How do you unearth innovation from not just the same old contractors or build a search engine that navigates the labyrinth of federal agency websites? You don’t have to because Martha Dorris, the deputy administrator for citizen services at the General Services Administration already has. She spends her days developing crowdsourcing platforms and unlocking government data for public use with websites like USA.gov, Challenge.gov and USASearch. Her efforts have earned her a nomination for a Service to America Medal.
Steve Lord director of homeland security and justice issues Government Accountability Office
For three years now, the Transportation Security Administration has been using behavioral observation methods that are impossible to prove successful. TSA deployed the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program nationwide before determining whether it had a scientifically valid basis. A recent Homeland Security Department inspector general report raised these concerns. But the Government Accountability Office has been recommending for years what TSA should do to make the program viable.
Pepco customers aren’t the only ones worried about power outages during stormy or hot days. President Barack Obama quietly signed an executive order last week directing agencies to help modernize the nation’s electric grid. It blames federal reviews for slowing critical upgrades. Jim Hoecker served as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the Clinton Administration. He now practices energy law with the firm Husch Blackwell.
A cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, is establishment of health care exchanges. Each state is supposed to have one. Health and Human Services sets the standards. Citizens go to a website and pick a health care insurance provider. To help shed light on how a health exchange actually works, we turn to Bruce Caswell, the president and general manager of health services at Maximus and Tom Romeo, the president of federal services at Maximus.
From our reporters:
What exactly is the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative? The lack of a clear definition is leading some in Congress and in industry to question the program’s real intent. One of the main questions coming out of the House Small Business Committee hearing Thursday was whether these contracts should be mandatory. Lawmakers and industry associations, and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy are not seeing eye-to-eye on that issue and several others. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller gives us the details on the growing debate and concern over strategic sourcing.
The Senate Armed Services Committee appears poised to copy its House counterpart in rejecting the Defense Department’s request for another round of military base closures. But DoD maintains it needs to shed excess infrastructure one way or another. Keeping bases it doesn’t need is costing it billions of dollars every year. Federal News Radio’s DoD Reporter Jared Serbu files this report.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.