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Thursday federal headlines - October 16, 2014

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal News Radio each day. It is designed to give readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news, federal government ramps up its response to Ebola, the Health and Human Services Department looks to industry for an Ebola vaccine and the federal budget deficit reaches its lowest point in six years.

Tags: In Depth , newscast

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 09:21am EDT

John Mahoney, Federal Employment Attorney

Congress may have handed the Veterans Affairs secretary authority to fire under-performing senior executives. But it hasn't quite worked out that way. At least two executives faced with serious charges of malfeasance managed to retire, presumably with full annuities, before they could be fired. In this week's legal loop segment, Federal Employment Attorney John Mahoney joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details.

Tags: John Mahoney ,

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 12:00pm EDT

Andrew Hunter, Director, Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell

The Defense Department's Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell is responsible for coordinating the department's effort to fill its crucial and often unanticipated operational needs. These are requirements combatant commanders and warfighters often discover they need after yearly budgets have been set. As part of our special report, The Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, Tom Temin spoke with Andrew Hunter, director of the cell, on the Federal Drive. He explained how rapid acquisition works.

Tags: Andrew Hunter , DoD ,

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 12:00pm EDT

Charlie Sowell, Salient Federal Solutions

It's become routine in criminal cases for law enforcement to search for suspects' motives by looking at their social media accounts after the crime. But the government has been slow to search social media proactively in other ways. For instance, like evaluating someone for a security clearance. At a recent event hosted by the Professional Services Council, one federal official said the intelligence community had developed a policy to incorporate social media into background investigations. But it's been held up for a year and a half by senior leaders. Charlie Sowell is a former intelligence official, now with Salient Federal Solutions. He tells Emily Kopp that few contractors are using social media to vet their employees too, but that's changing.

Tags: Charlie Sowell , Emily Kopp , Tom Temin , Salient Federal Solutions , contracting , social media

Thursday - 10/16/2014, 09:46am EDT

Odierno: Global strategy helps Army balance readiness, threat response

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno says new Army Operating Concept stresses flexibility and sustainability to combat a wide variety of enemies across a wide swath of domains.

Tags: Ray Odierno , Army , AUSA conference , DoD , readiness , Sean McCalley

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 12:56pm EDT

Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

The ever-evolving training regime for federal acquisition workers is no longer about the hard skills of acquisition only. Acquisition people certainly do need to know the policies, regulations and laws. But for real improvement to take place in the system, they also need soft skills to lead successful procurements. As part of our special report, The Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller explores the changing nature of acquisition workforce training.

Tags: Jason Miller , Tom Temin , workforce , acquisition , Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform , acquisition workforce

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 08:29am EDT

Frank Anderson, Former President of Defense Acquisition University

Former Defense Acquisition University President Frank Anderson is a veteran when it comes to the theme of procurement reform and people. Anderson says the acquisition workforce in the Defense Department has come a long way. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss how procurement leadership can foster better outcomes.

Tags: Frank Anderson , Tom Temin , Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform , acquisition , acquisition workforce , Acquisition University

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 02:37am EDT

Jim Williams, Partner, Schambach & Williams Consulting

On the second day of our three-day series, The Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, we're focusing on people and what improvements can be made to acquisition training and the workforce. Jim Williams is former acting commissioner at the General Services Administration and the top acquisition official at the IRS. Williams joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss all things procurement and the current state of governmentwide acquisition vehicles.

Tags: Jim Williams , Tom Temin , Schambach & Williams Consulting , Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform , GSA , IRS , acquisition workforce , acquisition

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 02:30am EDT

Dan Gordon, George Washington University Law School

As part of our special report, The Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, we examine bid and contract award protests. In the grand scheme of things 1,600 protests don't amount to much stacked next to the one or two million contract actions each year. Former Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Dan Gordon joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to share his perspective.

Tags: Dan Gordon , George Washington University , Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform , Tom Temin , acquisition , contracting , bid protests

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 02:20am EDT

Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, U.S. Army

Sometimes you have a plan but contingencies come up and force you to change. That's the situation the Army finds itself in. The service is taking a close look at how budget constraints and blossoming global conflicts are forcing it to adjust. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Williamson is military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology and director of Acquisition Career Management. He spoke with Emily Kopp at the Association of the U.S. Army Expo.

Tags: Emily Kopp , Michael E. Williamson , Tom Temin , Army , AUSA , aquisition

Tuesday - 10/14/2014, 01:11pm EDT
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