In Depth Show Blog – May 10, 2013

This is the In Depth show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today’s guests:


Federal News Countdown
Fridays at 3 p.m.

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Jon Desenberg, senior policy director for the Performance Institute, and Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel, count down the top federal news stories of the week.

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Dr. Joel Kupersmith
Chief Research and Development Officer
Veterans Health Administration

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Telekinesis is the art of moving objects with your mind. The Department of Veterans Affairs is trying to perfect it. Doctor Joel Kupersmith, the chief research and development officer at the Veterans Health Administration spoke with In Depth Producer Sean McCalley about the advances being made. He said the VA’s celebrating its latest technological achievements during VA Research Week, which starts Monday.

John Shoraka
Associate Administrator, Government Contracting and Business Development
Small Business Administration

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There is now one less hurdle for women-owned small businesses looking for federal contracts. According to a press release from the Small Business Administration, “the interim final rule removes the anticipated award price of the contract thresholds for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract.” John Shoraka, associate administrator for government contracting and business development at SBA, spoke with Francis about the rule.

John Colley CISSP
Managing Director, EMEA

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Cloud security will soon have its own cadre of certified professionals. (ISC)² and the Cloud Security Alliance are working on a certification for cloud security experts to prove what they know. John Colley, managing director at (ISC)² Europe, Middle East and Africa, joins In Depth with more.

From Our Reporters:

  • Despite a surge in the number of federal employees putting in for retirement over the past few months, the Office of Personnel Management has made steady progress chipping away at a longstanding backlog of retirement claims. But House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members and other government watchdogs remain concerned that the absence of a long-term plan to overhaul the mostly paper-based process, combined with across-the-board budget cuts and a lack of strong leadership within OPM, could derail the progress the agency has made. The committee held a hearing yesterday on the issue. Federal News Radio’s Jack Moore covered the event. Read his article. Find testimony from the witnesses and video from the hearing here.
  • Big data is turning into the next security challenge for IT shops across government. The White House is ushering in a new normal for managing the federal government’s data. The administration’s new policy and executive order form a structure that has been missing over the last decade. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller joins In Depth with more. Click here to read his report.
  • The Defense Department is responding to what it calls a “failure” by its new contractor for heath care services in the Western U.S. Patients and providers have been waiting weeks to get pre-authorization for care by medical specialists. DoD says for now, TRICARE beneficiaries can see specialists with just their primary care physician’s approval. Click here to read DoD reporter Jared Serbu’s report.

More News:

DoD releases Defense budget estimates for FY 2014

Post Office posts $1.9 billion second quarter loss

Vote on Obama’s choice to lead Labor Department delayed…again

EEOC to hold ‘Twitter Town Hall’ on federal sector

In hours, thieves took $45 million in A.T.M. scheme