Federal Drive

  • Gavin O’Brien: Keeping health records secure on mobile devices

    People use mobile devices for almost everything nowadays — sometimes even for viewing sensitive information. It’s not just the intelligence community that needs to keep its devices protected. Medical providers need a middle ground between security and convenience as well. To that end, the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence has released a new set of rules to help health care providers keep their mobile devices as secure as possible. Gavin O’Brien is a project manager at NCCoE. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to review the new guidelines.

  • Jason Miller: Scrubbing DoD’s acquisition policy clean

    The Defense Department is taking a scrub brush to its acquisition regulations and getting rid of any nasty growths that have been slowing down the process over the years. The Pentagon tested a handful of these changes already and is finding success in taking out layers of bureaucracy. Katrina McFarland is the assistant secretary of Defense for acquisition. After her speech at the National Contract Management Association’s World Congress in Dallas, she told Executive Editor Jason Miller about DoD’s acquisition regulation scrubbing effort.

  • Rodney Caudle: The changing nature of DDoS attacks

    As the recent attacks against the Office of Personnel Management and Census Bureau show, no one is safe from being hacked. But sometimes the goal isn’t to steal information. Sometimes it’s to disrupt an organization’s web traffic. They’re called denial of service attacks. Rodney Caudle is the director of information security at NIC. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more about DDoS attacks, and how common they still are.

  • Wednesday federal headlines – July 29, 2015

    In today’s news, the Defense Department is trying to remove what it says are burdensome and costly procurement regulations, the new head of the TSA says he’s planning several changes to security and screening procedures and the Homeland Security Department becomes the third major agency pledging to use a General Services Administration contract vehicle.

  • John Wagner: Streamlining air travel

    Customs and Border Protection had a problem: how to heighten security while grappling with rising international travel. If you traveled abroad prior to 2008, you probably remember the long wait times and seemingly overwhelmed customs officers. In stepped John Wagner, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. He helped streamline the process, and was named one of this year’s 33 Service to America Medal finalists. He spoke with Tom Temin on the Federal Drive about his work.

  • John Stewart: Hackers and the security industry

    Hackers have no trouble innovating and creating new ways to disrupt systems, but the security industry struggles to keep up. That’s according to Cisco’s 2015 Midyear Security Report. It analyzes many of the industry’s intersecting challenges, and provides updates on some of the most compelling threats. John Stewart is the Senior Vice President and Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cisco Systems. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to sort through the report’s findings, and discuss the current state of the security industry.

  • Mike Halpert: Is El Niño the next super storm phenomenon?

    The Western states are experiencing an historic drought. But a strong El Niño is building in the Pacific. Forecast models predict a strong event. That raises several questions. Will the rain bring relief or devasting floods and mudslides? Will it come at all? How soon can the government predict the effects of this year’s storm so agencies and citizens can prepare? For answers, we turn to Mike Halpert, Deputy Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center in College Park. He spoke with Tom Temin on the Federal Drive for an inside look at El Niño forecasting.

  • Jason Miller: OMB’s hard deadline for e-filing

    The White House is giving agencies three years to process all their invoices electronically through a shared service provider. The Office of Management and Budget released details for how you should make that happen as part of the President’s second term management agenda. Dave Mader is the Controller and Acting Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. He tells Executive Editor Jason Miller about the new electronic invoicing requirement.

  • Tuesday federal headlines – July 28, 2015

    In today’s news, Electronic invoice processing is finally coming to the government, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) calls for the removal of the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and the Obama administration closes the door in November on a controversial spy program.

  • Van Hitch: How to implement final version of FITARA

    The Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) has gone gold. The comment period for FITARA implementation guidance ended, and the next fiscal year is approaching. Now agencies, especially chief information officers, have to set about working the plan. Van Hitch is a senior adviser at Deloitte Consulting and former CIO of the Justice Department. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with some advice in getting right with FITARA.

  • Seto Bagdoyan: CMS and fraudulent medical providers

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has had only partial success stopping fraudulent doctors and suppliers from signing up to receive payments. Billions of dollars are at stake. That’s according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Two of CMS’ screening procedures work well, but GAO found major weaknesses in two others. Seto Bagdoyan is director of the Forensic Audits and Investigative Service at GAO. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more on the report.

  • Jason Miller: Where, oh where, have my federal executives gone?

    Can senior federal officials simply disappear? Judging from some recent departures of high-profile executives, you’d think so. Former Interior Business Center director Joe Ward joins the ever-growing list of senior executives who have moved or changed jobs or have been put on leave with little transparency from their agency. In his biweekly feature, “Inside the Reporter’s Notebook,” executive editor Jason Miller writes about why the uncertainty of the whereabouts of Ward, and others like him, are part of a growing problem in government. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more.

  • Monday federal headlines – July 27, 2015

    In today’s news, Washington-area members of Congress are pushing for lifetime credit monitoring for federal employees affected by the data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management, lawmakers are pushing forward on must-pass highway legislation and the Census Bureau is the latest federal agency to suffer a cybersecurity breach.

  • Dr. Alice Rivlin: Congressional budget process needs an overhaul

    We’ve all heard the complaints and lived with the consequences. The congressional budget process is broken and needs drastic overhaul. The Bipartisan Policy Center has some suggestions for doing just that. Dr. Alice Rivlin is a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brooking Institution, and a former director of both the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget. She co-authored the report with former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), and joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss it.

  • Jared Serbu: ‘Institutional failures’ led to shipping of live anthrax

    A Pentagon investigation finds DoD has been dangerously shipping live samples of anthrax to research facilities for the past 12 years. The review found the samples went to at least 86 separate labs in several countries. While there’s no evidence anyone was actually sickened by the bacteria, investigators found systemic flaws in the government’s management of the world’s deadliest biological agents. Federal News Radio’s DoD reporter Jared Serbu has the details. Read Jared’s related story.