In Depth interviews – Aug. 1

This is the In Depth 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:

Fran TownsendFormer Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism


Congress is watching the Homeland Security Department, maybe too closely. More than 100 congressional committees and subcommittees oversee the Homeland Security Department and its component agencies. Some members of Congress are talking about reforming that cumbersome oversight process, but so far no one is making any progress. Fran Townsend is Chair of the Board of SAP NS2 and she discusses the young department’s oversight and the continuing challenges of merging 20 agencies into one unit.

Vice Admiral Norb RyanPresident, Military Officers Association of America

Photo: MOAA

TRICARE costs are eating military officers alive, Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, President of MOAA told In Depth with Francis Rose. The Defense Department is claiming a $708 million health care surplus for FY2012 – money it wants to use for other purposes. But at the same time the department wants to raise fees for health benefits. MOAA says the surplus funds should be used to pay for military retiree healthcare, research and treatment for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, and curb suicides in the military community.

Panetta requests reprogramming $700M from TRICARE (related story)

DoD to quadruple TRICARE fees for higher-earning retirees (related story)

Kristyn JonesDirector of Financial Information Management, Army

The Army has just finished modernizing its accounting systems. The project rolled more than 100 different accounting, real estate and inventory systems into one single system. For the first time, Army leaders will be able to see a complete picture of its resources available worldwide. Kristyn Jones discusses the rollout and the new capabilities that will help officers make smarter decisions from provisioning troops in battle to budget planning.

This story is part of Federal News Radio’s daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.

Niels LesniewskiReporter, Roll Call

Photo: CQ/Roll Call

Tuesday’s stopgap budget to deal to avoid a government shutdown clears the September calendar for a month of pre-election maneuvering on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts and the budget sequester — issues Congress is expected to take up during the lame duck session. Lesniewski writes about the political implications of the agreement cut between Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama.

Also on the show:

Retiring Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Schwartz talks F22 safety during final press conference

Debate over private sector role stymies Senate cyber bill

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