The State of Federal Thinking on Zero Trust

As federal agencies continue to support large numbers of remote workers, IT leaders have started to evolve their thinking on zero-trust security architectures. Increasingly, they are becoming more comfortable with the concept and are seeking to lay the foundation for deployments. Zero trust represents a mindset shift in cybersecurity in which every transaction is verified before access is granted to users and devices. In the federal government, it is still a relatively nascent approach, with some pilot programs here and there. However, IT leaders seem to recognize that cybersecurity models are increasingly going to be defined by a zero-trust architecture.

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Emerging Technology

TOP 5 REAL-LIFE MACHINE LEARNING EXAMPLES

Article | July 16, 2022

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that can be found almost anywhere. Believe it or not, even coffee roasters are beginning to employ machine learning algorithms to better understand when coffee lovers will crave their next cup of joe. The ability to innovate is one of the most highly prized qualities in today’s tech-driven world, which has led to a stunning range of machine learning applications across multiple industries. Here are the top five real-world examples.

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Public facility corporations provide alternative source of project funding

Article | May 27, 2021

Taxpayers, citizens, and industry leaders may not be totally familiar with Public Facility Corporations (PFCs), but that should change, especially now since public funding for critical projects is at an all-time low. PFCs are becoming somewhat common in many regions of the country. If the legal entity (PFC) is not familiar, here’s a bit of background. A PFC is a nonprofit corporation created by a sponsoring governmental entity — a city, county, school district, housing authority, or special district. PFCs have broad powers over public facilities, including financing, acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, renovation and repair. A PFC, once created, has the authority to issue bonds on behalf of its sponsoring public entity and once the bonds are funded, the money can be used in numerous ways. This type of legal entity has gained attention because public officials with critical projects are being forced to seek alternative funding sources. In Texas, public facility corporations are allowed the broadest possible powers to finance or provide for the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of public facilities at the lowest possible borrowing cost. A sponsor — such as a municipality, county, school district or housing authority — may create one or more of nonprofit public facility corporations. Then, the PFC can issue bonds for the construction of public facilities or finance public facilities or even loan the proceeds of the revenue to other entities for specific purposes. A report that was released by The University of Texas School of Law found that a house bill approved during the 2015 legislative session “expands the authority of public facility corporations and allows the corporation to exercise any power that a nonprofit corporation might exercise and/or grant a leasehold or other possessory interest in a public facility owned by the PFC.” Here’s a bit more background of what is happening in Texas and there are numerous similar examples throughout the country. The El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) several years ago created the EPISD Public Facility Corporation to fund construction of central offices through non-voter approved bonds. The corporation issued more than $29 million in bonds. The plan called for the EPISD to repay the bonds with general fund dollars from the district's general fund. The 2019 Texas Legislative Session ended with a $4 million rider added to the state appropriations budget. The money was provided to the city of Port Aransas to build a $36 million apartment complex for affordable housing. Plans call for the 200-unit complex to be operated by the Port Aransas Public Facility Corporation. The corporation will work in partnership with a private company to develop and manage the property. An investment of approximately $14 million came from the private sector partner, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs provided an additional $18 million in funding. Site work on the project began in July 2020. Many school districts have created public facility corporations for construction projects for schools, and many municipalities have also used PFCs. The revenue from these types of bonds is sometimes called lease-revenue bonds. They do not require voter approval. Public facility corporations do not have the authority to raise tax rates, but it is possible for a school board to approve a property tax increase to make payments on the bonds sold by a PFC. The city of Tioga, located in the Sherman/Dennison region of Texas, constructed a new high school with funding from a public facility corporation. A collaborative initiative was launched with a lease-purchase agreement which allowed the PFC to hold title to the land and facility until the investment was repaid. At that time, the agreement calls for everything to transfer back to the district. Because the current campus was reaching its maximum capacity, a new high school campus had been a priority for the district and this was the funding mechanism selected. The city of Fate in Rockwell County recently embarked on a public-private partnership to develop an affordable seniors housing community. The projected cost is approximately $30 million. To fund the project, the city created a PFC. Plans are for the city to handle the design, construction, and management of the project in collaboration with the PFC. City leaders will appoint board members to the funding corporation which will then operate the development as a nonprofit. The project is anticipated for completion in January 2022. There are similar types of alternative types of funding options in other parts of the U.S. In Utah, for instance, the Park City Board of Education approved a PFC which will allow the district to secure revenue for a number of master plan projects. The projects have a combined projected cost of $122 million. The school district had considered the funding option of general obligation bonds, which would require voter approval, but elected to create a Local Building Authority (LBA). This funding option will allow them to fund an expansion of a high school facility to accommodate ninth-graders and expand another campus to allow for eighth-grade students. Public officials, legislators, government contractors, and taxpayers all should have an interest in watching PFCs as well as other alternative funding sources. Until traditional public funding becomes more available for critical public projects, there will be a need for various types of funding solutions. 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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Government Business, Government Finance

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

Article | July 12, 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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FTC Issues Guidance on Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Regard to FCRA

Article | April 16, 2020

On April 8, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – a United States government agency that is the nation’s primary privacy and data security enforcer – issued guidance to businesses on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for machine learning technology and automated decision making with regard to federal laws that included the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that regulates background checks for employment purposes.

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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.

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Emerging Technology, Cybersecurity

ECS Wins $19M Contract With Defense Manpower Data Center

ECS | March 21, 2023

ECS, a leader in advanced technology, science, and digital transformation solutions, has won a five-year $19M contract with the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). A leader in DoD identity management, the DMDC maintains DoD databases, supports the information requirements of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, and oversees DoD personnel programs and research. ECS will support the digital transformation of the DMDC by optimizing existing instances of ServiceNow ― the digital workflow management platform ― and ensuring the success of new implementations. By providing operations and maintenance services, architectural design, development, and implementation services, ECS will bring new capabilities to the DMDC and transform legacy IT applications. ECS adds this DMDC project to a lengthy list of successful ServiceNow deployments it has undertaken for the DoD and federal civilian clients. These include: the Army, Air Force, Space Force, Defense Information Systems Agency, several DoD Fourth Estate agencies, Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Treasury, U.S. Postal Service, and Environmental Protection Agency. “ECS is excited to support the critical mission of the DMDC,” said John Heneghan, president of ECS. “We’ll use our ServiceNow expertise to help the agency reduce workflow complexity, boost productivity, and offer improved services to uniformed service members, veterans, and families around the world.” “As a ServiceNow Elite partner, ECS leverages the full power of the platform to support the DMDC’s digital transformation,” said Martin Burke, vice president of Integrated Solutions at ECS. “ECS will help DMDC reengineer and modernize every one of its business and IT processes, using the powerful features and flexibility of the ServiceNow platform.” About ECS ECS, ASGN’s federal government segment, delivers advanced solutions in cloud, cybersecurity, data and artificial intelligence (AI), application and IT modernization, science, and engineering. The company solves critical, complex challenges for customers across the U.S. public sector, defense, intelligence, and commercial industries. ECS maintains partnerships with leading cloud, cybersecurity, and AI/ML providers and holds specialized certifications in their technologies. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, ECS has more than 3,800 employees throughout the United States. About ASGN Incorporated ASGN Incorporated (NYSE: ASGN) is a leading provider of IT services and professional solutions, including technology, creative, and digital, across the commercial and government sectors. ASGN helps leading corporate enterprises and government organizations develop, implement, and operate critical IT and business solutions through its integrated offering of professional staffing and IT solutions.

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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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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, Cybersecurity

ECS Wins $19M Contract With Defense Manpower Data Center

ECS | March 21, 2023

ECS, a leader in advanced technology, science, and digital transformation solutions, has won a five-year $19M contract with the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). A leader in DoD identity management, the DMDC maintains DoD databases, supports the information requirements of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, and oversees DoD personnel programs and research. ECS will support the digital transformation of the DMDC by optimizing existing instances of ServiceNow ― the digital workflow management platform ― and ensuring the success of new implementations. By providing operations and maintenance services, architectural design, development, and implementation services, ECS will bring new capabilities to the DMDC and transform legacy IT applications. ECS adds this DMDC project to a lengthy list of successful ServiceNow deployments it has undertaken for the DoD and federal civilian clients. These include: the Army, Air Force, Space Force, Defense Information Systems Agency, several DoD Fourth Estate agencies, Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Treasury, U.S. Postal Service, and Environmental Protection Agency. “ECS is excited to support the critical mission of the DMDC,” said John Heneghan, president of ECS. “We’ll use our ServiceNow expertise to help the agency reduce workflow complexity, boost productivity, and offer improved services to uniformed service members, veterans, and families around the world.” “As a ServiceNow Elite partner, ECS leverages the full power of the platform to support the DMDC’s digital transformation,” said Martin Burke, vice president of Integrated Solutions at ECS. “ECS will help DMDC reengineer and modernize every one of its business and IT processes, using the powerful features and flexibility of the ServiceNow platform.” About ECS ECS, ASGN’s federal government segment, delivers advanced solutions in cloud, cybersecurity, data and artificial intelligence (AI), application and IT modernization, science, and engineering. The company solves critical, complex challenges for customers across the U.S. public sector, defense, intelligence, and commercial industries. ECS maintains partnerships with leading cloud, cybersecurity, and AI/ML providers and holds specialized certifications in their technologies. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, ECS has more than 3,800 employees throughout the United States. About ASGN Incorporated ASGN Incorporated (NYSE: ASGN) is a leading provider of IT services and professional solutions, including technology, creative, and digital, across the commercial and government sectors. ASGN helps leading corporate enterprises and government organizations develop, implement, and operate critical IT and business solutions through its integrated offering of professional staffing and IT 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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