Fedwire Briefs

IG: SPS acquisition strategy flawed

The Defense Department may be forced to spend at least $70 million on additional training, development and help-desk support before its main computer system for standardizing paperless contracting and procurement procedures is deemed functional, an internal DOD report said.

WEB EXTRA: For the complete story, go to www.fcw.com/extra.

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Bill would put $4.8B toward research

House Science Committee chairman Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) last week proposed draft legislation that would authorize almost $4.8 billion over the next five years for information technology research at the six agencies under its jurisdiction. Agencies that would be affected by the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act are the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Energy Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Bill would OK FAA to tap new funds

A House committee amended and passed a bill late last week that would reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration modernization programs by using money mainly collected from passenger ticket taxes.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent to the full House for consideration the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), which would reauthorize the FAA for five years. AIR-21 would allow the FAA to use money from the Aviation Trust Fund, such as taxes on tickets and fuel, which usually is not spent.

WEB EXTRA: For the complete story, go to www.fcw.com/extra.

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DOE unveils Chornobyl system

The Energy Department last week unveiled a state-of-the-art information technology system built to survey the crumbling nuclear reactor site at Chornobyl, Ukraine. The system, called "Pioneer," consists of cameras, sensors and mechanical arms mounted on a robot that officials plan to send into the reactor to gather data for a virtual-reality model of the site. The model would be used to plan repairs of the concrete "sarcophagus" that encases the reactor, which still harbors deadly radiation 13 years after the plant exploded.

WEB EXTRA: For the complete story, go to www.fcw.com/extra.

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GSA preps smart card buy

The General Services Administration is one step closer to establishing the first government-

wide contract specifically geared toward smart card products and technologies.

GSA's Office of Electronic Commerce in June will finalize a statement of work for the Smart Access Card program that will provide agencies with a wide range of card capabilities, including physical access, system access, digital signatures and biometrics. Earlier this month, the final draft requirements document was presented to industry for comment. GSA hopes to make an award by the fall.

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FBI, Senate sites attacked

Hackers attacked World Wide Web sites run by the FBI and the U.S. Senate last week, leaving the sites unavailable for many hours, apparently in response to recent federal raids on several suspected hackers.

An FBI spokesman acknowledged that the attack on the FBI may have come in retaliation for an FBI crackdown in which the agency reportedly confiscated computer equipment but did not make any arrests.

The FBI and its Internet vendor, IBM Corp., shut down the agency's Web site on Wednesday, after the attack, and began work to make it more hacker-proof, according to the spokesman.

Hackers launched a different attack on the Senate Web site, defacing it with taunts aimed at the FBI and the National Infrastructure Protection Center. According to a Senate source, a memo circulated in the Senate stated that it had taken its site offline to make repairs and that no other Senate systems had been affected by the attack, which came late on Thursday.

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