Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
In this edition of Inside the Reporter's Notebook, Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz about the IT and acquisition communities.
The Government Accountability Office said a recent report that the Department of Defense paid $150 per gallon for alternative jet fuel HEFA (hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids) which is made from algae. That's more than 64 times the current market price for standard carbon-based fuels. The report indicated only a small amount of the fuel was purchased for testing.
The Pentagon says if Russian troops were really pulling back from the border with Ukraine, then "we would know," a spokesman told the Associated Press. He says that doesn't seem to be happening. Russian President Vladimir Putin says his troops have been moved away from the border region. Putin has also called on Ukraine's military to stop its operations against pro-Russia activists who have seized government buildings and police stations in at least a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine.
The House Armed Services Committee is marking up the Pentagon's 2015 Defense Authorization bill today. Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) has a series of proposals that include some accounting finesse to appropriate more than $2 billion worth of unobligated funds into next year. He wants to balance that with some targeted spending cuts too. John Donnelly, editor of Congressional Quarterly's Defense Blog, tells In Depth with Francis Rose the balance in the 2015 Defense Authorization bill gets more precarious the longer the markup goes.
The Navy is scrapping a plan to overhaul one of its 11 aircraft carriers. The Defense Department says doing that frees up money to spend on the Littoral Combat Ship program. Everett Pyatt is leader of the Project for Defense Management and Acquisition Leadership Program at the McCain Institute and a former assistant secretary of the Navy. He's writing in Real Clear Defense about the Navy's budget plans.
The intelligence community, like the rest of government, is coping with a sudden budget decrease. But leaders say they're committed to not repeating the serious workforce mistakes policymakers made during the last budget cut two decades ago, when new hiring ground to a halt. Read the related story by Jared Serbu.
Today is markup day for the National Defense Authorization Act in the House Armed Services Committee. Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) has already killed the idea of approving a round of Base Realignment and Closure this year. But the Defense Department sees the potential for some progress on another round of BRAC. John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of Defense for installations and environment, talked to In Depth with Francis Rose about the effort the Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) is making to push toward a BRAC round.
John Hickey, the mobility program manager for the Defense Information Systems Agency, talks about the status of DoD's commercial mobile device programs, for both classified and unclassified communications. Greg Wenzel, a senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, discusses the findings of a recent survey of government employees about DoD acquisition.
Iran says it will target U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf if a war breaks out. An Iranian military official says the country could sink a U.S. aircraft carrier like the USS Nimitz and that the country is practicing on a replica. A spokesman from the Pentagon says they have no doubt Iran could sink the replica it has built, but Col. Steve Warren says sinking a U.S. aircraft carrier is another matter entirely and he has no confidence in Iran's capability to sink one.
Congress is debating the proposed $496 billion defense budget this week, and military pay is one of many sensitive issues within that bill.
The House Armed Services Committee releases a blueprint of the National Defense Authorization Act. The $601 billion measure hardly resembles the Pentagon's wish list. It rejects most of the department's ideas for saving money. Staff writer Martin Matishak has been following this closely for the Hill Newspaper. He provided insight for Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.
Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has released a $601 billion spending plan that saves the Cold War era U-2 spy plane from the chopping block and also would force the Pentagon to keep the A-10 Warthog in storage. It's all a part of a plan resulting in smaller military budgets after 13 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ironically, though, the plan also denies the Pentagon's request for another round of military base closures to get rid of unnecessary facilities and save $1.4 billion.
Congress is taking its first real action on whether or not to accept the cost-saving ideas DoD put forward in its 2015 budget proposal. And so far, it looks like Congress will shred those proposals. Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu writes about the annual National Defense Authorization Act in the latest edition of Inside the DoD Reporter's Notebook. He described some of the initial reactions from Congress so far.
The military is putting more resources into covert programs. The Pentagon asks Congress for nearly $54 billion for classified, special access and intelligence programs. That would be an increase of 2.2 percent at a time when most other spending would be flat. Rob Levinson, senior defense analyst for Bloomberg Government, explained the "secret spending" to Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.
"Inside the DoD's Reporter's Notebook" is biweekly feature focused on news about the Defense Department and defense community as gathered by Federal News Radio DoD Reporter Jared Serbu.
Congress takes its first real action next week on whether or not to accept the cost-saving ideas DoD put forward in its 2015 budget proposal. And so far, it's looking like those proposals are going to be shredded. Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu is writing about the current process of putting together the annual National Defense Authorization Act in this week's edition of Inside the DoD Reporter's Notebook.
Better Buying Power 3.0 is coming soon from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. But sustained, measurable defense acquisition reform will require more stakeholders than just OSD. Jon Etherton, principal of Etherton and Associates, senior fellow of the National Defense Industrial Association and a longtime veteran of the defense acquisition field, ttestified at this week's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about defense acquisition reform. He told In Depth with Francis Rose his main message for the committee was why reform can work this time around.
Congress wants the Department of Defense to change its cloud security requirements in order to make them more vendor-friendly. Congressmen Derek Kilmer (D-Wa.) and Niki Tsongas (D-Ma.) are proposing the Defense Cloud Security Act to clarify its requirements and offer more opportunities for vendors to meet those standards.
More than half of senior executives surveyed by the Senior Executives Association are reporting "low" or "very low" morale with their jobs. The problem lies with a pay-for-performance system where some supervisors make less money than the people they lead. Increasing numbers of senior executive service members are ready to leave the federal government altogether.
Military sex assault reports shoot up; Pentagon chief says 'clear threat' to both men, women