Federal Drive interviews — July 17

This is the Federal Drive 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:

Christine Chensenior manager for global communications and public affairs, Google

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The government doesn’t just stand by when harmful or illegal material is posted on the Internet. In fact, between federal, state and local jurisdictions, Google receives thousands of requests for every year. Some ask the company to pull down content from, say, YouTube. Other seek information about individual users of, say, G-Mail. Google posts data about requests from governments all over the world in semi-annual transparency reports. Twitter recently started doing the same thing.


Joseph Petrilloprocurement attorney, Petrillo and Powell in Washington.

Counterfeit and substandard parts have long plagued electronic equipment sold as new and factory-fresh. Often manufacturers are fooled by parts faked in China or harvested from scrap. But the Defense Authorization Act aims to crack down on the dangers from counterfeit and substandard parts. It imposes new responsibilities on both government buyers and contractors.


Larry Castromanaging director of the Chertoff Group of Washington

A new executive order from President Obama seeks to update some old policy. It concerns the government’s ability to communicate during emergencies. Much of the apparatus was set up in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The National Communications System and National Telecommunications and Information Administration are still in place. But the president wants to set up a new governance structure for national security and emergency preparedness communications.


Kevin O’Brienhuman resources specialist, Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration

This week we highlight the winners of our third annual Causey Awards recognizing outstanding work in Human Capital Management. Kevin O’Brien increased his offices’ telework participation by 1,700 percent. There used to be just five people who regularly worked outside the office. Today, about 90 do.


Mark Johnstonacting assistant secretary, Office of Community Planning and Development, Housing and Urban Development

Mark Johnston has been nominated for a Service to America Medal along with his colleague at Veterans Affairs, Susan Angell.

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