The Buzz with ACT-IAC

The Buzz with ACT-IAC

Welcome to The Buzz with ACT-IAC – your source for the hot topics and top issues affecting the federal technology market. Join us each week to hear insights from government and industry leaders, stay informed on the topics facing government, gain access to thought leadership and valuable reports. Subscribe to follow us on your favorite podcast platform.


April 9, 2024 31 mins

About a year ago, we were joined on the show by Gabriel Zucker of Code for America to talk taxes. Specifically, a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act that directed the IRS to develop their own proprietary, free tax prep software for the first time in history.

Since then, the IRS has been hard at work. 2024 tax season marks the launch of the IRS Direct File pilot, a simplified tax prep tool available to residents of t...

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This week, The Buzz is joined once again by Robert Puentes, President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation. Last time, we talked about some of the challenges facing American aviation and the FAA.  The intervening weeks have magnified some of this as Boeing, under scrutiny for a series of engineering failures, has started seeing some serious turnover in upper management and a slew of promises to shape up.

So maybe n...

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This week, The Buzz presents a session from our 2024 Shared Services Summit, in partnership with the Shared Services Leadership Coalition. Learn more at

In this fireside chat, Maria Banks, Director of Federal Sales at Atlassian, sat down with Susan Dorr, Chief Information Officer at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

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 This episode originally aired on April 5th, 2023.

As tax season ramps up in earnest, and given the good news about the IRS's Direct File Pilot Program, we thought now would be a good time to revisit an interview we conducted last year with Code For America's Gabriel Zucker, the Interim Program Director of Tax Policy and Partnerships.

This interview focused on how the IRS could design a direct file syste...

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This week, The Buzz presents a session from our archives.

The concept of customer experience has driven business decisions in private industry for some time, but it's only in the last decade that CX, or citizen service, has become a focus of government. 

The creation of in 2013 heralded a new era in government, one marked by an interest in the lessons learned from tech start-ups and the relatio...

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March 5, 2024 31 mins

This week, The Buzz presents a session from ACT-IAC's 2024 Digital Transformation Summit.

Digital transformation efforts often rely on implementation of new systems. This presents an opportunity to integrate improved cybersecurity policy from the ground up. Unfortunately, cyber is still often ignored in the digital transformation process despite its importance.

In this fireside chat, Paul Butterfoss, CTO of...

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While virtual reality has been around for several decades, both as a concept and a technology, it is only in the past few years that inexpensive, mass-produced, higher-quality VR systems have become broadly available. This has enabled more people to experiment and conduct research with VR software, and better determine its potential and use.

The field of medicine has exemplified this approach. Medical Extended Reality, or ...

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Since the mass adoption of remote work began in 2020, there has been an ongoing question around what the shift in commuting habits means for American downtowns. What should office space look like? Where should people be living and working, and how do they get between those two places? All of these have implications for local policymakers, developers, and property owners.

And the Federal Government is, in a way, all three ...

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This week, The Buzz presents a session from our 2024 Acquisition Forum, which specifically focused this year on AI in government.

Our forum ended with a fireside chat between Susie Rainey, Diplomacy and Exploration Lead at Accenture Federal, and Michael Derrios, Senior Procurement Executive at the US Department of State. Together, they discuss the implications of  artificial intelligence-driven systems in the procurement ...

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In just a few short years, the aviation sector has experienced the whipsaw of a pandemic-era travel freeze followed by a post-pandemic travel explosion.

Like many other industries, our already complex air travel system has experienced some recent pain points related to labor shortages, technological failures, and governance challenges. Some are new, but others are long-standing concerns that have resurfaced due to the pre...

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As we've explored on this show before, the past few years have seen an unprecedented level of public and private investment in green energy, green infrastructure, and electrification. Between the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, over $1 Trillion has flowed into the green economy. This reflects the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to attempt to a...

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January 24, 2024 33 mins

This week, The Buzz presents something a little different than usual.

ELC 2023, ACT-IAC's flagship conference in Hershey, PA, opened with a rousing, inspirational keynote from Art Jackson about personal leadership.

Art Jackson is a professional speaker and coach, West Point graduate, and former IT executive. Learn more about him at

Learn more about the ACT-IAC Associates P...

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This week, The Buzz presents a session from our December 2023 CX Summit. CX is a key component of the Biden-Harris President's Management Agenda.

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act appropriated an additional $79.4 billion to the IRS to assist in modernization and improved service delivery. In this keynote, Commissioner Danny Werfel details the challenges and priorities of the agency as they strive to build a simpler, f...

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In August 2022, Congress passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors – or Chips and Science Act. Congratulations to whoever came up with that acronym. The law authorized more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in funding for domestic technology manufacturing and development. It has been recognized as a key piece of the reignition of US industrial policy – which has lain dormant for much of the 21st century. 


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December 20, 2023 30 mins

This week will be the last episode of The Buzz for 2023, and we're taking the time to reflect back on a busy year at ACT-IAC with Dave Wennergren, our CEO.

We review the major topics of interest for the federal government, how to deal with a rapidly-changing world, what ACT-IAC has been up to, and what to look forward to next year. 

Thank you, listeners, for making The Buzz a part of your week in 2023. Have a...

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The last time we discussed cryptocurrency on this podcast in April 2022, both the economy and the technology sector were in very different places. Right around that time, inflation really began to accelerate, peaking at 9.1% year-over-year in June. The Federal Reserve pumped the brakes and hiked interest rates 5% in a 4-month period. The entire cryptocurrency market essentially collapsed by the end of 2022 - including several high-...

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This year, ACT-IAC's Imagine Nation ELC was our largest conference ever, with more than 1200 in-person attendees! We also had more sessions than ever, and The Buzz is excited to bring a selection of recordings from this year's event to our podcast audience.

This session features the presentation of the Federal Acquisition Institute's 2023 Chief Acquisition Officers Council Awards. After a brief introduction,...

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This fall, our federal government has teetered on the edge of shutdown more than once before a last-minute agreement could be reached. As of this episode, yet another Continuing Resolution has extended the day of reckoning to either mid-January or early February, depending on the agency. 

Unfortunately, this is not the first time discord in Congress has disrupted government operations, and it's not likely to be the la...

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November 14, 2023 28 mins

This year, ACT-IAC's Imagine Nation ELC was our largest conference ever, with more than 1200 in-person attendees! We also had more sessions than ever, and The Buzz is excited to bring a selection of recordings from this year's event to our podcast audience.

We're kicking things off with a lively discussion between OPM Director Kiran Ahuja and her colleague Melvin Brown, who serves as the Deputy CIO. 


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This week, the Buzz is partnering with ACT-IAC's Federal Insights Exchange (FIE). The FIE program hosts short-form conversations between industry and agency leaders to share success stories, challenges, and priorities.

Our guest host Dr. Allan Burman, President of Jefferson Solutions at the Jefferson Consulting Group and member of the Department of Veterans Affairs FIE, sat down with Dr. Angela Billups, Executive Dire...

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