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 threat of a government shutdown is two weeks away. But the government, employee unions and now the courts are still debating the last one. A federal district judge is considering whether he'll drop a series of legal challenges from the National Treasury Employees Union about employees who worked during the 35-day shutdown. The government says NTEU's case is moot because the union would have to prove the exact same circumstances of that shutdown could happen again. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to explain.
Like in "The Blob," the cybersecurity problem seems to keep growing and harder to see around. An emerging threat comes from artificial intelligence, with its potential to take attacks and countermeasures up many notches. That's what a group called the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University plans to research. The center's director of the cybersecurity and AI project, Ben Buchanan, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more details.
A new memorandum of understanding between the Energy and Agriculture departments aims to promote rural energy development. The 2018 farm bill required the get-together. The rural business-cooperative service administrator at USDA, Bette Brand, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss what it's all about.
It’s been 10 months since Congress started investigating reports of mice, mold and lead paint in privatized homes used by service members and their families. Now the Senate Armed Services Committee has a new Government Accountability Office report on poor housing. Members are calling the military service leaders to the Hill for updates. Remediation efforts have not gone well, and the military’s top officers are starting to get frustrated. Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione had the latest on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Every agency has a certain percentage of contracts it's required to award to small business. The U.S. Agency for International Development has the added challenge of operating all over the world. The agency has spent the last week pondering how to best deal with small business. For more, Federal News Network's Eric White spoke with the director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at USAID, Mauricio Vera, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The Army War College's recent findings on climate change point to a scary future, one the Army is ill-equipped to deal with. One group has advice for the Army on how to prepare. Francesco Femia is the founder of the Center for Climate and Security, and he talked to Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
As the Trump administration explores new ways to teach federal employees in-demand skills, the Census Bureau will launch its own data science reskilling program. Fifty employees will be chosen for the program’s first cohort in January. The bureau has stood up the pilot with help from the Chief Information Officers Council and the Office of Management and Budget, which last year launched a government-wide reskilling academy for cybersecurity skills. Federal News Network's Jory Heckman had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The government spends $135 billion a year on research and development. Yet much of it remains inaccessible to the public. Since 2013, agencies have been under a mandate from the Office of Science and Technology Policy to make federally funded research and research data more accessible. Results have been mixed. For the latest, Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke to the managing director for science, technology assessment and analytic issues at the Government Accountability Office, John Neumann.
A main principle of federal contracting is that bidders have to tell the truth. Lying, or in legalese "material misrepresentations" can get someone disqualified. But what if the misrepresentation was unintended or inadvertent? A couple of subtleties creep in, as Federal Drive with Tom Temin learned from procurement attorney Joe Petrillo of Petrillo and Powell
Air Force Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin plans to go after a three-star, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, superintendent of the Air Force Academy. She said he wrongly removed her as superintendent of cadets 30 days before the scheduled change in command, and claimed she had a toxic leadership style. The case made a sensation in the military press. For at least one side of the story, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to Tully Rinckey attorney Larry Youngner.
The commercialization of space, together with seemingly constant launches of clouds of small, capable satellites has all revolutionized geospatial intelligence. Jack O'Connor says the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office need to find new ways to innovate. The retired CIA and NGA executive is now with the Krieger School of Johns Hopkins University, and he joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin in studio to discuss more.
As it pursues doctrine and strategy for a new era, the Pentagon has been releasing a series of policy documents. One of them is called the DoD Digital Modernization Strategy. It encompasses goals for cybersecurity and artificial intelligence among other things. Senior adviser in the office of the Secretary of Defense Dr. Clark Cully joined us with highlights.
Disagreements over the Thrift Savings Plan and its expansion of the international fund are heating up. Two senators are taking their concerns with plans, to expand the I fund to an emerging markets benchmark, right to the president himself. That benchmark would track Chinese companies and senators say that's a problem. Meanwhile, a group of federal employee groups are telling senators to back off. Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to explain the latest with the ongoing TSP saga, and a few other workforce developments that she's watching.
The Education Department billed a rollback of its telework policy last year as a way to boost productivity and collaboration. But a majority of its workforce said telework cuts have hurt morale and led to people thinking about leaving the agency. Still, agency leadership remains adamant about leaving the new telework policy in place. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman had more on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Black Friday has come and gone. So has cyber Monday, but the continuing resolution persists until just before Christmas. That, and federal agency spending patterns are keeping contractors on their toes. To talk more about what the situation looks like, the President and CEO of the Professional Services Council David Berteau joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin.