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10:31 am, August 30, 2014

Federal Drive

Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.

Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp bring 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.

Friday - 07/25/2014, 09:55am EDT
Kristie Arslan, Executive Director, Women Impacting Public Policy

A new bill aims to give women-owned small businesses more opportunities to win federal contracts. The Women Small Business Procurement Parity Act would help agencies meet the goal of awarding 5 percent of all contracts to women-owned small businesses. Also, it would ensure that women get a fair shot at growing their businesses and create jobs. Kristie Arslan is executive director of Women Impacting Public Policy. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the new bill.

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Friday - 07/25/2014, 08:36am EDT
Friday federal headlines - July 25, 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, the House and Senate are far apart on VA reform bills, and President Obama appoints a new head of NIST.

Thursday - 07/24/2014, 06:17pm EDT
Jared Serbu, DoD Reporter, Federal News Radio

The Defense Information Systems Agency runs ten huge data processing centers around the world. That's down from 18 in 2008. The consolidation coincides with DISA taking on more and more responsibility for Defense IT. Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu has more on the agency's efforts to consolidate data centers, and what's still ahead. Read Jared's related story.

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Thursday - 07/24/2014, 10:28am EDT
Duncan Amos, Quantitative Analyst, Bloomberg Government

You've heard the expression, spend it or lose it. The approaching end of the fiscal year tends to stir federal agencies to use whatever acquisition money they have left. That causes a definite uptick in spending. Vendors don't want to miss out. They're already getting ready for what Bloomberg Government calls the end of year scramble. Quantitative Analyst Duncan Amos joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss when the activity picks up.

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Thursday - 07/24/2014, 10:24am EDT
Thuc Hoang, Trinity Project Manager, National Nuclear Security Administration

Forty-two petaFLOPS equals one big upgrade for the National Nuclear Security Administration. A new super computer dubbed Trinity will be assembled next year at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The $174 million deal with Cray is one of the biggest contracts in the supercomputer manufacturers history. Cray also built supercomputer Cielo, which will be retired after Trinity is up and running. Thuc Hoang is the Trinity project manager in the Office for Advanced Simulation and Computing at the NNSA. She told Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive how supercomputing supports the mission.

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Thursday - 07/24/2014, 10:18am EDT
Cheri Cannon, Partner, Tully Rinckey PLLC

The biggest federal labor union accuses two agencies of illegally outsourcing jobs. The American Federation of Government Employees asks the White House to review the actions. The Park Service admits Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia hired contractors to mow the lawn to augment federal custodians. AFGE says the Coast Guard plans to hire contractors for a user-fee program at a documentation center in West Virginia. Cheri Cannon is a partner at the law firm Tulley Rinckey. In this week's legal loop, she joined Tom Temin and Emily on the Federal Drive to explain how this happened.

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Thursday - 07/24/2014, 10:00am EDT
Kelley Carameli, National Council on Federal Labor Management Relations

The Office of Personnel Management will release results of the 2014 Employee Viewpoint Survey in the next month or so. The National Council on Federal Labor Management Relations is offering agencies a head start in making better use of the data. Kelley Carameli is the co-chairwoman of the council's Measures and Incentives working group. She's also a health science specialist at the Veterans Health Administration. She spoke with Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller about the new approach to measuring employee engagement. Read Jason's related article.

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Thursday - 07/24/2014, 08:02am EDT
Thursday federal headlines - July 24, 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, the House want to making firing SESers easier, and females will serve on Navy submarines.

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 10:04am EDT
Bruce Andrews, Acting Deputy Secretary, Commerce Department

Secretary Penny Pritzker has big plans for all the data coming out of the Commerce Department's agencies. To lead this new open data strategy Commerce officials have created a new position. They're currently taking applications for a chief data officer. Bruce Andrews is acting deputy secretary of Commerce. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain what they're trying to accomplish.

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Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 09:45am EDT
Lydia Dennett, Investigator, Project On Government Oversight

Nearly 800 current and former Veterans Affairs employees and patients have submitted complaints about the department to a watchdog group. The Project on Government Oversight set up a special website to collect their complaints. It says the number of submissions is a record. Lydia Dennett is an investigator for the Project On Government Oversight. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss what POGO found.

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Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 08:38am EDT
Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

Testing and evaluating federal programs might be an old idea, but it's getting a new lease on life. Agencies are using testing and evaluation earlier in the process, and that's gaining support as a potential fix for longstanding problems. For instance, the Defense and Homeland Security departments are pushing project managers to test weapons and other new technology early in the acquisition lifecycle. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss this emerging trend. Read Jason's related article.

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Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 08:20am EDT
Wednesday federal headlines - July 23, 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, President Barack Obama orders a shift in federal job training, and more active duty soldiers committed suicide than last year.

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 04:07pm EDT
Jared Serbu, DoD Reporter, Federal News Radio

The commander of the Air Force's space command says it's time for the U.S. to get moving on a new, multi-year program to build a rocket engine for space launches. He says it would reduce the nation's dependence on Russia and keep alive a vital part of the defense industrial base. Federal News Radio's DoD Reporter Jared Serbu has the details. Read Jared's related article.

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Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:18am EDT
Cynthia Schnedar, Justice Department Office of the Inspector General

The Justice Department inspector general recently found the slow pace of government may have cost lives. A new report looks at how the FBI and Justice Department tried to clean up a mess that began 20 years ago. Examiners at the FBI crime lab did shoddy work for criminal prosecutions. It took the FBI nearly five years to identify all the defendants who might have been impacted. Some already had been executed. An agency task force took nine years to finish reviewing the problems. Deputy Inspector General Cynthia Schedar joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to recap what happened.

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Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:14am EDT
Jesse Byrnes, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

From the downed Malaysia airliner in Ukraine to the border crisis in Texas, the Obama Administration and Congress have many fronts to deal with. There's also the Iraqi ambassador. He's called on the U.S. to help beat the extremist group ISIS that's taken over parts of northern and western Iraq. Jesse Brynes is a staff writer for the Hill Newspaper. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how the government will sort out its foreign affairs.

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Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:10am EDT
Jason Black, Research Leader, Battelle

By some estimates, taking out just nine critical electrical substations could plunge the whole nation into darkness. Threats to the electrical grid aren't just from cybersecurity, but also from a lack of physical security. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asked the Battelle Memorial Institute to look into security of the bulk electricity system. Jason Black is the research leader at Battelle. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to talk about his findings.

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Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:00am EDT
Steve Bell, Senior Director of Economic Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center

The military is shrinking, but the Pentagon's personnel costs keep growing. In fact, it pays about $125,000 per active-duty service member, including both salary and benefits. Two Washington think tanks are raising alarms. They say the Pentagon needs to do something now so it doesn't have to cut other critical parts of its budget later on. Steve Bell is senior director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss why the personnel cost has become expensive.

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Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 08:21am EDT
Tuesday federal headlines - July 22, 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, the Air force gives employees until Aug. 1 to accept a buyout offer, and NASA names a building after Neil Armstrong.

Monday - 07/21/2014, 11:07am EDT
Alan Chvotkin, Executive VP and Counsel, Professional Services Council

Congress has put the onus on federal contractors to make sure they are not including counterfeit or obsolete parts in equipment they sell to the government. The law was passed in 2012. Only now has the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council come out with a proposed rule. It requires contractors to report counterfeits, suspected counterfeits, and anything they suspect of being non conforming. The proposed rule covers primes, sub contractors, and subs to subs, all down the line. Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel to the Professional Services Council, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss what contractors think of the new rule.

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Monday - 07/21/2014, 11:05am EDT
John Cymbalsky, Energy Department

An Energy Department program designed to help consumers save money and the environment wasn't doing so well. It was hampered by lawsuits and a tug-of war between manufacturers and environmental groups. Then John Cymbalsky became program manager in 2010. Since then, the Energy Department has spit out energy-efficiency standards at double the pace. Now, he's nominated for a 2014 Sammies award. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss what he did differently to fix the program. View a photo gallery of all Sammies finalists. Read a Q&A and related story.

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