Federal Drive Show Blog – June 25, 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:


John Dicken
director of health care issues
Government Accountability Office

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On Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launches a health insurance exchange in 34 states. People will be able to comparison shop for health insurance just like they do for airplane tickets on Orbitz or Expedia. It could help millions of underinsured Americans finally afford coverage. Can CMS deliver?

J. David Cox
American Federation of Government Employees

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With budget constraints and a growing list of high-risk programs, some look at the federal government and say it’s ripe for a makeover again. That’s what former comptroller general David Walker told Federal News Radio last week.

Joe Petrillo
procurement attorney
Petrillo and Powell

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When it comes to awarding contracts, the government’s choices aren’t always so cut and dried. Contracting officers and source selection committees have a lot of latitude in evaluating technology and other factors. Sometimes, losing bidders take a chance and protest discretionary awards. In one case, they prevailed when the judges didn’t agree with the agency.

Odia Kagan
associate in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group
Pepper Hamilton LLP

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Security breaches often lead to the leakage of private information about people. When they hit a federal agency, the damage can be three-fold. There’s the loss of data, reputation and money. Often agencies end up paying for credit monitoring services for thousands or even millions of people. Odia Kagan has written extensively about how federal agencies can protect personally identifiable information.

John Palguta
vice president for policy
Partnership for Public Service

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Federal employees are feeling the squeeze of sequestration. But it’s not just about furloughs; when programs are scaled back or eliminated, agency morale takes a dive too. One way to help is by focusing on a big task, instead of woe-is-me.

Ron Smits
general manager, Readiness and Training Solutions Division,
Dynamics Research Corporation

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Training doesn’t have to be dull. That’s why organizations are using a technique called gamification as a way to ignite employees’ creative thinking. Instead of learning a new task, it feels like a game with rewards for doing good work. Ron Smits is the General Manager of Dynamics Research Corporation’s Readiness and Training Solutions Division. He is responsible for developing flexible, interactive training and support products that enhance performance of mission essential operations.


NASA taps long-time employee to be new CIO (Federal News Radio)

Documents show IRS also screened liberal groups (Federal News Radio)

Missing red panda from National Zoo found in DC (Federal News Radio)

House panel probes IRS ‘champion’ contractor (Federal Times)

Cartwright Introduces Legislation to Enact Fair Wages for all Tobyhanna Depot Employees (Rep. Matt Cartwright)

New Round of Innovators Joins US Government to Tackle Big Challenges (White House)

Program Manager for Naval Enterprise Networks Relieved (Navy)

Sequester sparks laid-off workers’ suit (Politico)

Former Bush Lawyer to Spend One Day in Jail (Legal Times)

BB10 security: The risks of running Android apps on BlackBerry 10 (SearchSecurity)