Federal Drive Show Blog – May 14, 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:


Dr. Paula Molloy
acting deputy assistant secretary
Office of Human Resources Management, VA

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A technological first is coming to the human resources department at Veterans Affairs. VA is scheduled to replace a 50-year-old HR system with first-of-its-kind HR software-as-a-service. The upgrade is scheduled for 2015 and is expected to make it easier for VA to manage its workforce of three hundred thousand. IBM won the $123 million contract. Right now VA and IBM are in the design, build and test phase of program.

Joe Petrillo
procurement attorney
Petrillo and Powell

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Agencies get into trouble with industry when they don’t do what they promise, especially in awarding contracts. The General Services Administration found this out the hard way. It set out to award two competing contracts for travel services. It only awarded one. The losing bidder protested. The judge sided with Concurs, the company that didn’t get one of the two contracts.

Sharon Bradford Franklin
senior counsel
The Constitution Project

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David Medine has finally been confirmed as the new chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. That’s after a 2-1/2-year delay. Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel at The Constitution Project, tells us about the delay and the outlook for the new chairman.

John Palguta
vice president for policy
Partnership for Public Service

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President Barack Obama calls it “outrageous” — IRS agents specifically targeting a group for political reasons. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration spent a year investigating claims that IRS employees unfairly scrutinized tea party groups leading up to the 2012 presidential election. A leaked draft of the report suggests executives knew about the practice.

George Kettner
Economic Systems

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Claims processing is tricky for so many agencies. The Office of Personnel Management is a case in point. Newly retired? It may be months before your annuity is finalized. Veterans Affairs faces a disability claims backlog in the hundreds of thousands. Why is it so hard to keep up with the paperwork? George Kettner, the founder of Economic Systems, recently testified before Congress about problems at OPM.

From Our Reporters

The Federal News Radio and WTOP websites suffered a type of cyber attack that is becoming all too common. The security breach was one of opportunity, not one of being a target. Federal News Radio’s executive editor Jason Miller provides details on what happened to our websites.


Bill Clinton gets a landmark on Pennsylvania Avenue (GPO)

VA Vetereran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines (GPO)

Defense Agency Will Use Sequester, Other Cuts to Make Big Changes (Government Executive)

Jenny Yang Sworn In as EEOC Commissioner (EEOC)

Gov’t probe obtains wide swath of AP phone records (Federal News Radio)

John Kerry’s brother Cam is ‘Mr. Secretary’ too (The Washington Post)

Senate Finance to investigate IRS targeting groups (Federal News Radio)

Carney: White House counsel told of IRS review (Federal News Radio)

IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups (The Washington Post)

SEC letter to Sen. John Rockefeller (SEC)

Navy to launch unmanned aircraft from carrier (Federal News Radio)