Trump Instructs Pentagon to Curb Watchdogs' Access to Secret Military Reports

Government Executive | January 03, 2019

President Trump, in a nationally televised Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, instructed acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to withhold classified battlefield reports from inspectors general, a move that brought objections from transparency advocates. “I can tell you [a] story when I got here about our military that I don't even want to talk about,” Trump said. “We do these reports on our military. Some IG goes over there, and he goes over there and they do a report on every single thing. We're fighting wars and they're doing [a] report and releasing it to the public. The public means the enemy. Those reports should be private reports.”

Spotlight

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) is the first U.S. open data law. Its goal is to transform all federal spending information from disconnected documents into standardized, machine-readable data. The DATA Act mandates two basic steps: first, standardize the data elements and format of the federal government’s existing spending reports. Second, publish all that information as standardized, machine-readable data. The DATA Act does not change the content of the existing reports, nor does it change who sends or receives the existing reports. It just imposes a common format and common data fields.

Spotlight

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) is the first U.S. open data law. Its goal is to transform all federal spending information from disconnected documents into standardized, machine-readable data. The DATA Act mandates two basic steps: first, standardize the data elements and format of the federal government’s existing spending reports. Second, publish all that information as standardized, machine-readable data. The DATA Act does not change the content of the existing reports, nor does it change who sends or receives the existing reports. It just imposes a common format and common data fields.

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Xage Draws Chevron Backing to Accelerate Zero Trust Adoption in Energy

Xage Security | July 15, 2022

Xage, the zero trust cybersecurity company, today announced investment from Chevron Technology Ventures to further accelerate the use of zero trust in protecting energy and other critical infrastructure from cyber threats. The additional capital extends Xage’s series B venture capital financing for a second time in the last two months, bringing Xage’s total financing to-date to $62M. “Xage’s zero trust security has the potential to expand corporate security standards to environments that increasingly are connected to one another. The technology can provide critical support to cybersecurity and digital transformation needs, This is the latest investment from our Core Energy Fund 7, which focuses on operational enhancement, digitalization and lower carbon technologies.” -Jim Gable, Vice President, Innovation and President of Technology Ventures at Chevron. Xage’s Fabric is specifically designed to bring a zero trust security model to complex environments without requiring an equipment overhaul. The Fabric overlays every machine, app, and data point within an operation to impose granular control over all digital interactions. In addition to the company's Identity & Access Management (IAM), Zero Trust Remote Access, and Dynamic Data Security solutions, Xage recently released a novel multi-layer, multi-factor authentication (MFA) capability designed specifically for real-world operations to block MFA hacks caused by “MFA bombing” and human error. “With Chevron participating in our series B, we’re able to accelerate our impact on energy companies and other critical infrastructure organizations to prevent hacks while building efficiencies and enhancing collaboration, We recently found that 88% of industrial cybersecurity leaders are taking steps to adopt zero trust, and 55% are reporting that zero trust is accelerating digital transformation. It’s our job to make sure these efforts are expedited, and expanded support from investors with deep knowledge of the energy sector will help us achieve that.” -Duncan Greatwood, CEO of Xage. Chevron Technology Ventures joins a growing number of energy sector investors backing Xage. The venture arm of Saudi Aramco invested in Xage’s series A and B; and more recently, Piva Capital, a venture capital firm investing in technologies ushering in a new industrial era, led Xage’s series B, with SCF Partners and Overture Climate Fund joining the round in May. About Xage- Xage is the first and only zero trust real-world security company. The Xage Fabric accelerates and simplifies the way enterprises secure, manage and transform digital operations across OT, IT, and cloud. Xage solutions include Identity & Access Management (IAM), remote access, and dynamic data security, all powered by the Xage Fabric. About Chevron Technology Ventures- Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) pursues technologies and new business solutions that have the potential to enhance the way Chevron delivers affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy.

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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. 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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Align Capital Partners Makes Growth Investment in GovTech Platform Schneider Geospatial

Align Capital Partners | June 24, 2022

Align Capital Partners announced the recapitalization of Schneider Geospatial, LLC, a SaaS provider of public access land management software and recurring support services to state and local governments. As one of the largest providers of GovTech geospatial solutions in the U.S. with a presence in over 25 states, the Company’s software allows citizens to access disparate government information sources in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Schneider Engineering Corporation was founded in 1962 and began offering geographic information system (GIS) services in 1989. After the GIS business grew well organically and through several acquisitions, the Schneider family decided to spin out Schneider Geospatial into a separate, independent business in 2018 while maintaining 100% ownership of the Company. Through this transaction, ACP is providing significant growth capital to Schneider Geospatial, while preserving the Schneider family legacy through their continued ownership interest in the Company. “Our grandfather, Vincent Schneider, had a love for technology that was ahead of his time. Our father, John Schneider, embraced this passion and began our GIS business with a keen insight that understood the importance of geographic data. We are very proud of Schneider Geospatial, its award-winning innovations and the amazing group of employees who have made this all happen. We are excited to be associated with Align Capital Partners and we look forward to the future as we continue to grow and expand,” said J. Barry Schneider and Victoria Schneider Temple. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Company’s 50+ person team helps power Schneider Geospatial’s cloud-based software platform that enables clients to manage over 500 million information requests from over 23 million users, including citizens, commercial real estate developers, appraisers, law firms, contractors and inspectors. The Company’s core solution combines web-based GIS data reporting tools including CAMA and tax, ownership history, liens, boundaries, environmental issues and topography, into a single, user-friendly web application. We are excited to continue our partnership with our amazing clients. ACP’s investment allows us to accelerate several of our growth initiatives which will result in even better solutions and services to our clients. Our talented team is excited to continue this next phase of the Company’s growth.” Jeff Corns, CEO of Schneider Geospatial Schneider Geospatial is ACP’s second GovTech platform investment to date, following its 2020 investment in Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation. “The Company has a very strong value-proposition of helping clients provide public access to digitized records as a replacement to a historically inefficient and labor-intensive experience,” said ACP Managing Partner Chris Jones. “Our enthusiasm for Schneider Geospatial plays on the attractive tailwinds of our firm’s GovTech thesis. The Company is well positioned to help governments replace antiquated technology, increase access to important digitized information and enhance information sharing capabilities to improve citizen engagement.” This represents ACP’s 72nd closed investment since the firm was founded in 2016 and is ACP’s 11th new investment year-to-date, including two platforms and nine add-on investments. Principal Matt Iodice and Associate Aaron Lewis worked alongside Mr. Jones on the transaction. Schneider Geospatial was advised on the transaction by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, while ACP was supported by Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP. About Schneider Geospatial Schneider Geospatial is a provider of State & Local Government SaaS public access solutions and support services. The Company’s products include award-winning SaaS solutions such as Beacon™ and qPublic.net™ focused on local government information for the web; GeoPermits™ which is a SaaS permitting and workflow management platform; and Agland™ used to automate the calculating process for agricultural assessments. In addition to a diverse product portfolio, the Company offers a full range of GIS, technology and GovTech services. About Align Capital Partners Align Capital Partners is a growth-oriented private equity firm that partners with business owners and management teams to create shared success. ACP manages $775 million in committed capital with investment teams in Cleveland and Dallas. ACP brings experience and resources to help lower-middle market companies accelerate their growth, to the benefit of management, employees and the firm’s investors. ACP makes control investments in differentiated companies within the business services, technology, specialty manufacturing and distribution sectors.

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