US government takes on big tech with new competition investigation

US department of justice | July 25, 2019

The US department of justice has announced a broad competition investigation into the leading online platforms, raising the stakes in Washington’s scrutiny of Big Tech’s power over growing parts of the economy.The agency said it would look into how the platforms had achieved their market power, and whether they were “engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation or otherwise harmed consumers”. Though it did not name the companies under investigation, the department said in a statement it would look into “widespread concerns” expressed about “search, social media and some retail services online” – suggesting that Google, Facebook and Amazon will be at the centre of the review.

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The White Paper ‘Reforming Local Government: Resilient and Renewed’ is the Welsh Government’s statement of intent about the future of Local Government in Wales. The proposals in this White Paper set out arrangements for regional working; describe a strengthened role for councils and councillors; provide a framework for any future voluntary mergers; and sets out the role of community councils.

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The White Paper ‘Reforming Local Government: Resilient and Renewed’ is the Welsh Government’s statement of intent about the future of Local Government in Wales. The proposals in this White Paper set out arrangements for regional working; describe a strengthened role for councils and councillors; provide a framework for any future voluntary mergers; and sets out the role of community councils.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Databricks Achieves Expanded FedRAMP® Authorization for its Lakehouse Platform

Databricks | October 17, 2022

Databricks, the lakehouse company, today announced that it has received a FedRAMP® Authorized status from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program's Program Management Office (FedRAMP® PMO) for its Cloud Service Offering (CSO) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) at a Moderate impact level, strengthening the Databricks Lakehouse capabilities for the U.S. federal government. This further validates the use of Databricks by federal agencies and contractors, who can now consolidate their data, analytics, and AI with the Databricks Lakehouse Platform to improve the business of the government. FedRAMP® program was created to accelerate the U.S. federal government's adoption of secure cloud solutions and includes an independent third-party assessment organization (3PAO) performing an assessment of the following: Implementation of the 325 FedRAMP® Moderate NIST SP 800-53 controls to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customer data Vulnerability management practices by conducting independent vulnerability scans Cloud service security by performing independent penetration testing "We're excited to see Databricks' Lakehouse Platform achieve this authorization, reinforcing our commitment to cloud security and the public sector, It has been a pleasure to partner closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) team on this endeavor. With this FedRAMP® authorization, CMS and other federal customers have the ability to replace legacy data islands with the market leading federated lakehouse, accelerating digital transformation, and driving strategic initiatives. In addition, we're looking forward to continuing to build upon our partnership with AWS as Databricks' presence in the public sector accelerates with this important milestone." -Jude Boyle, Vice President of Public Sector at Databricks. AWS is committed to working with partners to help customers operate more predictably, securely, and efficiently, said Jeff Kratz, General Manager of AWS Worldwide Public Sector Partners. We are pleased Databricks achieved the FedRAMP® authorization. This will help ensure U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies can more securely run their mission critical applications to take full advantage of the cloud's agility and cost savings. About Databricks: Databricks is the lakehouse company. More than 7,000 organizations worldwide — including Comcast, Condé Nast, and over 50% of the Fortune 500 — rely on the Databricks Lakehouse Platform to unify their data, analytics, and AI. Databricks is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices around the globe. Founded by the original creators of Apache Spark™, Delta Lake, and MLflow, Databricks is on a mission to help data teams solve the world's toughest problems.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

GovPilot Announces Integration with BRT Technologies, Enhances Tax Assessment Capabilities of New Jersey Local Government Customers

GovPilot | September 07, 2022

GovPilot, a provider of modern cloud-based government management software specifically designed for municipal and county governments has partnered with BRT Technologies, another New Jersey based technology firm specializing in tax assessment. The partnership includes an integration that will enable New Jersey tax assessors and administrators of municipalities and counties who currently utilize both BRT Technologies’ tax assessment software and GovPilot’s government management platform, to access permit records stored in GovPilot, directly in BRT. This will significantly speed assessment time and enhance operational efficiency for local governments across New Jersey. BRT’s tax assessment products are currently used in 300+ municipalities and in all 21 counties across the state. Ellen Foye Malgieri, a Tax Assessor for the Town of South Orange, New Jersey said, “This integration will make revaluation much easier and faster. Rather than going back and forth between systems, everything is now connected and it is far simpler to access records. When I use GovPilot, it has all permit records visible by block and lot. Now with the integration, our assessors and inspectors can access that information instantaneously directly within BRT. It’s extremely helpful, and fast. I’m glad they got together to do it!” “By partnering with BRT Technologies, GovPilot is putting a suite of efficient, intuitive digital tools in the hands of New Jersey tax assessor and administrators directly within their GovPilot modules that will unify data instantly with other departments. This is going to make the work of tax assessors far easier and faster which will have a positive impact on residents and local economies within the state.” -James Delmonico Chief Product Officer, GovPilot. Local governments in the U.S. have often operated with a mix of paper-based processes, spreadsheets, single-use software, and older on-site server based systems. Not only is this inefficient but it is expensive to maintain and presents a significant cyber risk for local government administrators and their constituents, said GovPilot Founder and CEO, Michael Bonner. As a unified cloud-based government management platform, GovPilot aims to be the operating system for local government. This implementation provides BRT and GovPilot customers with best-in-class tax assessment availability, reliability, and security. “BRT's innovative suite of products are not only easy to use but are also backed by a support and tech team New Jersey Assessors and Administrators have come to know and trust. This partnership with GovPilot reinforces both companies’ commitment to helping local governments right here in the state of New Jersey by modernizing and streamlining their services and operations.” -Randy Riesenberg, BRT Technologies’ Chief Technology Officer. About GovPilot: GovPilot - named a GovTech 100 company for five consecutive years - is the leader in digital transformation for local governments. GovPilot's cloud-based platform was built with the sole purpose of enabling local governments to operate at their full potential by standardizing, digitizing, and unifying more than 100 operational and constituent service processes on one operating system. About BRT Technologies: BRT Technologies LLC is a NJ based software developer comprised of industry-leading software engineers and certified tax assessors and is widely known as a patented leader in mobile and cloud-based software solutions. With over 150 combined years of NJ tax assessment experience, BRT Technology products and services have truly been created by NJ tax assessors and administrators for NJ tax assessors and administrators. BRT products are currently used in 300+ NJ municipalities and in all 21 NJ counties.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT FINANCE

Long County, Georgia Selects Springbrook's Cirrus Cloud ERP Financial Platform

Springbrook Software | October 04, 2022

Long County, GA is the latest local government agency to move from an on-premises solution to Springbrook's Cirrus Cloud Financial platform. The platform is designed from the ground up specifically for small to medium sized local government agencies. The town is utilizing Springbrook's fully integrated Cirrus Cloud ERP suite including Utility Billing, Finance, Cashless Payments, Municipal Payments and Cash Receipts. Long County sought a robust and secure ERP that could scale as their projected needs grow over the next few years and selected Springbrook after reviewing several other market offerings. "Springbrook fulfills our needs and will provide our citizens with the modern experience that they demand." -Bernice Johnson, Finance Director of Long County, GA. Springbrook is actively working with many small to medium sized municipalities in the southeast. The flexibility of the Springbrook cloud platform provides local government agencies with superior protection against cyber-attacks, the ability to work from anywhere, and will enable the County's personnel to effectively run their entire administrative operation safely from any browser. Cirrus is a true cloud-based system that does not require downloading any additional software for access. "We have invested a tremendous amount into building an entirely new platform with the goal of bringing the most powerful cloud-based solutions to small and medium sized municipalities. We are solely focused on this market segment and have been for over 35 years. Springbrook is constantly expanding our solution suite to deliver new and innovative products, like Advanced Capital Budgeting and Mobile Work Orders. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for local agencies do their jobs efficiently and securely." -Robert Bonavito, CEO Springbrook. About Springbrook Software: Springbrook Software is the country's leading cloud-based finance and administration software provider designing solutions specifically for small to medium sized local government agencies. Nearly 2000 cities, towns and districts from coast to coast use our suite of modern, high-performance solutions to manage their finances, payroll, utility billing and collect citizen payments. Springbrook is headquartered in Portland, Oregon with regional presence in over 40 states, and seven countries internationally. About Long County, GA: Located in southeast Georgia, Long County occupies 400 square miles of the Atlantic Coast Flatwoods. The county is bordered by Liberty, McIntosh, Tattnall, and Wayne counties, and its entire southwestern boundary runs along the Altamaha River.Long County, designated in 1920 from lands in Liberty County. Long County, historically and currently, is a rural, agricultural area. The principal farm crop was once cotton, but by the 1970s it had been replaced by tobacco, corn, soybeans, and cattle. The pine forests of the region have always played an important role in the economy. As of the 2020 United States census, there were 16,168 people, 5,695 households, and 4,146 families residing in the county.

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