China accused of secret lobbying campaign in UK against its critics

The Telegraph | May 10, 2019

The Chinese government is attempting to lobby British MPs to prevent human rights activists in the UK from criticizing its Hong Kong policy, a senior activist has claimed. Benedict Rogers, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said he was warned by two MPs about Beijing's alleged attempts after he wrote an article for the website Conservativehome.com. It is understood that the Chinese government may have learned of the article before it was published by monitoring the emails of Mr Rogers' colleagues in Hong Kong.  In June 2017, one of the MPs, which Mr Rogers wishes not to identify, told him that the Chinese embassy had expressed extreme displeasure about the piece, which discussed the erosion of freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong.

Spotlight

Black History Month begins in the U.S. Monday, and the observance, celebrating African-Americans’ achievements and contributions to the country, runs throughout February. Although some chapters of the national story are famous — such as the one centered on Jackie Robinson’s debut as the first black Major League Baseball player — others are less well-known.

Spotlight

Black History Month begins in the U.S. Monday, and the observance, celebrating African-Americans’ achievements and contributions to the country, runs throughout February. Although some chapters of the national story are famous — such as the one centered on Jackie Robinson’s debut as the first black Major League Baseball player — others are less well-known.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS,CYBERSECURITY

QinetiQ US to Acquire Avantus Federal

Avantus Federal | August 08, 2022

QinetiQ US, a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ Group plc and a leading defense company providing mission-critical solutions in robotics and autonomous systems, sensing, protection systems, and next-generation autonomous vehicles announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Avantus Federal (Avantus) from NewSpring Holdings for an enterprise value of $590 million. The combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus will create a powerful growth platform to address the complex and large scale intelligence and defense challenges government customers face today. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by end of calendar year 2022. Avantus is a leading provider of mission-focused cyber, data analytics, and software development solutions to the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, Department of Homeland Security, and other law enforcement and civilian agencies. From supporting sensitive national security customers on some of the most complex data engineering, cyber, and analytics problems in the world, to providing key mission operational, intelligence, and cyber support to special operators, and helping accelerate new technologies into the warfighter’s hands, Avantus has a strong track record of achieving speed-to-mission-impact. “We have been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the Avantus employee base, leadership team, customer impact, and the sustained organic growth. We see great alignment in our culture and strategy, Avantus’ highly integrated business, core capabilities, and customer relationships complement QinetiQ’s distinctive offerings, allowing us to grow the services and solutions that benefit our combined global customers as their needs evolve at an accelerating pace.” -Steve Wadey, Group Chief Executive Officer for QinetiQ Group plc. Both Avantus and QinetiQ are best-in-class providers of technology services and support, cyber and intelligence solutions, and information services. With high-trust, established customer relationships within the most important and enduring mission areas, this acquisition enhances the go-to-market strategy for both companies. “We believe that the combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus will create a unique business in the US and globally with a powerful performance culture and scaled technical differentiation, This acquisition is a transformational platform that delivers on our growth strategy of building a disruptive mid-tier defense and intelligence company.” -Shawn N. Purvis, President and Chief Executive Officer of QinetiQ US. Our market is evolving rapidly and demanding more of our customers every day, and joining forces with QinetiQ US will deliver solutions at scale to meet the moment, said Andy Maner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avantus. With a shared culture of absolute customer focus and employee investment and a structure built for agility and speed, this opportunity to combine with QinetiQ US strengthens our defense presence and combined position across our intelligence and homeland, law enforcement, and civilian portfolio, and we are poised to continue our joint mission as an innovator unique to our market. The combination with Avantus will materially enhance QinetiQ US’s position in the largest defence and intelligence market in the world by creating a large full solutions US Defense contractor business well-positioned within high growth and durable market areas. Avantus brings a strong order backlog, and the acquisition creates a compelling platform for new scaling organic and inorganic growth for QinetiQ in the US. Guggenheim Securities, LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to Avantus and NewSpring Holdings, and Baker Tilly provided financial due diligence expertise. Blank Rome LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as counsel to Avantus. Citizens and Gleacher Shacklock served as joint lead financial advisers and Baker McKenzie served as counsel to QinetiQ. About QinetiQ US: QinetiQ US is a leading defense and security company in the United States providing mission-led innovation at pace. QinetiQ US is a provider of technologically advanced services and products to the US Department of Defense and national security agencies, positioned to deliver key aspects of the modernization required to address our customers’ pivot to counter near peer adversaries. QinetiQ’s engineering services span the DoD and Intel community providing subject matter expertise in the areas of communications, sensor integration and research and development, survivability and unmanned ground combat systems. QinetiQ US operates as the U.S. arm of QinetiQ Group plc (QQ.LSE), a global integrated defense and security company focused on innovation for defense, security and civil customers around the world. QinetiQ US employees are based predominantly in Virginia and Massachusetts and operate under a Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the U.S. Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA). QinetiQ US is creating new ways of protecting what matters most; testing technologies, systems, and processes to make sure they work as expected; and enabling customers to deploy new and enhanced-existing capabilities with the assurance they will deliver the outcomes required. About Avantus Federal: Avantus Federal is a mission-focused data, cyber, and space services and solutions company. As a mid-market powerhouse with an intentional blend of elite talent, infrastructure, and speed to impact, Avantus and its approximately 1,150 highly-cleared professionals lead with technical and domain expertise for its Defense, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Federal Civilian customers. Helping to solve some of the toughest national security problems and government missions, Avantus’ offerings enable services at scale, including cyber technologies and operations, data and software solutions, digital engineering and integration, intelligence analysis and operations, space domain capabilities, transformation and advisory services, and more. About NewSpring Holdings: NewSpring Holdings, NewSpring's dedicated holding company with a strategy focused on control buyouts and platform builds, brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources to take profitable, growing companies to the next level through acquisitions and proven organic methodologies. Founded in 1999, NewSpring partners with the innovators, makers, and operators of high-performing companies in dynamic industries to catalyze new growth and seize compelling opportunities. The Firm manages over $2.5 billion across five distinct strategies covering the spectrum from growth equity and control buyouts to mezzanine debt. Partnering with management teams to help develop their businesses into market leaders, NewSpring identifies opportunities and builds relationships using its network of industry leaders and influencers across a wide array of operational areas and industries.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

KBR-Built Commercial Cloud and Mission Service Platform Now Available on FedRAMP Marketplace as FedRAMP Ready

KBR, Inc. | June 17, 2022

KBR announced the arrival of its commercial cloud and mission service platform on the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Marketplace as FedRAMP Ready. KBR built the platform from the ground-up to support U.S. federal government departments and agencies. Known as KBR Vaault℠, the technology provides a variety of domain-specific solutions including public safety digital evidence management. This secure, cloud-based platform provides the U.S. government and commercial customers an integrated system that allows for rapid deployment and custom configuration. Fast and secure mobile communications are key to any mission and bolstering those technologies is always one of our customer goals. KBR Vaault enables reliable remote monitoring and incident management support to customers during any contingency that may arise. When it matters most, KBR Vaault is simply a product you can count on." Byron Bright, President of KBR Government Solutions FedRAMP is a joint U.S. government effort that establishes a public-private partnership to promote innovation and the advancement of more secure information technologies. KBR Vaault was approved in April 2022 as FedRAMP Ready at the High Baseline by the FedRAMP Program Management Office. This key designation enables KBR Vaault customers the assurance of thoroughly reviewed, cost-effective, and risk-based cloud services. The integrated technology solution is one of only 370 government cloud products on the FedRAMP Marketplace. KBR Vaault for Public Safety Video Evidence specifically facilitates the secure collection, review, archival, and distribution of evidence collected by mobile users. Additionally, KBR Vaault allows for the consolidation, organization, retrieval, and search of video and audio data using cloud computing technologies. As a part of this full life-cycle solution, KBR installs and provides all cameras, microphones and computer operations using a private secure network, a secure cloud application and data center services. This FedRAMP Ready offering enables remote monitoring, situational awareness, and incident management including the viewing and operation of live and recorded surveillance devices, anywhere and anytime, while within network connectivity. The KBR Vaault team has key experience working with U.S. Army law enforcement across the U.S. and is known for working with its customers to lay the groundwork for dynamic, mission-critical systems and subsystems, no matter the need. About KBR We deliver science, technology and engineering solutions to governments and companies around the world. KBR employs approximately 28,000 people performing diverse, complex and mission critical roles in 34 countries. KBR is proud to work with its customers across the globe to provide technology, value-added services, and long- term operations and maintenance services to ensure consistent delivery with predictable results. At KBR, We Deliver.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Regulatory licensing software company, Thentia, announces opening of new regional office in Oklahoma City

Thentia Corporation | June 28, 2022

Thentia, an industry-leading government software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, is excited to announce the opening of its new office in Oklahoma, which will offer first-class support to Thentia clients in the state and nearby jurisdictions. After the State of Oklahoma announced its formal support for Thentia Cloud as a software provider for occupational licensing in 2021, company leadership began taking steps to open an office in Oklahoma City, enabling Thentia to more effectively serve the needs of area customers and take better advantage of future growth opportunities. Thentia has seen a significant expansion in its U.S. client portfolio in 2021 and 2022, particularly in Oklahoma and other central U.S. states. CEO Julian Cardarelli says the company saw a new opportunity to capitalize on this growth and chose to seize it. We are excited to continue investing in our team to support our growing customer base in the central U.S. It is clear more regulatory agencies are putting their trust in Thentia, so we are ecstatic to have the opportunity to follow through on that promise and establish a local presence." Julian Cardarelli, CEO The new office will be located in Leadership Square, in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, and led by Bonnie Campo, Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Thentia. With a background at the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), Campo will bring front-line regulatory experience and a wide range of statewide connections to the office as General Manager. According to Cardarelli, Campo stood out as the perfect candidate to take on this massive new opportunity. "Bonnie's level of government experience and expertise is unmatched in Oklahoma, and she has personally watched many agencies successfully migrate their licensing systems to Thentia Cloud," Cardarelli says. "In short, there was no better person for the job." After cutting costs and streamlining licensing processes for agencies like the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners (OBCE), Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners (OSBOE) and the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission (OREC), among others, the company has only further expanded its presence in Oklahoma and nearby states. The new office represents a major step forward in Thentia's endeavor to become the state-supported software vendor across all 50 states. Brent Kisling, Executive Director at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Workforce Development, says Thentia's physical presence will be a welcome continuation of the pattern of success the company has established in the state. "Thentia's track record in Oklahoma speaks for itself," Kisling says. "Having a new home in Oklahoma City will only make it easier for the company to implement its modern, elegant software solution in government offices across the state." The new office will also contain Thentia's dedicated Oklahoma project team, including two new hires: Shauna Cole, Program Manager for Oklahoma, and Stephanie Wood, Project Manager for Oklahoma, who will oversee project implementations throughout the state. Office General Manager Campo says Thentia will continue hiring personnel to fill roles that will allow the company to serve its Oklahoma clients more effectively. "We have now set a precedent for working with government agencies in Oklahoma," Campo says. "We've seen what works and what doesn't, and with this knowledge, we can strategize to ensure Thentia Cloud works as effectively as possible for countless government agencies in the area." Thentia will be holding an office opening reception during the second week of August – official date still to be confirmed – to celebrate this milestone in the company's relationship with the state of Oklahoma. All clients as well as other state agencies will be invited to come and celebrate the start of what will be a long and fruitful public-private partnership. More details will be shared with Oklahoma clients and stakeholders in the coming days and weeks. About Thentia Thentia is a global company with teams operating in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Canada and is trusted by regulatory bodies and government agencies worldwide with more than 8.5 million active licensees across the globe using its platform. Thentia was developed by subject matter experts with a mission to transform government technology through best-in-class capabilities. Its secure, modern and elegant solution, Thentia Cloud, is revolutionizing the way regulatory bodies and government agencies manage data and licensing by bringing the entire process into the 21st century with speed, automation, ease of use, and best-in-class support.

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