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.
Colleges and universities are anything but ivory towers free of sexual harassment and intimidation. Now the National Science Foundation wants to make sure its grants do not go to investigators who might be engaging in sexual harassment, or to institutions who let it go on. With more on the new rule, Rhonda Davis, head of diversity and inclusion at the NSF, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Reorganization is a big deal project at the Health and Human Services Department. Senior executives spent months crafting the concept they call "Reimagine HHS." Maximizing talent within the agency's 85,000 employees is a big part of it. Christine Major leads the effort as HHS deputy assistant secretary for human resources and chief human capital officer. Major told Federal News Radio's Nicole Ogrysko how the agency came up with the "reimagine" concept.
The main point of the armed services is to wreck things and kill the enemy. Often bombers and long range missiles do not do the job. Sometimes soldiers and marines need to get close. Recent losses show these tip-of-the-spear warfighters may not have the training and equipment they need. For a perspective on the Pentagon's new Close Combat Lethality Task Force, Army Maj. John Spencer, deputy director of the Modern War Institute at West Point and former Army ranger, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Nearly every federal tech shop, as well as Congress, is looking into blockchain. They all see potential for electronic health records and supply chain risk management. But early adopters face challenges bringing the rest of government on board. Federal News Radio's Jory Heckman had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
A lot of federal technologists have the feeling that somehow, blockchain online ledger technology could help their agencies. But they are not sure how. Some possible answers might be coming from the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service. They have just completed a blockchain proof of concept. Innovative Program Manager Craig Fischer joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more details.
The military is touting its Career Intermission Pilot Program as a way for troops to live more flexible lifestyles. But, for all the advertising, enrollment numbers are low. Federal News Radio reporter Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk about his special report, “Taking a break to retain talent in the military."
The omnibus appropriations bill Congress passed last month includes some major plus-ups in the funding lines the military uses to pay for upkeep of its facilities. But even though the amounts are larger, they are still not nearly enough to fund all of the maintenance the Defense Department needs. In some cases, facilities will continue to deteriorate. In others, the military is just treading water. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu examined the numbers as part of this week’s DoD Reporter’s Notebook on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Like it or not, unmanned aircraft are fast becoming an important part of the economy. Amazon and Google at this moment are developing plans for autonomous delivery, and the control systems for the drones they plan to have aloft. But they are not operating in a vacuum. The FAA and NASA are deep into research on how drones will operate safely in U.S. airspace. Parimal Kopardekar, NASA's senior technologist for air transportation systems, spoke about it on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Congress is out in the middle of a two-week recess. So nothing too horrible can happen. But still, they have a full agenda — other than the midterm elections, that is — such as what to do about the Veterans Affairs Department. And fiscal 2019 funding? Bloomberg Government Editorial Director Loren Duggan joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk more.
It may not get as much attention as the Veterans Health Administration, but the Indian Health Service is responsible for health care for nearly 600 federally-recognized Indian tribes. The IHS has had its challenges since its establishment in 1955. Now, this Department of Health and Human Services agency launched a dashboard to let management see what is going on in a number of quality measures. Jonathan Merrell, acting deputy director for quality health care at the IHS joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more discussion.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is one of the few members of Congress who actually gets technology. Unlike most, he understands the Internet is not a series of tubes or wires. The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on IT, said delays in the continuous diagnostics and mitigation, or CDM, program are both unnecessary and unacceptable. In his weekly feature, the reporter’s notebook, Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller wrote about why Hurd’s frustration may be misplaced. He discussed the topic on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Every administration says it wants the government to be more transparent. Yet federal agencies still get tens of thousands of Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests every year. An increasing number of frustrated people sue to have their FOIA bids fulfilled. Alina Semo is director of the Office of Government Information Services at the National Archives and Records Adminsitration. She has advice for avoiding and dealing with FOIA lawsuits, which she shared on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
When academic standards seem to be melting everywhere, the Army is going in the opposite direction. It is getting rid of multiple choice questions in its courses. Army brass want to better prepare soldiers to earn college credit and credentials for when they leave the military. They think more writing and thinking-based examinations might help. Federal News Radio’s Scott Maucione reported on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The American Federation of Government Employees said it is not backing down until the Education Department agrees to come back to the table and, well, bargain for a collective bargaining agreement. Instead, Education started imposing its own terms. AFGE said those terms are confusing and demoralizing. Claudette Young is the president of AFGE Council 252, which represents 2,500 Education employees. She told Federal News Radio's Nicole Ogrysko for Federal Drive with Tom Temin the department walked away from discussions setting the ground rules for negotiations.
In a final paroxysm of activity before the fall elections, Congress showered the government with record spending. But with only half the fiscal year left to go, is there enough time to launch the initiatives planned for 2018? Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, shared some advice for how to proceed on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.