USDA Economists Seek to Unionize Amid Relocation Effort

Government Executive | February 04, 2019

Later this year, employees at the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service will vote on whether to join the nation’s largest federal employee union, in an effort to protect themselves as the department considers whether to relocate the agency outside of the Washington, D.C., region. Peter Winch, special assistant to the American Federation of Government Employees’ District 14 national vice president, told Government Executive that he filed paperwork with the Federal Labor Relations Authority last week to move forward with a union election at the research service, which USDA leadership plans to move and realign under the department’s Office of the Chief Economist.

Spotlight

In recent years, many state and local governments have shown an interest in reducing energy costs and enhancing the environmental sustainability of government operations. These policies and programs associated with these efforts are often referred to as “lead by example” approaches, as they are intended to demonstrate the state or local government’s commitment to environmental protection, energy independence and/ordisciplined fiscal management.

Spotlight

In recent years, many state and local governments have shown an interest in reducing energy costs and enhancing the environmental sustainability of government operations. These policies and programs associated with these efforts are often referred to as “lead by example” approaches, as they are intended to demonstrate the state or local government’s commitment to environmental protection, energy independence and/ordisciplined fiscal management.

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Noblis Launches Run Solutions Suite to Bring New Levels of Automation and Insight to Complex Federal Processes

Noblis | August 11, 2021

Noblis, Inc., a leading provider of science, technology and strategy services to the federal government, today announced the launch of its Run with Noblis solutions suite designed to drive new levels of efficiency, visibility and insight across complex federal processes. Paired with Noblis' decades of experience tailoring services to address evolving client needs, these digital solutions will help government agencies employ automation and analytics to streamline complex workflows, expedite and improve decision making and achieve broader IT modernization goals. The first solution within the suite, RunCyberAssurance, is available today to help federal agencies and Cloud service providers (CSPs) streamline FedRAMP and other cybersecurity compliance processes. Additional Run solutions will follow—and are all designed to simplify sophisticated federal work streams, including acquisition and grants management. "As a science and technology organization, Noblis is founded on strong research and development practices. The addition of scalable, digital solutions is a natural evolution that aligns to our clients' transformation priorities and our strategic growth goals," said Amr ElSawy, Noblis president and CEO. "RunCyberAssurance is the beginning of a long-term strategy pairing tailored software-as-a-service offerings with our government services expertise to best serve our customers as they modernize and innovate." RunCyberAssurance is a cloud-based solution that can be deployed either as a private stand-alone or client-based application, depending on an organization's unique mission needs. The solution is backed by Noblis' decades of experience guiding organizations through Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), NIST SP 800-53 security controls and FedRAMP. RunCyberAssurance combines automation, analytics, modern user experience and collaboration tools to streamline and standardize the compliance journey post authority to operate (ATO) for agencies and cloud service providers. The benefits include: • Streamlining continuous monitoring, recording, measuring and tracking per FISMA, NIST SP 800-53 and FedRAMP requirements and OSCAL format ready. • Facilitating risk mitigation strategies between agencies and CSPs to ensure remediation in a timely manner • Automating the process of achieving and maintaining continuous ATO In accordance with the Biden Administration's recent Cybersecurity Executive Order which places emphasis on advancing toward Zero Trust Architecture, RunCyberAssurance enables agencies to go to the cloud faster and more securely. This solution permits scale by allowing both agencies and cloud service providers to securely share and track their strategies and manage the complexity and progress of their cloud compliance with existing teams. "Our government clients are seeking digital solutions that enable faster, smarter service delivery to their stakeholders and constituents," said Mile Corrigan, senior vice president of Noblis Federal Civilian Solutions. "We designed these solutions to meet the unique needs of our government clients and help them analyze information, automate manual processes and make data-driven decisions." About the Run with Noblis Solutions Suite The Run with Noblis solutions suite addresses the evolving needs of federal agencies with the speed, performance and scale of digital solutions that create insights, automate workflows, streamline processes and drive greater outcomes. About Noblis Noblis is a dynamic science, technology and strategy organization dedicated to creating forward-thinking technical and advisory solutions in the public interest. We bring the best of scientific thought, management and engineering expertise together in an environment of independence and objectivity to deliver enduring impact on federal missions. Noblis works with a wide range of government clients in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement and federal civil sectors. Together with our subsidiaries, we tackle the nation's toughest problems and apply advanced solutions to our clients' most critical missions.

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DataRobot | January 19, 2022

AI Cloud leader DataRobot today released its State of AI Bias Report, conducted in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and global academic leaders. The report offers a deeper understanding of how the risk of AI bias can impact today’s organizations, and how business leaders can manage and mitigate this risk. Based on an exploration of over 350 organizations across industries, the research findings reveal that many leaders share deep concerns around the risk of bias in AI (54%) and a growing desire for government regulation to prevent bias in AI (81%). AI is an essential technology to accelerate business growth and drive operational efficiency, yet many organizations struggle to implement AI effectively and fairly at scale. More than one in three (36%) organizations surveyed have experienced challenges or direct business impact due to an occurrence of AI bias in their algorithms, such as: Lost revenue (62%) Lost customers (61%) Lost employees (43%) Incurred legal fees due to a lawsuit or legal action (35%) Damaged brand reputation/media backlash (6%) “DataRobot’s research shows what many in the artificial intelligence field have long-known to be true: the line of what is and is not ethical when it comes to AI solutions has been too blurry for too long. “The CIOs, IT directors and managers, data scientists, and development leads polled in this research clearly understand and appreciate the gravity and impact at play when it comes to AI and ethics.” Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum While organizations want to eliminate bias from their algorithms, many are struggling to do so effectively. The research found that 77% of organizations had an AI bias or algorithm test in place prior to discovering bias. Despite significant focus and investment in removing AI bias across the industry, organizations still struggle with many clear challenges to eliminating bias: Understanding the reasons for a specific AI decision Understanding the patterns between input values and AI decisions Developing trustworthy algorithms Determining what data is used to train AI “The market for responsible AI solutions will double in 2022,” wrote Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Brandon Purcell in his report Predictions 2022: Artificial Intelligence. Purcell continues, “Responsible AI solutions offer a range of capabilities that help companies turn AI principles such as fairness and transparency into consistent practices. Demand for these solutions will likely double next year as interest extends beyond highly regulated industries into all enterprises using AI for critical business operations.” DataRobot’s Trusted AI Team of subject-matter experts, data scientists and ethicists are pioneering efforts to build transparent and explainable AI with businesses and industries across the globe. Led by Ted Kwartler, VP of Trusted AI at DataRobot, the team’s mission is to deliver ethical AI systems and actionable guidance for a customer base that includes some of the largest banks in the world, top U.S. health insurers, and defense, intelligence, and civilian agencies within the U.S. federal government. "The core challenge to eliminate bias is understanding why algorithms arrived at certain decisions in the first place,” said Kwartler. “Organizations need guidance when it comes to navigating AI bias and the complex issues attached. There has been progress, including the EU proposed AI principles and regulations, but there's still more to be done to ensure models are fair, trusted and explainable.” Methodology DataRobot surveyed more than 350 U.S. and U.K.-based CIOs, IT directors, IT managers, data scientists, and development leads who use or plan to use AI. The research was fielded in 2021. About DataRobot DataRobot AI Cloud is the next generation of AI. DataRobot’s AI Cloud vision is to bring together all data types, all users, and all environments to deliver critical business insights for every organization. DataRobot is trusted by global customers across industries and verticals, including a third of the Fortune 50.

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McAfee | August 24, 2020

McAfee, the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company, today announced that McAfee MVISION for Endpoint has achieved Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Authorization designation at the moderate security impact level. This FedRAMP Moderate designation is equivalent to DoD Impact Level 2 (IL2) and certifies that the McAfee solution has passed rigorous security requirements for the increasingly complex and expanding cloud environments of the U.S. government.

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