Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- 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
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
Testing and evaluating federal programs earlier in the process is gaining support as the answer to systemic problems. The Defense Department and Homeland Security Department are pushing project managers to test technology or weapons systems sooner in the acquisition lifecycle. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller tells In Depth with Francis Rose about the emerging trend.
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.
Time is ticking on the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. The typical summer rush is about to start: You have a chance over the next several months to nail down some new business and lay the groundwork for next year. Larry Allen is President of Allen Federal Business Partners and author of the Week Ahead newsletter. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said lots of buying decisions will come soon.
The Office of Management and Budget requires federal agencies include more data in its 2016 budget requests for this fall. OMB wants benchmarks and timelines of financial investments so it can organize its cross-agency priority goals. Beth McGrath is director of Deloitte's Federal Practice. She's also former deputy chief management officer at the Defense Department. In a Federal News Radio op-ed and on In Depth with Francis Rose, McGrath said agencies should be making even more business decisions based on data.
The Government Accountability Office is in the middle of an ongoing, multi-year study on the pay system, and taking its findings to Capitol Hill. A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee looked at the General Schedule last week. Jessica Klement is legislative director of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. She shared her own ideas of how to reform the General Schedule on In Depth with Francis Rose.
Your agency could save itself time and work on the hiring process if a new bill from Senator Jon Tester becomes law. The Competitive Service Act would let other agencies share information about applicants they didn't hire that might fit your agency's openings. In our Congressional Spotlight on In Depth with Francis Rose, Senator Tester explained how he thinks the bill will make your agency's hiring process faster and better.
The Department of Homeland Security answers to ninety-two Congressional committees and another twenty-seven outside organizations. The Annenberg Public Policy Center says that's a total of one hundred nineteen different oversight groups. Bob Tobias is Director of Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said the complicated web of leadership might be a big reason why Congress has never passed an authorization bill for agency.
3D printing can help the Postal Service save a lot money, gas, and time, according to its Inspector General. 3D printers can make things like screws and containers using plastics and powders. Charlie Crum is a director at the Postal Service OIG. His office has a plan to help the agency jump into the 3D printing business, and he shared that plan on In Depth with Francis Rose.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The goal to get a spending bill done for your agency looks less and less likely by the time the fiscal year ends September 30th. And the other work Congress thought it could get done -- reform at the Department of Veterans Affairs -- seems to be hitting a wall too. David Hawkings is Senior Editor at Roll Call, and he shared the progress for both of these major pieces of work on In Depth with Francis Rose.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will consider the nomination of Robert McDonald as the next VA Secretary tomorrow. If the Senate confirms him, he'll inherit a Veterans Health Administration that hasn't had a major review of its healthcare system since the mid-1980s, according to the Military Officers Association of America. Vice Admiral Norb Ryan is president of MOAA. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said Congress and the White House should build a commission focused on reforming the VHA.
Defenders of the General Schedule are hard to find, if you can find them at all. All the stakeholders agree the GS setup doesn't work for the federal government in the 21st century. On In Depth with Francis Rose, Federal News Radio Senior Correspondent Mike Causey said even the names of the slots on the schedule don't really work right any more.
Federal agencies that want cheap web design and app developer contracts face a potentially large roadblock called the the Federal Acquisition Regulation. One reason is a part of the FAR that can limit how numerous (and how cheap) an agency's IT options are. Steve Kelman is professor of public management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He said those requirements are scaring smaller companies away from competing for those types of IT contracts on In Depth with Francis Rose.
Restructuring the way the federal government organizes its employees is all of a sudden a big focus on Capitol Hill. Bills to change or kill the General Schedule are already floating around, and more may come. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census looked at the future of the General Schedule with witnesses from the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Managers Association, the American Federation of Government Employees and the Government Accountability Office. Robert Goldenkoff is Director of Strategic Issues at the GAO. He told the committee HR management in the Federal government has been on the GAO's High Risk list since 2001, but he said not all the news is bad on In Depth with Francis Rose.
The fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 is in full swing. Last year's fourth quarter saw federal agencies hand out $125 billion in new contract obligations, according to Guy Timberlake. He's chief visionary and chief executive officer of the American Small Business Coalition. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said federal contractors can find plenty of ways to take advantage of the fiscal year-end spending spree -- as long as they take a simple approach.
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.
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.