Federal Drive Show Blog – August 15, 2013

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today’s Interviews:


Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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The Defense Information Systems Agency says it’s committed to making its acquisition processes more agile. But that might mean accepting more risk. As Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, the agency plans to spend a year focusing on accelerating the way it delivers IT capabilities.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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The Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review is turning to new technology to deal with a growing notario problem. Notarios are people who represent immigrants before the court system but either aren’t lawyers or aren’t qualified to appeal the immigrant’s case. Juan Osuna is the director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review. He tells Executive Editor Jason Miller about why the new eRegistry system will make it harder for notarios to commit fraud.

James Silkenat
American Bar Association

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The Veterans Affairs Department has cut its backlog of disability claims by nearly one-fifth over the last five months. That’s the good news. The bad news: about 780,000 claims are pending. Leaders say they want “all hands on deck.” The department is partnering with the American Bar Association and the Legal Services Corporation to move cases along. Volunteer lawyers will help veterans gather the evidence needed to support their claims. James Silkenat is president of the American Bar Association.

Sheryl Shenberger
National Declassification Center

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The National Archives is racing to declassify millions of old federal records by the end of this year. The division in charge, the National Declassification Center, has slogged through 80 percent of its giant backlog. It plans to highlight some of its finds in an exhibit this fall. Center Director Sheryl Shenberger joined Tom and Emily to talk about the documents and the process.

Ashley Broadway
Director of Family Affairs
Military Partners

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The Defense Department will offer health care benefits to same-sex spouses of military members starting Sept. 3. That decision follows a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act. But the Pentagon has dropped plans to provide benefits to unmarried gay couples. So is the Pentagon forcing those couples to get married? Ashley Broadway, director of family affairs at Military Partners, shared her take on the new policy.

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.