David Olive, principal at Catalyst Partners, counts down the week’s top federal stories with In Depth host Francis Rose.
A real revolution is what Nobel Prize Laureate and fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology William Phillips calls the field of atomtronics. He applauded the work of NIST physicist Gretchen Campbell in that field. Campbell is a Service to America Medal finalist in the Call to Service category. She says the field of atomtronics is still sort of theoretical.
In today’s news, another Facebook veteran is now working for the White House, the top health official for the Veterans Affairs Department says he is prioritizing issues to improve the veterans’ healthcare system, and it’s time to refresh the most popular schedule contract and the General Services Administration is looking for help.
HealthCare.gov, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Secret Service and the OPM data breaches are what stand out in most people’s minds about government operations in the Obama administration. He has 17 months left to leave the government in a better place and prepare it for a smooth transition. Bob Tobias is director of business development for Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University.
More than 150 national defense projects would be at risk if the Defense Department enters fiscal year 2016 under a Continuing Resolution. The Air Force could take the brunt of that with depleted ranks and 50 programs on the potential chopping block. Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, tells In Depth with Francis Rose there’s not much you can do, if you sell to the Pentagon, except prepare for the worst.
Sixteen vendors are winners in 18F’s Agile Blanket Purchase Agreement from the General Services Administration. It requires vendors to submit a working prototype based on a public dataset and then use a git repository to show their work. 18F worked closely with the Federal Acquisition Service to make the awards to large and small businesses. Bill Gormley, president of the Gormley Group, spoke to In Depth on Francis Rose about the award.
In today’s news, 867,000 veterans have pending applications to get health care from the Veterans Affairs Department, the top acquisition officer for the Defense Department tries to soothe industry’s fears about new research and development rules and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says federal agencies don’t get the “gig” economy.
Pressure to save money and make your bid lower than the next company’s is pushing more vendors to consider self-insurance. Industry Chatter guest Nicole Mitchell is a certified public accountant and a partner in Aronson’s Government Contract Services Group. She and her colleague La Tasha Patel wrote about what you need to know about self-insurance.
Investors in the biggest companies that serve the federal government aren’t exempt from the ups and downs of the stock market that have been playing out for the last several weeks. Ross Wilkers is newsroom editor at Executive Mosaic, which tracks the GovCon Index. He told Francis Rose on Industry Chatter the wild ride on Wall Street in August made for some heartburn for investors in government contracting companies too.
The weapon system acquisition programs at the Defense Department combine for a total estimated cost of over $1.4 trillion. About seven years ago, the Government Accountability Office recommended a departmentwide portfolio management approach for those investments. Today, GAO said that system could use some improvement. Mike Sullivan, director of acquisition and sourcing management issues at GAO, tells In Depth with Francis Rose what policy issues need to be addressed.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has special power now to get rid of senior executives who engage in misconduct. Congressional overseers want to extend that power to cover other employees at the agency. Stewart Liff is a fellow at the Performance Institute. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose that federal managers have more power to fire people than they might think.
The Department of Defense has a list of exceptions it wants Congress to consider if, or when, it passes a continuing resolution for the beginning of fiscal year 2016, Oct. 1. Bob Hale is a fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton and former undersecretary of defense comptroller. He dealt with several of the department’s requests for changes to previous-year budgets in his time there. He is out with a new publication through the Brookings Institution, called Budgetary turmoil at the Department of Defense from 2010 to 2014. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he explains why he wanted to write it.
In today’s news, a new We the People petition on White House.gov calls on President Obama to give federal employees a “meaningful pay raise,” OPM and DoD award a three-year contract to provide identity theft protection to federal employees, and OPM says federal employees might want to work from home during Pope Francis’ visit to Washington.
In lieu of a government shutdown, a continuing resolution can be an improvement opportunity for agency leaders and transition officers.
NARFE’s John Hatton and Katie Maddocks from the Federal Managers Association, join host Mike Causey to talk about some of the issues that Congress will tackle when it returns from its summer recess. September 2, 2015
Francis Rose is the host of In Depth, which airs weekdays from 8-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC metro area and online everywhere. Francis has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He joined Federal News Radio in 2006, and launched In Depth in 2008 as a daily show focused on connecting federal executives to the information they need to do their jobs better.
Francis has developed multiple popular segments within his show including Federal News Countdown, Industry Chatter and Pentagon Solutions.
Francis also writes a weekly commentary for Federal News Radio. Read his latest columns.