A broken budget system casts a dark shadow over federal spending.

The federal budgeting process is broken. Former lawmakers and budget office leaders know it, current negotiators on Capitol Hill know it, a whole slew of good government groups know it and perhaps most of all, federal agencies know it. Under a process established in 1974, the president submits a budget proposal to Congress in February and the House and Senate each pass their respective blueprints in April. They go to conference, set the top-line spending levels, and the appropriations committees delegate that money to agencies in 12 separate bills before the annual August recess.

Spotlight

Strathcona County

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of almost 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

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Government Business

U.S. catching up on overdue bridge construction, repairs

Article | July 14, 2022

Bridges, a critical part of America’s infrastructure, need immediate attention. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2019 National Bridge Inventory database shows that 81,000 bridges should be replaced and more than 46,000 are structurally deficient. In spite of the data, millions of motorists cross these structurally deficient bridges every day. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association estimates that the cost to repair the country’s bridges is approximately $164 billion. If that statistic appears startling, consider this - at the current pace of repair, construction could easily take more than a half-century. Rhode Island currently has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the nation. Other bridges in disrepair include New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge, Washington, D.C.’s Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, and the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge that crosses San Francisco Bay. Time and the environment will continue to play a huge role in the deterioration of America’s bridges. Repair and reconstruction needs will only become greater. Hundreds of immediate projects are available for construction and engineering firms that perform bridge work. Illinois The Illinois Department of Transportation approved a $21.3 billion highway program this month to improve 8 million square feet of bridges and more than 3,300 miles of roads over the next six years. Of this amount, $3.15 billion has been allocated for the current fiscal year. An Interstate 80 project, with a cost projection of $1.1 billion to replace two bridges, will have funding disbursements that span from 2021 to 2026. In 2021, $74.5 million is allocated for replacements, superstructures, widening, reconstruction, new construction engineering, and utility adjustments. Many additional projects are outlined in the state’s transportation plan. North Carolina Beaufort County will receive $120 million from the state to fund what is referred to as the U.S. 278 corridor project. This project will overhaul the only connection between Hilton Head Island and the mainland. Cost projections exceed $272 million. Components of the project include widening the entire corridor to six lanes, adding right-turn only exits off U.S. 278, and building an underpass on Pinckney Island. Another part of the project involves the construction of a multi-use pathway over the bridge. Maryland Prince George’s County has released its 2021-2026 Proposed Capital Improvement Program and Budget for the Department of Public Works and Transportation. One project is the replacement of a 30-foot concrete bridge in Clinton over Piscataway Creek at a cost of $5.7 million. Design of the bridge is scheduled for 2021, and construction will begin in 2022. The Livingston Road Bridge, another structure that crosses the Piscataway Creek, will be replaced at a cost of $8.4 million. A total of $29.6 million will be dispersed from 2021-2026 to fund the replacements or rehabilitation of county bridges in the state. Maine This state currently has 314 bridges in poor condition, the seventh-highest percentage in the country. Bridges in Maine are inspected every two years and receive posted warnings or become closed when there is danger to the public. Many of the state’s bridges are more than 90 years old. Approximately $38.1 million in federal funding has been secured, and seven bridges have been selected for repair as part of the National Highway Freight System program. The Maine Department of Transportation will contribute another $14 million and construction is expected to begin 2022. The bridges include Interstate 95 over Webb Road in Waterville, I-95 over Broadway in Bangor, Main Street Bridge in Solon, Red Bridge in Rumford, and the double bridge on Stillwater Avenue in Old Town. Arkansas The Fort Smith Board of Directors, Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, and the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District agreed July 21 to facilitate a $15 million project to repair a railroad line. The district will manage the procurement of engineering services, as well as procurement and supervision of the construction contract for the renovation of the Arkansas River railroad lift bridge and wooden trestles from Fort Smith to Missouri. The district also will manage other procurement responsibilities for two railroad bridges in Crawford County. Louisiana Funding has been approved through an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD) for the replacement of the Cheniere spillway and bridge. In 2019, the LDOTD announced it would contribute $4 million to replace the bridge and substitute a fix-crested weir for the parish-owned spillway. A weir is a low dam built across a river to raise the level of water upstream or regulate its flow. The bridge and spillway were damaged by floods and the LDOTD agreed to fund the repair. Procurements for the project will begin soon as construction is also slated for 2020. In the city of Baton Rouge, planning will begin soon on a new Mississippi River bridge after LDOTD finalized an agreement July 7 with an engineering firm on a $5 million planning and advisory contract. The contractor will be responsible for developing a purpose and need statement, producing a navigational analysis, and analyzing various traffic models for this more than $1 billion project. The state has a backlog of road and bridge projects that totals more than $14 billion. The Capital Area Road and Bridge District will consider alternative funding methods for the new bridge, including tolls, public-private partnerships, and state funds. The project is moving rather rapidly. There will be no shortage of opportunities for companies interested in bridge construction and repairs throughout the country. Mary Scott Nabers is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., a business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the U.S. Her recently released book, Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is a handbook for contractors, investors and the public at large seeking to explore how public-private partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.

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Emerging Technology

Revitalization of Economies: Government Supporting Start-ups

Article | July 16, 2022

The pandemic has blown up entrepreneurs and start-up ecosystems, so government support for start-ups has become critical. The majority of them faced cash shortages and a lack of venture capital. For start-ups, cash is the most pressing issue. Furthermore, start-ups experienced a slow fundraising process accompanied by investor indifference. Furthermore, the global workforce was not left untouched by the spillover. Start-ups began to lay off employees and reduce pay. According to StartupGenome research, three out of every four employees were letting their employer down. While 39% of them laid off 20% or more of their workforce, two-thirds admitted to laying off 60% or more of their full-time employees. In the United States, the economy experienced the sharpest decline in employment, with 20.5 million people losing their jobs. Following that, in order to address this and reduce the pandemic's impact on start-ups, the governments of many countries have stepped in to save their country's start-up ecosystem. We've listed a few of the government's initiatives to help start-ups during the current cash crunch. Direct grants and zero-interest loans: Right now, cash is the most important concern for new businesses. Grants are regarded as the most beneficial policy instrument (29%), followed by loans (12%). Access to venture capital investment: If history is any guide, venture capital activity will likely decline in 2020 as well. This creates a quandary for the 18% of start-ups that require access to financing tools to increase investment. Employment support schemes: COVID-19 has had an impact on workforces all over the world. The US lost a record 20.5 million jobs in April, the fastest and sharpest drop since the government began tracking the data. Given these circumstances, it's no surprise that 17 percent of start-ups rank immediate employee protection as one of their top priorities.

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Government Business

U.S. Engagement with WHO

Article | July 11, 2022

During the pandemic, the United States supported the WHO through collaborative operations. Let’s understand in detail below. The United States government has historically supported WHO financially, through involvement in governance and diplomacy, and through collaborative operations. A new chapter in the U.S. relationship with WHO began in 2020, following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Trump administration ceased financial support and started the process to withdraw the country from membership. Financial Support: The United States has traditionally been the single largest donor to WHO, but in the 2020–2021 period it was the second largest as other donors, particularly Germany, increased their contributions. The U.S. dropped to third place. The United States contributed an anticipated $581 million to the WHO in 2021 as a result of restored funding from the Biden administration, which included both assessed and voluntary contributions. The assessed contribution for the United States has been set at the maximum permitted rate of 22% of all assessed payments from member states for a number of years. The U.S. assessed contribution has been very consistent between FY 2014 and FY 2022, varying between $110 million and $123 million. Increased U.S. support for particular WHO initiatives, such as emergency response, may be reflected in higher levels of voluntary contributions. Other WHO initiatives supported by U.S. voluntary donations include the fight against polio, maternal, infant, and child health initiatives, food safety initiatives, and regulatory monitoring of pharmaceuticals. Governance Activities: The United States has long been a prominent and involved member of the World Health Assembly, sending a sizable delegation that is typically headed by a delegate from the Department of Health and Human Services and includes representatives from numerous other U.S. agencies and departments. Technical Support: Government officials from the United States frequently act as liaisons at WHO regional offices and headquarters, collaborating daily with employees on technical initiatives. Partnering Activities: The United States has collaborated with WHO both before and during epidemic responses and other global health emergencies, notably by joining multinational teams that WHO organises to look into and address outbreaks all around the world. For instance, the US collaborated with WHO and the larger global response to the 2014-onset Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and US scientists were a part of the WHO mission that visited China in February 2020 to evaluate their COVID-19 response.

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How Computer-Aided Design Is Used in Government

Article | June 24, 2020

Federal agencies design a wide range of tools, equipment, vehicles and even rockets. Computer-aided design (CAD) technology allows agencies and users to create digital designs more efficiently. CAD is used for a lot more than designing buildings, but is a basic building block of a more advanced tool known as Building Information Modeling, or BIM. CAD can be used to render 2D digital models of products, equipment and buildings. BIM takes those efforts to the next level and serves as a 3D design tool to “create and simulate how a building would operate,” says Andrew Friendly, associate vice president of government affairs at Autodesk, a leading CAD and BIM firm.

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Spotlight

Strathcona County

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of almost 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

Related News

Emerging Technology, Cybersecurity

Red River Secures Army ITES-3S Contract

Businesswire | March 23, 2023

Red River, a technology transformation company serving government and enterprise customers, today announced that it is now an authorized provider on the U.S. Army’s Information Technology Enterprise Solutions 3 Services (ITES-3S) contract. Awarded by the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) and the Army Contracting Command - Rock Island (ACC-RI), ITES-3S is a nine-year, $12.1 billion, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. The ITES-3S IDIQ will provide a broad range of enterprise information technology services and support to the U.S. Army and other authorized Federal Government agencies. Types of information technology services available through the ITES-3S IDIQ include Program Management; Cybersecurity/Information Assurance; Enterprise Design, Integration and Consolidation; Network/Systems Operation and Maintenance; Telecommunications; Supply Chain Management; Operation and Maintenance; Business Process Engineering; and Information Technology Education and Training. This award demonstrates Red River’s longstanding commitment to providing superior professional services to the U.S. Army and the opportunity to continue to serve and support the men and women in uniform at home and abroad. Red River has more than 25 years as a trusted technology and services provider to the U.S. government and Department of Defense (DoD). “We are excited to continue our longstanding history of supporting the technology services needs of the Army and other government agencies supported through this contract vehicle,” said Brian Roach, CEO for Red River. “We look forward to collaborating with DoD technology leaders to support their mission requirements in areas such as cybersecurity, managed services, cloud, infrastructure and collaboration. This is a significant addition to our contracts portfolio and strengthens our position as a leading technology and services provider to the DoD and the U.S. government as a whole.” About Red River Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing more than 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in managed services, cybersecurity, infrastructure, collaboration and cloud solutions.

Read More

Emerging Technology

Surfacide® Awarded U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Contract

Surfacide | March 20, 2023

Surfacide, an industry leader in UV-C low-level disinfection technology, announced today that it has been awarded a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). This contract will allow government customers and federal agencies to easily procure Surfacide's Helios® UV-C disinfection systems for their healthcare facilities. As a GSA Schedule Contractor, Surfacide has met all the requirements to sell to the federal government, making the federal purchasing process faster and more cost-effective for government agencies. Government buyers will now be able to access Surfacide products through GSA Advantage!, the government's premier online shopping superstore. The Surfacide Helios system is the only patented, low-level UV-C disinfection solution to use a trio of light emitting 'robots' simultaneously, significantly reducing bacteria and virus on colonized surfaces. The Helios system provides UV-C energy to more exposed areas than single devices—boosting power, dosage and efficacy in a single cycle. The system can be easily moved and configured within different high-impact areas of a hospital or clinic such as patient rooms, patient bathrooms, ORs, outpatient/ambulatory surgery, burn units, labor & delivery, isolation rooms, etc. "As a GSA Schedule Contractor, we now have the stamp of approval stating that we've met all the requirements to sell to the federal government, giving us a huge benefit in the federal purchasing process," said Gunner Lyslo, CEO & Founder of Surfacide. "We're proud to have been awarded this GSA MAS contract and are excited to provide our innovative UV-C disinfection technology to government customers more efficiently." Surfacide is rapidly growing and has become widely adopted in the VA space. After seeing the benefits of Surfacide's scientifically-proven technology, more and more VA facilities are transitioning from single emitters to Surfacide's patented triple-emitter Helios System. About Surfacide Founded in 2010, Surfacide is a UV technology and infection solutions company producing scientifically proven, hospital-grade UV devices. Surfacide's award-winning Helios® System is the world's only patented, triple emitter 'robotic' UV light solution to rapidly reduce bioburden and pathogens. A trusted partner in infection prevention, Surfacide has been deployed in over 600 leading hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices, fire stations, prisons, police stations, commercial office spaces, hotels and public venues worldwide. Surfacide LLC is proud to be American-made and manufactured in Waukesha, WI.

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Donald Trump's apparent 'U-turn' on Huawei ban explained and what happens now

abc | July 03, 2019

US President Donald Trump surprised many at the G20 Summit in Osaka when he relaxed his ban on American companies doing business with Huawei, which has been at the centre of his trade war with China. The apparent backflip means that businesses like Google and Qualcomm can tentatively continue business as usual with Huawei, without requiring special permission from the US federal authorities. But the White House and Commerce Department haven't yet clarified whether the decision will affect Huawei's use of Google's Android operating system.

Read More

Emerging Technology, Cybersecurity

Red River Secures Army ITES-3S Contract

Businesswire | March 23, 2023

Red River, a technology transformation company serving government and enterprise customers, today announced that it is now an authorized provider on the U.S. Army’s Information Technology Enterprise Solutions 3 Services (ITES-3S) contract. Awarded by the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) and the Army Contracting Command - Rock Island (ACC-RI), ITES-3S is a nine-year, $12.1 billion, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. The ITES-3S IDIQ will provide a broad range of enterprise information technology services and support to the U.S. Army and other authorized Federal Government agencies. Types of information technology services available through the ITES-3S IDIQ include Program Management; Cybersecurity/Information Assurance; Enterprise Design, Integration and Consolidation; Network/Systems Operation and Maintenance; Telecommunications; Supply Chain Management; Operation and Maintenance; Business Process Engineering; and Information Technology Education and Training. This award demonstrates Red River’s longstanding commitment to providing superior professional services to the U.S. Army and the opportunity to continue to serve and support the men and women in uniform at home and abroad. Red River has more than 25 years as a trusted technology and services provider to the U.S. government and Department of Defense (DoD). “We are excited to continue our longstanding history of supporting the technology services needs of the Army and other government agencies supported through this contract vehicle,” said Brian Roach, CEO for Red River. “We look forward to collaborating with DoD technology leaders to support their mission requirements in areas such as cybersecurity, managed services, cloud, infrastructure and collaboration. This is a significant addition to our contracts portfolio and strengthens our position as a leading technology and services provider to the DoD and the U.S. government as a whole.” About Red River Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing more than 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in managed services, cybersecurity, infrastructure, collaboration and cloud solutions.

Read More

Emerging Technology

Surfacide® Awarded U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Contract

Surfacide | March 20, 2023

Surfacide, an industry leader in UV-C low-level disinfection technology, announced today that it has been awarded a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). This contract will allow government customers and federal agencies to easily procure Surfacide's Helios® UV-C disinfection systems for their healthcare facilities. As a GSA Schedule Contractor, Surfacide has met all the requirements to sell to the federal government, making the federal purchasing process faster and more cost-effective for government agencies. Government buyers will now be able to access Surfacide products through GSA Advantage!, the government's premier online shopping superstore. The Surfacide Helios system is the only patented, low-level UV-C disinfection solution to use a trio of light emitting 'robots' simultaneously, significantly reducing bacteria and virus on colonized surfaces. The Helios system provides UV-C energy to more exposed areas than single devices—boosting power, dosage and efficacy in a single cycle. The system can be easily moved and configured within different high-impact areas of a hospital or clinic such as patient rooms, patient bathrooms, ORs, outpatient/ambulatory surgery, burn units, labor & delivery, isolation rooms, etc. "As a GSA Schedule Contractor, we now have the stamp of approval stating that we've met all the requirements to sell to the federal government, giving us a huge benefit in the federal purchasing process," said Gunner Lyslo, CEO & Founder of Surfacide. "We're proud to have been awarded this GSA MAS contract and are excited to provide our innovative UV-C disinfection technology to government customers more efficiently." Surfacide is rapidly growing and has become widely adopted in the VA space. After seeing the benefits of Surfacide's scientifically-proven technology, more and more VA facilities are transitioning from single emitters to Surfacide's patented triple-emitter Helios System. About Surfacide Founded in 2010, Surfacide is a UV technology and infection solutions company producing scientifically proven, hospital-grade UV devices. Surfacide's award-winning Helios® System is the world's only patented, triple emitter 'robotic' UV light solution to rapidly reduce bioburden and pathogens. A trusted partner in infection prevention, Surfacide has been deployed in over 600 leading hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices, fire stations, prisons, police stations, commercial office spaces, hotels and public venues worldwide. Surfacide LLC is proud to be American-made and manufactured in Waukesha, WI.

Read More

Donald Trump's apparent 'U-turn' on Huawei ban explained and what happens now

abc | July 03, 2019

US President Donald Trump surprised many at the G20 Summit in Osaka when he relaxed his ban on American companies doing business with Huawei, which has been at the centre of his trade war with China. The apparent backflip means that businesses like Google and Qualcomm can tentatively continue business as usual with Huawei, without requiring special permission from the US federal authorities. But the White House and Commerce Department haven't yet clarified whether the decision will affect Huawei's use of Google's Android operating system.

Read More

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