Federal Drive Interviews — Oct. 8, 2012

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:

Jason Wilson — federal business intelligence analyst, Bloomberg Government

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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:

Jason Wilsonfederal business intelligence analyst, Bloomberg Government

The White House is drafting an executive order to bolster cybersecurity. It could require federal agencies to issue new cyber standards for power companies, banks and telecommunications companies. Bloomberg Government federal business intelligence analyst Jason Wilson studied the draft directive’s proposals.

Jim BeaupreJim Beaupre Federal Consulting

The premier conference on federal acquisition is looking for volunteers to help program it. Acquisition Excellence 2013 aims to keep up with all of the changes of the last few years. Its sponsoring group is asking for people from both industry and government to put their heads together. Jim Beaupre of Jim Beaupre Federal Consulting is the chairman of the conference’s planning committee.

Don Kettldean of public policy, University of Maryland

The $1 trillion question these days is: Will sequestration occur? Or can Congress back away from that fiscal cliff? Maybe it isn’t that hard. Students at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy tried their hands at solving the nation’s $1 trillion deficit through a new online game.

Wilson Center – Budget Hero Game


DoD Report

  • The National Guard Memorial Museum is closing today for a makeover. When it opens next month, the Capitol Hill museum will have a new gallery explaining how citizen-soldiers have played a key role in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Guard has gone from being a strategic reserve to an operational force. The gallery will include a memorial wall listing the names of guardsmen who have died. It will also contain steel from the World Trade Center, gear like night goggles and flak vests, and artifacts from domestic missions. (Federal News Radio)
  • The final deadline is approaching for service members, veterans and their families to apply for retroactive pay for extended tours of duty following the September 11th terrorist attacks. If the Pentagon ordered you to continue serving beyond your separation or retirement date under “stop loss” between 9/11 and Sept. 30, 2009 then you could be eligible for the special pay. But you only have until Oct. 21 to apply. The continuing resolution did not extend the deadline, as some people had expected. The Pentagon is urging applicants to fill out forms online rather than mail them. Most people who qualify already have left the military. The Defense Department is trying to contact them through direct mailing, the Veterans Affairs Department and military service organizations. The Pentagon said the average benefit is $3,600. (Defense Department)

Cybersecurity Update

  • The House Intelligence Committee is warning American companies not to do business with two major Chinese telecoms. The panel is releasing its report today on Huawei and ZTE. Both companies supply telecom gear and mobile phones. It says the federal government should not use any of their products for fear that they could be sending information back to China. The committee has investigated the companies for a year. Huawei says the investigation has not been fair and it’s a “political distraction” from cybersecurity issues facing the industry. (Federal News Radio)
  • The government’s new plan to standardize the hiring and recruitment of cybersecurity professionals has started to work. The Department of Homeland Security said agencies are using the year-old framework to refine job descriptions, revamp training and education programs and influence both industry and academia. The Office of Personnel Management has begun matching job descriptions to the framework, even though it’s still in draft form. Twenty agencies developed the framework to define exactly what it meant to work in cybersecurity. The document lists job positions, many of which don’t contain the word “cyber.” It includes certain types of system administrators, forensic analysts and even lawyers. The agencies intended for the lexicon to be flexible enough to serve as a baseline that any organization can use. (Federal News Radio)