Federal Drive Interviews — March 26, 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:


Rob Roberts
digital strategies director
Department of Energy

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Getting the message out. That’s the challenge most government websites face each day. Often, though, meeting that challenge is easier said than done. Rob Roberts is the director of digital strategies at the Department of Energy. He oversees the agency’s flagship website, Energy.gov. A veteran online journalist, Roberts is familiar with the challenges facing government websites.

Related story: Multimedia expert Rob Roberts: Practicing a journalism mind-set at a government agency (It’s All Journalism)

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)
Congressional Watchdog Caucus

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The new Congressional Watchdog Caucus promises it will conduct government oversight, ensure federal programs are run properly and that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. But wait! Isn’t that what the House and Senate Oversight Committees already do?

Related Stories:

H.R.430 – Protect Our Military Trainees Act (Congress.gov)

H.R.1079 – Military Judicial Reform Act of 2013 (Congress.gov)

Dr. Don Moore
associate director for Animal Care Sciences
Smithsonian’s National Zoo

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The National Zoo just opened a $56 million community center for elephants with hopes of expanding the herd. Director Dennis Kelly says it’s the type of place his profession dreams about. The design is LEED-Gold certified with environmentally friendly features.

Bruce Moyer
counsel for government relations
Federal Bar Association

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Sequestration is threatening to throw the federal courts into turmoil. They say: justice delayed is justice denied. Now, furloughs and even layoffs of key players could delay proceedings. Under the worst-case scenario, it could leave the court system open to endless lawsuits from defendants on constitutional grounds.

Cameron Leuthy
senior budget analyst
Boomberg Government

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The spending bill Congress passed last week is giving some agencies pause as they reconsider sequestration plans. The Pentagon has delayed furlough notices for two weeks. The Justice Department has canceled furloughs of federal corrections guards. We now dig into more details with Bloomberg Government’s Cameron Leuthy.

Prof. Michael Schmitt
chairman, International Law Department
U.S. Naval War College

A new handbook lays out the rules of cyber war. It takes the Geneva Conventions and other rules for battlefield behavior and applies them to cyberspace. A professor at the Naval War College, Michael Schmitt edited the manual. He says the Internet is not the Wild, Wild West. International law applies to cyber weapons, just like any others.

David Maurer
director of homeland security and Justice Issues

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The Department of Homeland Security has spent all of its life on the high-risk list and it’s no different this year. What has changed is the name the Government Accountability Office has given to the risk — from “implementing and transforming DHS” to “strengthening DHS.”


DoD Report

Cybersecurity Update