In Depth Show Blog – May 20, 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.

Francis Rose is on assignment at the 2013 Management of Change conference in Cambridge, Md. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu is filing in.

Today’s guests:


David Newman
Husch Blackwell

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Women-owned small businesses may be about to get a leg up in their pursuit of some government contracts. At least that’s the hope of the Small Business Administration, which has just implemented some new rules that will make it easier for agencies to set aside contracts for women-owned firms. But for some the changes are too little, too late. David Newman, an associate at Husch Blackwell, analyzes what the new rules mean.

SBA aims at increasing contract awards for Women Owned Small Businesses (related link)

Ken Linthicum
Director of the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology
Agricultural Research Service (gainesville, Fla.)

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Treating deadly insect-borne diseases is important. But preventing them from spreading in the first place is important, too. That’s one of the things Ken Linthicum, the director of the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Gainesville, Fla., has been working on. His work has helped prevent potentially tens of thousands of deaths from diseases transmitted by insects in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere. For that he’s a finalist for the “Service to America Medal” in the category of National Security and International Affairs.

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Christina Chaplain
Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues
Government Accountability Office

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Strategic sourcing is not exactly a foreign concept in government. But agencies have struggled to garner all the savings they could from buying services more smartly. Large private companies though have been working on some of the same issues with regard to service contracting…and there are some lessons there for government. Those are the conclusions of the Government Accountability Office in a new report. Cristina Chaplain, director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues at the Government Accountability Office, joins In Depth with more.

Russell Rumbaugh
Director of Budgeting for Foreign Affairs
Stimson Center

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Under sequestration, DoD will have to cut its previously planned spending by more than $500 billion over the next ten years. The approach is painful, across the board and haphazard — military leaders have warned it will cause a crisis in readiness. But there’s no shortage of ideas on how to trim defense spending without drastically harming military capability. Washington is awash in the cost-cutting recommendations of boards and commissions, most of which have gone ignored by Congress. And a new review of those ideas by the Stimson Center says altogether, they could save about a trillion dollars if they were implemented. Russell Rumbaugh the director of Stimson’s budgeting for foreign affairs program and a coauthor of that new report, joins In Depth with his take on DoD cost cutting.

From Our Reporters:

  • The Office of Management and Budget is finalizing a new directive to change federal financial management processes, with the goal of making it easier for agencies to balance their books and for vendors to provide software to help them do that. Click here to read Jason Miller’s report.

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