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 Department of Homeland Security may be the latest cabinet-level agency to embrace the concept of a chief data officer. As Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu reported on Federal Drive with Tom Temin, lawmakers have been nudging DHS in that direction, but it’s about to begin a study that may lead it to appoint a CDO of its own.
Despite conflict of interest laws and regulations, the phenomenon of military officers who head straight for the defense contracting industry, and contractor executives confirmed for high level Defense Department jobs, never seems to stop. In the view of Mandy Smithberger, director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight, it might be getting worse than ever. She joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more.
Federal employee union leaders, like their members, are finding a lot to worry about right now. A partial lapse in funding could be looming. A big dispute with the Trump administration is dragging on. Plus, uncertainty persists over future federal pay. Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss what he hopes for and expect in the lame duck 115th Congress and beyond.
Every year the federal government reports levels of improper payments of around $140 billion. The problem seems impervious to efforts to end it. A study by Deloitte and the Partnership for Public Service finds at least one federal agency is having success. And state governments might have some practices worth trying. Mallory Barg Bulman, vice president for research and evaluation at the partnership, had more details on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
When Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, handed out the annual DHS awards for employee excellence, Michael Hoefer was among them. He's chief of the office of performance and quality at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and a silver medalist in the Meritorious service awards category. Hoefer joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin on Federal News Network to talk about the award, and the importance of data in his office.
The Department of Homeland Security finally secured a name change for its cybersecurity-focused branch. Now the resulting agency looks to implement a two-year strategy aimed at bringing it up to full operating capability. Chris Krebs, undersecretary for the newly re-branded Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, gave an overview of what that roadmap entails. Federal News Network's Jory Heckman joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more details.
It's been 15 months since the Forever GI Act became law. But the Veterans Benefits Administration's IT systems still aren't capable of handling the new payments to veterans furthering their educations. Now it looks like they still won't be functioning when the spring semester arrives. That's not sitting too well on capitol hill. Lawmakers called in VBA leadership to explain the shortfalls, and how they intend to rectify them. Federal News Network's David Thornton joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss lawmaker concerns.
Black Friday may arrive at the end of this week, but next week will bring purple Tuesday, when a red and blue Congress returns to mix it all up. Only 12 working days remain for the 115th Congress. How will they use them? Veteran Congressional expert David Hawkings joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin on Federal News Network with his take.
After ten years of trying, the Defense Department finally completed its first ever financial audit. That might seem odd for an organization that spends something like $700 billion a year and has $2.7 trillion worth of assets. But the results aren’t surprising. It failed. Now what? Federal News Network’s Scott Maucione joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin with the story.
It's been a few months since the Veterans Affairs Department signed a 10-year contract for a new electronic health record with Cerner Corporation. It looks like it might take 180 years to finish it. Some members of Congress say they have more questions than answers at this point about those plans. VA officials tried to reassure lawmakers the costs and schedule won't blow out of control, but members still say VA math seems "fuzzy." Federal News Network's Nicole Ogrysko joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to explain.
Congress fixes things in the one way it can — by passing laws. But in the real world of uber-government, nothing happens until an agency writes a rule to implement the law. Sometimes it takes them months or years to get around to it. Such is the case on rulemaking related to lowest prices, technically acceptable (LPTA) Defense Department contracts. Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin on Federal News Network to talk about what's starting to annoy industry.
The Defense Logistics Agency supplies practically everything military units all over the world need, short of ordnance. Everything from uniforms to jet engine parts. Occasionally things don't go as planned with DLA suppliers and therefore potentially with customers. DLA Ombudsman Tim Stark joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin on Federal News Network to explain what he has to do when he's called in.
The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology directorate has reorganized. It aims to work more closely with the department's operating divisions, focusing more on the application of new technology and less on traditional research and development. Senior official Bill Bryan joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for the details.
The departments of Defense and Homeland Security say they are finding new ways to collaborate on cyber defense. For starters, they have agreed to team up to identify the critical infrastructure DoD depends on most, even though it does not own or operate it. As Federal News Network’s Jared Serbu reported on Federal Drive with Tom Temin, defending those assets would nevertheless become a top priority.
Like a letter that never reaches its destination, the Postal Service announced its 12th straight year of net losses. The agency ended fiscal 2018 nearly $4 billion in the red. But it expects better financial outcomes in the new year. Come January, the price of a first-class stamp will go up by 5 cents. That’s the biggest increase of its kind since 1991. Still, the Postal Service says rate hikes will only get the agency so far. Federal News Network’s Jory Heckman has more.