News briefs

Registered Traveler gets worldly

International travelers soon will be able to preregister to speed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports according to provisions of last month's fiscal 2008 omnibus spending package.

Guidelines could be ready within a year for an international registered-traveler program similar to the domestic Registered Traveler program that several federal contractors operate at U.S. airports.

Legislators: Toss new SBA rule

The Small Business Administration's attempt to help woman-owned small businesses get more government contracts by limiting contract set-asides to four industry areas might not help.

Congressional leaders want the rule thrown out. It "is a slap in the face to women business owners," said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

DHS asks about container security

The Customs and Border Protection Agency isn't sure that available container security devices and readers can detect tampering of shipping containers during transit.

A CBP request for information solicits industry input to determine whether available Conveyance Security Device systems meet its requirements, described in a document on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

Law would mandate data protection

A bill introduced by Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Miss.) would require agencies to set penalties for vendors on contracts worth $500,000 or more if the company fails
to implement a comprehensive personal data privacy and security program that includes administrative, technical and physical safeguards.

The bill would direct agencies to select and retain contractors that can handle the requirement.

FCC pushes mobile alert system

The Federal Communications Commission wants public comment by Feb. 4 on its proposed rules for an alert system that would let wireless providers send emergency alerts to users of cell phones and other devices.

The goal in setting up rules for the system is to facilitate the alerts to targeted geographic areas as much as possible while also avoiding network congestion.

GSA issues IPv6 training RFI

As the deadline for installing IPv6 approaches, the General Services Administration is asking industry about training the federal workforce for the transition.

In a request, the agency asks for information from companies holding GSA contracts suitable for providing training.

Ethics group to rank contractors

Nonpartisan ethics group Ethisphere Institute is finishing a project to rank the ethics and compliance programs of 1,000 government contractors. Rankings will be published in the first 2008 issue of its quarterly Ethisphere Magazine.

The goal is to recognize companies that are doing a good job with their ethics and compliance programs and encourage others to improve their performance, an official said.

FBI $1B upgrade set for midmonth

Postponed last month, a $1 billion, 10-year contract for upgrades to the FBI's fingerprint identification databases and related systems is on track for award this month, sources say.

The FBI's Criminal Justice Information Service Division has been considering bids from teams led by IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

DOD plans for unmanned systems

The Defense Department's new long-term road map for development of unmanned systems is the first to include unmanned aircraft, vehicle and marine systems in a single, comprehensive plan. The combined global market for such systems is estimated to surpass $19 billion by 2020.

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