Newsbriefs

Registered Traveler's twist

The Homeland Security Department
will begin testing an International
Registered Traveler program at three
airports starting June 10 to expedite
clearances for prescreened travelers.

The Customs and Border Protection
agency will operate the six-month pilot
program at JFK International in New
York; George Bush Intercontinental in
Houston; and Washington Dulles.
Applications to participate are due by
May 12.

GSA rechecks Alliant offers

The General Services Administration is
asking the 62 small businesses on its
five-year, $15 billion Alliant Small
Business contract to extend their offers
until Oct. 28. "GSA is being proactive
in the [Alliant Small Business contract]
evaluation by conducting a new
past-performance survey based upon
the information provided in the existing
proposals," the agency wrote.

Alert system lacks sponsor

The Federal Communications
Commission has adopted an order
allowing transmission of federal government
emergency alerts via text
message to cell phone users nationwide.

The failure to identify a federal
agency to oversee transmission of the
emergency alerts could stymie the
order, FCC Commissioner Michael
Copps said in a statement.

PSC to fight contract myths

Vowing to fight what it called rampant
federal contracting myths, the
Professional Services Council launched
a Web site to be a clearinghouse of
information on government procurement
issues. SmartContracting.org,
provides an overview of reform proposals
and concerns related to government
procurement policies and practices.

Avineon opts for restructure

Avineon Inc. has restructured into two divisions,
Federal Systems and Commercial
Systems, to foster growth in both markets.
The reorganization of the Alexandria, Va.,
business is designed to improve customer
service, spur growth and create efficiencies
when planning and managing projects
for each division, the company said in a
statement.

Raytheon teams for GBS system

Raytheon Co. is teaming with Harris Corp.
and Hewlett-Packard Co. to chase a $30 million
Air Force contract for the Global
Broadcast Service Satellite Broadcast
Manager transition contract.

Raytheon has worked for 10 years on the
GBS program, a mission-support system the
military uses for wideband IP broadcasts, the
company said.

Task orders slow under EAGLE

The pace of task orders coming out of the
Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading
Edge IT contract at the Homeland Security
Department slowed in the first half of fiscal
2008, in contrast to the previous year, according
to new DHS data. Between Oct. 1, 2007,
and March 10, DHS awarded 16 task orders
worth $200 million under the EAGLE solutions.

In fiscal 2007, it awarded 133 EAGLE
task orders worth $3 billion.
DHS extends work visa timeframe
The Homeland Security Department's new
rule more than doubles the number of
months that a foreign student may stay in the
United States after graduation while applying
for a work visa. Under the interim rule
released April 4, the department is extending
the Optional Practical Training period from
12 to 29 months for eligible foreign workers
with degrees in science, technology, engineering
or mathematics.

Lawmaker urges tighter borders

The Homeland Security Department should
install more ground and air radars along the
U.S. border with Canada and boost the number
of manned and unmanned aircraft
patrols over the area, Sen. Jon Tester (DMont.)
wrote to Senate colleagues.

U.S. water threatened

Water utilities should begin work immediately
to secure their systems against catastrophic
cyberattacks, says a study from the American
Water Works Association and Homeland
Security Department.

A 2005 cyberattack on gauges dumped
1 billion gallons of water in St. Louis, and in
2006 malicious software threatened water
quality in Harrisburg, Pa.

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