Federal Drive Show Blog – January 29, 2014

This is the Federal Drive 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 Interviews:


Christopher Balmford
Managing Director
Words and Beyond

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Have you ever been charged with “moral turpitude” and wondered what it meant? If so, you might have been reading an immigration form written by Customs and Border Protection. That’s just one example of less-than-ideal writing that won an award for being so terrible.

Christopher Balmford is managing director of Words and Beyond, an Australian company that helps organizations and agencies clean up and simplify their obfuscatory and meandrous words. He’s also host of the Center for Plain Language’s 2014 ClearMark Awards.

Chris Mihm
Managing Director for Strategic Issues
Government Accountability Office

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The President gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Today, the Federal Drive got a look at the state of the federal government from Chris Mihm, Managing Director for Strategic Issues, at the Government Accountability Office. Nearly one year ago, the GAO named 30 areas of government to its high-risk list. Mihm joined Tom and Emily with a progress report.

Roger Waldron
Coalition for Government Procurement

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President Obama promises to raise the minimum wage for federal contract employees. It would go from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2015. Roger Waldron, president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, has reaction from the contractor community.

Lauren Larson
Coordinating Producer
Federal News Radio

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The Homeland Security Department is cracking down on what it calls “Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime.” It’s meant for field officers whose day is unpredictable. But some administrative employees have been logging it, too. Federal News Radio’s Lauren Larson has details.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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Agencies are treating privacy today like they treated cybersecurity three or five years ago. It’s important, but officials are not sure how and what it means to apply privacy to data. Federal News Radio’s executive editor, Jason Miller, has advice from one agency who is ahead of the game.

Read Jason’s related article.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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Congress voted to cut back military retiree pensions a little over a month ago. Now, the Senate Armed Services Committee wants to repeal the provision as quickly as possible. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, the Defense Department agrees.

Read Jared’s related article.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don’t see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.