Judge blocks Trump's small-business health insurance plan

The Virginian-Pilot | March 29, 2019

A federal judge has struck down a small-business health insurance plan widely touted by President Donald Trump, the second setback in a week for the administration's health care initiatives. U.S. District Judge John D. Bates wrote in his opinion late Thursday that so-called "association health plans" were "clearly an end-run" around consumer protections required by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, another federal judge blocked the Trump administration's Medicaid work requirements for low-income people. The legal setbacks came as Trump unexpectedly pivoted back to health care this week, promising a new plan to replace the ACA, commonly called "Obamacare." But many congressional Republicans don't want to have that fight again. Democrats are gleeful, seeing a chance to shift the national conversation to one of their top issues.

Spotlight

On 12 July 2018, the UK Government published its long-promised White Paper – The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The UK Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, explained that the White Paper confirmed that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 ‘forging a new way in the world outside the Single Market, outside the Customs Union.’ The paper proposes a free trade agreement, supported by a ‘common rulebook’, aiming to achieve ‘frictionless trade’ between the UK and the EU which would obviate the need for the backstop solution to be used. They propose a ‘Facilitated Customs Arrangement’, in order to “remove the need for routine customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU”.

Spotlight

On 12 July 2018, the UK Government published its long-promised White Paper – The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The UK Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, explained that the White Paper confirmed that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 ‘forging a new way in the world outside the Single Market, outside the Customs Union.’ The paper proposes a free trade agreement, supported by a ‘common rulebook’, aiming to achieve ‘frictionless trade’ between the UK and the EU which would obviate the need for the backstop solution to be used. They propose a ‘Facilitated Customs Arrangement’, in order to “remove the need for routine customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU”.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

IBM to Acquire Octo

IBM | December 08, 2022

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement to acquire Octo, a U.S.-based IT modernization and digital transformation services provider exclusively serving the U.S. federal government, including defense, health, and civilian agencies. IBM's acquisition of Octo establishes one of the largest digital transformation partners to the federal government. Upon the close of the acquisition, Octo's approximately 1,500 employees will join IBM Consulting's U.S. public and federal market organization. Octo will be IBM's eighth acquisition of 2022. Since Arvind Krishna became CEO of IBM in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies, bolstering its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Today's news builds on prior IBM Consulting acquisitions, including Dialexa, Neudesic, and Taos. Federal government agencies face significant challenges including technology skills shortages, rebuilding of U.S. domestic supply chains and more demand for citizen services. To address these complex challenges, agencies need an industry partner to help them navigate a scalable path to IT modernization with the power to leverage emerging technologies and applications, optimize costs and operational efficiencies, and improve security. The convergence of new hybrid cloud and AI technologies enables government to deliver rapid improvements and adapt to unprecedented challenges. The acquisition of Reston, Va.-based Octo will complement IBM's existing strengths in IT modernization and digital transformation, enhancing its ability to support federal agencies with a flexible, modern approach to digital transformation and growing IBM Consulting's public and federal market organization to 4,200 highly-skilled employees. With a proven track record of enabling rapid IT modernization and seamless citizen engagement, Octo also brings deep federal mission experience, as well as certifications in the technologies most used across the federal government. "Governments require agility and resiliency to meet the evolving needs of citizens directly and in real time," said John Granger, Senior Vice President of IBM Consulting. "The combination of Octo's highly qualified and respected team with IBM's consulting expertise, technical capabilities and strategic partner ecosystem will enable federal clients to transform faster and better serve citizens." Building on a shared commitment to co-creation, oLabs, Octo's 14,000 square foot innovation center with in-house computing capability, expands IBM's ability to work collaboratively with federal agencies to rapidly prototype emerging technology solutions – enabling greater impact for federal agencies and the people they serve. "Octo was founded on the belief that digital transformation could be delivered at scale to modernize the federal government's approach to today's most pressing challenges – from public healthcare to national security, to defense and intelligence," said Mehul Sanghani, Chief Executive Officer of Octo. "Today, we are excited to join forces with IBM to continue to deliver these digital transformation capabilities with greater reach and scale." IBM's acquisition of Octo from Arlington Capital Partners is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. About IBM IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service. Visit www.ibm.com for more information.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Pyramid and Carahsoft Partner to Bring Decision Intelligence to Government Agencies

Carahsoft | October 21, 2022

Pyramid Analytics (Pyramid), a pioneering decision intelligence platform provider, and Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced a partnership. Under the agreement, Carahsoft will serve as Pyramid Analytics’ Master Government Aggregator®, making the company’s Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform available to federal, state, and local government agencies through Carahsoft’s reseller partners, NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V, Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – Software 2 (ITES-SW2), National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA), and OMNIA Partners contracts. Decision Intelligence enabled by AI and Machine Learning (ML) can modernize the delivery of critical public services, including healthcare, homeland security, and defense in the US federal market segment. Carahsoft has added the award-winning Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform to numerous existing federal contracts and will provide marketing and sales support to generate demand within the federal market, state and local governments, and higher education institutions. Through this partnership, Pyramid is represented by Carahsoft’s team of professionals dedicated to serving public sector customers and partners. The next major innovation in analytics is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Applying AI across Data Prep, Business Analytics, and Data Science is what separates Decision Intelligence from traditional business intelligence tools. AI lowers the skills barrier by automating the highly technical work needed to prepare and analyze data and create and share reports and dashboards. The Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform delivers data-driven insights for anyone to make faster, optimized decisions. The Pyramid Platform provides instant access to any data, enables automated governed self-service for any person, and serves any analytics need, from the simple to the sophisticated. By uniquely combining Data Prep, Business Analytics, and Data Science with AI guidance in a single environment, the Pyramid Platform reduces cost and complexity while accelerating growth and innovation. This enables a strategic, organization-wide approach to Business Intelligence and Analytics. “Carahsoft has a proven track record selling innovative technology to federal, state and local Government entities across the United States. They also have a long history of forming strong partnerships with emerging technology leaders that will help Pyramid reach important market segments. The Pyramid team looks forward to many beneficial years of partnership with Carahsoft and its reseller partners to deliver value to our government customers.” -Joe Fritsch, Director of Federal Sales, Pyramid Analytics. Edward Walinsky who leads the Pyramid Team at Carahsoft: This partnership provides Government customers with the opportunity to leverage their business data to make better, more informed decisions. We look forward to working with Pyramid and our reseller partners to deliver business intelligence and analytics to our government customers. About Pyramid Analytics: Pyramid is what’s next in analytics. The award-winning Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform delivers insights for making faster, optimized decisions by providing direct access to any data, enabling governed self-service for any person, and meeting any analytics need in a no-code environment. The Pyramid Platform uniquely combines Data Prep, Business Analytics, and Data Science in a single environment with AI guidance, reducing cost and complexity while accelerating growth and innovation. This enables a strategic, enterprise-wide approach to Business Intelligence and Analytics, from the simple to the sophisticated. Schedule a demo. About Carahsoft: Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator® for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and Engagement, and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

CCC helps GDMS Canada win $24 million contract with Portugal

CANADIAN COMMERCIAL CORPORATION (CCC) | October 18, 2022

Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is pleased to announce General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada has won a $24 million contract to help the Portuguese Air Force modernize its fleet of P-3C aircraft to support Maritime patrol and reconnaissance activities. This was secured through a government-to-government (G2G) contract between CCC and the Portuguese Air Force. G2G contracts are part of CCC's International Prime Contractor service that brings qualified Canadian companies to foreign government buyers. General Dynamics will provide equipment and technology to upgrade the communications and mission electronics. The upgrades to Portugal's P3-C fleet are modeled on modernizations that General Dynamics provides to the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Mission Management System offered to Portugal now comprises over 50 installations worldwide on both Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Maritime Patrol Helicopters. Portugal is a member of NATO. The upgrades will allow the Portuguese Air Force, as a NATO member, to maintain the capabilities required to contribute to new and existing NATO activities. In addition to maritime patrol and reconnaissance activities, Portugal's air force also provides air policing, air transport, search and rescue, and medical evacuations. "CCC is proud to simplify and expedite the acquisitions of Canadian expertise and technology by Portugal – a NATO ally and important trading partner," - Mathieu Lacroix, CCC's Account Director, Aerospace Sector. We are very pleased to partner with the Portuguese Air Force, leveraging Canada's investment and long-term commitment to the P3 fleet, said Matt Young, Sr. Director of International Air and Naval Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada. As standards and threats evolve, we are proud to support our customers around the world to meet the changing environment. ABOUT CANADIAN COMMERCIAL CORPORATION (CCC): We are Canada's government to government contracting agency. We help build successful commercial relationships between Canadian businesses and governments around the world by creating and supporting the successful completion of commercial contracts of public and national importance. We are also the official channel for Canadian companies looking to do business with the U.S. military. ABOUT GENERAL DYNAMICS MISSION SYSTEMS–CANADA: General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada delivers advanced system solutions to Canadian and international customers. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, it is one of the largest defence and security companies in Canada and is a world-class prime contractor and systems integrator for land, sea, air and cyber solutions.

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