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.
Those who practice federal law, whether in the government or in private practice, often have special concerns your average probate or traffic court lawyer might not have. That is there the Federal Bar Association comes in. W. West Allen, chairman of the FBA's government relations committee, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with some of this year's top issues.
One thing the government has done since its inception is generate data. Thanks to recent efforts like the DATA Act, the pace of generating new data is accelerating. Creating data is one thing. Figuring out how to make use of it — that's something else, again. The Small Business Administration, for one, has been linking spending data to performance to make more informed, evidence-based decisions about program spending. Federal News Radio's David Thornton has been checking into this, and joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more information.
You can't fault them for not trying. For the fourth year in a row, the Defense Department has a special item in the draft authorization bill. It would give the Department more leeway than it has now when it comes to complying with, or saying no to, Freedom of Information Act requests. That provision has plenty of critics. Federal News Radio’s Scott Maucione spoke with one of them on Federal Drive with Tom Temin: Liz Hempowicz, policy director for the Project on Government Oversight.
Paper forms, months of waiting, counselors to help you figure out what's yours — it seems like the process of retiring from the federal government is stuck in a time warp. This is for people retiring into a world of self-driving cars, internet mindmelds and blockchain-powered trust relationships. Retirement planning expert Tammy Flanagan joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to share her thoughts on what you should be doing.
If you go to any congressman's web site, you will find a link to request his or her help with a federal agency. Well, what if instead, your representative was on site at the agency's facility when you got there? Florida Rep. Brian Mast is already there. He recently opened the first-ever Congressional office inside a federal agency. In Mast's case, it is the West Palm Beach Veterans Affairs facility. Mast has also introduced legislation to require the VA to allow members of Congress to use its facilities to meet with constituents. He told Federal News Radio's Eric White on Federal Drive with Tom Temin why he thinks the bill will help.
When visitors hit the national parks this summer, they will all be in mobile mode. Nobody lives there, so why shouldn't people be able to buy and access park passes on their mobile devices? Turns out they can. Angela Fultz Nordstrom, vice president at NIC, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss how the states are already doing this.
Eighty-four percent of the president's most recent federal IT budget request is considered "unclassified." Agencies do not have enough detail about their IT spending, so it falls in the "other" category. The Trump administration wants that to change, and it sees technology business management as the key to that change.Federal News Radio's Nicole Ogrysko joined Federal Drive for more information.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking the long view on how it serves its employees, state and local governments and businesses. Its customer experience council is seeking to improve the entire interaction with stakeholders from first contact to final resolution. It's starting with its own internal technology services and eventually moving to the private sector. For its effort EPA won one of the inaugural Citizen Champions of Change awards, handed out earlier this week in Washington. Jeff Wells is EPA’s director of office of customer advocacy, policy and portfolio management and its chief customer experience officer for Office of Environmental Information. Cory Wagner is the associate director of customer advocacy and communications division and Dawn Banks is the deputy chief customer experience officer. They tell Executive Editor Jason Miller on Federal Drive with Tom Temin about the changes the council is bringing across EPA.
Congress seems to shun regular order a lot these days. The recent budget deal was engineered mainly by the House and Senate leaders and it got bipartisan support. Jim Curry, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, tells Federal Drive with Tom Temin in the long run it doesn't really matter how bills are written or managed when it comes to their chances of passage.
While many federal employees find themselves moving from agency to agency or to the private sector, some find a niche in one place and stay there. One of them is the recipient of the Federal Managers Association's Manager of the Year Award. Brendan Cravalho has worked at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for 50 years. He's currently serving as Waterfront Logistics Manager. He tells Federal News Radio's Eric White on Federal Drive with Tom Temin how he got his start and why he thinks it's important to support the community around the federal workplace as well.
When it comes to cybersecurity, if you stand still you fall behind. Even if you run fast, you can still fall behind. For instance, at the Homeland Security Department, the National Cybersecurity Protection System hasn't met all of its objectives for intrusion detection and information sharing. Greg Wilshusen, director of information security issues at the Government Accountability Office, offers the details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The Air Force recently gave its wing commanders more decision making power and more responsibility for their actions. Col. Thomas Palenske, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, took that instruction to heart. He’s made it easier for airmen in his wing to move faster up the skills ladder, while streamlining training requirements. Federal News Radio’s Scott Maucione spoke with Palenske about all of this on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
As the Census Bureau conducts its field test for the 2020 population count, Congress is worried the project is falling behind schedule and over budget. The Census Bureau is testing new technology and procedures in field testing in Providence, Rhode Island. Agency officials gave members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee a status update last month. Former Census Director Robert Groves tells Federal News Radio's Jory Heckman on Federal Drive with Tom Temin how the Census Bureau can make the best use of that new technology.
The Veterans Affairs Department might be spending billions for a new electronic health care record system. But it is also using micro purchases to develop application programming interfaces so VA data can be used for all sorts of apps to help veterans. Drew Myklegard, the product owner for Lighthouse, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for a progress report on the project.
Whether you are a deplorable or a member of the resistance, this is no time to drag your politics to the office. The midterm elections promise to be a trial in terms of avoiding Hatch Act violations. Special Counsel Henry Kerner joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for a reminder and some new guidance.