Wednesday Afternoon Federal Newscast – April 21

The Afternoon Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Daily Debrief hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris discuss throughout their show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The White House is making major changes to the way agencies report on their overall cybersecurity posture. The Office of Management and Budget today issued new Federal Information Security Management Act guidance that details three new ways agencies will describe the state of their IT security. Agencies now will have to send real time data feeds to the Homeland Security Department through a new tool, called Cyberscope. OMB, DHS and the CIO Council will lead an effort benchmark the status of all civilian agency cybersecurity. And OMB will meet with agencies to determine how best to secure their networks based on mission needs. Click here for a live report from WFED’s Jason Miller.
  • Two senators say it’s time to consider ending a contract for a “virtual fence” along the U.S.-Mexico border that they contend isn’t keeping illegal immigrants out of the United States. Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman said Tuesday the government should either terminate the contract with Boeing Co. or take from it any working parts and scrap the rest. Illinois Democrat Roland Burris asked Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin whether the contract could be canceled. Bersin said he was not able to render a judgment on a legal issue.
  • Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says he’s getting little or no resistance inside the Navy since announcing he’s going to let women serve aboard submarines. Mabus says sailors and officers don’t seem worried about ending the long-standing ban. He says the experience of female sailors aboard surface ships shows that men and women can work in close quarters. Submarines are among the few remaining places where military women are prohibited.
  • A top U.S. general is trying to reassure the public the military supports wind power and other alternative energy, despite his concerns that turbines may block radar that detects threats to North America. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, head of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, says on his official blog this week that both commands are committed to homeland defense and clean energy. Renuart says the military routinely works with the Federal Aviation Administration to determine whether wind turbines, hotels or other new structures will interfere with defensive radar.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says it’s a challenge for the government to stay ahead of counterfeiters as technology becomes more sophisticated and more dollars flow overseas. Bernanke’s brief remarks come at the unveiling of a redesigned $100 bill. The government hopes the new bills will make it harder for high-tech counterfeiters to knockoff. The new bills goes into circulation on Feb. 10, 2011. Hear more about the new bill on tomorrow’s Federal Drive.


Coming up on the Federal Drive

** The new $100 Bill is being unveiled by the Department of Engraving and Printing We’ll find out why this is not happy news for counterfeiters.

** Congress is hopping mad about the failure of the virtual border fence SBINet and some are calling for National Guard along the Southwest border, we’ll find out the latest.