Trump administration seeks to expand criminal background checks for federal job seekers

ABA Journal | April 16, 2019

The Trump administration has proposed a rule that would require federal job applicants to divulge whether they’ve been through criminal diversion programs meant to avoid conviction. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management proposed the rule change in February to increase the background check requirements and is currently receiving public comment. While the administration believes the change will improve applicant accuracy, advocates worry it will punish applicants never convicted of a crime. Under the rule change, Question No. 9 on the Declaration for Federal Employment, Optional Form 306 would ask, among other criminal background questions, whether the applicant in the last seven years has “been subject to judge or court specified conditions requiring satisfactory completion before a criminal charge has been or will be dismissed.” While the name of the form indicates otherwise, it is not optional to fill out when going through the federal employment process. “What this rule does is it makes coming in contact with the criminal justice system something you have to report when you are applying to a federal job, which is very different than being convicted of a crime,” says Kim Ball, director of the Justice Programs Office at American University and previously at the Department of Justice.

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

Sapia.ai now a supplier to the UK government G-Cloud 13 Framework

Sapia.ai | December 02, 2022

Sapia.ai, creator of the world's first smart interviewer, are proud to announce that they have been accepted onto the UK government's Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement framework G-Cloud 13.Organisations can now find and purchase Sapia.ai's tools, including its AI-empowered smart chat which has shown to help companies deliver on their Diversity KPI's when hiring, from the government's digital marketplace. The G-cloud framework launched in 2012, with the aim of easing the procurement process for the UK government and other public sector bodies. Sapia.ai has joined over 5000 suppliers to offer its solutions within the framework. Public sector organisations are now able to access, review, and purchase Sapia.ai's automated and bias-free hiring solution easily through the marketplace, knowing that it has been vetted by the G-cloud framework. Sapia.ai is truly unique in that it allows candidates to apply for a job through a simple text chat - negating the need for CVs which have been shown to be full of bias - even when anonymised. Instead, using Sapia.ai's AI-driven technology and its bias-free database of interview responses, Sapia.ai can create an accurate and independent profile of a candidate matching their skills with their ability to do the job within seconds. Every candidate also receives personalized feedback that they can use to improve in areas for future job searches, as well as helping them understand where their strengths lie. "We are delighted to have been included in the G-Cloud 13 framework. When our technology can simultaneously lead to customers seeing accelerated diversity after just 3 months of use, as in the case of our customer Woodies, you know you have built game changing technology,We cannot wait for it to do the same in the public sector that we have for so many companies. " -Barb Hyman,CEO Sapia.ai. By using Sapia.ai public sector customers can now deliver: An interview for every candidate that applies without any need for CVs. A fast and human-focussed automated hiring system that fits into current HR processes. A time-efficient shortlisting process, while every candidate receives personalized feedback. More diverse hires with highly accurate job matching. An immediate impact on D&I KPIs. Huge cost and time savings on recruitment. About Sapia: Sapia's mission is to help companies unlock and engage talent at scale. With its blind, automated chat interview and comprehensive DEI analytics platform, Sapia's technology is the first solution of its kind to disrupt biases that affects traditional recruitment processes – resulting in fair outcomes for candidates and companies.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Esker and Quadient to Develop Electronic Invoicing Platform, to Partner with French Government

Esker | November 22, 2022

Esker, a global cloud platform and leader in AI-driven process automation solutions for finance and customer service functions, and Quadient, a leader in helping businesses create meaningful customer connections through digital and physical channels, today announced that their years-long collaboration will take on a new dimension by partnering with the French government’s upcoming Partner Dematerialization Platform (PDP). Quadient and Esker have been working together for more than seven years through their joint subsidiary NCS, a strategic partnership that allows Quadient to leverage Esker's technology expertise for automating and digitizing customer and supplier invoices. The new direction NCS is taking strengthens this collaboration and ensures that businesses of all sizes experience a smooth and secure transition to compliance with upcoming French tax regulations according to the defined timetable, whether invoices are received or transmitted by mail, email in PDF format, portal, EDI or another channel. The finance law requires that invoices exchanged between VAT taxpayers must be transmitted in a structured data format (UBL, UNCEFACT CII) or hybrid format (Factur-X): As of July 1, 2024 for all VAT taxable entities receiving invoices As of July 1, 2024 for large companies issuing invoices As of January 1, 2025 this applies to medium-sized businesses issuing invoices As of January 1, 2026 this applies to all micro and small businesses issuing invoices The PDP, which will be approved by the government, will send and receive electronic invoices between entities while simultaneously transmitting the required invoicing data to the Public Portal (PPF), and electronically reports all necessary transaction data. “The widespread implementation of electronic invoicing over the next three years is a major challenge for the four million companies in France. As a major player in the electronic document management market for small and medium-sized businesses, we look forward to our continued partnership with Esker, in which we join forces and expertise to offer businesses straightforward and efficient invoicing process automation, The government’s timetable calls for a long and gradual transition, and we know that for many companies, compliance can be a source of anxiety because it brings about profound changes. By offering flexible and adapted solutions, we want to help them anticipate the implementation of new management methods that are connected and automated, so that they are able to meet regulatory deadlines with confidence.” -Nicolas de Beco, Chief Strategy and Product Officer for Intelligent Document Automation at Quadient. As members of the National e-Invoice Forum and active participants in workshops organized by the General Administration of Public Finances (DGFiP) and the Agency for Financial Information Technology of the State (AIFE), Esker and Quadient are currently in the process of preparing for the registration process beginning in September 2023, with governmental accreditation expected in accordance to the officially defined timeframes. In addition to being in compliance with regulatory guidelines, businesses will also be able to take advantage of complementary services, such as centralized management of all workflows, business process automation, complete visibility over and tracking of communications, invoice archiving, processing of associated documents, payment reconciliation and reporting capabilities. These services are facilitated by easy interconnectability with other business solutions and interoperability with other platforms, which enables them to simplify and optimize management processes, accelerate their digital transformation and improve their cash management. “Esker is proud to support Quadient in this project. As long-standing partners, our two companies have demonstrated their ability to work together to deliver innovative solutions that benefit thousands of businesses in France today, We are committed to helping our customers today and in the future in turning these regulatory developments into opportunity for growth and acceleration of the digital transformation.” -Emmanuel Olivier, COO at Esker. About Esker: Esker is a global cloud platform built to unlock strategic value for finance and customer service professionals, and strengthen collaboration between companies by automating the cash conversion cycle. Esker’s solutions incorporate technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive increased productivity, enhanced visibility, reduced fraud risk, and improved collaboration with customers, suppliers and internally. Esker operates in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific with global headquarters in Lyon, France, and U.S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. About Quadient: Quadient is the driving force behind the world’s most meaningful customer experiences. By focusing on three key solution areas, Intelligent Communication Automation, Parcel Locker Solutions and Mail-Related Solutions, Quadient helps simplify the connection between people and what matters. Quadient supports hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide in their quest to create relevant, personalized connections and achieve customer experience excellence. Quadient is listed in compartment B of Euronext Paris (QDT) and is part of the SBF 120®, CAC® Mid 60 and EnterNext® Tech 40 indices.

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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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