Federal Drive Interviews — March 15, 2013

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:


Sydney Smith-Heimbrock
associate director for strategic workforce planning
Office of Personnel Management

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say one in four women and one in seven men have experienced severe domestic violence. That includes federal workers. The Office of Personnel Management recently released guidance for agencies to help them protect and empower employees.

Michael Horowitz
inspector general
Justice Department

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A new Justice Department inspector general report paints a disturbing portrait of an office supposedly dedicated to fairness and equality. It finds ideological differences pervade daily life inside the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. The report found no evidence that politics have influenced enforcement of the voting rights law. But the findings could pose a problem for the division’s chief, Thomas Perez, whom the president has tapped for Labor secretary.

Gretchen Goldman
Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy

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Federal scientists too often operate under gag orders. If they talk to reporters, they can get fired or censured. The Obama administration has promised more transparency and openness. But according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, it hasn’t done enough to improve freedom of speech for those doing research on the public dime. The Union has issued a scorecard of research agencies. Joining us with more is Gretchen Goldman, an analyst in the Union’s Center for Science and Democracy.

Rep. Mike McCaul

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The House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved two cyber bills, including one that passed the full House last year. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) is the co-sponsor of one of the bills, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013. The full House approved it last year by a vote of 395 to 10, and the previous year too, 422 to 5.

Jared Serbu
DoD reporter
Federal News Radio

We begin with a familiar story: Massive IT systems supposed to improve the Defense Department’s management take years longer than expected. They cost billions more than anticipated. And, at least in one case, they fall short of promises. But, he Pentagon says it’s learned from those mistakes. Federal News Radio DoD Reporter Jared Serbu finds some success stories too.

Jason Miller
executive editor
Federal News Radio

The White House is re-energizing two long-standing cyber initiatives by getting MORE than just the chief information officer involved. The administration recently updated its cross-agency cybersecurity goals on the Performance dot gov portal. Michael Daniel is the White House cyber coordinator. In part one of his exclusive interview with executive editor Jason Miller, Daniel details the White House’s latest effort to get more senior officials to pay closer attention to cybersecurity.


DoD Report

Cybersecurity Update