Federal Drive Interviews — Nov. 1, 2012

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Today’s guests:

Sean Pattondirector of business development for Energy Solutions, Lockheed Martin


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Twenty-five thousand employees at the Environmental Protection Agency will be emailing from the cloud soon, using Microsoft Office 365. EPA hired Lockheed Martin to manage the migration to the collaboration and communication service. It will also provide engineering and integration services.

Lockeed Martin, Microsoft migrating EPA workforce to the cloud

Sanjay Koyanideputy director of strategy, Center for Tobacco Products

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The federal government’s campaign against smoking originally took the form of a small warning label on cigarette packages. Today, several agencies have a wealth of information on smoking and smoking related diseases. The Center for Tobacco Products at the Food and Drug Administration is a focal point for this information. It’s partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other Health and Human Services components to get better leverage out of the information it has.

Norman R. Augustineretired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin and former Army Secretary

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By now the refrain is familiar. The country, federal agencies, the Department of Defense — everyone needs to do a better job at creating and hiring science, technology, engineering and math students, especially the DoD, if the nation is to maintain its security edge. The Pentagon has just received a report on STEM prepared by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council.


DoD Report

  • The Defense Department is providing satellite imagery of storm damage to FEMA and local first responders. NextGov reports, the National Geospatial-Intellligence Agency is sending pictures to emergency workers’ smart phones. That will help FEMA allocate resources. And it will help first responders know more clearly where to go. NGA is providing the images and viewing tools on a restricted-access website. It provides several alternate communication channels for areas with failed power or cell phone service. (NextGov)
  • The Navy did not expect to keep sailors deployed in the Arabian Gulf for so long. That’s something Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert said he wanted to address. He set out what the Navy needed to work on next in a report he released yesterday. Greenert said he wanted to reinstate tracking of individual operational tempo. He also said the Navy should work on its sexual-assault prevention programs. The service’s strategy was good, he said, but needed more attention. He was also concerned about a rise in suicides for reasons the Navy doesn’t understand. He said it would work on its sailors’ resilience through targeted programs. (DoD)
  • The federal government has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against a defense contractor. It said the the company, Triple Canopy, used hundreds of poorly trained Iraqi security guards to protect an airbase. The lawsuit also claims the Virginia-based company falsified documents to hide the guards’ lack of training. In 2009, Triple Canopy received a one-year, $10 million contract to provide security at the base. A whistleblower filed the original lawsuit under a law that allows the government to intervene. (Federal News Radio)

Cybersecurity Update

  • The State Department plans to fight an international agreement on cybersecurity. The Hill reported, Ambassador Terry Kramer said cybersecurity mandates had no place in an international telecommunications treaty. He said proposals backed by other countries like Iran and China could lead to online censorship. He added there was no “one-size-fits-all text” on this issue. Countries needed the flexibility to respond to cyberattacks on their critical infrastructure. The United States supports multi-stakeholder organizations. United Nations members are meeting in Dubai next month to review the treaty for the first time in 24 years. (The Hill)
  • The Homeland Security Department has boosted its cyber workforce by 600 percent. But for Secretary Janet Napolitano, it’s not enough. Napolitano is calling for new authorities to speed up hiring. She said a stalled bill, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), contains the tools she needs. The bill would allow the DHS secretary to establish positions in the excepted service, make direct appointments, set rates of basic pay and provide extra benefits. In the meantime, Napolitano said DHS was recruiting people under its Secretarial Honors Program. (Federal News Radio)