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.
Rob Strayer — director, Homeland Security Project, Bipartisan Policy Center
Last time we checked in with the Bipartisan Policy Center, it had just issued a report saying the four cybersecurity bills in Congress were more alike than not. Now there’s a compromise bill in the Senate. And now, the Center’s Cyber Security Task Force issued another report saying only a fraction of cyber attacks are reported.
Members of Congress don’t know more than the rest of us. But they have a secret weapon: the Congressional Research Service. If lawmakers want to know anything at all, they can ask the CRS to find out. Most of those reports are for Capitol Hill only. But now there’s a new push to make public those CRS reports.
Dick Gregg — fiscal assistant secretary, Treasury Department
Year after year, Treasury issues its Financial Report of the U.S. Government. And every year, the Government Accountability Office says it cannot audit the government’s books because of missing data. This is no way to run a railroad. Now the Association of Government Accountants has finished a study of how to clean up the annual Treasury report so the government’s consolidated statements can get GAO’s endorsement, not its disclaimer.
Dick Gregg, fiscal assistant secretary of the Treasury, explains what’s causing the problems and the steps the Treasury is taking to clean up the government’s books.
John Palguta — vice president for policy, Partnership for Public Service
As the possibility looms that — with the end of the year — all parts of the federal government will face drastic budget cuts, apprehension is spreading among senior and mid-level managers. How does an agency prepare for the possibility of sequestration? How can federal managers do succession planning or long-range strategic planning, given the level of uncertainty created by the threat of sequestration? Joining us is John Palguta, vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service.
Helena Bottemiller — correspondent, Food Safety News
The Agriculture Department has granted a six-month reprieve to a small, but important program. The Microbiological Data Program tests fruits and vegetables for dangerous bacteria like salmonella. Neither the Department nor Congress wanted to keep funding it. But after the media, bloggers and activists found out, USDA backed down temporarily.