In Depth Show Blog – Aug. 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.

Today’s guests:


The Executive Suite
Tuesdays at 3 p.m.

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Joe Jordan, the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, joins In Depth for a deep-dive, hour-long conversation on some of the hottest topics in federal acquisition, including strategic sourcing and the Mythbusters guidance on communication between vendors and government. This edition of the Executive Suite originally aired on July 30.

Daren Brabham
Editor of Case Studies in Strategic Communication
University of Southern California

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Transparency goals are a lot easier to reach when the public itself works for an agency. Crowdsourcing is an online business strategy the private sector is using to mobilize public innovation, and the federal government is taking interest in its problem solving potential. And yet, there’s no federal Office of Crowdsourcing, and no official framework to tell managers how to do it effectively. Daren Brabham, assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, tried to create one. His paper, Using Crowdsourcing in Government, has just been published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

Tom Shoop
Government Executive

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The total damage done by sequestration depends on who you ask. Some agencies are finding ways to reduce their mandated furloughs. The Office of Management and Budget just canceled its last two remaining furloughs days . But some are mourning the death of some critical programs, and even the death of some adorable animals that literally couldn’t survive a budget cut. Tom Shoop, editor-in-chief of Government Executive, explains how in some cases, the casualties of sequestration have a taken a turn for the worse.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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The Transition to Practice program is pitching to venture capitalists, investors and other companies in California the potential of federally-funded cyber tools. DHS believes this software and hardware could significantly improve the security of computers and networks. Michael Pozmantier, program manager of the Transition to Practice in the Science and Technology Directorate at DHS, tells Federal News Radio’s Executive Editor Jason Miller how the Transition to Practice program is taking federally sponsored technologies to the commercial market.

Don Hoffman
Program Officer for Power Generation and Energy Storage Systems
Office of Naval Research

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For many locations around the world where U.S. troops are deployed, one of the only ways to get electricity is through gas generators. Not only are they noisy, but they also require constant resupplies through fuel convoys, which are often a target for enemy attack. But scientists working on the problem for the Office of Naval Research say they’ve just successfully tested an alternative to generators. The whisper-quiet new fuel cell unit produces the same amount of power as a gas generator on half the fuel, and they’re looking at ways to make it even more efficient. Don Hoffman, program officer for power generation and energy storage systems at ONR, told Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu how the technology works.

Evan Montgomery
Senior Fellow
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

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Even during sequestration the Defense Department doesn’t plan to sacrifice its global presence. But it is considering new ways to administer the bureaucracy that global reach requires. Some of the military’s combatant commands might disappear altogether, and some might have their geographical boundaries redrawn. For now, it’s all speculation, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says it’ll only be necessary if sequestration stays in place for the full ten years. Yet, it is one of the ideas DoD is examining in the wake of Hagel’s recent Strategic Choices and Management Review. Evan Montgomery, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, explains why DoD might consider restructuring its combatant commands.

Jane Holl Lute
President and CEO
Council on Cybersecurity

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A new non-profit called the Council on Cybersecurity is bringing together some of the biggest names in the online world to help protect networks from cyber attacks — and from excessive government intervention. Big names from Google, Kaspersky Labs, Booz Allen Hamilton and many others will serve alongside some former federal executives. Jane Holl Lute, president and CEO of the Council and former deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, explains how the idea of the Cybersecurity Council was formed.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley
Reserve Chief
Army Reserve

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The Army Reserve is looking for outside help to maintain readiness during sequestration. Reserve Chief and Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley says his forces are tailor-made to forge public-private partnerships with companies like Coca Cola because they’re citizen soldiers. He hopes to persuade private companies to pay for projects that reinforce Army training programs and help prepare soldiers for private sector jobs. At an Army Reserves Senior Leaders forum in Colorado Aug. 19, General Talley says creating these public-private partnerships is now one of his top priorities because of sequestration.

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