Federal Drive Show Blog – May 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:


Rob Levinson
senior defense analyst
Bloomberg Government

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The government spends a lot of money on goods and services we will never hear about. Spending on classified and intelligence matters is hard to track. But Bloomberg Government senior defense analyst Rob Levinson has found sequestration and the end of war in Afghanistan are triggering a shift in the what the Intelligence Community buys and how much it spend.

(BGov.com is a paid site and requires a subscription for access.)

Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek
Defense Logistics Agency

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From military leaders to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, defense officials repeatedly have warned Congress that sequestration is affecting mission readiness. That’s not true at the Defense Logistics Agency. Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek, DLA’s director, says the tight budget scenario actually fits the agency’s mission.

Emily Kopp of the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp reported live today from the annual Excellence in Government in downtown Washington, D.C. Listen to all of the conference interviews here.

Molly Hooper
staff writer
The Hill newspaper

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The Benghazi terrorist attack is back in the news after a whistleblower testified last week. Now some House Republicans are calling for a special panel to investigate and that’s against the wishes of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

From Our Reporters


The Pentagon is going beyond the “should-cost” concept of figuring out the fair and reasonable price of products and services. Officials want to know how much military services and defense agencies are spending on people, technology and processes and then use that information to make better decisions. Beth McGrath, DoD deputy chief management officer, told Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller how she wants to create a cost culture across DoD.

The Pentagon has reduced the number of days it says it will need to furlough its civilian workforce due to sequestration this year. It’s also adding some more employees to the list of positions it will exempt from furlough. Federal News Radio’s DoD reporter, Jared Serbu, provides details.

Agencies are on track to close almost 1,000 data centers by December through the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. But whether or not agencies achieve the expected $3 billion in savings is unclear. Federal News Radio’s executive editor Jason Miller explains why OMB is struggling to track data center savings.

Malone VA clinic closing (Press-Republican)

Holder to face tough questioning at House hearing (Federal News Radio)

Data Center Consolidation: Strengthened Oversight Needed to Achieve Cost Savings Goal (GAO)

2013 deficit estimate lowered to $642 billion (Federal News Radio)

Justice investigating IRS targeting of tea party (Federal News Radio)

DOD cuts furlough days, adds few exemptions (Federal News Radio)

Fort Detrick getting new garrison commander (Federal News Radio)

Microsoft rushes Internet Explorer 8 patch release (Computerworld)

Soldier in sexual assault office accused of abuse (Federal News Radio)

US diplomat ordered to leave Russia in spy case (Federal News Radio)