Federal Bipartisan Bill To Protect Employment Rights Introduced

weednews | March 14, 2019

The Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act (HR 1687) is bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Don Young (R-AK) to explicitly bar federal agencies from discriminating against workers solely because of their status as a cannabis consumer, or due to testing positive for marijuana use on a workplace drug test. Enacted in 1986, the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program made it a condition for employment that all civilian employees at executive branch agencies be prohibited from using federally illegal substances on or off duty. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 31 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam, and 46 states have some form of medical marijuana law; however, it remains illegal under federal law. Therefore, federal employees can be denied employment or terminated due to testing positive for marijuana metabolites, even if their use is in compliance with state law.

Spotlight

Digital modernization refers to the process of utilizing technology, whether through adoption of new tools or the improvement of existing ones, to achieve organizational goals. This can include enhancing the user experience, ensuring high uptime, implementing robust security measures, reducing latency, and streamlining processes for resolving issues. All levels of government are going through a digital transformation to deliver services and programs more effectively,transparently, and economically.To meet the demands of citizens who have adapted to the technological advancements in society, digital government transformation has become a vital aspect of providing efficient and effective services. However, one of the biggest hurdles in this process for federal agencies is striking a balance between leveraging technology for its benefits and maintaining robust security and privacy measures. Federal agencies handle confidential information regularly, making it imperative to safeguard against data breaches. Consequently, agencies must ensure that their digital systems and procedures are secure and adhere to relevant regulatory requirements.

Spotlight

Digital modernization refers to the process of utilizing technology, whether through adoption of new tools or the improvement of existing ones, to achieve organizational goals. This can include enhancing the user experience, ensuring high uptime, implementing robust security measures, reducing latency, and streamlining processes for resolving issues. All levels of government are going through a digital transformation to deliver services and programs more effectively,transparently, and economically.To meet the demands of citizens who have adapted to the technological advancements in society, digital government transformation has become a vital aspect of providing efficient and effective services. However, one of the biggest hurdles in this process for federal agencies is striking a balance between leveraging technology for its benefits and maintaining robust security and privacy measures. Federal agencies handle confidential information regularly, making it imperative to safeguard against data breaches. Consequently, agencies must ensure that their digital systems and procedures are secure and adhere to relevant regulatory requirements.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

AINS is Now OPEXUS, Fresh Focus on Govt. Operational Excellence & Community

OPEXUS | January 19, 2023

AINS LLC, a government process management software service provider, recently announced its rebranding and will now function under the name OPEXUS. The new identity perfectly describes the company's dedication to public institutions, providing their communities with great technology experiences. The company has relocated its headquarters to Washington, D.C. Before the rebranding, AINS was acquired by an affiliate of Gemspring Capital in November 2021, after a remarkable year of growth. New customers touched an all-time high in 2022, including federal, state, and local government agencies in the United States, national and provincial governments in Canada, and a university as the company's first customer in higher education. Additionally, OPEXUS has established itself as the market leader in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) technology space, which played a significant role in the company's success and will remain a priority in 2023. OPEXUS (formerly ANIS) this year has been acknowledged as a first-time member of the GovTech100, a yearly list compiled and published by Government Technology featuring 100 companies committed to making a distinction in and selling to government agencies across the U.S. Furthermore, the OPEXUS team will focus on providing product enhancements and a range of new customer experience capabilities. It includes revamped user experiences for the existing software, a brand-new customer success team, and a more comprehensive network of cutting-edge tech partners to speed up the development of a range of new products. Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director, Kristi Whitfield said, "Mayor Bowser remains steadfast in her commitment to encouraging businesses to headquarters in the District of Columbia. More businesses establishing and maintaining roots in our nation's capital means more job opportunities for District residents as well as more opportunities for our local government to keep local dollars local by doing business with District-based enterprises. That's a win for all." (Source: PR Newswire) About OPEXUS Founded in 1988, OPEXUS is the leader in FedRAMP-certified government management software, supporting public institutions with 30 years of experience. OPEXUS, headquartered in Washington D.C., brings functional excellence to governments' middle office so that agencies can concentrate on the critical work of mission delivery. With a built-for-government product suite that includes solutions for audits, investigations, correspondence, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and employee & labor, the company empowers 100,000 government users with exceptional technology experiences and collaborates with more than 150 government agencies across the U.S. and Canada.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Borqs to Establish with the U.S. Government a Plan to Divest its Ownership of Holu Hou Energy Due to Deemed Critical Technology

Borqs | December 20, 2022

Borqs Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: BRQS, “Borqs”, or the “Company”), a global provider of 5G wireless, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and innovative clean energy, today announced the Company has received a letter dated December 13, 2022 (the “Letter”) from the Department of the Treasury on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) stating that the Company is required to negotiate with CFIUS to fully divest its ownership interests and rights in Holu Hou Energy LLC (“HHE”) due to HHE solar energy storage system and EnergyShare technology for Multi-Dwelling Residential Units (“MDU’s”) being deemed a critical technology and therefore a potential national security risk. As stated in the Letter, HHE is considered a top ten solar energy storage supplier in Hawaii, has only been increasing its dominant market share, expects to grow at an exponential rate, and focuses on multi-family dwelling units which are common in military housing. Due to Borqs’ IoT software development and hardware sourcing capabilities in China, CFIUS is concerned that through Borqs, the PRC could gain significant visibility and exert influence over HHE’s business operations and get access to HHE critical technology. CFIUS is requiring the Company to design a plan to mitigate all identified national security risks to the satisfaction of CFIUS. Borqs intends to comply to the requirements from CFIUS and enter into a National Security Agreement with various departments of the U.S. Government with a plan that is effective, monitorable and verifiable to voluntarily divest Borqs’ investment interests and rights in HHE (the “Plan”). HHE’s commercialization of its solar energy storage system and novel EnergyShare technology for MDU’s has enabled the company to open up a new market segment for renewable energy in the USA - likely worth several billions of dollars. In the last year the Company’s MDU development pipeline has reached thousands of individual units in Hawaii alone, with California MDU potential being at least one to two orders of magnitude higher in the coming years. One segment of this new market is for communities of military and other government personnel. The overall MDU opportunity is significant for the company and significant for the USA. Since Borqs’ financial support in HHE starting from October 2021, HHE has signed approximately $50 million in contracts and has a growing pipeline approaching half a billion dollars. We believe this voluntary mitigation will enable the tremendous inherent value of HHE to be realized and that the divestment can be a profitable transaction for Borqs’ shareholders. The Plan to mitigate will include engaging a nationally recognized investment bank with experience in administering competitive sales and auction processes, assigning and hiring of security and monitoring personnel to directly communicate with CFIUS, immediate and complete removal of all Borqs administrative and technical influence over HHE, immediate voluntary reduction of Borqs ownership of HHE from a majority to a minority position and with the target of divesting all. The Company believes such points will enable the Company to accomplish the divestment in an orderly manner. About Borqs Technologies, Inc. Borqs Technologies is a global leader in software and products for the IoT, providing customizable, differentiated and scalable Android-based smart connected devices and cloud service solutions. Borqs has achieved leadership and customer recognition as an innovative end-to-end IoT solutions provider leveraging its strategic chipset partner relationships as well as its broad software and IP portfolio. Borqs’ unique strengths include its Android and Android Wear Licenses which enabled the Company to develop a software IP library covering chipset software, Android enhancements, domain specific usage and system performance optimization, suitable for large and low volume customized products, and is also currently in development of 5G products for phones and hotspots. The Company acquired controlling shares of the solar energy storage system entity, Holu Hou Energy LLC, in October 2021. About Holu Hou Energy, LLC Holu Hou Energy, LLC, a Delaware Corporation, brings state-of-the-art renewable energy and energy storage systems to the Single-Family Residential, Multi-Dwelling Unit Residential and Commercial building markets. With operations in California, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Shanghai, HHE engineers proprietary storage system and control platform solutions, including a breakthrough “HHE Energy Share” technology that is key to development of the Multi-Dwelling Unit Residential housing market. HHE is a vital partner for investors and asset owners that are seeking ESG solutions.

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CYBERSECURITY

UK Government Approves Nine Entrust Solutions for G-Cloud 13 Program, including nShield as a Service

Entrust | November 08, 2022

Entrust, a global leader in trusted payments, identities and digital infrastructure, has had nine of its cloud and associated support services approved for the G-Cloud Framework. This platform enables public bodies in the UK to procure commodity-based, pay-as-you-go cloud services on government-approved, short-term contracts through an online catalogue called the Digital Marketplace. This streamlined procurement process supports the UK government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy and is a key component in the government's ambition to operate a cloud-native digital architecture. The Entrust services that are available on the latest iteration of the framework, G-Cloud 13 are as follows: Entrust nShield as a Service – cloud Hardware Security Modules Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), as either: Managed PKI – A bespoke & dedicated PKI without the need for in-house expertise PKI as a Service (PKIaaS) – Cloud based turnkey PKI SSL Certificates (through our partner Conosco) Identity as a Service (IDaaS) – Identity & Access Management with a broad array of authenticators Managed Certificate Hub – Certificate Lifecycle Management for public and private Certificate Authorities in your enterprise Managed Root Certificate Authority – high assurance Root of Trust for your PKI Managed Microsoft PKI – A managed bespoke and dedicated PKI within Azure Cloud support consultancy – design, onboarding, cryptography and PKI health checks for Entrust G-Cloud services The need to authenticate the identity of people, systems and things is challenging and growing. With the launch of G-Cloud 13, and the inclusion of these nine services from Entrust, government departments and agencies in the UK Public Sector can leverage these solutions to enable secure transactions. As an annually revised platform, G-Cloud 13 will go live on 9 November 2022 and is due to end at 23:59 on the 8 November 2023. Specifically, the addition of nShield as a Service to this roster facilitates UK public sector organizations moving their infrastructure into the cloud while maintaining control of their data security with master keys protected in a hardware security module (HSM), as is best practice. “The UK Government G-Cloud program is a way for public sector organisations to purchase cloud based IT solutions from approved, secure providers. Many of these organisations are looking to move as much of their infrastructure into the cloud as possible and need many of the Entrust cloud solutions to support the security requirements. With Entrust cloud solutions, we give you the capability along with the comfort that, strong controls and governance are consistently applied.” -Robert Hann, Vice President of Centre of Expertise for Entrust Digital Security Solutions. Entrust delivers UK Public Sector organisations G-Cloud approved solutions that ensure that you have a robust, secure and scalable combination of solutions to meet your data protection requirements. This cloud-native framework can help customers who are seeking to reduce their on premises data centre footprint and have more flexibility by replacing big capital outlay with a more predictable and flexible subscription payment model. Furthermore, with a selection of managed and “as-a-Service” solutions from Entrust, customers who are lacking the in-house expertise to manage their identity management or data protection solutions can safely leave it to the experts at Entrust.. About Entrust: Entrust keeps the world moving safely by enabling trusted experiences for identities, payments, and digital infrastructure. We offer an unmatched breadth of solutions that are critical to enabling trust for multi-cloud deployments, mobile identities, hybrid work, machine identity, electronic signatures, encryption and more. With more than 2,800 colleagues, a network of global partners, and customers in over 150 countries, it’s no wonder the world’s most entrusted organisations trust us.

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