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Bob Brewin

Editor at Large Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.
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Sexual Harassment and Bullying at VA Phoenix Medical Facilities?

May 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Since the Veterans Affairs Department Inspector General started an investigation in April of patient wait times at the Phoenix VA hospital and six clinics, it has also received daily allegations of sexual harassment and bullying by managers. The summary of the Phoenix IG report said “our onsite OIG staff and ...

Top VA Official Resigns Ahead of Schedule in Wait List Scandal

May 18, 2014 Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said Friday afternoon that he had accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, the department’s undersecretary for health, amid a growing scandal over the deaths of patients awaiting treatment at VA facilities. Petzel, who has worked for the VA for four decades, is at the ...

VA Docs Ignored Department Drug Guidelines, Putting Patients at Risk

May 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A new report says that doctors at the Veterans Affairs Department ignored the department’s own safety guidelines for treating outpatients who take opioid pain killers. Those drugs, taken in combination with benzodiazepine tranquilizers (such as Valium and Xanax) and over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol), can be fatal, the department’s inspector general warned ...

Executive at Center of VA Patient Scheduling Debacle Resigns

May 16, 2014 This story has been updated. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said Friday afternoon that he had accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, the department’s undersecretary for health, amid a growing scandal over the deaths of patients awaiting treatment at VA facilities. Petzel, who has worked for the VA for ...

Even Air Force Fitness Centers Need a Tech System

May 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Air Force Personnel Center’s services directorate wants to acquire a system to provide secure, automated access to 50 or more fitness centers on a 24/7 basis. The Air Force envisions that authorized personnel will be able to enter gyms using common access cards. In addition to common access card ...

Remember the VA Replacement Scheduling Project?

May 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In 2009, the Veterans Affairs Department canceled its patient scheduling system -- dubbed the Replacement Scheduling Application Development Program -- after spending $167 million over eight years and failing to deliver a usable product. Daniel Dellinger, national commander of the American Legion, told lawmakers at a hearing of the Senate ...

VA Faces Systemwide Problems with Patient Scheduling

May 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Veterans Affairs Department faces systemic problems going back more than a decade when it comes to scheduling timely medical appointments for patients, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle charged at a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing today. The hearing was spurred by news reports that the Phoenix VA ...

Did Cat Litter Precipitate the Nuclear Waste Dump Fire?

May 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The combination of cat litter and nitrate salts designed to suppress fires in drums of waste generated by the nation’s nuclear defense program may have led to a Feb. 14 fire at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad, N.M. That’s what the Albuquerque Journal reported today. ...

It’s Hard to Ban GPS Stations in Russia That Don’t Exist

May 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow News websites spanning a wide readership from Gizmodo to the Wall Street Journal and Russian site RT reported Tuesday that Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of space and defense industries, plans to ban operation of U.S. GPS monitoring sites in Russia. This evidently is a ...

Defense Plans to Replace 19-Year-Old Retiree Pay System

May 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Defense Department has decided to retire its 19-year-old retiree pay system written in “antiquated” computer code and replace it with a lower cost, easier to use application based on off-the-shelf technology. The Defense Retiree and Annuitant Pay System, or DRAS, maintains military pay accounts for more than 2.6 million ...