GFOA Alert: Bank Loan Disclosure

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) | May 12, 2016

Over the past five years, the municipal securities market has witnessed a dramatic increase in the use of bank loans by municipal issuers as a tool to finance capital improvements as well as refund outstanding debt. Bank loans, which may be structured with fixed or variable interest rates and with defined maturities or flexible payment provisions, may offer a number of potential advantages over a public offering of municipal securities. The increasing use of bank loans has recently begun to attract the attention of regulators, such as the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the credit rating agencies, which are growing increasingly concerned about bank loan disclosure practices among municipal issuers. Typically, the process for executing a bank loan is more streamlined than a traditional bond issue that is publicly marketed, with fewer costs of issuance and ongoing compliance requirements. In particular, banks loans often do not require an offering document or credit ratings. Additionally, bank loans are often structured in a more flexible manner than a traditional municipal bond issue, to conform to a specific project schedule or particular cash flow considerations. However, because bank loans are not typically executed in an environment that is as transparent as the municipal securities market, an issuer may have limited ability to assess information about whether the proposed interest rate, fees, and terms of a particular loan are consistent with bank loan market practices.

Spotlight

Commissioned by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), this White Paper is intended to inform NDI’s anticipated work in urban jurisdictions, as well as contribute to the larger global discussion taking place, including in the context of the proposed Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.


Other News
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

N-Ovate Solutions Launches SmartGov Data Tech

N-Ovate Solutions | September 15, 2022

In response to the overwhelming need from government agencies and the education sector, N-Ovate Solutions announces the launch of the SmartGov Data Tech today. N-Ovate has partnered with the Black Progress Matters Black-Owned Business Incubator to create an unparalleled, purpose-built modern data stack specifically for governments and education industries. Specializing in Cybersecurity, IT Strategy & Planning, and IT Telecom & Network Services, N-Ovate Solutions is an innovative agency created by Tye Hayes -- the former CTO of the City of Atlanta, with over two decades of experience working in the public sector. Tye Hayes and her team have developed the new SmartGov Data Stack to help government agencies manage data more efficiently. Focusing on data governance, risk reduction, & compliance, N-Ovate developed SmartGov Data Tech to solve the unique challenges government entities face regarding data management. "When harnessed correctly, Big Data can empower governments to modernize faster and serve constituents more effectively by building more predictive systems that address the implications of gathered information." - Tye Hayes, Founder & CEO, N-Ovate Solutions and SmartGov Data Tech. Tye Hayes and N-Ovate Solutions' expertise in government agencies and education allows them to understand this complexity better than anyone else. This unique perspective will help SmartGov Data Tech to provide valuable insights and solutions for clients looking to improve efficiency and optimize services. The SmartGov Data Stack, powered by Tye and her innovative team, is poised to be the data management technology leader for government agencies with the ever-growing demand for data solutions.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Homeland Security Technology Consortium Names Candidates For $25,000 In Prizes

Homeland Security Technology Consortium | August 12, 2022

The Homeland Security Technology Consortium (HSTech), Advanced Technology International (ATI), and TechConnect today announced 17 finalists in the Security Innovation Challenge. These candidates will vie for $25,000 in prizes on September 29, 2022 when they pitch cutting-edge identity management technology before a room of corporate buyers, funders, and federal agencies in Washington, D.C. at Defense TechConnect Innovation Summit. Finalists also receive membership to HSTech, which supports the Department of Homeland Security in providing collaborative R&D and rapid prototyping capabilities critical to homeland security missions. "If you're capable and interested in making security and privacy-centric contributions for the betterment of the nation, there are no funding vehicles more powerful than HSTech's consortium-managed other transaction authority, The Security Innovation Challenge will bring together finalists which are 85% non-traditional, meaning they are new to government contracting. These are technology solutions our nation might never have found without HSTech engagement, and we're honored to help build that bridge between private-sector and government needs." -Matthew Laudon, Vice President - TechConnect Division, ATI. Challenge applicants represent privacy-centric solutions for both civilian and federal applications, especially in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML); cybersecurity platforms; data harmonization software; pattern recognition software; and real-time analytics platforms. Primarily more advanced technologies, 65% represent technology readiness level six (6) or higher; and 85% boast at least prototype development. "The Homeland Security Technology Consortium supports the security of our nation by addressing mission needs at the Department of Homeland Security and its partner agencies. Privacy-centric identity management technologies and processes remain critical capabilities across the federal enterprise, and we're excited to see what this group of innovators can show us in September." -Michael Dougherty, Executive Director of HSTech. About Homeland Security Technology Consortium: The Homeland Security Technology Consortium (HSTech) supports the collaborative R&D and rapid prototyping/piloting needs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its components. HSTech sources capabilities across the homeland security and national border security technology spectrum. About TechConnect: With 25+ years of experience connecting emerging technologies with unique funding and partnership opportunities, TechConnect boasts the most robust research and innovation network in the world. It employs a broad scope of tools to deliver top technologies, including open innovation programs, conferences, and open-access publications. Each year, TechConnect prospects, vets, and connects thousands of emerging technologies with corporate, investment, municipal, and national defense clients. TechConnect is a division of Advanced Technology International. About Advanced Technology International: ATI, a public-service nonprofit based in Summerville, S.C., builds and manages collaborations that conduct research and development of new technologies to solve our nation's most pressing challenges. Fueled by a community of experts from industry, academia, and government, ATI accelerates impact by using the power of collaboration to help the federal government quickly acquire novel technologies. ATI is a subsidiary of Analytic Services, Inc. (ANSER), a public-service research institute organized as a nonprofit corporation, which is dedicated to informing decisions that shape the nation's future.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

GovPilot Moves to Microsoft Cloud, Enhances Cybersecurity for Local Government Customers

GovPilot | September 08, 2022

GovPilot, a provider of modern cloud-based government management software specifically designed for municipal and county governments has successfully migrated its platform to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. The migration affords GovPilot and its local government customers with significant benefits including access to the latest Microsoft cloud technology and security which is already trusted by the Department of Defense, the Intelligence community, and 95% of Fortune 500 companies. GovPilot’s Azure adoption comes at a time when local governments are increasingly the target of coordinated cyber attacks and malicious ransomware code which have disrupted operations and services, jeopardized data, and caused significant financial damage to local governments across the country. According to the FBI, local governments accounted for the second-highest victimized group in 2021, trailing only the academic sector as ransomware gangs’ favorite target. “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, As a unified cloud-based government management platform, GovPilot aims to be the operating system for local government. This implementation provides our customers with best-in-class availability, reliability, and cyber resilience. GovPilot’s mission is to empower local governments to better serve their constituents and operate efficiently. Our implementation of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud is a major part of living up to and delivering on that mission.” -Michael Bonner Founder and CEO,GovPilot. With the Azure migration, GovPilot and its customers will realize significant benefits including: Enhanced Security: The GovPilot platform is secured with the latest Microsoft technology. Data Protection: All data is encrypted, and backed-up in multiple locations. Scalability & Performance: Azure provides limitless room to grow, all while preserving performance. Business Continuity: GovPilot enables users to access the platform 24/7 from anywhere. Azure allows for rapid restoration of services in the event of natural disaster or other catastrophe. “By implementing the Microsoft Azure Cloud - trusted by 95% of Fortune 500 companies and U.S government agencies - GovPilot has made a serious commitment to security. Given the current threat environment, our customers and prospective customers in local government will benefit enormously from the technology provided by Azure.” -Robin Smith, GovPilot’s Chief Operating 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.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Government Agencies’ IT Networks May Be Unprepared for Return to Office

Riverbed | August 24, 2022

More than half the federal government IT employees responding to a recent survey say they are worried their IT systems will struggle to deliver good user experiences as more agency employees return to working in offices instead of remotely, according to a new survey released today by Riverbed® and Swish. Among survey respondents who are concerned with end-user experience in a hybrid work environment, 52% of those are concerned that their legacy IT architectures and on-premises network infrastructure will struggle with the increased usage of collaboration tools such as Teams and Zoom as workers return to the office, and 44% are concerned that the end user experience on-site won’t be as good as at home. These concerns arise as the concept of “government from anywhere,” whether in an on-site or hybrid capacity, is becoming widely accepted. Of those surveyed, 47% expect hybrid work environments (teleworking 2-4 days a week) to continue for the long-term, while only 30% expect that a majority of employees will return to the office fulltime in the next six months. The survey of IT employees across the U.S. federal government, from both civilian and defense agencies, was conducted by research firm Market Connections. Survey respondents also reported that they rely on reactive, manual methods to quantify problems with user, infrastructure, and application experiences. While 100 percent of respondents agree that it is at least somewhat important to measure end user experience and productivity capability, 87% claim their agency is still reactively responding to help desk tickets and 51% rely upon user phone calls as a primary means of quantifying issues. “These survey findings point to the importance of utilizing proactive monitoring tools that provide complete network visibility to improve the user experience and network performance across an agency’s entire IT environment, As agencies balance their various work environments and collaboration tools, they should seek to implement an observability platform that multiple teams can use to proactively identify and contextually analyze user issues and leverage automation to solve them quickly.” -Craig McCullough, Senior Vice President of Public Sector for Riverbed. According to the survey, most agencies surveyed (59%) aren’t effectively measuring the impact of change in their IT environment, and are not examining business transaction productivity in terms of labor cost, latency impact, or rate of success. Issues of user experience and productivity and IT network performance can be successfully addressed by utilizing a single-platform, proactive, monitoring tool that provides end-to-end network visibility. With full visibility, IT and agency leaders can quickly identify, mitigate and resolve issues across a variety of endpoints through one integrated system. “This is significant because without a single performance platform, agencies don’t have consolidated incident-centric end-to-end context, root cause analysis, or automated response, Unified observability should be at the forefront of agency thinking and we and our partners, like Riverbed, are working to support this mentality shift which will ultimately benefit the government for years to come.” -Monty Deel, Chief Executive Officer for Swish. About Swish: Swish is a provider of technology solutions and engineering services to the U.S. Federal Government with a focus on high-quality outcomes for customers. Experienced and certified engineers research and evaluate the most innovative technologies on the market and then develop full life cycle solution offerings to ensure that customers realize maximum operational value. Since 2006, Swish has delivered high-performance solutions and services to the Federal Government market ensuring that customer’s digital service capabilities, performance and security exceed expectations and requirements. Swish is a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned and HUBZone certified Small Business. About Riverbed: Riverbed is the only company with the collective richness of telemetry from network to app to end user, that illuminates and then accelerates every interaction, so organizations can deliver a seamless digital experience and drive enterprise performance. Riverbed offers two industry-leading portfolios: Alluvio by Riverbed, a differentiated Unified Observability portfolio that unifies data, insights, and actions across IT, so customers can deliver seamless, secure digital experiences; and Riverbed Acceleration, providing fast, agile, secure acceleration of any app, over any network, to users anywhere. Together with our thousands of partners, and market-leading customers globally – including 95% of the FORTUNE 100 –, we empower every click, every digital experience.

Read More

Spotlight

Commissioned by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), this White Paper is intended to inform NDI’s anticipated work in urban jurisdictions, as well as contribute to the larger global discussion taking place, including in the context of the proposed Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Resources