In Depth Show Blog – May 6

On the In Depth show blog, 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 ...

This is the In Depth 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 guests:

Danielle Brian
Executive Director
Project on Government Oversight

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Your agency relies on the independence and autonomy of inspector’s general to keep policies and programs running smoothly. But many IG offices are empty. Some of them have been empty for a long time — the State Department hasn’t had a permanent IG since the beginning of 2008. And a quick check of nominations sent to the Senate shows that the White House hasn’t nominated a single inspector general to any agency since the beginning of President Obama’s second term. Danielle Brian, executive director for Project On Government Oversight, on the search for agency watchdogs.

Where Are All the Watchdogs? (related link)

Steve Lord
Director of Forensic Audits and Investigative Service
Government Accountability Office

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Traces of improper payments and fraud might be lurking in the department that administers the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). A new Government Accountability Office review finds, among other things, at least some federal beneficiaries of the program got double compensation payments — one from the program itself, one from unemployment insurance funds. Steve Lord, director of Forensic Audits and Investigative Service at GAO, to discuss the report.

Arnold Punaro
Defense Business Board

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The Defense Department says it’s making changes to the way it buys goods and services — aimed at integrating the mostly disparate processes of generating requirements, budgeting and actual acquiring. The changes come in response to a critical report last year by the Defense Business Board. And Arnold Punaro, a retired two-star Marine general who chaired the task group which wrote that report, says it appears DoD’s making some progress in streamlining its acqusition system. He discusses the board’s report, and the response DoD issued last week.

Leo Scanlon
Chief Information Security Officer
National Archives and Records Administration

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A popular topic in the search for better cybersecurity is continuous monitoring. Sometimes your agency needs an out-of-the-box solution. A quick look at other agencies can help you find the innovation your agency needs. Leo Scanlon, the chief information security officer at the National Archives and Records Administration, is a panelist for (ISC)2’s Cyber Secure Gov event starting tomorrow.

David Berteau
Senior Vice President
Center for Strategic and International Studies

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A couple weeks ago, we saw a highly unusual display of emotion from one of the military’s top officers, testifying on Capitol Hill. Gen. Ray Odierno, the chief of staff of the Army, got very visibly angry during an exchange with Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) during a House Armed Services Commmittee hearing on the 2014 budget. It was part of an ongoing dustup over software that’s used to perform intelligence anayltics in Afghanistan. Hunter has been aggressively advocating for the Army to adopt a proprietary system called Palantir, which, in some ways, competes with the Army’s program of record for intelligence collection and analysis, the Distributed Common Ground System.

David Berteau, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, provides some analysis on the heated exchange.

From Our Reporters:

  • Executive Editor Jason Miller on why agencies are launching new efforts to keep employees with between five and 10 years’ of experience in government … (Click here to read his report)

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