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Backyard Projects on a Budget

YourUpdateTV

With summer officially here, homeowners around the country are looking to refresh their backyard spaces and get ready for the all of the barbecues and family parties to come. Recently, Home Expert at Angi, Mallory Micetich, participated in a nationwide satellite media tour to discuss the top projects homeowners are undertaking this summer, tips on sticking to a budget, and how to know when it’s time to call in a pro. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/RLL1KozBUO8 According to a recent Angi survey - homeowners are planning a lot of projects this year. Top projects include building raised beds, laying new sod and adding a garden feature. Many of these projects can be DIY/ weekend warrior projects - especially if you have a green thumb - be mindful of what materials you are choosing for the project and take time to assess if these are actually good DIY projects for you. If you lack the time, tools or talent to take on a project, it might end up costing you more in the long run to fix any mistakes. One great way to take on a backyard project and keep to a budget is to pick a project with high visual impact and a lot of material choices - like adding a deck or a patio. With a range of decking and patio options there is one for every budget. Don’t forget to think about ongoing maintenance for your new backyard escape - dedicating some time and budget to ongoing maintenance will help keep your new yard in shape for years to come. Want to know how to keep on budget? Start by coming up with a realistic budget. Talk to several pros in your area to make sure you get high-quality work at a price that you’re comfortable with. Once you choose your pro, be very clear about your budget. A good pro will help you choose materials that work within your budget. You should also set aside 10% of the project cost for any unexpected expenses that come up during the renovation process. For more information, visit Angi.com About Mallory Micetich Mallory Micetich is a Home Care Expert, with particular expertise in small home living and consumer protection. While currently renting in Denver, CO, she has been a homeowner, investor, landlord and renter over the last decade. She is committed to minimizing her environmental footprint and to small home living, having lived in only properties of 1,000 square feet or less. Mallory is currently the VP of Corporate Communications at Angi, where she focuses on bringing awareness to Angi and what we do every day to help homeowners love where they live. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

June 22, 2023 09:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Watchdog Group Blasts Sweetheart Plea Deal with Hunter Biden

National Legal & Policy Center

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), an ethics watchdog group, blasted the lenient plea agreement between the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss and Hunter Biden whereby Hunter will plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax violations with no jail time and have a felony gun registration charge dismissed in a pretrial diversion program. Following the five-year long investigation, no charges were brought against Hunter under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for engaging in political activities on behalf of Burisma and Chinese interests, despite overwhelming evidence which NLPC had presented to the Justice Department in 2020. Hunter will plead guilty that he willfully failed to pay taxes “over $100,000” in both 2017 and 2018. By pleading guilty to two misdemeanors rather than two felonies for tax evasion, the sentence for misdemeanors ranges from probation to one-year prison sentence. The prosecutor has agreed to ask for probation for the tax charges. Notably, the charging documents don’t specify how much “over $100,000” Hunter owed for each year. Last year, it was reported that Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris lent Hunter over $2 million to pay his back taxes and for living expenses, suggesting that it was much more than $100,000 owed for each year. In any event, U.S. Sentencing Guidelines call for prison sentences of approximately 15-21 months for this level of offense. Allen Weissenberg, Donald Trump’s Chief Financial Officer, received a 5-month prison sentence for failing to pay taxes on company fringe benefits, a violation less serious than Hunter’s failure to pay taxes. “It’s outrageous that after a five-year investigation of Hunter Biden, the best that the prosecutor can come up with is a couple misdemeanor charges and then agree to a slap on the wrist as punishment” said Paul Kamenar, counsel for NLPC. “Hopefully, the House Oversight Committee will pursue evidence of bribery and foreign money influence of the Biden family,” Kamenar added. “Charging Hunter on his failure to file as a foreign agent would have been a no-brainer. David Weiss is going to look pretty stupid if there’s an even bigger bribery scandal.” said Peter Flaherty, Chairman of NLPC. Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action. Please visit www.nlpc.org. ### For more information or to schedule an interview with an NLPC spokesperson, please contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or drene@nlpc.org ### For more information or to schedule an interview with an NLPC spokesperson, please contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or drene@nlpc.org Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 drene@nlpc.org Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

June 21, 2023 03:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Trust & Will to offer estate planning services through UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions

Trust & Will

Trust & Will, the leading digital estate planning and settlement platform in the US, today announced an agreement to provide discounted estate planning services to US-based employees of UBS’s corporate clients that participate in UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions ’ financial wellness program. Trust & Will provides an easy and secure way to create wills and trusts online, with the ability to customize legal estate planning documents that adhere to individual state and county guidelines. The platform uses bank-level encryption that protects customer data and complies with the highest security standards, including SOC 2 and HIPAA. Since launching in 2017, Trust & Will has helped nearly 500,000 families set up an estate plan to create a legacy. “The pandemic has drastically shifted our perspectives when it comes to work, and what we expect from our employers when it comes to providing comprehensive benefits, including education and resources for retirement, financial literacy, and equity planning,” said Cody Barbo, CEO and Founder of Trust & Will. “At Trust & Will, we pride ourselves on our award-winning company culture and are grateful for the opportunity to help build more rewarding workplaces across the country through UBS Financial Wellness.” According to recent UBS research, 68 percent of employees agree that companies have a responsibility to help them achieve high levels of financial wellness, especially the younger generations, who will soon represent more than half of the US workforce. Additionally, eight in 10 Gen Z and Millennial employees look to their companies for help with their overall financial well-being. “We look forward to helping employees of our corporate clients gain access to Trust & Will’s digital estate planning capabilities, which will provide them with greater control over their financial lives,” said Michael Barry, Head of UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions. “Many individuals do not have up-to-date wills or estate plans, and access to these tools will help them prepare for the future, shape their legacies, and provide a degree of support and clarity for their loved ones.” ABOUT TRUST & WILL Trust & Will is simplifying estate planning and settlement with attorney-approved, legally valid documents and processes designed to adhere to individual state guidelines. Since 2017, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of Trust & Will members leave their legacy with an affordable way to create an estate plan or settle the estate of a loved one. Our platform uses bank-level encryption that protects customer data and complies with the highest security standards, including SOC 2 and HIPAA. Trust & Will is the official estate planning benefit provider for AARP members, along with several leading financial institutions, who all believe in our mission of helping every family leave their legacy. Trust & Will is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. ABOUT UBS WORKPLACE WEALTH SOLUTIONS UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions collaborates with corporate clients to deliver customized solutions across a range of programs for the workplace, including financial wellness, retirement and equity plans. We currently provide more than 10,000 employers and their two million employees in over 150 countries with access to financial knowledge, benefits programs that prepare them for retirement, and an integrated experience that combines the right mix of people and technology. We work side-by-side with our clients so that everyone feels rewarded at work and optimistic about realizing their long-term financial goals. To learn more about UBS Workplace Wealth Solutions, contact WorkplaceWealth@ubs.com or visit ubs.com/workplacesolutions. Contact Details Danielle Nuzzo +1 631-807-7772 danielle@trustandwill.com Company Website https://trustandwill.com

June 21, 2023 07:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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DEEM Enterprises Signs First Strategic Construction Partnership With Northstar Technologies Group for Renaissance at Bader Field Project

DEEM Enterprises

DEEM Enterprises today announced it has signed its first construction contract with Northstar Technologies Group, a pioneer of fiber reinforced polymer composite structural building systems, for its Renaissance at Bader Field redevelopment project. The strategic partnership is a crucial first step for the project, and marks the first large-scale sustainable project in the world utilizing advanced composite building technologies for energy efficiency, resiliency and sustainability. Northstar delivers sustainable, cost-effective projects for clients nationwide, across a range of market sectors and building types. It offers a unique portfolio of products focused on sustainable building structures and systems, creating stronger, ultra-energy efficient and smarter building structures. Utilizing Northstar’s pioneering energy efficient technology, the commercial and residential construction of Renaissance at Bader Field will facilitate eco-conscious developments while negating any environmental deficit, bringing transformative industry and progressive models for sustainability that push the envelope for emerging green technologies. The resilient and sustainable-planned community at Renaissance at Bader Field will be engineered to protect against natural threats, with the agility to adopt evolving technology. Renaissance at Bader Field will be built to LEED Platinum certifications standards, and act as a beacon of energy independence, integrating healthily and symbiotically with its natural and cultural surroundings. “The Renaissance at Bader Field project is more than a redevelopment; it’s a catalyst for transformation, and for the future of Atlantic City,” said Erick Feishtans, CEO of DEEM Enterprises. “I am incredibly excited for this partnership with Northstar as we move forward in our ongoing commitment to the New Jersey Green Economy, and I’m confident that our work together will be transformative across the board.” As part of its role in the redevelopment of Bader Field, Northstar will retrofit the current Skate Zone building into a 70,000 square foot temporary manufacturing facility, and upon completion of the project, Northstar will relocate to a permanent facility within the greater Atlantic City area. Per the terms outlined by DEEM Enterprises’ Memorandum of Understanding with Atlantic City, the SkateZone operation will also be relocated to an alternate site within Atlantic City. This move will be a boon for the local job economy. It will include minimum targets to utilize local companies and workers as well as WBE and MBE businesses during the construction phase, create thousands of substantial manufacturing and high-tech jobs, and provide training programs to various local labor unions participating in the project. For more information on the Renaissance at Bader Field Redevelopment Project, please visit www.deem-enterprises.com. For more information on Northstar products, please visit www.northstartgi.com. About Northstar As the pioneer in sustainable and tech driven building methods, Northstar Technologies is reinventing the construction industry by using its Patented Advanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite building systems which reduce construction costs, total cost of ownership and construction time. With all the natural disasters in the world today, high-performance building materials using reimagined construction systems and methods must be utilized to give us a fighting chance in protecting our loved ones, our environment & our global assets. As Mother Nature has shown us throughout our lifetimes, Homes and commercial buildings made with traditional materials like wood, steel and concrete are not equipped to survive natural disasters, degradation and natural processes over time and yet the construction industry has failed to utilize more resilient options. Northstar Technologies has shown that it can outlast traditional building materials, thereby lowering construction & maintenance costs over the life of the structure. About Renaissance at Bader Field Renaissance at Bader Field is a planned $3.2 billion dollar, net-zero carbon LEED Platinum community to be built upon Bader Field that will transform the Atlantic City, New Jersey economy. The fundamental design approach of this new community is rooted in resilient and sustainable design methodologies while our microgrid concept for energy generation and distribution, with the ability to utilize clean hydrogen, will serve as a model for future self-sustaining projects the world over. This new community will act as a catalyst for the financial rebirth of Atlantic City by attracting new job-creating industries, increasing the city’s tax base and diversifying future businesses in the city. Most importantly, this immense development will foster and promote the core values of equity and empowerment and will serve the citizens of Atlantic City. Contact Details Mike Adorno Hot Paper Lantern madorno@hotpaperlantern.com Company Website https://www.deem-enterprises.com/

June 20, 2023 10:44 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise in Huntersville, NC Has Grand Opening for Brand New Location

Minuteman Press International Inc

Neha Katrodia is the owner of the brand new Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise located at 9606 Sherrill Estates Rd., Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078. After opening their doors in March of 2023, Minuteman Press in Huntersville held their official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 2, 2023. The event was hosted by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and was attended by Huntersville Commissioner Dan Boone. Neha shares, “The Huntersville community has been very welcoming and interested in learning more about our business. I'm so thankful to everyone who came to support us during the grand opening and showed interest in growing together.” She continues, “Owning my own business means taking on my father's path to becoming an entrepreneur. Most importantly, I feel a sense of personal fulfillment and I look forward to seeing this new venture grow and succeed while helping other local businesses with all of their printing and promotional needs.” Joining Neha in the business are two key staff members: Denis Vargas, graphic designer/production; as well as Neha’s husband Mehul Katrodia, marketing agent. While Denis provides clients with custom creative designs and a sharp eye for details, Mehul manages the marketing side including Google and social media accounts. Neha, meanwhile, has already jumped into several networking groups to become active in the community, including the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce as well as the Huntersville BNI group. She says, “I feel it’s important to get out there and engage with clients in person and also market our business online. Once clients come to us, we enjoy working with them to bring their visions to life and delivery high quality products and service. Our staff is ready and willing to welcome clients to Minuteman Press in Huntersville with open arms.” Prior to buying the business, Neha always had wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and become her own boss. She explains, “I have a healthcare and medical billing background; however, I grew up in the business environment. My father has been a businessman from my early childhood years and has owned various businesses from then to now. I also helped him run some of them due to the language barrier he had at times.” Neha further shares why she chose to own a Minuteman Press franchise, stating: “The continuous local support that Minuteman Press offers is amazing; The B2B hours of operation allow me to balance my business and personal lives; Minuteman Press allows me to follow my passion for creating something so unique with every project or job.” She adds, “The training program was extremely informative and allowed me to feel confident in front of clients. Now, the local support to lean on here in my region has been so helpful with advice and guidance on unique projects. We also use the Minuteman Press FLEX software made available to us as a key marketing tool for growth.” Following the successful grand opening, Neha is excited for the future of her new business. She concludes, “At Minuteman Press, we love working with other local businesses and organizations. I look forward to supporting them with our personalized products and services as we are all in this together.” Minuteman Press in Huntersville is located at 9606 Sherrill Estates Rd., Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078. For more information, call 704-594-8699 or visit their website: https://minuteman.com/us/locations/nc/huntersville/ Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

June 20, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Founders of Kettlebell Kings Sue Factory 14, Razor Group for Fraud and Breach of Contract

IL Ventures, LLC - a Kettlebell King Series

Kettlebell Kings, a leading manufacturer and seller of kettlebells and fitness equipment, recently filed a multi-count lawsuit against both Factory 14 and Razor Group, alleging fraud, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment among eight counts. The lawsuit alleges that the founders of Kettlebell Kings and the company have been damaged by the failed purchase of Kettlebell Kings by Factory 14 and Razor Group. Kettlebell Kings, which has been in operation for more than a decade, successfully grew from a startup to generate annual revenue of more than $5 million in 2021. In November 2021, the founders agreed to be acquired by Factory 14, a United Kingdom-based company that claimed to have the vision and resources to help develop the brand into a $20 million company. However, shortly after the acquisition, problems began to arise. According to the lawsuit, two of the founders, who continued to run the business under the new ownership, determined that the purchase terms of the agreement were regularly violated. They were unable to purchase inventory, even using their own sales revenue. Despite promising ambitious agreements and profit-sharing arrangements, the new ownership failed to adequately support the brand. To the founders' surprise, Factory 14 had simultaneously engineered another transaction in which it was purchased by Razor Group, without disclosing this to the plaintiffs. According to the legal complaint, the founders believe that this transaction was part of a pattern of acquisitions intended to bolster Factory 14's financials solely for additional capital raises and investments. Factory 14 is alleged to have misrepresented the role of the founders of Kettlebell Kings in the sale to Razor Group and made false representations using their business reputation and success to enhance its value in the transaction. All the while, Factory 14 never disclosed its intention to depart from the agreements made with Kettlebell Kings. The lawsuit states that as the business relationship deteriorated further with Razor Group, it became apparent that the new owners lacked experience in the direct consumer market and had no infrastructure to support Kettlebell Kings. Payments required by the consulting agreement were not made on time, inventory was not purchased, and the founders were denied crucial information about the business's operation. Some payments remain unpaid. Razor Group's actions damaged not only the founders of Kettlebell Kings but also the longstanding business relationships the company had developed. According to the lawsuit, Razor Group ceased all inventory purchases, stopped paying manufacturers and vendors, and damaged customer relationships. The lawsuit also alleges that Razor Group misled both Kettlebell Kings and its investors by representing itself as profitable and successful while claiming Kettlebell Kings was struggling. The plaintiffs assert that Razor Group focused more on fundraising rather than effectively managing the businesses it owned. On its website, Razor Group states that it is trusted by leading investors Blackrock, Victory Park Capital, and Fortress among others. The eight-count lawsuit includes allegations of fraud, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment, among others. The plaintiffs argue that they have suffered irreparable damages, and the actions of Razor Group will make it nearly impossible for them to conduct business in the fitness industry in the future. In another case, Razor Group GMBH is currently being sued for fraud and breach of contract in Massachusetts by fitness company Tribe WOD in a lawsuit with a similar fact pattern to the Kettlebell Kings Texas case. The Kettlebell Kings lawsuit was filed in Texas by IL Ventures, LLC - a Kettlebell King Series and its founders Chad Price, Jay Perkins, and Nehemiah Heard against defendants Factory 14 UK Acquisition VI, Factory 14 UK Acquisition VII, and Razor Group GMBH. The lawsuit can be downloaded here and at LawsuitPressRelease.com. Contact Details LawsuitPressRelease.com John P. David +1 888-859-6637 john@LawsuitPressRelease.com

June 20, 2023 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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“VASP Licensing Regime & Industry Best Practices” exclusive event hosted by ChainUp & Alibaba Cloud - Hong Kong

ChainUp

Hong Kong – 16 th June 2023 – ChainUp a global blockchain technology service provider & Alibaba Cloud hosted an exclusive event on latest Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) Licensing Regime & industry best practices in Hong Kong. Amidst the growing significance of regulatory compliance within the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, the event offered attendees valuable and comprehensive insights into effectively tackling the challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities encountered by VASPs operating not only in Hong Kong but also in global markets. The event took place on 16 th June 2023 at Time Square - Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Industry experts, leaders and regulatory authorities discussed key topics and shared their insights to navigate the evolving landscape of virtual asset services. Mr. Michael Gao, ChainUp – HK CEO & Head of Sales (Global) spoke about “The Technological Bridge to Regulated Virtual Assets Exchange in Hong Kong”. He highlighted on the recent Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission’s new licensing regime which came into effect from 1 st June 2023 and requirements for centralized virtual asset trading platforms (VA trading platforms) to trade non-security tokens. He said “In traditional finance, banks use KYC (Know Your Customer) to verify the identity of customers. But in blockchain network we need to understand whether a particular token has any risk. Hence KYT (Know Your Transaction) is used to monitor and analyse digital asset transactions to identify potential risks and comply with regulations. We see there's a strong demand on this and we help our customers by integrating the required compliant solutions into the exchanges built” The event covered various aspects of the VASP Licensing Regime, including: Regulatory framework overview in Hong Kong Key requirements for obtaining a VASP license Best practices for compliance, security and risk management ChainUp, a global provider of comprehensive blockchain technology solutions help customers build efficient and compliant digital asset solutions that align with the latest industry standards. With ChainUp’s extensive suite of services, empowers businesses to navigate the complexities of digital asset landscape and build robust solutions. Aligned with latest licensing regime of Hong Kong, the implementation of KYT/AML solutions becomes imperative for digital asset transactions. ChainUp's product "ChainEyes KYT" focusing on blockchain risk control and compliance services offers a comprehensive solution to address these regulatory requirements effectively. About ChainUp Group Founded in 2017, ChainUp is a leading end-to-end blockchain technology solutions provider covering infrastructure development and ecosystem support. Built on the mission to empower businesses through blockchain technology, ChainUp’s innovative and all-around compliant solutions include digital asset exchange systems, NFT trading systems, wallet solutions, liquidity solutions, and digital assets custody and management. Headquartered in Singapore and with offices around the world, the company has served more than 1,000 clients in 30 countries, reaching over 60 million end-users. For more information, please visit: www.chainup.com. Contact Details ChainUp Media Team pressrelease@chainup.com Company Website https://www.chainup.com/

June 19, 2023 10:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Thailand emphasized "Open Data" are Anti-Corruption Weaponry in Digital Age

Integrity Way

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Media OutReach - 14 June 2023 - Mr. Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), delivered a lecture on "Open Data: Anti-Corruption Weaponry in Digital Age" at the PPTV FORUM 2023, on May 25, 2023. Taking up the theme of Open Government: Game Changer in Fight against Corruption, the event was held at Movenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok. Kasemmongkol said that the promotion of transparency and open government data are the core of good governance or good public management. Both the United Nations and the World Bank have recognized this promotion as key to successful development efforts in many nations around the world. Such principles are also enshrined in Sections 76 and 164 of Thailand's Constitution. Section 76 stipulates that the state must promote the development of morality and transparency in accordance with the principles of good public management among all types of state organizations so as to deliver maximum benefits to people via state functions and services that uphold equality, quality, efficiency and transparency. People therefore are direct beneficiaries. Section 164, meanwhile, states that the government must ensure and arrange for good public management. Therefore, the promotion of transparency via open government data and ethical state operations have had utmost importance. Good governance or good public management has six pillars namely 1) Rule of Law; 2) Transparency & Data Disclosure that is being discussed today; 3) Morality; 4) Public Participation in State Operations; 5) Responsibility; and 6) Cost-efficient & Time-Efficient State Operations. Regarding the NACC Board's and the government's policies on the promotion of good governance and anti-corruption in the public sector, multidimensional guidelines have been laid down as follows: 1. The promotion is enshrined in the constitution; 2. The promotion is enshrined in the Anti-Corruption Act and many laws on the administration of state affairs; and 3. The promotion is a part of national strategies, master plans, and action plans of each government agency. The NACC Board and the government have issued many measures to enhance the integrity of state officials. Nowadays, state officials' corruption risk is significantly lower than in the past. Even if corrupt practices are undetected in the beginning, investigations can be launched retroactively. One of the anti-corruption measures used by the NACC and the government is the promotion of transparency. There are many tools for the promotion such as information laws and legislations that upgrade digital-government operations. Kasemmongkol said that people needed to physically go to government agencies to receive their services in the past. Officials also had the right to call in people and have face-to-face meetings involved talks. Negotiations for bribes may emerge during such meetings. So, if our bureaucratic system has reduced face-to-face meetings between people and state officials, or if we use other means of contacts, the risk of bribery talks will be lower. The new way of contacts can also save state budget as well as people's money. Several countries have already developed digital systems to facilitate state operations or digitalized state services. The development of digital-government operations starts by integrating systems for enhanced efficiency or service delivery in the way that reduces the exercising of state officials' judgements, curbs the risk of corruption, and promotes greater government-data disclosure for better transparency. The NACC, in collaboration with the government, has already pushed for several relevant laws for the development of state operations and good governance. Moreover, the NACC has launched the Integrity and Transparency Assessment (ITA) as a key tool. On laws related to the promotion of transparency and good governance in the public sector, the Act on Management of State Affairs by Electronic Means B.E. 2565 stipulates that to seek an approval, a permit, a tax refund, a certificate, a registration, a construction permit or the likes, people no longer have to queue up physically at government agencies. They can just file requests electronically. After this act came into force and related systems sprang into operations, people can just contact authorities online. They do not have to travel to government agencies. Such approach saves people's time in contacting government agencies. There is no need for face-to-face contact, which may lead to negotiations for bribes. Several other laws have also been introduced to increase bureaucracy's efficiency and to prevent bribery. For example, the Licensing Facilitation Act B.E. 2558 requires that each government agency specify clearly how long it will take to respond to each request. In the past, people had waited really long to get response because there was no clear timeframe. Traders, entrepreneurs, and people who wanted fast results thus ended up paying bribes to shorten the period of government agency's request review. However, with the Licensing Facilitation Act in place, agencies of all ministries and departments must release a manual detailing how long it will take for them to complete each task. If they fail to comply with the timeframe, a person contacting them may file a complaint. This is just one of many laws that country have introduced to curb corruption risks. Regarding the promotion of open data, the NACC Board and the government have worked together in preparing several measures. One of them is ITA. Everyone wants to see transparency in the public sector and comprehensive data disclosure so, currently basic data that are useful to both the people's sector and the private sector; government agencies' performance data, and importantly data related to budgets and procurements are open data that all government agencies must release to the public. They must be held accountable and ready to provide explanations to the public. Such data had not been treated as the government's confidential information anymore. The principles behind such data disclosure have applied to NACC's ITA model. All government agencies therefore have to embrace these principles as they seek to comply with ITA criteria. Kasemmongkol thought that many of people must be quite familiar with ITA and that some of them may have doubts or misunderstandings about it. Therefore, he provided clarification about ITA and its objectives. He said ITA is not mainly designed as an assessment of corrupt practices. In essence, it is about assessing good governance in regard to management and tools used for the implementation of anti-corruption projects / activities. It is therefore a tool for state agencies to improve their operations or e-services, and importantly to disclose data in line with laws and strategies, paving the way for these agencies to have good governance and lower corruption or abuse-of-authority risks. Based on its indicators and assessment topics, ITA gives 95 points to the management and implementation of projects / activities and five points to the awareness of corruption issues among personnel. To make it easier to understand, he compared ITA to a basic health check. With this check, we will be able to identify abnormalities in one's body or if any body function is below standard. Upon learning about the abnormalities or the function that fails to meet proper standard, patients need to adjust their behaviors. He emphasized that ITA is not a medicine. It cannot provide recovery. But patients can recover or regain good health, if they change their behaviors ( for example by improving their operations and management). Family members must also help by creating a proper environment (for example by issuing supportive legal measures and state supervision). If patients follow such guidelines, they can become stronger. But if they do not change or ignore problems, cancer may develop. In the end, their illness may worsen to the point of a crisis and the NACC will have to use legal actions to remove those cancerous problems. Kasemmongkol said that during the past many years, changes have been happening with the digitalization of state operations. Data disclosure has increased in a tangible manner in compliance with laws. Here are some tangible examples of open-data changes and digital public services. The NACC Board and the government have used the aforementioned measures and framework to improve state operations and deter state officials' wayward behaviors. If all sides have followed these measures and framework on a continual basis, all civil servants and state officials will become familiar with such practices. Over time, their conscience and attitude will change in line with such standards. They will behave accordingly, regardless of these measures and framework. Civil servants and state officials will in the end be accustomed to serving people, ensuring public convenience, and refraining from corruption or abuse of authority. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is a constitutional independent organization and supervised by nine commissioners selected from various professions. It is authorized to undertake work on the prevention and suppression of malfeasance, particularly in government agencies, on assets investigations, as well as on the monitoring of ethics and virtues of political position holders. It has the authority to file charges in court as well as support and build up awareness of the penalties for committing corruption. The NACC is supervised by the NACC Board and has the Office of the NACC as its administrative agency. Since 1997, Thai Courts have ruled against and punished politicians, former ministers, high-ranking government officials as well as executives of the private sector in the thousands of cases submitted by the NACC. Contact Details Media Contact Parith Iampongpaiboon mailparith@gmail.com

June 14, 2023 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Former DHS Chief Procurement Officer, Soraya Correa, Joins as Executive Director of NCMA Contract Management Institute

National Contract Management Association

National Contract Management Association (NCMA) today announced the reinstatement of the Contract Management Institute (CMI) with the appointment of Contract Management veteran, Soraya Correa as the new Executive Director. Ms. Correa, former Chief Procurement Officer and Senior Procurement Executive of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), brings a wealth of experience and expertise to lead the CMI into a new era of excellence and innovation in contract management. The reinstatement of the Contract Management Institute marks a significant milestone for the industry, as professionals and organizations can once again benefit from a dedicated hub of knowledge, resources, and collaboration opportunities. As the field of contract management continues to evolve and become increasingly critical in today's complex business environment, the reinvigorated CMI will serve as a vital platform for professionals to stay at the forefront of profession trends and best practices. Soraya Correa's appointment as the Executive Director of CMI is a testament to her outstanding leadership and remarkable achievements in procurement and contract management. During her tenure at DHS, Ms. Correa spearheaded numerous initiatives – including the Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL), Reverse Industry Days, and the Education, Development, Growth, and Excellence (EDGE) mentoring program – that revolutionized procurement practices and enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of contract management within the agency. Her strategic vision, combined with her deep understanding of the complexities and challenges of the field, made her the ideal choice to steer the CMI toward new heights. "I am honored to lead the Contract Management Institute as its Executive Director," said Soraya Correa. "Contract management is pivotal to mission delivery and successful business outcomes. I am committed to providing today and tomorrow’s contracting professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to excel in their roles. I look forward to collaborating with federal state and local government, industry leaders, academia, and others to drive innovation, promote excellence, and elevate the contract management profession." Kraig Conrad, CEO of the National Contract Management Association, expressed his support stating, "We are thrilled to see the Contract Management Institute restored. With Soraya Correa at the helm, we are confident that CMI will provide valuable resources for positive impact on our profession." The Contract Management Institute aims to be the premier resource for contract management professionals, offering a wide range of programs and research initiatives. Stay tuned for updates on the official launch of the Contract Management Institute's website and social media pages. About the Contract Management Institute (CMI): The Contract Management Institute (CMI) is a leading professional organization dedicated to advancing the field of contract management. With a mission to drive innovation, promote excellence, and enhance the role of the contracting professional, CMI provides valuable resources including networking opportunities for individuals and organizations involved in contract management across government, industry, and academia. The Institute serves as a catalyst for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and professional development, enabling contract management professionals to navigate the complexities of the profession successfully. The CMI mission and vision are aligned with its Parent, NCMA. CMI is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For inquiries, paper submissions, and donations, please contact Soraya Correa at soraya.correa@ncmahq.org. The National Contract Management Association (NCMA), which was founded in 1959 and is the world's leading association in the field of contract management. The organization, which has over 18,000 members, is dedicated to the professional growth and educational advancement of procurement and acquisition personnel worldwide. NCMA strives to serve and inform the profession and industry it represents and to offer opportunities for the open exchange of ideas in neutral forums. To find out more, please visit www.ncmahq.org. Contact Details NCMA Holly Dehesa +1 281-865-3296 holly.dehesa@ncmahq.org Company Website https://www.ncmahq.org/

June 14, 2023 09:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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