In Depth Show Blog – December 4, 2013

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:

Sharon Burke
Assistant Secretary for Operational Energy Plans and Programs
Department of Defense

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A major restructuring effort is underway at the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his plan to streamline the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Secretary Hagel said the 2,400 personnel at OSD today will shrink to less than 2,200 by Fiscal 2019. Sharon Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs, was Francis Rose’s guest for Pentagon Solutions today.

Burke also talked about DoD’s 2013 Arctic Strategy.

Chuck Hagel
Secretary of Defense
Department of Defense

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering his office to downsize to absorb the budget cuts from sequestration. About 200 military and civilian employees will be cut over the next five years. Speaking to reporters from the Pentagon earlier today, Hagel said the goal is to reach a smaller and flatter Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Ed Meagher
Vice President for Veterans Affairs and Military Health Programs
SRA International

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Several hundred war fighters will spend the holidays recuperating at Walter Reed instead of at home with their families. Operation Covert Santa makes that time easier for those war fighters and their families, who may spend the holidays in an unfamiliar city with no idea where to shop and with no time or resources to do it. Ed Meagher, vice president for Veterans Affairs and Military Health Programs at SRA International, is also former deputy assistant secretary and deputy chief information officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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The Senate looks set to pass the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act next week. FITARA would be the first major rewrite of federal acquisition and technology management rules in a decade. But some current and former federal officials are wondering if the proposed changes would stifle the ability of CIOs to lead innovation. Paul Brubaker is director of planning and performance management for the Defense Department’s deputy chief management officer. Mark Forman is CEO of Government Transaction Services and former White House e-government administrator. Both also played key roles in writing the 1996 Clinger-Cohen Act, which currently governs federal IT management. In part two of their interview, Brubaker and Forman tell Federal News Radio’s executive editor Jason Miller about agencies need a better path toward innovation.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel moved today to eliminate some high-level Pentagon positions, consolidate offices and change the responsibilities of a number of organizations within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, it’s part of Hagel’s pledge to reduce the Pentagon’s headquarters headcount by 20 percent.

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