Bill Offers $400M for State, Local Government Cybersecurity

LUCAS ROPEK | February 12, 2020 | 65 views

With state and local governments beset by a precipitous rise in cyberattacks, new federal legislation might provide some necessary cover where needed. The State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act would create a grant program worth $400 million to finance cybersecurity efforts in communities across the country, according to a release. Eligible communities would be able to apply for funds, provided through the Department of Homeland Security, which would be allocated to assist in areas like vulnerability scanning and testing, cyberworkforce development and intelligence sharing, according to the bill text.

Spotlight

Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners

The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) is an independent state health regulatory agency, charged with implementing and administering its enabling legislation. The TBCE operates under the authority of the Occupations Code, Title 3, Subtitle C, Chapter 201, better known as the Chiropractic Act (the Act). General rulemaking authority is granted to the Board under Sec. 201.152 of the Act, and authority to address specific subjects is grated throughout the Act.

OTHER ARTICLES

Revitalization of Economies: Government Supporting Start-ups

Article | April 14, 2021

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

Government as a driving force

Article | July 11, 2022

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of constant innovation—as well as the need to respond quickly, agilely, and on a large scale. During the early stages of the pandemic, governments increased mask production, facilitated data sharing among pharmaceutical companies, relaxed regulatory requirements for certain tests and drugs, and accelerated vaccine production. These were the critical first steps in what turned out to be a highly successful collaboration with the private sector, non-profit organizations, and research institutions. Governments have served as catalysts throughout the pandemic, assembling and enabling multi-sector efforts to deal with the flood of cases and develop vaccines. Even before the pandemic, the government's role as a solution catalyst was expanding in scope and complexity, with a focus on how to harness innovation across sectors for public benefit. Governments have gone beyond repairing market failures as commercial and cross-sector innovation has accelerated. Governments are fostering cross-sector solutions for a variety of societal challenges, including public health, climate change, and cybersecurity, in addition to assisting in the strengthening of strategic sectors such as defence and space. Utilizing outside innovation to drive mission delivery Many technologies have been developed by the commercial sectorthat can be used to address complex societal problems. Governments are looking into ways to use these capabilities to improve mission delivery in ways other than contracting, in order to develop a broader set of partners and solutions. It is not always easy to implement such technologies in the public sector. Governments, unlike commercial entities with access to legal and financial structures such as joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions, must find more creative ways to capitalize on external innovation based on mutual interest and advantage across sectors. Government action and innovation State and local government leaders face shrinking resources, demanding constituents, complex policy environments, and constant pressure to deliver results on time.

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U.S. Engagement with WHO

Article | May 27, 2021

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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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Tech Trends that Affect Governments in 2022

Article | July 11, 2022

Governments and public authorities, like any other part of society, are vulnerable to technological disruption. Many of the issues confronting the government today stem from the fight to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic. Government institutions frequently discover that by employing tactics and strategies similar to those used by industry and the private sector, they, too, could learn to be more flexible and agile in their response. As a result, they have experienced a faster rate of digital transformation. Artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and digital twins are now firmly on the agenda of governments and public bodies, whereas they were previously only on the roadmap. Many governments, particularly in more developed countries, have realized that they simply cannot afford to be complacent when there is so much potential for positive change. So, with that in mind, here's a rundown of some of the most significant tech trends affecting governments in 2022. Digital Identity: Biometric measures, can be used in identity schemes to link an individual as a physical entity to their digital identity. AI and Automation of Public Services: In the United States, federal, state, and local governments are all ramping up experiments with natural language processing (NLP) technologies to reduce customer friction. Cyber Security: Close monitoring of cyber security is a high priority for states. In 2021, the US government announced that it would assist businesses in defending themselves against nation-state attacks. National Cryptocurrencies: The benefits of cryptocurrency as a monetary system are clearly compelling enough to pique the interest of governments and central banks, but there are questions that must be addressed, particularly those concerning environmental costs and energy consumption, which may have political ramifications. The Rise of Govtech Start-ups: The field is now open for a new breed of start-up known as "govtechs" to bring fresh thinking to the challenge of driving the digital revolution in government. For example, in the United States, federal, state, and local governments are popular with services that received a high volume of calls during the pandemic. The above discussed trends are the five biggest tech trends transforming government in 2022.

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Spotlight

Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners

The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) is an independent state health regulatory agency, charged with implementing and administering its enabling legislation. The TBCE operates under the authority of the Occupations Code, Title 3, Subtitle C, Chapter 201, better known as the Chiropractic Act (the Act). General rulemaking authority is granted to the Board under Sec. 201.152 of the Act, and authority to address specific subjects is grated throughout the Act.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

ALLY Energy and Houston Energy Community Welcome the US Department of Energy to Discuss Environmental Justice and an Equitable Energy Transition

US Department of Energy (DOE) | August 18, 2022

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston energy community, brought together by ALLY Energy, is convening with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to explore the progress Houston has made since 2017 on climate resiliency and on ensuring a just energy transition. Hurricane Harvey was a significant recent reminder of the critical need for climate resilience and for the transition to net-zero economies to be inclusive and just – so no one is left behind. “A just and inclusive energy transition doesn’t happen without a strong partnership between the private and public sector. We are proud to host DOE and honor the mayor for creating and adopting a city-wide Climate Action Plan and representing Houston on a national level as the Chair of the Climate Mayors.” -Katie Mehnert, CEO of ALLY Energy. Following a series of informative meetings around Houston, the DOE visit will culminate in a luncheon on Friday, August 26 during which Mayor Turner, the DOE, and Houston energy leaders will discuss the lessons learned over the last five years and what a just energy transition means for our community. ALLY Energy will also present Mayor Houston with its first Lifetime Achievement GRIT Award for his work on climate resiliency. I am honored and humbled to accept the first ALLY Energy Lifetime Achievement GRIT Award, said Mayor Sylvester Turner. Houston has faced seven federally declared disasters in seven years. Yet, our city proves time again that we are strong and resilient as we build toward the future. We are the energy capital of the world while leading on energy transition. We know we can effectively mitigate climate change, implement resilient strategies, and address the needs of our most under-resourced communities - without leaving anyone behind. We applaud Mayor Sylvester Turner and our fellow energy leaders for the important work our city is doing to ensure Houston is leading the charge in accelerating a just energy transition, said William J. (John) Berger, Chief Executive Officer of Sunnova Energy International. If the current global energy crisis has taught us anything, it’s that our country, and our home state of Texas, must come together to support a resilient energy transition by ensuring we address energy affordability, safeguard energy security, and mitigate climate change in the face of growing economic hardship and extreme weather events. Also at the lunch, the audience will get to experience a film premier from the Rational Middle, a documentary that highlights experts in environmental justice and aims to clarify how we can take advantage of the opportunities of a just transition. “We believe for the U.S. to make progress and to achieve its net zero goals, everybody has to feel they are part of the energy transformation, As we all build a cleaner energy future together, Shell USA will continue to focus on how we create economic, social, and environmental value in our communities and nationwide. We are very proud to partner with Shell USA’s hometown, Houston, on its path toward climate resiliency.” -Gretchen Watkins, President Shell USA, Inc. INFORMATION ON THE LUNCHEON Houston has long been known as the oil and gas capital of the world. As it transitions itself to the energy capital of the world, how can it ensure a just transition? Attend the limited-seating event by registering here. We are grateful to our sponsors, Shell USA, Inc. and Sunnova Energy, for helping to make this important event a reality. ABOUT ALLY ENERGY & THE GRIT AWARDS: ALLY Energy is the leading energy workforce platform that builds culture, careers, and skills for an equitable transition. ALLY connects the energy industry and public to resources and best practices and serves as a neutral platform for dialogue and actions to address the energy transition. The community includes professionals and startups in 120 countries in nearly 1,000 companies across energy in oil and natural gas, utilities, renewables, and climate technology. The annual GRIT Awards℠ & Best Energy Workplaces℠ were created to honor industry leaders, professionals, academia, students, and public servants for their achievements in driving a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive energy transition.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

iOffice + SpaceIQ Pursues FedRAMP Authorization for Workplace and Asset Management Technology

iOffice + SpaceIQ | August 17, 2022

iOffice + SpaceIQ, the global workplace technology company, today announced its intent to seek authorization from the U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) for its Integrated Workplace Management System Archibus. FedRAMP facilitates adoption of secure technologies across U.S. government agencies by standardizing assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring of cloud-based products and services. The federal government owns and leases 130,000 properties — approximately 885 million square feet and $21B in annual operational expenditures — representing the largest real estate portfolio in the United States. With nearly 7% of government-owned properties underutilized or unused, iOffice + SpaceIQ's solutions address the critical need for space optimization, cost reduction, and enhanced decision-making capabilities for federal facilities. "There's been a major push to modernize operations and ramp up digital transformation efforts within the federal government, FedRAMP authorization will accelerate our ability to supply much-needed solutions to highly regulated government agencies and continue serving our existing federal customers." -Chief Dan DeRosa, Product Officer, iOffice + SpaceIQ. iOffice + SpaceIQ is already authorized to operate on secure high-side networks for several government agencies. The company has a robust federal distribution, reseller, and service provider network, meeting demand for centralized management of facility operations, maintenance, and occupancy while ensuring data security. iOffice + SpaceIQ's infrastructure is purpose-built to increase customers' resiliency against existing and future cybersecurity challenges. The business meets the highest standards for service and accessibility, including compliance with SOC 2 and a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template for Archibus. About iOffice + SpaceIQ: iOffice + SpaceIQ empowers how tomorrow will work, helping employees and companies adapt and thrive to produce better outcomes for the world. Our smart workplace technology enables over 10,000 organizations in 85 countries to improve business performance through intuitive, people-first space planning and operations. More than 2M end users rely on iOffice + SpaceIQ platforms to optimize more than 2B square feet of space valued at more than $64B, maintain mission-critical assets, and enhance how people interact with the workplace.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bidscale: A Software Solution for Modernizing and Accelerating Government Procurement

Bidscale | August 17, 2022

Bidscale is announcing the public launch and refresh of their flagship software, Bidscale Select. Federal contracting is the backbone of America. From combat helicopters to scientific research, contracts underpin the operational effectiveness of our country. Contracting is big business, with $680B spent annually. Quick and smart government procurement leads to a stronger and more prosperous America. The current process is burdened by a lack of digitization resulting in a five-to-seven-year timetable from contract conceptualization to award. This stifles the Government's ability to obtain the latest and greatest innovation. For example, if it takes five years to buy a three-year-old combat system, by the time it is purchased and implemented, the technology would be at least eight years old. Bidscale has proven that the slowdown comes from a lack of tools necessary for Contracting Officers. These officers need to advance away from the usage of pens, highlighters, and post-it notes and move into the digital realm where collaboration, communication, and effective workflow tracking occur all in one place. Addressing this situation has garnered bipartisan support, illuminated by the AGILE Procurement Act, a reformation that enhances agile technology acquisition across the Federal Government. Bidscale is addressing the situation too, saving time by digitizing the source selection process. Through a secure environment, Bidscale supports the full lifecycle of source selection activities including proposal submission, evaluation, consensus, reporting, and artifact generation. It can take weeks for a Contracting Officer to compile and export source selection artifacts, but Bidscale does it in under ten seconds, and that is just one of the many features. "I'm very proud to have seen Bidscale already successfully implemented during several major Federal Government source selection processes, this company is committed to developing even more tools to continuously improve and digitize this contracting process. I believe Bidscale is a Govtech company to watch." -Tony Kwag, founder of Bidscale. Bidscale was made for Contracting Officers by Contracting Officers, so it addresses the most pressing needs through the following product modules: Evaluation – Allows users to virtually conduct proposal evaluations with supporting data on a single screen. Contracting Artifacts – Allows users to manage contracting artifacts and auto-generate comprehensive reports. Consensus – Users can run consolidated reviews to ensure quality control and adherence to source selection requirements. Contracting Workflow – A progress tracker where users can centrally manage and report on the source selection process by managing progress, schedule, risk, submissions, and reporting. This feature is especially useful when team members are not in the same room. Ultimately, Bidscale creates a source selection process that is repeatable, traceable, defendable, and scalable. About Bidscale: Founded in Arlington, Virginia, Bidscale is a software solution that is mission-focused on accelerating innovation across the Federal Government. Bidscale is a Small Disadvantaged Business pending 8(a) certification and has achieved SOC 2 compliance.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

ALLY Energy and Houston Energy Community Welcome the US Department of Energy to Discuss Environmental Justice and an Equitable Energy Transition

US Department of Energy (DOE) | August 18, 2022

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston energy community, brought together by ALLY Energy, is convening with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to explore the progress Houston has made since 2017 on climate resiliency and on ensuring a just energy transition. Hurricane Harvey was a significant recent reminder of the critical need for climate resilience and for the transition to net-zero economies to be inclusive and just – so no one is left behind. “A just and inclusive energy transition doesn’t happen without a strong partnership between the private and public sector. We are proud to host DOE and honor the mayor for creating and adopting a city-wide Climate Action Plan and representing Houston on a national level as the Chair of the Climate Mayors.” -Katie Mehnert, CEO of ALLY Energy. Following a series of informative meetings around Houston, the DOE visit will culminate in a luncheon on Friday, August 26 during which Mayor Turner, the DOE, and Houston energy leaders will discuss the lessons learned over the last five years and what a just energy transition means for our community. ALLY Energy will also present Mayor Houston with its first Lifetime Achievement GRIT Award for his work on climate resiliency. I am honored and humbled to accept the first ALLY Energy Lifetime Achievement GRIT Award, said Mayor Sylvester Turner. Houston has faced seven federally declared disasters in seven years. Yet, our city proves time again that we are strong and resilient as we build toward the future. We are the energy capital of the world while leading on energy transition. We know we can effectively mitigate climate change, implement resilient strategies, and address the needs of our most under-resourced communities - without leaving anyone behind. We applaud Mayor Sylvester Turner and our fellow energy leaders for the important work our city is doing to ensure Houston is leading the charge in accelerating a just energy transition, said William J. (John) Berger, Chief Executive Officer of Sunnova Energy International. If the current global energy crisis has taught us anything, it’s that our country, and our home state of Texas, must come together to support a resilient energy transition by ensuring we address energy affordability, safeguard energy security, and mitigate climate change in the face of growing economic hardship and extreme weather events. Also at the lunch, the audience will get to experience a film premier from the Rational Middle, a documentary that highlights experts in environmental justice and aims to clarify how we can take advantage of the opportunities of a just transition. “We believe for the U.S. to make progress and to achieve its net zero goals, everybody has to feel they are part of the energy transformation, As we all build a cleaner energy future together, Shell USA will continue to focus on how we create economic, social, and environmental value in our communities and nationwide. We are very proud to partner with Shell USA’s hometown, Houston, on its path toward climate resiliency.” -Gretchen Watkins, President Shell USA, Inc. INFORMATION ON THE LUNCHEON Houston has long been known as the oil and gas capital of the world. As it transitions itself to the energy capital of the world, how can it ensure a just transition? Attend the limited-seating event by registering here. We are grateful to our sponsors, Shell USA, Inc. and Sunnova Energy, for helping to make this important event a reality. ABOUT ALLY ENERGY & THE GRIT AWARDS: ALLY Energy is the leading energy workforce platform that builds culture, careers, and skills for an equitable transition. ALLY connects the energy industry and public to resources and best practices and serves as a neutral platform for dialogue and actions to address the energy transition. The community includes professionals and startups in 120 countries in nearly 1,000 companies across energy in oil and natural gas, utilities, renewables, and climate technology. The annual GRIT Awards℠ & Best Energy Workplaces℠ were created to honor industry leaders, professionals, academia, students, and public servants for their achievements in driving a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive energy transition.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

iOffice + SpaceIQ Pursues FedRAMP Authorization for Workplace and Asset Management Technology

iOffice + SpaceIQ | August 17, 2022

iOffice + SpaceIQ, the global workplace technology company, today announced its intent to seek authorization from the U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) for its Integrated Workplace Management System Archibus. FedRAMP facilitates adoption of secure technologies across U.S. government agencies by standardizing assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring of cloud-based products and services. The federal government owns and leases 130,000 properties — approximately 885 million square feet and $21B in annual operational expenditures — representing the largest real estate portfolio in the United States. With nearly 7% of government-owned properties underutilized or unused, iOffice + SpaceIQ's solutions address the critical need for space optimization, cost reduction, and enhanced decision-making capabilities for federal facilities. "There's been a major push to modernize operations and ramp up digital transformation efforts within the federal government, FedRAMP authorization will accelerate our ability to supply much-needed solutions to highly regulated government agencies and continue serving our existing federal customers." -Chief Dan DeRosa, Product Officer, iOffice + SpaceIQ. iOffice + SpaceIQ is already authorized to operate on secure high-side networks for several government agencies. The company has a robust federal distribution, reseller, and service provider network, meeting demand for centralized management of facility operations, maintenance, and occupancy while ensuring data security. iOffice + SpaceIQ's infrastructure is purpose-built to increase customers' resiliency against existing and future cybersecurity challenges. The business meets the highest standards for service and accessibility, including compliance with SOC 2 and a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template for Archibus. About iOffice + SpaceIQ: iOffice + SpaceIQ empowers how tomorrow will work, helping employees and companies adapt and thrive to produce better outcomes for the world. Our smart workplace technology enables over 10,000 organizations in 85 countries to improve business performance through intuitive, people-first space planning and operations. More than 2M end users rely on iOffice + SpaceIQ platforms to optimize more than 2B square feet of space valued at more than $64B, maintain mission-critical assets, and enhance how people interact with the workplace.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bidscale: A Software Solution for Modernizing and Accelerating Government Procurement

Bidscale | August 17, 2022

Bidscale is announcing the public launch and refresh of their flagship software, Bidscale Select. Federal contracting is the backbone of America. From combat helicopters to scientific research, contracts underpin the operational effectiveness of our country. Contracting is big business, with $680B spent annually. Quick and smart government procurement leads to a stronger and more prosperous America. The current process is burdened by a lack of digitization resulting in a five-to-seven-year timetable from contract conceptualization to award. This stifles the Government's ability to obtain the latest and greatest innovation. For example, if it takes five years to buy a three-year-old combat system, by the time it is purchased and implemented, the technology would be at least eight years old. Bidscale has proven that the slowdown comes from a lack of tools necessary for Contracting Officers. These officers need to advance away from the usage of pens, highlighters, and post-it notes and move into the digital realm where collaboration, communication, and effective workflow tracking occur all in one place. Addressing this situation has garnered bipartisan support, illuminated by the AGILE Procurement Act, a reformation that enhances agile technology acquisition across the Federal Government. Bidscale is addressing the situation too, saving time by digitizing the source selection process. Through a secure environment, Bidscale supports the full lifecycle of source selection activities including proposal submission, evaluation, consensus, reporting, and artifact generation. It can take weeks for a Contracting Officer to compile and export source selection artifacts, but Bidscale does it in under ten seconds, and that is just one of the many features. "I'm very proud to have seen Bidscale already successfully implemented during several major Federal Government source selection processes, this company is committed to developing even more tools to continuously improve and digitize this contracting process. I believe Bidscale is a Govtech company to watch." -Tony Kwag, founder of Bidscale. Bidscale was made for Contracting Officers by Contracting Officers, so it addresses the most pressing needs through the following product modules: Evaluation – Allows users to virtually conduct proposal evaluations with supporting data on a single screen. Contracting Artifacts – Allows users to manage contracting artifacts and auto-generate comprehensive reports. Consensus – Users can run consolidated reviews to ensure quality control and adherence to source selection requirements. Contracting Workflow – A progress tracker where users can centrally manage and report on the source selection process by managing progress, schedule, risk, submissions, and reporting. This feature is especially useful when team members are not in the same room. Ultimately, Bidscale creates a source selection process that is repeatable, traceable, defendable, and scalable. About Bidscale: Founded in Arlington, Virginia, Bidscale is a software solution that is mission-focused on accelerating innovation across the Federal Government. Bidscale is a Small Disadvantaged Business pending 8(a) certification and has achieved SOC 2 compliance.

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