Ian Doyle, IBM: Strengthening the Cyber Security Posture of U.S. Federal Government

June 28, 2016

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Subject matter expert, Ian Doyle, Security Strategist, IBM Security, U.S. Federal discusses the current federal cyber security landscape and how the IBM Security Framework through a multi-faceted approach helps government agencies prevent, detect and respond to the cyber security threat.

Spotlight

Danish Meteorological Institute

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) was established in 1872. More than 130 years later in 2013, the institute employs 300people. DMI is an institution under the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and has an annual turnover of approx. 285 million Danish Kroners.

OTHER ARTICLES

What Agencies Should Consider Before Deploying AI

Article | June 10, 2020

Artificial intelligence is the major buzzword in federal IT these days, the way that cloud once was. It’s easy to see why. There is booming investment in AI in the private sector, and various agencies across the government are experimenting with AI to achieve their missions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working with Microsoft to use AI and cloud technology to more easily and accurately identify animals and population counts of endangered species. NASA is ramping up the use of AI throughout its operations, from conducting basic financial operations to finding extra radio frequencies aboard the International Space Station. And the Defense Health Agency’s dermatologists are even using AI to better monitor patients’ skin.

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Congress considers COVID recovery bond program

Article | July 22, 2020

While congressional leaders work diligently to develop the next COVID recovery bill, other interesting legislation also is being discussed. Many of the conversations focus on public funding options after COVID-19. There are no disagreements when it comes understanding the critical funding needs that will be front and center for cities, counties, states, schools, and hospitals as the country begins to emerge from a total focus on the coronavirus. Many public projects and initiatives will have to be addressed. First of all, crumbling, inefficient and unsafe infrastructure, of all types, must be a priority. Secondly, jobs will be a critical component of the successful re-establishment of economic stability. It is already apparent that a great deal of new funding will flow to long-standing federal programs. That’s a good thing because public officials already are aware of how those programs function. However, a number of new bills under discussion relate to the provision of additional and innovative ways for governmental entities to secure funding for projects that would stimulate the economy, create jobs, and address aging infrastructure. One particularly interesting new concept being evaluated is tax-exempt COVID recovery bonds. The current discussions focus on a federal COVID recovery bonding program that would be launched with approximately $25 billion. A small number of states have already initiated programs such as this on a smaller scale. The funding would be allocated to states based on population. From the governor’s office in each state, funding could be disbursed for projects of specific types. If COVID recovery bonds become a reality, the program would provide another way for public entities to secure funding that does not come solely from public coffers. Individual private sector contractors, investors, and organizations would provide the funding and work collaboratively with public officials. This program would be somewhat similar to private activity bonds which provide alternative funding for public initiatives. The new COVID recovery bonds would be tax exempt when used for permitted purposes such as financing airport, port, transportation, sewage, water, solid waste disposal, certain facilities, and other projects. In the following weeks and months, taxpayers and citizens should watch with eager anticipation. Congressional actions will boost America’s economic recovery and stabilize governmental organizations throughout the country. Inaction is a possibility, too, but that would risk missing out on recovery opportunities. Congressional representatives base their actions and their votes on input from constituents they represent. There are times when citizens, whatever their opinions, should provide input to elected representatives. This is one of those times. 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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The Essential Role of Government During COVID-19

Article | April 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic touches every aspect of business, technology, and society. And stable and effective government is at the heart of managing through this crisis. What we do now will have longer-term implications for the health and safety of our families, our citizens, the economy, and even global stability. In the past few weeks, IBM has collaborated with many of our government clients and is driving action across three critical phases of response.

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

Article | July 29, 2020

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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Spotlight

Danish Meteorological Institute

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) was established in 1872. More than 130 years later in 2013, the institute employs 300people. DMI is an institution under the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and has an annual turnover of approx. 285 million Danish Kroners.

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