Federal Drive with Tom Temin
Summary: When he's not tooling around the National Capital region on his motorcycle, Tom Temin interviews federal executives and government contractors who provide analysis and insight on the many critical issues facing the Executive branch. The Federal Drive is found at FederalNewsNetwork.com and 1500 AM in the Washington D.C. region.
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the United States, and that applies to the armed services. Yet the Defense Department continues to lift restrictions on travel and certain base activities. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the latest.
For the U.S. Postal Service, a surge in package delivery volume has offset some of the other losses because of the pandemic. So letter carriers in rural areas are working overtime to deliver all the packages. This as the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy met with Postal unions to outline his priorities. For one account of that session, Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with the president of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association Ronnie Stutts. Hear more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Often the most mundane-sounding mistakes can cause catastrophe, like the time a passenger seatbelt caught a knob on the floor of a helicopter. It crashed into the East River in New York and killed five people. Chihoon Shin has investigated this and many other helicopter crashes, thereby improving safety. He's now a finalist in this year's Service to America Medals program. Shin is an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, and he joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more information.
A recent court case showed why, when an agency is dividing work between unrestricted contractors and small businesses the latter might want to bid on both sides. How come? They get to go to the debriefings. For more on the practical effect of this strategy, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo.
Several big federal benefits programs depend on the consumer price index. The CPIs are calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the indexes may not be entirely accurate. The Government Accountability Office found that the bureau has not evaluated whether the data sources it feeds into the indexes produce accurate ones. For more details, the GAO's Director of education, workforce and income security, Charles Jeszeck joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
GSA going another direction in helping small businesses buy IT services
Feds continue being charitable during pandemic
Cutting down lifecycle costs for agencies operating ships, aircraft, satellites
DoD’s $7B household goods contract takes an even stranger turn
More lawmakers getting on IT modernization bandwagon as House prepares 10th FITARA scorecard
Summertime -- and the living isn't so easy. The House of Representatives tucks into two weeks of committee work. That includes appropriations for fiscal 2021 in addition to another possible stimulus bill. Here with our weekly look ahead, Bloomberg Government Editorial Director Loren Duggan.
Veterans applying for compensation or a pension from Veterans Affairs typically have to undergo a physical examination. That's been impossible in person during the pandemic. But now the Veterans Benefits Administration has resumed in-person exams. For how they're able to do it, the director of the appeals management office at VBA, David McLenachen.
It takes a veritable village to launch a space craft. When it comes to commercial space vehicles, the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation grants the licenses. During liftoffs, FAA crews keep airplanes away, give weather advisories, mapping, and many other services. For an upcoming launch of a commercial rocket called Starlink L9, for the first time the FAA will field an all women ground crew -- officially the Joint Airspace Operations Group. With their story, Air Traffic Manager Jennifer Ross and Space Operations Group member Jamie McMillon.
Agencies are making the switch from paper to digital records. That’s because after December 2022 the National Archives and Records Administration will only accept electronic permanent records. Archivists might face a jumble of file formats. To make sure NARA can still open records years from now the agency has released a Digital Preservation Framework with digital recordkeeping best practices. It covers more than 500 file formats. For more on the framework Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman spoke with NARA’s director of digital preservation Leslie Johnston.
The Veterans Health Administration hired a boatload of people during the pandemic. And they did it by cutting unnecessary steps and delaying some of the onboarding steps until after new hires started work. The average time-to-hire went from 94 days before the pandemic to 10-to-12 days during the health crisis. Congress is impressed and wants to see VA hire with the same agility during "normal" times. We got more from Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko.