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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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Amtrak Eyes Broadband Wi-Fi DC-Boston

June 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Amtrak would like to ditch the 10 Mpbs cellular-based Wi-Fi service that frustrates train passengers on its 457-mile Washington-Boston service with slow speeds for trackside access points to provide broadband speeds to support streaming and fat file downloads. Amtrak Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Matt Harrison said yesterday the wireless ...

After 6 Years, VA Has Added Just One Name to Eye Injury Database

May 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Veterans Affairs Department has added only one name to an eye injury registry established by Congress in January 2008, senior VA officials told flabbergasted members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee panel on oversight and investigations today. The department also is not in full compliance with standards established in ...

VA Failed to Protect Critical Computer Systems, Audit Finds

May 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In another blow to the beleaguered Veterans Affairs Department, the VA inspector general reported today that an audit by an outside accounting firm revealed continuing problems protecting mission critical systems. The audit, conducted by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, said that although VA has made progress developing security policies and procedures, it suffers ...

VA’s Convoluted Patient Scheduling Starts with a ‘Helpline’ Call

May 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Veterans trying to schedule medical appointments in the Veterans Affairs Department’s Phoenix Health Care System entered a Kafkaesque world where they had to call a “helpline” to provide demographic information to an official who would type the data into a computer and then take a screenshot and send it to ...

New Plan for New Mexico Power Line: Bury the Missile Range Parts

May 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow SunZia Transmission LLC has tentatively agreed to bury a five mile portion of a high voltage electric transmission line that crosses land leased by the White Sands Missile Range, clearing the way for the project to transmit clean wind energy from rural New Mexico to power hungry markets in Arizona ...

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 ...