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- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
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- 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
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
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- Gov Cloud Minute
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- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
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- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Trust is a critical factor in the relationship between federal managers and employees. Without it, whistleblowers are retaliated against; minor Hatch Act violations receive severe punishments; and unsuitable employees are given security clearances. In our special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees, Federal News Radio explores what a lack of trust has created in government and what it will take to restore it.
DAY ONE: Restoring Trust in the Workplace
Trust is a critical factor in the relationship between federal managers and employees. Without it, whistleblowers are retaliated against; minor Hatch Act violations receive severe punishments; and unsuitable employees are given security clearances. In our special report, Federal News Radio explores what a lack of trust has created in government and what it will take to restore it.
Across the federal government, the officials who run hotline programs in agency inspector general offices say they're finding ways to cut their backlogs of incoming cases and get vital information into the hands of investigators more quickly. In part, it's because those officials are communicating with one another like never before.
The heads of both the Office of Special Counsel and Merit Systems Protection Board tell Federal News Radio their increasing workloads could actually be a sign of progress — that more employees feel protected enough to make disclosures. However, an exclusive Federal News Radio survey reveals a wide chasm of trust remains when it comes to feds blowing the whistle at work.
Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller speaks with Thomas Drake about his decision go public with what he called waste, fraud and abuse at the NSA. Drake is one of the few federal employees to be brought up on non-spy charges under the Espionage Act.
Susan Tsui Grundmann, chair of the Merit Systems Protection Board, says many federal employees filed furlough appeals because they said they didn't trust managers were making the right spending decisions that could have fended off the need to furlough employees.
Under the Hatch Act, federal employees face a number of restrictions when it comes to their political activity on and off the job. The law was originally designed to protect feds from political coercion.
It's been 23 years since the Tailhook scandal rocked the Navy, and the Pentagon is still struggling to eliminate sexual assaults from the military. The number of reported cases is on the rise, but is counting cases alone solving the problem?
DAY TWO: Who Deserves to be Trusted?
NSA, State and nearly every other agency are developing "fixes" to protect unauthorized employees from taking data. Experts say employees need to understand why the rules are in place and how they benefit both the organization and worker. OMB says one way to improve the situation is by reducing the number of federal employees with security clearances-an initiative that already is underway.
In Part 4 of the special report, Questioning Clearances, Federal News Radio examines the government's plan to use new technology to keep better tabs on cleared personnel on a near, real-time basis. But some experts wonder whether such a plan could be implemented successfully in the swift timelines sought by the government.
Matthew Baum, a former investigator in OPM's now-defunct Office of Federal Investigations, questions whether politics and privatization went too far by outsourcing background investigations.
Trust boils down to workers demonstrating a sense of reliability and consistency. With reliability and consistency, "people begin to depend on each other to get things done in the workplace." Without it, an agency can be doomed, says Michael Gelles of Deloitte.
Are federal budget and staffing shortfalls — particularly among the federal government's acquisition workforce — fueling a climate of mistrust between the government and its contractors? Experts explore the importance of communication in building trust.
Perhaps nowhere in the federal workforce is trust more frail than in the intelligence community. It is still reeling from the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The Director of National Intelligence recently issued two policies to clamp down on employees' speech. The first says only a few authorized officials can talk with journalists. In this week's Legal Loop, Tom and Emily looked at the policy's impact on trust in the intelligence community as part of our special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees. Employment lawyer Debra Roth said on The Federal Drive the new policy stands out because it covers unclassified information.
DAY THREE: The New Model of Trust
Trust is fickle and just a few small events can cause that trust to break. As part of Federal News Radio's special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and its Employees, we asked federal employee groups and union leaders about how they define trust between employees and the government now and what this trust will look like in the future.
As part of Federal News Radio's special series, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees three federal employees at different stages in their careers — one a newer, younger employee, another who recently came from the private-sector, and the third a 40-year veteran — shared their views with Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on how to restore in the federal workplace.
Bob Tobias, director of the Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation, sees trust as a symptom of whether employee engagement exists or not.
People work better and more efficiently when they feel respected. And lately, Congress hasn't done a lot to make federal workers feel valued, says Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in a column written for Federal News Radio's special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees. But, Tester says, he has a plan to start changing that low morale.
When federal whistleblowers report wrongdoing at their agencies it's usually out of a sense of loyalty to the mission. So, why is it that they are sometimes shunned, or worse, for bringing issues of waste, fraud and abuse to the surface? In a column for Federal News Radio's special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees, Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project explains why he believes whistleblowers should be embraced.
Despite the challenges they face, federal employees come to work every day and strive to do their best because they are dedicated to their jobs. What will it take for Congress to start treating them with the respect they deserve, asks AFGE President J. David Cox in a column written for Federal News Radio's special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees.
SPECIAL REPORT EXTRAS
Federal News Radio surveyed over 1,900 federal employees, members of the private sector and retirees to gauge the level of trust between feds and their agencies on various issues. View the raw results of that survey.