Wednesday morning federal headlines – Feb. 22, 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.

  • When the Army moved $1.4 million email users to the cloud, it learned a thing or two. In fact, the Army’s deputy CIO says, the cloud forced the Army to fix long standing problems. Mike Krieger says those problems center on how efficiently the Army runs its IT operations. He told an AFCEA audience, the Army adopted a set of best practices called IT Infrastructure Library. The result has been more discipline. And, email costs per user have dropped 75 percent. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Office of Management and Budget has a new specialist to oversee e-government policy and the federal mobility effort. Haley Van Dyck joins OMB from the U.S. Agency for International Development. This is her third post during the Obama administration. She started at the FCC, where she established social media and managed an overhaul of the website. It’s also her third stint working for Steve Van Roekel, now the Federal CIO. Van Roekel also worked at FCC and USAID after joining the government from Microsoft. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Justice Department has thrown in the towel on a two-year prosecution of businessmen charged in a foreign bribery sting. District Judge Richard Leon granted the department’s motion to dismiss all charges against 16 defendants. The move came after two cases fell apart. Jurors already acquitted 10 defendants after long trials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. They were arrested at a Las Vegas trade show, charged with bribing officials of Gabon. Judge Leon said both the FBI sting and the prosecutions were botched from the beginning. (Federal News Radio)
  • We now know the identity of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer who shot and killed a fellow officer who was trying to kill their supervisor. Perry Woo has received high praise from Homeland Security Officials, even though they haven’t named him publicly. The name was revealed to the AP by a source. Woo killed officer Ezequiel Garcia after Garcia shot his supervisor six times in an argument. The supervisor is recovering. Woo was the Justice Department’s Officer of the Year in 2004 for work leading to the capture of eight child molesters. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Air Force Special Operations Command has canceled a plan to buy nearly three thousand iPads. The command gave no specific reason for the cancellation. But the move came after the online publication NextGov inquired about the PDF reader software named in the solicitation. The software was developed in Russia. It’s called Good Reader from Good iWare, not to be confused with Good Technology used by other federal agencies.The tablets were to be used as electronic flight bags, replacing paper charts and operations manuals. The Air Force says it will still pursue an electronic flight bag. (NextGov)
  • Think you have a lead foot? Think again. One of NASA’s newest telescopes in space has clocked a stellar wind moving about 20 million miles per hour, according to NASA. It’s the fastest of its kind on record, but still only three percent of the speed of light. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory found the wind near a stellar-mass black hole, which formed when a massive star collapsed. One NASA researcher says it’s the cosmic equivalent of winds from a category five hurricane, only a lot stronger. (
  • GSA is working on a new way for you to buy non-IT professional services. The agency wants to launch a new government-wide acquisition contract called Integrations. It would be a way for government to get total solutions, instead of a la carte services agencies buy now under the Schedules program. GSA still needs permission from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. The agency plans to post a business case for review and comment by June. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Congressional Budget Office is making it easier for you to track all those bills you care about. CBO has revamped its website for the first time in 11 years. You can tell it what subjects interest you, and it’ll pull everything together automatically on a customized profile page. The new also changes how you find cost estimates, by putting everything under a new topics section. CBO has also launched a word cloud, to show you what people are searching for. (
  • Your agency’s network is changing with the times, and so are hackers. Security firm Arbor Networks says they’re attacking systems using Internet Protocol Version Six for the first time with distributed denial-of-service campaigns. The hackers try to overload networks by sending massive amounts of information in a short period of time. Arbor Networks spoke with service providers around the world and says the main reason for the attacks is hacktivism and vandalism. (Arbor Networks)