Federal Drive interviews – Nov. 27, 2012

Guy TimberlakeCo-founder and Chief Visionary Officer, American Small Business Coalition

This is the season for giving, and for giving back to those who sacrified for the good of the United States. One such event takes place next week in Northern Virginia, and it’s always a popular draw. Timberlake is the man behind the charity bash.

More details on the charity bash.

John MahoneyFederal employment attorney, Tully Rinckey law firm


‘Tis the season of Secret Santas, white elephant gifts and good will toward men. But if you’re a federal employee, there’s a strict list of who it would be naughty get or give a present to. Mahoney has some tips for federal employees.

Read Mahoney’s blog post.

John Palguta Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

Is your agency one of the “Best Places to Work?” You’ll know soon. The annual rankings will be announced in two weeks. Palguta discusses how you can make the most of the latest data from the Partnership.


Cybersecurity Update

  • Just a couple of weeks after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pronounced it dead, some lawmakers are saying a cybersecurity bill could be take up in 2013 by the new Congress. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) tells the Kansas City Star it’s an issue of national security Congress needs to tackle in a responsible manner. The stalled legislation was caught in the cross currents of privacy advocates, opponents of regulation and arguments over the proper role of the Homeland Security Department. The principal author of the bill, Joseph Lieberman, will be gone next year, but his co-sponsor, Republican Susan Collins of Maine, will return. (Kansas City Star)
  • President Obama wants agencies to place minimum insider threat protections on their computer networks. The White House has issued a memo outlining the standards set by the Insider Threat Task Force. The new protections will try to “deter, detect and mitigate actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security.” That includes espionage, violent acts against the government and unauthorized disclosure of government data. (White House)
  • ISC2 is offering scholarships for cybersecurity education. The application window opens on January 1st and will award undergraduate, post-graduate and even gender-based scholarships. (ISC2)

DoD Report

  • The Navy is trying again to buy a new fleet of presidential helicopters. And it’s looking to buy them on the cheap. It canceled the last try in 2009 when costs on a contract with Lockheed Martin ballooned out of control. NextGov reports this time the Navy is calling for proposals to modify an existing, commercial helicopter instead of designing a new one from scratch. It hopes to spend a little under a billion dollars for 23 units. The new machines, dubbed VXX, will eventually replace Sikorsky helicopters, some of which went into service more than 30 years ago. (NextGov)
  • The Army has awarded 20 companies a spot on a $10 billion contract for communications technologies. The Global Tactical Advanced Communications System is a five year, indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity deal. Orders smaller than 4.5 million are set aside for small business. The roster of winners includes six small companies. The Army says G-tacks provide a single place to buy technology for both production and test environments. It replaces the World Wide Satellite Systems contract. (Federal News Radio)