Federal Drive Show Blog – January 8, 2014

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:


Dr. Cynthia Ferentinos
Senior Research Psychologist in the Office of Policy and Evaluation
Merit Systems Protection Board

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Does your boss play favorites? A quarter of federal employees say yes. Whether it’s real or perceived, it’s hurting the workplace. The findings come from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Senior Research Psychologist Cynthia Ferentinos offers her analysis.

Paul Holtberg
Team Leader of Analysis Integration Unit
Energy Information Administration

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As the saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. When it comes to the debates about energy policy, facts are more important than ever. One source of reliable data about the country’s energy supplies and markets is the Energy Information Administration.

The EIA has just released its forecast of energy markets through 2040. Paul Holtberg, team leader of the EIA analysis integration unit, explains how that works.

Kevin Kochersberger
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Unmanned Systems Lab
Virginia Tech

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The Federal Aviation Administration named six colleges and universities to help it develop test and operational expertise in unmanned aircraft. The agency is under Congressional mandate to allow drones to operate in U.S. airspace within the next few years.

One of the research grants went to Virginia Tech. Kevin Kochersberger is associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Unmanned Systems Lab at Virginia Tech.

Mike Causey
Senior Correspondent
Federal News Radio

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The Office of Personnel Management says fewer federal employees filed for retirement in December than any month in the last two years. But while it seems surprising to some, Federal News Radio’s Senior Correspondent Mike Causey tells us what’s really going on.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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The Army says the budget agreement will help ease the pain of sequestration. But even with that relief, it will be 2020 before the Army digs out of the military readiness problems sequestration caused. More from Federal News Radio’s DoD reporter, Jared Serbu.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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Federal contractors brought fewer complaints to the Government Accountability Office last year. It’s the first year-over-year decline since 2006. At the same time, agencies continue to cut the amount of money they spend on goods and services.

Ralph White is the managing associate general counsel for procurement law at GAO. He tells Executive Editor Jason Miller about the trends and surprises in GAO’s annual report to Congress on federal bid protests.

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Agencies can spend all the money they want on procurement and still face mounting bid protests. There’s no correlation. So says procurement expert Dan Gordon. He’s a former administrator in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and a former GAO procurement attorney. He tells Executive Editor Jason Miller what vendors and feds should take from GAO’s new report to Congress.

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.