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.
Jimmy Stewart stepped down last week from performing the duties of undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. It marks another turnover and a continued lack of leadership in one of the Defense Department’s most important roles. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined the show to talk about what the vacancies means and what the future holds for the future of the position.
Federal employees avoided a second government shutdown in 2019 after congress passed and the president signed two massive spending bills into law late last week. President Trump's signature came hours before the deadline lifted Friday at midnight. Both bills are packed with other spending and policy priorities that total some one point four trillion dollars. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined the show to break down what's in the spending package for feds.
Long story short — the Air Force sought to acquire space launch services. It took an unusual contracting strategy of trying to award two compatible bids instead of simply the best two. And you know where that led. Procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo of Petrillo and Powell joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the details of this bid protest.
Last Spring, the Energy Department said it would make grant funding available for projects to help engineers — those designing new-generation energy systems — become more productive at their work. Well now the awards have been made. With where they went and what they'll do, the program director from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, David Tew, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
As a workforce, federal employees are generous. In the National Capital Region alone, they've donated a half billion dollars to charitable causes over the past 10 years. This year's Combined Federal Campaign has the goal of raising $34 million from the region. But that's not all, as Federal Drive with Tom Temin heard from the chair of the local federal coordinating committee, Vince Micone.
The Air Force’s pitch days have become so popular that several the squadrons are borrowing the idea. The squadrons have good reason to expand this approach to attracting new and different companies. About 80% of all participants in the pitch days are non-traditional defense contractors. Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt is deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for contracting. He told Federal News Network Executive Editor Jason Miller why he was not surprised by the number of new contractors participating in the pitch day approach. Hear more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The Senior Executives Association recognized 137 high-performing federal career managers this week with Presidential Rank Awards. The winners steered groundbreaking research made new discoveries modernized their agencies' IT systems, and managed their colleagues during the longest government shutdown in US history. But characteristic of the Senior Executive Service, the award winners didn't take much time to pat themselves on the back, or to think about themselves. They're thinking about the future instead. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Any Defense contractor that can fog a mirror should be paying attention to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program. Eventually contractors will have to prove they've got cyber chops under CMMC if they want to keep doing business with the department. DoD is up to the pre-launch version 0.7 of the CMMC. Cybersecurity expert and attorney Bob Metzger joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin in studio to share what contractors need to know.
Women veterans sometimes face tougher challenges than men in establishing a solid life outside of the military. Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) helps women establish themselves in a fast-growing and well-paid field. The group brings in industry and academia to provide mentors and opportunities. Founding member Amelia Estwick joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to explain how it all works.
Members of the Foreign Service carry out the State Department's diplomatic mission in foreign outposts across the world. But it’s not just diplomats who do this work. In many cases their spouses, children and other family members help support the mission at overseas posts. In recognition of this work the State Department recently recognized Foreign Service families for their volunteer efforts aboard. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman has the story.
The 19th-century Austrian diplomat Klemens von Metternich said crowns rest on debt. So do modern democracies. The U.S, with nearly $17 trillion in debt and growing, relies on investors buying Treasury securities. If that sales effort got hung up it would be game over. The Director of Strategic Issues at the Government Accountability Office, Kris Nguyen, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for some of the threats to Treasury bond sales.
It seems like everyone in the military is talking about artificial intelligence. The Defense Department has been backing its interest in AI with substantial money. Now the RAND Corporation says the department has yet to provide its Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) with the visibility, authorities and resources it actually needs to ramp up AI across the department. JAIC is supposed to be the epicenter of DoD’s AI strategy. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione spoke with Danielle Tarraf, senior information scientist at RAND, about the report for Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The ninth version of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard shows the most compliance progress yet. Three agencies received grades of “A” and most of the subcategory areas saw improvements across the board. In his weekly feature, the Reporter’s Notebook, Federal News Network Executive Editor Jason Miller wrote about the fact that, despite the improvements in FITARA scores, some old habits don’t die easily. He joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin in studio.
The Defense Department is getting around to implementing something Congress ordered back in 2017. Namely, a new definition of and ways to deal with commercial items. In other words, there is a new proposed procurement rule people need to know about. Holland and Knight partner and procurement attorney Eric Crusius joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin in the studio to discuss what it's all about.
Like the little engine that could, the Office of Special Counsel is plowing through an unending stream of whistleblower complaints and other cases. Last year OSC managed to resolve more than 6,000 cases. In an extended in-studio interview on Federal Drive with Tom Temin, Special Counsel Henry Kerner offered a summary of last year's work, and explained how a small budget increase went a long way towards filling vacancies and improving service.