday - 02/07/2014, 04:23am EST
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New IRS chief says budget crunch, understaffing taking its toll

John Koskinen, sworn in as IRS commissioner in late December, has been meeting with frontline employees and crunching numbers for the last several weeks. He told Congress Wednesday that every corner of the agency is underfunded, and as a direct result, the Treasury is collecting fewer dollars than it should.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 03:47am EST
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Army identifies up to $100 million in fraud in recruiting payments

The Army's audit arm finds huge accountability holes in a years-long program that recruited 130,000 soldiers. The program most likely violated federal law from the get-go, officials say.

Wednesday - 02/05/2014, 03:45am EST
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DHS satisfied with privacy safeguards in new data sharing programs

Early pilots in DHS information sharing project appears to show that bureau-level IT systems built decades ago can share information with one another, and also protect against data privacy problems.

Monday - 02/03/2014, 04:02am EST
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Senate looks to shore up voting protections for overseas feds

Despite recent reforms, senators see holes in voting protections for military members and feds serving overseas. A new bill would add new requirements for both DoD and local election officials.

Friday - 01/31/2014, 03:50am EST
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Air Force secretary sees 'systemic' problems in nuclear workforce

Air Force's new civilian leader returns from tour of the service's nuclear sites with a dim assessment of the workforce's leader development and training culture. In 60 days, the service will recommend an action plan to the Pentagon.

Thursday - 01/30/2014, 03:50am EST
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On DoD: DIA's innovation strategy

On this week's show, Dan Doney, the Defense Intelligence Agency's chief innovation officer, spends the full hour with Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu to talk about a few key elements of DIA's 2014 innovation strategy.

Wednesday - 01/29/2014, 03:39pm EST
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Senators urge about-face on new military retirement cuts

Pentagon leaders expressed disappointment on Tuesday at the retiree cost of living cuts under the Ryan-Murray budget deal and urged Congress to repeal them. But officials also pressed lawmakers to wait for an independent study group's conclusions before making more piecemeal changes to the military compensation system.

Wednesday - 01/29/2014, 04:06am EST
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Budget constraints force Army to make tough choices about modernization

The Army's senior leaders have made clear for months that their service's end strength will have to decrease as a result of budget pressure. But the cutbacks can't be only to personnel. Some of the Army's major modernization priorities will have to be sidelined, at least for now.

Monday - 01/27/2014, 04:16am EST
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Senate to take up major overhaul of VA benefits

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the measure that includes dozens of provisions that expand benefits and hiring programs and grants advance appropriations to most of the Veterans Affairs' accounts. Senate Veterans Affairs chairman suggested paying for the changes by reducing DoD's wartime budget.

Thursday - 01/23/2014, 04:30am EST
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DISA's commercial cloud strategy remains a work in progress

The Defense Information Systems Agency says an eventual commercial cloud buy probably won't be bundled into a single contract vehicle, but in the meantime, DoD needs to work through challenges involving security, approval policy and network operations.

Wednesday - 01/22/2014, 04:30am EST
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After banner year for recruiting, military leaders uneasy about future

Weakness in the private-sector economy has let the Pentagon spend fewer dollars on recruiting efforts over the past several years. It still beat its targets for both the quantity and quality of new enlistees and officers it brings into its ranks. But officials believe things could get more difficult.

Friday - 01/17/2014, 04:19am EST
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DoD shields basic research, but other R&D will take serious budget hit

Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said while the budget agreement adds money back to DoD's overall spending capacity in 2014 and 2015, the deal still doesn't plug holes in the Pentagon's research funding. Kendall estimated R&D funding will drop by as much as 20 percent compared to the department's initial requests.

Thursday - 01/16/2014, 04:56am EST
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DoD begins use of specialized cloud for big data analytics

The platform, called Acropolis, is initially being used only for network operations and cybersecurity data, but officials plan to expand it to help solve big data challenges around financial and acquisition information.

Wednesday - 01/15/2014, 02:43pm EST
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DoD's progress in reducing sexual assaults at military academies unclear

The number of reported sexual assaults declined at the Air Force Academy and West Point, and increased slightly at the U.S. Naval Academy. But DoD officials can't determine whether that reflects an increase or decrease of actual crimes.

Monday - 01/13/2014, 04:12am EST
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National Guard worried about growing risk of attrition

Amid debates about the proper size of the active military versus the reserve component, the National Guard's chief warned his force will lose its best talent if it's not given opportunities to engage in the guard's federal mission.

Friday - 01/10/2014, 03:37am EST
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Army readiness problems will persist through 2020

Army's top uniformed official said the Ryan-Murray budget agreement is a partial remedy to the difficulties the Army has had in training and equipping its troops. But undoing the damage of sequestration will take at least another six years.

Wednesday - 01/08/2014, 04:11am EST
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Amid bribery scandal, Navy changes business practices for overseas port calls

Navy moves to centralize its contracting and payment processes for overseas husbanding services after its investigators find tens of millions of dollars in overcharges resulting from bribes.

Monday - 12/23/2013, 03:51am EST
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Air Force commits to use OASIS for most professional services contracts

Under an agreement signed Thursday, the Air Force will use OASIS as its default option for professional service contracts. The service agrees to spend at least $500 million under the multiple award contract.

Friday - 12/20/2013, 03:50am EST
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