In Depth Show Blog – May 7

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.

Special note: Federal News Radio reporter Jared Serbu is filling in for Francis Rose, who is out sick.

Also, learn more about the malicious cyber attack that has affected Federal News Radio here.


Today’s guests:

Joseph Wolski
Audit Manager
USPS Office of the Inspector General

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The challenges facing the Postal Service are widespread. Possible defaults, workforce attrition and delivery status are longstanding problems that need long term solutions. But the Postal Service can try to leverage some of its largest assets to build a better understanding of its business decisions. Joseph Wolski, audit manager at the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, has been looking into the benefits the agency’s IT infrastructure can provide.

Inspector General’s report

Tom Shoop
Government Executive

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A popular refrain about government business is “too much bureaucracy.” In some cases that may be true, but policies that may seem superfluous on the outside might actually be important. Tom Shoop, editor-in-chief at Government Executive, joins In Depth to discuss the connection between rock band Van Halen’s famous contract rider and the federal bureaucracy.

Van Halen, Brown M&Ms, and the Bureaucracy (related story)

Cord Chase
Chief Technology Officer
Agriculture Department

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Handling a cybersecurity threat requires communication and understanding. Your agency’s stakeholders need to know what’s happening. But your agency’s cybersecurity team needs to help them understand how to prevent it from happening again. Cord Chase is the chief technology officer and Interim Director of the Monitoring and Analysis Division and the Incident Handling Division for the Agriculture Security Operations Center at the Agriculture Department. He’s speaking at a FOSE panel about communicating cyber threats.

Harold Brown
Former Defense secretary

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Over the past 35 years, the threats the Defense Department worries about have changed a lot. One thing hasn’t: The Pentagon is a daunting institution to manage. Harold Brown served as defense secretary under President Jimmy Carter and has held various advisory roles since then, including his service now on the Defense Policy Board. Brown joins In Depth to discuss the challenges that have remained consistent in DoD since he served as its top official.

Star Spangled Security: Applying Lessons Learned Over Six Decades Safeguarding America

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)

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Several lawmakers have introduced legislation that would create cyber defense and response teams across the country. The teams would be based in National Guard units in all 50 states, and be available to respond to requests from either their governors or the secretary of defense. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) is a co-sponsor of the Cyber Warrior Act. He joins In Depth to discuss how the bill would help fill some of the federal government’s cyber talent gaps.

Anne Altman
General Manager
IBM Federal

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The Veterans Affairs Department this week awarded IBM a 10-year, $123 million contract to build and operate a new HR system for its 300,000 employees. The system will use a software as a service model based on Oracle’s PeopleSoft. Anne Altman, general manager of IBM Federal, says VA is the first large federal agency to adopt a commercial IT solution to handle HR functions.

From Our Reporters:

  • Executive Editor Jason Miller on a new memo coming from the Office of Management and Budget on new FISMA reporting requirements … (Click here to read his report)

More News: