Federal Drive Show Blog – Aug. 12, 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:


Jenny Grover
Acting Director for Homeland Security and Justice Issues
Government Accountability Office

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A recent government audit is raising new questions about whether agencies should rely on contractors to check the backgrounds of people applying for federal jobs or credentials. The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is a gold pass into secure areas of the nation’s ports, railways and other transportation infrastructure. The TSA’s Adjudication Center screens people who apply for the cards. Jenny Grover, acting director for homeland security and justice issues at the Government Accountability Office, explains her concerns with the center.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to overhaul the technology it uses to move voice, video and data communications. As Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, the agency’s planning several upcoming contracts to move a concept called Unified Capabilities.

Doug O’Brian
acting undersecretary of rural development
Agriculture Department

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When it comes to electronic communication, many rural communities are stuck in slow motion. Through the Smart Rural Communities Initiative, federal agencies and state and local stakeholders are bringing broadband infrastructure to those areas. Doug O’Brian, acting undersecretary of rural development at the Agriculture Department, explains the initiative to Federal News Radio’s Lauren Larson.

John Shiffman
Investigative Reporter

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Controversy is brewing over the Drug Enforcement Administration shares tips with other federal agencies and local law enforcement. An IRS manual has exposed how the DEA uses wire taps, NSA phone records and informants to help launch criminal investigations. Then the DEA instructs others to recreate how they got the evidence. Investigative Reporter John Shiffman has written about the DEA Special Operations Division.

J.M. Berger
Terrorism Anaylst
Author of “Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam”

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A terror threat last week shut down American embassies and consulates across the Middle East and North Africa. But the State Department fought back online. A relatively new digital outreach team is gaining the attention of prominent jihadis.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don’t see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.