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11:35 pm, December 17, 2014

Federal Drive

Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.

Host Tom Temin brings 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.

Wednesday - 12/17/2014, 11:28am EST
Daniel R. Elliott III, Chairman, Surface Transportation Board

The news from this year's "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" list is not that great. It shows federal employees' morale at the lowest point in the last 11 years. But it's not doom and gloom for every agency, and there are some encouraging signs. The Surface Transportation Board was number one among smaller agencies on this year's list. How did they do it? STB chairman Daniel R. Elliot III joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to offer some insight.

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Wednesday - 12/17/2014, 11:12am EST
Gene Aloise, Deputy Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Most of the troops are coming home, but that doesn't mean there isn't still work to do in Afghanistan. Every year, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) assembles a "high risk" list. It outlines which areas of the reconstruction effort are most vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse. The list also helps the armed services focus their reconstruction efforts and correct problems. Deputy SIGAR Gene Aloise joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss this year's findings and their implications.

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Wednesday - 12/17/2014, 08:46am EST
Wednesday federal headlines - December 17, 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 FederalNewsRadio.com readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news, lawmakers are furious with the Social Security Administration for targeting family members to resolve decades-old debts, the Transportation Security Administration asked for and received an exemption from the Obama administration's ban on racial profiling and a former Homeland Security Department official is sentenced to three years in prison.

Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 08:30am EST
Tuesday federal headlines - December 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 FederalNewsRadio.com readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news, the Veterans Affairs Department is getting some help from IBM's Watson, the Senate confirms Dr. Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) blocks a bill that aims to reduce the number of veteran suicides.

Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 08:04am EST
Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director, Peace Corps

Consider yourself someone who likes to pitch in and help others? If you do, you might find the Peace Corps' list of top volunteer producing-states and metro-areas interesting. Especially since Washington, D.C. makes a notable appearance this year. Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss recruiting, as well as explain some of the most exciting changes and trends on this year's list.

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Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 08:00am EST
John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

The 114th Congress convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with some new faces yet to be voted in for important oversights roles such as chairman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. John Palguta is the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss what federal employees should expect in 2015 - from senior executives to civil service reform.

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Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 07:56am EST
Tim Sullivan, Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP

Government contracting can be a very useful tool for enhancing social and economic changes that Congress deems worthy. Contracting veteran Tim Sullivan has authored the blog, "10 Myths of Government Contracting." Sullivan has been exploring these myths on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin. Today Sullivan tackles the penultimate myth - number 9: Only the big guys succeed. That myth seems easy to debunk given the amount of small business contracting the federal government does ... but not everyone reads past the headline of the big awards.

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Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 07:49am EST
David Wise, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues, GAO

A Veterans Affairs hospital construction project is shaping up to be a classic failure. Late and over-budget, the billion dollar Denver facility is only 62 percent complete. And now a court rules, the contractor could legally walk away from the whole thing. Judges for the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals say the VA has acted in bad faith. This mess has not escaped notice of the Government Accountability Office. David Wise, the director of physical infrastructure issues at GAO, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to explain more of what went wrong and whether it can be salvaged.

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Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 07:38am EST
Bill Evanina, Director, National Counterintelligence and Security Center

Now that all of the people have been gathered at the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the work begins on building the same mindset. The new center houses ODNI employees, detailees from 15 agencies and contractors. What are they doing? For answers, we turn to Bill Evanina, the National Counterintellgence Executive (NCIX) and director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. On the Federal Drive, he told Tom Temin how the Center is working to prevent bad actors from getting security clearances, and making sure cleared people don't stay cleared if they no longer qualify.

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Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 07:31am EST
Jonathan Aberman, Managing Director, Amplifier Ventures

For cybersecurity, research and development and defense contracting, the Washington D.C. region carries a lot of weight. Now that Congress has passed a 2015 federal budget, lots of companies are looking to see how cyber, R&D and defense programs are likely to fare in the coming year. Jonathan Aberman has been looking into this. He's the managing director of Amplifier Ventures in Northern Virginia and the founder of the non-profit Tandem NSI, which brings new companies to the federal market. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive for some analysis.

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Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 12:01am EST
Baylee Crone, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

Nearly one in three homeless veterans calling a Veterans Affairs help hotline was sent to voicemail in fiscal 2013. That's just one of the issues uncovered in an Inspector General's report on the VA National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. The VA has pledged to make changes to the call center. But as the temperatures dip, what other challenges lie ahead in supporting homeless vets? Baylee Crone, executive director at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with the latest on these problems and details on her testimony before the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

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Monday - 12/15/2014, 10:31am EST
Cristina Chaplain, Government Accountability Office

NASA's launch and re-entry of its Orion space capsule proved the vehicle might safely carry people into deep space. Someday. But when? That's the question NASA faces as it tries to meet ambitious deadlines with limited funds. A big challenge is developing the vehicle, the rocket necessary to launch it past the moon and the ground station support so they're all ready at the same time. The Government Accountability Office has been on top of this. Christina Chaplain, the director of acquisition and sourcing management issues at GAO joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin to examine the agency's findings.

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Monday - 12/15/2014, 09:55am EST
Larry Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Congress is capping the pensions of top military officials in 2015. As part of National Defense Authorization Act, pensions for generals and admirals will be trimmed to ensure they make no more in retirement than they did on active duty. That reverses a 2007 law designed to help retain officers during wartime. What effects, if any, will this have on the military's ability to retain its senior officers? Larry Korb is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former assistant secretary of Defense for manpower and reserve affairs. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with a look at this measure.

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Monday - 12/15/2014, 07:47am EST
Monday federal headlines - December 15, 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 FederalNewsRadio.com readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news, the Postal Service says today is its busiest mailing day of the year, the Senate over the weekend agreed to a $1.1 trillion 2015 spending bill now awaiting President Obama's signature and Congress passes a bill to crack down on overtime pay at Customs and Border Protection.

Friday - 12/12/2014, 10:47am EST
Eddy Mentzer, Manager, Defense Spouse Education & Career Opportunities Program

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership's goal is simple. They want to eliminate one of military families' biggest problems: finding employment for the spouse of the service member. Because of frequent relocation, military spouses often face high unemployment rates and a significant wage gap in the jobs they do have. Through the initiative known as Joining Forces, 38 new organizations joined the Employment Partnership program earlier this month. Eddy Mentzer is the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program manager. On the Federal Drive, he gave Tom Temin an update on the program and the companies involved.

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Friday - 12/12/2014, 10:44am EST
Mark Geyer, Orion Program Manager, NASA

NASA's Orion is on her way home for the holidays. The spacecraft is being transported to Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a successful first test flight, splashdown, and recovery. Orion will be examined and disassembled so NASA researchers can prepare for the next stage of its Space Launch Systems programs. Mark Geyer is the Orion program manager at NASA. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details on what comes next.

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Friday - 12/12/2014, 10:42am EST
Jason Miller, executive editor, Federal News Radio

It even sounds complicated: making information resources assessible, discoverable, and usable by the public, and making open and machine readable the new default for government information. But that's what the White House ordered in May of 2013. Now agencies are finally getting their heads around how best to meet the requirements of the open data policy. Several agencies realize what's needed is a combination of policy and action. Federal News Radio's executive editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details about the plans of some agencies to meet this 18-month-old policy.

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Friday - 12/12/2014, 10:30am EST
Emily Kopp, Reporter, Federal News Radio

Each year, agency leaders scan the list of best places to work in the federal government with either anticipation or anxiety. If you're at the top, you've got a great selling point for employees and recruits. But if you're at the bottom, you've got hard work to do. Federal News Radio's Emily Kopp was at the awards ceremony to speak with those who know what it's like to be up and down. First, she spoke with Jeri Buchholz, the chief human capital officer at NASA, the large agency that tops the list.

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Friday - 12/12/2014, 10:25am EST
Julia Ziegler, Web Manager, Federal News Radio

Feds are not holding back when it comes to sharing their thoughts on the President's plans to reform the Senior Executive Service. Federal News Radio's web team put out a questionnaire, asking them what they think of the SES proposals. We've collected some of their comments. Tom Temin, host of the Federal Drive, spoke with web manager Julia Ziegler about the varying opinions.

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Friday - 12/12/2014, 08:38am EST
Friday federal headlines - December 12, 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 FederalNewsRadio.com readers more information about the stories heard on the radio. In today's news, tension between the executive and legislative branches took a new twist, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says farewell to his colleagues and Congress approves a bill to automatically enroll new federal employees in the Thrift Savings Plan's lifecycle funds.

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