Federal agencies spend money on publications they can get free online, according to the Government Accountability Office’s Valerie Melvin; a legal showdown pits one part of the Federal government against another; opening America’s attic to all of America gets easier thanks to 3D technology at the Smithsonian Institution; Robert Farley of the University of Kentucky on what comes next if the F-35 program disappears; and explaining Congress’s sudden interest in the Federal work force, with Congressman Blake Farenthold.
An elite team of experts could help repair the broken health care system at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says Vice Admiral Norb Ryan (USN-ret.) of the Military Officers Association of America; Charlie Crum of the US Postal Service Office of Inspector General explains how a technology transplant could make 3D printing a big part of the future of the Postal Service; James Green of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on new safety standards that could protect first responders from themselves; cyber attacks are hitting smaller Federal agencies harder than ever, but that’s no surprise to Steve Bucci of the Heritage Foundation; and Senator Jon Tester details his plan to raise the quality of the Federal work force.
On this week’s In Depth Digest: progress is coming on a strategy to break down the walls between Federal agencies, according to John Kamensky of the IBM Center for the Business of Government; the FBI’s Susan Hanson on how she nailed Alabama prison officials for a brutal murder, and why her story’s not yet complete; free legal help for vets will help them navigate problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says Jim Silkenat of the American Bar Association; Rachel Canty of Immigration and Customs Enforcement details how going online for learning is saving money and getting better results; and defense budget expert Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments believes special war funding in the Defense Department may stick around, even though the wars are supposed to be over.
On this week’s In Depth Digest: Congressman Gerry Connolly on why the Senate is playing catch-up with the House; John Pendleton from the Government Accountability Office explains why a smaller headquarters might not be as cheap as the Pentagon expects; Dan Saaty of Decision Lens on why big data isn’t worth much without human judgement; former Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn explains why Cyber Command’s first four years look a lot like the Pentagon wanted them to; and Congressman Donald Payne explains his push to get parts of DHS to be able to talk to each other.
On this week’s In Depth Digest: former General Services Administration Inspector General Brian Miller on why some Federal government IGs let their work do the talking; dinosaurs, aliens and the federal government all have Scott Borg of the National Science Foundation in common; Defense Department veterans Beth McGrath and Dave Wennergren on managing the gigantic bureaucracy at their old agency; an electronic health records success story from an unlikely source, as Jim Porter and Deanna Gephart of Immigration and Customs Enforcement explain; and some lessons in fixing acquisition practives in the military from the Shark Tank TV show, from the Navy’s Nick Guertin.
Discovering two new species of dinosaurs and collecting a 15-million-year-old water sample trapped half a mile below the surface of Antarctica aren’t your average day at work – unless you are Scott Borg. He’s head of the Antarctic Sciences Section in the Division of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation. He is a 2014 Service to America medal finalist in the Career Achievement category. He explained the work he and his team do on my show today.
Also on the show today: Nick Guertin of the Navy, explaining how the TV show Shark Tank might be a model for defense acquisition reform.
Three major scandals occupy the minds of the leadership class in Washington right now: the Department of Veterans Affairs, where President Obama has made public his choice of Robert McDonald as Secretary; the Internal Revenue Service, where IT professionals and leadership didn’t follow Federal government record-keeping law, according to National Archives head David Ferriero; and the crisis on the southwest border, where President Obama says he’ll act on his own – without Congress – to deal with the flood of immigrant children coming across the border, and keep more from coming. I talked about all of these topics with John Batchelor and guest co-host Thaddeus McCotter on The John Batchelor Show last night.
The Inspectors General community in the Federal government is often apprehensive about talking about its work. Often requests for conversations about IG reports are met with “the report will stand on its own.” Brian Miller, former Inspector General at the General Services Administration and now Managing Director at Navigant, joined me today to offer an introduction to the world of the IG. We discussed the two important ways IGs view their missions; the balance between independence from, and collaboration with, agency leadership; and who has the IG’s back when sparks fly.
Also on today’s show: an unlikely source for a Federal health IT success story – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – could be a model for other agencies building electronic health record systems. Capt. Deanna Gephart, Assistant director of Health Records at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Jim Porter, electronic health records program manager for Enforcement and Removal Operations and Acting Branch Director at ICE, explain how they did it.