Federal Drive Show Blog – November 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:


Patrick O’Connor
Inspector General

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The Social Security Administration’s Inspector General Patrick O’Connor is investigating a large fraud ring in Puerto Rico. In this week’s edition of Agency of the Month, he tells Federal News Radio’s Sean McCalley that the fraud ring is a good example of a systemic attack against the SSA’s benefits program.

Listen to the full Agency of the Month show

Rob Levinson
Senior Defense Analyst
Bloomberg Government

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One of the remarkable outcomes of a year of sequestration followed by a 16-day government shutdown is how well federal contractors seem to have fared. Many agencies had 2012 money to spend in 2013, and 2013 money left to spend this year. But, it can’t go on forever. So, when Lockheed Martin, the biggest defense contractor, announces layoffs of 4,000 employees, the market sits up and takes notice. Bloomberg Senior Defense Analyst Rob Levinson joined Emily and Tom with his analysis of the layoffs.

Jeffrey Olson
Acting Chief Spokesman
National Park Service

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The recent government shutdown thrust the National Park Service into the spotlight. By closing all of its public facilities, the agency missed out on fees it badly needs. It is struggling with a backlog of maintenance work. To tackle it all would cost roughly five times the amount of money it gets in annual appropriations from Congress. Republican Senator Tom Coburn is calling for higher park fees and closures of some smaller parks. Jeffrey Olson, the acting chief spokesman of the National Park Service, spoke with Tom and Emily about the state of the Park Service.

Jared Serbu
Defense Reporter
Federal News Radio

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The Air Force’s acting secretary says budget uncertainty is making it hard to decide on the service’s future shape and size. But, Eric Fanning says the service will get smaller even if the budget cuts are undone. Federal News Radio DoD Reporter Jared Serbu reports.

RELATED ARTICLE: Air Force must shrink, with or without sequestration

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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Cloud computing may be all the rage but agencies still face tricky challenges. Like, how thousands of individual users are identified and authorized to log on to their systems. One answer might be found in the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange, or F6. A pilot is still in the early stages of development, but there’s growing anticipation of how it could change the way agencies authenticate and authorize users of their systems.

The Postal Service awarded a $15 million contract to SecureKey Technologies in August to develop and run the initial F6 program. Just three months into the effort, agencies are eager to see the results. Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller told Tom and Emily why agencies are seeing the value in the cloud credential exchange.

RELATED ARTICLE: Agencies eager to learn benefits of cloud credential exchange

Julia Ziegler
Web Manager
Federal News Radio

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Frustrations over federal pay and budget cuts have weakened federal-employee satisfaction. That’s according to the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey released by the Office of Personnel Management. Web Manager Julia Ziegler tells Tom how feds are reacting to the latest stats.

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.