White House Sued Over 'Cloaked' Agency Reorganization Proposals

Government Executive | January 11, 2018

The Trump administration is facing a lawsuit for its lack of transparency on its plan to reorganize federal agencies and reshape their workforces, with one group saying documents related to those plans should be released as public records.Specifically, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is suing the Office of Management and Budget for the submissions made by the public in response to an executive order signed by President Trump in March and ensuing guidance from OMB.

Spotlight

Individuals with disabilities experience numerous challenges associated with participation in the labor force. The unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is higher than for individuals without disabilities. Additionally, individuals with disabilities are more likely to work part time and, on average, earn less than individuals without disabilities at every level of educational attainment.   Individuals with disabilities enhance workforce diversity and can offer employers unique skill sets and perspectives.

Spotlight

Individuals with disabilities experience numerous challenges associated with participation in the labor force. The unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is higher than for individuals without disabilities. Additionally, individuals with disabilities are more likely to work part time and, on average, earn less than individuals without disabilities at every level of educational attainment.   Individuals with disabilities enhance workforce diversity and can offer employers unique skill sets and perspectives.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Esri Partners with Federal Government and State of California to Tackle Climate Change, Improve Resilience

Esri | September 20, 2022

Esri, the global leader in GIS and location intelligence, has partnered with agencies in the federal government and the state of California to build comprehensive and interactive climate data portals and targeted applications to better respond to climate hazards and conservation opportunities. Agencies have used GIS technology for decades to record and track authoritative data on a range of topics that can provide critical insights into complex challenges such as climate change. “Responding to climate change effectively requires a whole of government approach, By harnessing the vast data resources of federal agencies, we’re providing local communities with the information they need to make impactful, equitable decisions that will improve the lives of their citizens.” -David J Hayes, special assistant to the President for climate policy at the White House. This past week, Esri partnered with the Biden-Harris Administration, Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of the Interior (DOI), to jointly launch the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) portal. This new website helps organizations plan and implement climate resiliency actions by using a new screening tool that assesses the vulnerability of counties, census tracts and tribal lands. The location-based tool can be used to evaluate projects based on exposure to climate-related hazards now and in the future and can strengthen proposals for federal funding. In July, Esri partnered with NOAA and the Biden Administration through the interagency National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) to launch Heat.gov. Heat.gov offers maps, data and guidance that inform operational decisions by communities on a daily basis related to heat health and its impacts. Communities can also use current and forecasted data to plan equitable mitigation measures in anticipation of future heat events, such as where to plant more trees to improve shade in urban areas. The site seamlessly integrates heat information from across federal agencies, including heat forecasts from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service, the new national Climate and Health Outlook developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC’s Heat and Health Tracker, as well as heat planning and preparedness guides. In April of 2022, Esri partnered with the California Natural Resources Agency to build CA Nature in support of Governor Newsom’s vision to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal water by 2030 to fight species loss and ecosystem destruction. CA Nature provides publicly available interactive mapping and visualization tools to identify conservation opportunities and track progress against the 30x30 goal. Powered by Esri’s ArcGIS, CA Nature explains the 30x30 mission, visualizes biodiversity throughout the state, and catalogs protected lands. “Together, these efforts reflect the will and desire of governments at all levels to use maps and data to empower communities to effectively meet our most pressing climate challenges, We are encouraged that governments are embracing the power of maps and GIS to better understand climate impacts and how to plan and build for a more resilient and sustainable future.” -Jack Dangermond president Esri. About Esri: Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bidscale: A Software Solution for Modernizing and Accelerating Government Procurement

Bidscale | August 17, 2022

Bidscale is announcing the public launch and refresh of their flagship software, Bidscale Select. Federal contracting is the backbone of America. From combat helicopters to scientific research, contracts underpin the operational effectiveness of our country. Contracting is big business, with $680B spent annually. Quick and smart government procurement leads to a stronger and more prosperous America. The current process is burdened by a lack of digitization resulting in a five-to-seven-year timetable from contract conceptualization to award. This stifles the Government's ability to obtain the latest and greatest innovation. For example, if it takes five years to buy a three-year-old combat system, by the time it is purchased and implemented, the technology would be at least eight years old. Bidscale has proven that the slowdown comes from a lack of tools necessary for Contracting Officers. These officers need to advance away from the usage of pens, highlighters, and post-it notes and move into the digital realm where collaboration, communication, and effective workflow tracking occur all in one place. Addressing this situation has garnered bipartisan support, illuminated by the AGILE Procurement Act, a reformation that enhances agile technology acquisition across the Federal Government. Bidscale is addressing the situation too, saving time by digitizing the source selection process. Through a secure environment, Bidscale supports the full lifecycle of source selection activities including proposal submission, evaluation, consensus, reporting, and artifact generation. It can take weeks for a Contracting Officer to compile and export source selection artifacts, but Bidscale does it in under ten seconds, and that is just one of the many features. "I'm very proud to have seen Bidscale already successfully implemented during several major Federal Government source selection processes, this company is committed to developing even more tools to continuously improve and digitize this contracting process. I believe Bidscale is a Govtech company to watch." -Tony Kwag, founder of Bidscale. Bidscale was made for Contracting Officers by Contracting Officers, so it addresses the most pressing needs through the following product modules: Evaluation – Allows users to virtually conduct proposal evaluations with supporting data on a single screen. Contracting Artifacts – Allows users to manage contracting artifacts and auto-generate comprehensive reports. Consensus – Users can run consolidated reviews to ensure quality control and adherence to source selection requirements. Contracting Workflow – A progress tracker where users can centrally manage and report on the source selection process by managing progress, schedule, risk, submissions, and reporting. This feature is especially useful when team members are not in the same room. Ultimately, Bidscale creates a source selection process that is repeatable, traceable, defendable, and scalable. About Bidscale: Founded in Arlington, Virginia, Bidscale is a software solution that is mission-focused on accelerating innovation across the Federal Government. Bidscale is a Small Disadvantaged Business pending 8(a) certification and has achieved SOC 2 compliance.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

ALLY Energy and Houston Energy Community Welcome the US Department of Energy to Discuss Environmental Justice and an Equitable Energy Transition

US Department of Energy (DOE) | August 18, 2022

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston energy community, brought together by ALLY Energy, is convening with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to explore the progress Houston has made since 2017 on climate resiliency and on ensuring a just energy transition. Hurricane Harvey was a significant recent reminder of the critical need for climate resilience and for the transition to net-zero economies to be inclusive and just – so no one is left behind. “A just and inclusive energy transition doesn’t happen without a strong partnership between the private and public sector. We are proud to host DOE and honor the mayor for creating and adopting a city-wide Climate Action Plan and representing Houston on a national level as the Chair of the Climate Mayors.” -Katie Mehnert, CEO of ALLY Energy. Following a series of informative meetings around Houston, the DOE visit will culminate in a luncheon on Friday, August 26 during which Mayor Turner, the DOE, and Houston energy leaders will discuss the lessons learned over the last five years and what a just energy transition means for our community. ALLY Energy will also present Mayor Houston with its first Lifetime Achievement GRIT Award for his work on climate resiliency. I am honored and humbled to accept the first ALLY Energy Lifetime Achievement GRIT Award, said Mayor Sylvester Turner. Houston has faced seven federally declared disasters in seven years. Yet, our city proves time again that we are strong and resilient as we build toward the future. We are the energy capital of the world while leading on energy transition. We know we can effectively mitigate climate change, implement resilient strategies, and address the needs of our most under-resourced communities - without leaving anyone behind. We applaud Mayor Sylvester Turner and our fellow energy leaders for the important work our city is doing to ensure Houston is leading the charge in accelerating a just energy transition, said William J. (John) Berger, Chief Executive Officer of Sunnova Energy International. If the current global energy crisis has taught us anything, it’s that our country, and our home state of Texas, must come together to support a resilient energy transition by ensuring we address energy affordability, safeguard energy security, and mitigate climate change in the face of growing economic hardship and extreme weather events. Also at the lunch, the audience will get to experience a film premier from the Rational Middle, a documentary that highlights experts in environmental justice and aims to clarify how we can take advantage of the opportunities of a just transition. “We believe for the U.S. to make progress and to achieve its net zero goals, everybody has to feel they are part of the energy transformation, As we all build a cleaner energy future together, Shell USA will continue to focus on how we create economic, social, and environmental value in our communities and nationwide. We are very proud to partner with Shell USA’s hometown, Houston, on its path toward climate resiliency.” -Gretchen Watkins, President Shell USA, Inc. INFORMATION ON THE LUNCHEON Houston has long been known as the oil and gas capital of the world. As it transitions itself to the energy capital of the world, how can it ensure a just transition? Attend the limited-seating event by registering here. We are grateful to our sponsors, Shell USA, Inc. and Sunnova Energy, for helping to make this important event a reality. ABOUT ALLY ENERGY & THE GRIT AWARDS: ALLY Energy is the leading energy workforce platform that builds culture, careers, and skills for an equitable transition. ALLY connects the energy industry and public to resources and best practices and serves as a neutral platform for dialogue and actions to address the energy transition. The community includes professionals and startups in 120 countries in nearly 1,000 companies across energy in oil and natural gas, utilities, renewables, and climate technology. The annual GRIT Awards℠ & Best Energy Workplaces℠ were created to honor industry leaders, professionals, academia, students, and public servants for their achievements in driving a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive energy transition.

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