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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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A Drawback of the House-Senate VA Bill? Congress Can’t Create Doctors

July 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Legislation announced today by the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees aims to solve the wait-time crisis that has bedeviled veterans for years by providing $10 billion for vets, who live 40 miles from a Department of Veterans Affairs facility, to get treatment from private clinicians. There’s one problem with ...

Did a Misplaced Glove Cause Nuke Waste Dump Fire?

July 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A glove accidentally left in a drum of nuclear waste may have been responsible for rupturing the container leading to the spewing of radiation in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, in February. That’s according to a new report this week filed by Patrick Malone of the ...

Committee Skeptical of Extra VA Funding, Citing Ballooning Staff Size

July 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee expressed reluctance today to approve a $17.6 billion Veterans Affairs supplemental funding request for additional clinical staff and expanded facilities, in part, because the size of the Veterans Health Administration’s central office staff jumped more than tenfold from the mid-1990s to 2012. Acting ...

No New VA Patient Scheduling System Until 2016

July 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Veterans Affairs will not field a new patient scheduling system to replace its existing system until 2016, Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson told a House VA committee hearing today. Gibson said the time line for procurement of the new scheduling system is a “bit up in the ...

VA Secretary Nominee Views IT as Key to VA Reform

July 23, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Robert McDonald, the former Procter & Gamble chief executive and President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been strongly endorsed by all members of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. At his nomination hearing yesterday, McDonald said he would apply his experience with information technology ...

McDonald Will Apply West Point Honor Code, Prayer to His VA Leadership

July 23, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Robert McDonald, former Procter & Gamble chairman, chief executive and president who graduated from West Point in 1975 and then served with the 82nd Airborne division for five years before joining P&G in 1980, yesterday told the Senate VA committee hearing that applying the West Point Honor Code and Prayer ...

VA Still Mulling Timeline for New Scheduling System

July 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last month, acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said development of a new scheduling system would help move veterans out of the waiting-list limbo that delayed vets’ medical care across the country and contributed to the resignation of Eric Shinseki as VA Secretary. “Our top priority is getting veterans off ...

Bonusland: Nuke Waste Dump Contractor Awarded $1.9M after Fire

July 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Put this in the strange but true department: This February, the Energy Department awarded Nuclear Waste Partnership--which operates the country’s only underground nuclear waste dump--a $1.9 million performance bonus for excellent work five days after a mining truck caught fire in the facility, the Albuquerque Journal reported yesterday in a ...

E-Prescriptions Hit 1 Billion for First Time in 2013

July 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Electronic prescriptions in the United States hit 1 billion for the first time in 2013 and eclipsed the number of written new and renewal prescriptions of 800,000 by 200,000, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health information Technology reported. This spike marked a ten-fold increase from 2008 when only ...

So, Which Agency Needs an Executive Chef with a Top Secret Clearance?

July 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sodexo, the food services company, “is seeking a strong executive chef to manage all the culinary operations at a high-profile government dining account in Northern Virginia. The successful candidate must be able to obtain a TS/SCI clearance [emphasis included],” according to a job posting on the company’s website. Steven Aftergood, ...