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.
The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency says its short on expertise when it comes to the latest technologies in artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms. But one thing it does have is data. Lots of it. As Federal News Radios Jared Serbu tells Federal drive with Tom Temin the agency is looking for ways to trade one for the other.
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) is rarely shy about defense issues. As the House waits for the Senate to crank through work on the 2018 defense authorization bill, Smith talks with Federal News Radio's Scott Maucione about the possibility of base realignment and closure, defense funding, and what else might lie ahead.
The United States' nuclear arsenal is big, but it's also old. Maintaining it is partly the responsibility of the National Nuclear Security Administration. NNSA has plans to build a new uranium processing facility and refurbish the existing ones. The plans have missing pieces, according to the Government Accountability Office. Joining me with more, David Trimble, director of natural resources and environment issues at the GAO.
Military planners are hard at work on what they say are badly needed upgrades to the nation's aging nuclear arsenal. A new bomber, new submarines and new intercontinental ballistic missiles - all under development contracts. Still undecided is whether the U.S. will develop a new air-launched cruise missile. For more on that program, we turn to Mark Gunzinger, analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The EPA's Urban Waters program depends on partnerships among agencies, and state and local governments. Coordinating all those moving parts can be difficult, but Urban Waters has a long list of successes. That's thanks in part to the work of Surabhi Shah, the director of EPA's Urban Waters Program and a finalist for this year's Service to America medals. She spoke with Federal News Radio's Eric White about the thinking behind this program.
The one-two punch of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma showed just how disastrous nature can be. For advocates of the EPA, the pollution left by storms proves shows just how important it is to keep the agency at its full funding level. Federal News Radio's Meredith Somers has more.
Federal employees, unions, and past and present government leaders all have a lot of optimism about what could come from the Trump administration's reorganization efforts. All of these groups say one of their biggest concerns is that their voices are being heard. But so far some of these voices are louder than others. Federal News Radio's Nicole Ogrysko has more.
You've heard the stories about the military, civilian and federal workers helping out with hurricane disaster relief. But what about federal contractors? They also play a part in the rescue operations by providing communication equipment and support. Federal News Radio's Scott Maucione spoke with Jim Appleyard, the program manager for the Deployable Communications Capability System at Engility.
Social Security, the Veterans Affairs Department and the Office of Personnel Management have one thing in common: a big backlog of applications for what they provide. OPM's National Background Investigative Bureau has a backlog of 700,000. Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president of the Information Technology Industry Council, says this is becoming a national security concern and Congress isn't doing enough to cut it down.
To be a small company for federal contracting purposes, you can't get most of your revenue from a single large contractor. That's what the Small Business Administration tried to establish in one recent ruling. But the court had other ideas. To sort it all out, procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo, of the law firm Petrillo and Powell.
Blockchain may sound like something you'd find in a prison yard but this online ledger technology has a lot of potential for federal digital services. The General Services Administration is betting on the technology as a way for agencies to modernize legacy systems. Justin Herman, the lead for emerging citizen technology at GSA, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to explain what the technology is and how it works.
At 14 Warrior Transition Units across the country, the Army has used a mix of traditional medical and psychological care, adaptive sports and physical therapy to help ill and wounded soldiers transition back into military service or civilian life. But the Warrior Transition Battalion at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington State has added a slightly unusual activity to the mix: Diving with sharks. The program is a partnership with a local aquarium, and its meant to treat pain, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Brian Caskin, a physical therapy assistant at Madigan, talked to Federal News Radios Jared Serbu on Federal Drive with Tom Temin about Operation Shark Dive
Most large companies have upgraded their systems, but not the federal government. The administration still uses a personnel system designed three generations ago. The Volcker Alliance and the Partnership for Public Service have launched a fresh try at reforming federal civil service. Margo Conrad, director of education and outreach at the Partnership for Public Service, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss the details.
The U.S. Army is making plans to complete an upgrade project in two years that was estimated to take five, according to Col. Troy Crosby
New diversity efforts include requiring any open ambassador position to include at least one minority candidate.