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4:45 pm, November 20, 2014

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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.

Tags: Jason Miller , acquisition , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 08:38am EDT
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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.

Tags: Cynthia Schnedar , Justice Department , FBI , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:18am EDT
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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.

Tags: Jesse Byrnes , The Hill , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:14am EDT
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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.

Tags: Jason Black , Battelle , FERC , cybersecurity , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:10am EDT
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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.

Tags: Steve Bell , Bipartisan Policy Center , DoD , pay and benefits , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 10:00am EDT
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Don Kettl, Professor, University of Maryland

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has filled out its leadership under an unusual political deal. The Senate has confirmed the agency's Enforcement Chief Norman Bay to chair the commission. But he will have to wait nine months. In the interim, Acting Chairman Cheryl LeFleur will continue to lead the agency. Bay will serve as a board member while learning the ropes. Don Kettl is a professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain this unusual case.

Tags: Don Kettl , University of Maryland , FERC , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Monday - 07/21/2014, 10:59am EDT
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Nancy Flynn, Founder, ePolicy Institute

More than a few eyebrows were raised last month when members of Congress learned that IRS officials may have sent instant messages instead of emails. They allegedly made the switch after learning that the messages would not be preserved as federal records. The agency may not have preserved the messages, but that doesn't mean they're not federal records. Nancy Flynn is the founder of the ePolicy Institute. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to give advice on preserving instant messaging.

Tags: Nancy Flynn , ePolicy Institute , Tom Temin , Federal Drive

Monday - 07/21/2014, 11:01am EDT
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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.

Tags: Alan Chvotkin , contracting , acquisition , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Monday - 07/21/2014, 11:07am EDT
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Michael Lumpkin, Defense Department

Congress has been urging the Pentagon to speed up finding and identifying remains of service members dating back to World War II. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has promised to fix deficiencies in the recovery process. As part of that effort, the Pentagon is consolidating two agencies that had roughly equal responsibilities. Michael Lumpkin is the assistant secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the objective of the new command.

Tags: Michael Lumpkin , DoD , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Friday - 07/18/2014, 11:00am EDT
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Julia Ziegler, Web Manager, Federal News Radio

How much cash would it take for you to accept a buyout at your agency? Is there a magic number you're looking for? Web Manager Julia Ziegler joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss what people are saying online.

Tags: Julia Ziegler , buyout , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Friday - 07/18/2014, 09:43am EDT
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