Friday morning federal headlines – Feb. 3, 2012

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive host Tom Temin discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Economic Development Administration at the Commerce Department has shut down its network because of a cyber virus. An EDA spokesman says the agency set up a temporary website to provide funding opportunities and other information to its customers. The Commerce IT security team and U.S.CERT are working with EDA to figure out the problem and fix it. The spokesman says the virus affected EDA’s website and email system and out of caution the agency decided to isolate its systems from the rest of the department. The spokesman says the bureau’s ability to meet its mission is not being affected. (Federal News Radio)
  • Agencies will receive final marching orders in May for how to hire interns. The Office of Personnel Management expects to issue the final regs in 90 days for the new Pathways program, which will outline three career paths for college students, recent graduates and advanced-degree candidates. OPM’s Deputy General Counsel for Policy Rob Shriver tells Federal News Radio under the final rule agencies will have to post internship opportunities on the website. He also says Pathways program compliments the Federal Internship Improvement Act passed by Congress in December. (Federal News Radio)
  • A new House bill would boost the ability of small businesses to obtain federal contracts. It’s been introduced by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce. The bill would make it easier for small businesses to band together to win federal contracts. It would be harder for small companies to front for large ones. And it would require more reporting by large contractors on their subcontracting activities. Mulvaney’s bill would also require agencies to publish their insourcing efforts. (
  • Your Federal pay would stay frozen for another year to help the Defense Department avoid sequestration cuts in a new plan from Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). They say the bill would save $110 billion dollars a year. The Pentagon is facing a half-trillion dollars in automatic cuts, unless Congress does something. Earlier this week, the House cleared a one-year extension to the federal pay freeze to cut spending. But the Senate is unlikely to approve, and President Obama has promised to veto any bill that would undo sequestration. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department scores a field goal days before the Super Bowl. Working with officials of the NFL, federal officers shut down hundreds of websites and seized nearly $5 million worth of counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise. Immigration and Customs Enforcement teamed up with Customs and Border Protection and Postal inspectors to carry out raids across the country. Operation Fake Sweep started in October and concluded yesterday. It also scooped up phony hockey, basketball and baseball merchandise. (ICE)
  • Money is green. And now, so is the the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. OCC says it will stop hard copy distribution of news and issuances on June 1. The office regularly sends money-related alerts, bulletins and news to banks and savings associations. Now those recipients will have to visit OCC dot gov or sign up for email and news feeds. And, of course, Facebook and Twitter. Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh says going paperless is a good business decision that makes sense for the environment. (OCC)
  • The Intelligence Community is getting a new campus in Bethesda, Md. The National Capital Planning Commission has approved the Army Corps of Engineers plan to build a 3,000-person facility on a 39-acre site in Maryland. The campus will include five buildings, two of which will be new construction. The plan is to renovate three existing structures. The Commission has also approved improvements around the Veterans Affairs building in Washington on Vermont Avenue. The General Services Administration owns the site and wants to improve the public space areas by adding new trees, benches and repaving sidewalks. This is part of the ongoing renovation to the building that will be completed in 2016. (NCPC)