Friday morning federal headlines – Oct. 5, 2012

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

  • The Government Accountability Office has upheld a protest by IBM over a big award from Veterans Affairs. In June, VA hired Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services to install wi-fi tracking systems in its hospitals. The Real Time Location System deal is worth $543 million. It’s designed to help VA keep track of clinical devices and medicines. GAO did not immediately post the reasons why it sustained IBM’s protest. But when a protest is sustained, work typically stops until the agency re-bids the project. (GAO)
  • A team of FBI agents finally made it to Benghazi, Libya, to investigate the assault against the U.S. Consulate. But they didn’t stay very long. The agents departed after 12 hours on the ground. Members of Special Forces joined the FBI in looking over the compound. The attack took place back on Sept. 11. It resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The Obama administration initially said the attack was sparked by a video on YouTube. Officials now believe it was a terrorist attack. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Broadcasting Board of Governors said signals from Iran are jamming Voice of America’s Persian service. It said the signals were also affecting Radio Free Europe’s Farsi-language programming and the British Broadcasting Service. Because the jamming is aimed at satellites, the board says broadcasts for Armenia, Bosnia, Georgia and Korea are also affected. The jamming started Wednesday. The Board said it believes the jamming coincided with protests in Iran over its currency. A BBG contractor reported rising Internet traffic from the affected areas. (Federal News Radio)
  • Amtrak has joined the departments of Homeland Security and Transportation to stop human trafficking. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department has developed training materials for Amtrak police officers and frontline employees, like conductors. She said transportation workers interact with thousands of travelers a day, so they’re in a good position to spot something fishy. Homeland Security and Transportation also have pledged to train their employees to spot and report potential cases of human trafficking. (DHS)