Work Ethics – Ocupario http://ocupario.org/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 18:05:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ocupario.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-3-150x150.png Work Ethics – Ocupario http://ocupario.org/ 32 32 National unemployment insurance begins for workers affected by COVID-19 https://ocupario.org/national-unemployment-insurance-begins-for-workers-affected-by-covid-19/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 18:05:24 +0000 https://ocupario.org/national-unemployment-insurance-begins-for-workers-affected-by-covid-19/ The government, under the Ghana Cares Obaatanpa program, has unveiled its new national unemployment insurance scheme. The initiative starting with the tourism and education sector will undertake vocational and technical training for private sector workers who lose their jobs, amid the negative impact of the corona virus pandemic. To this end, the Ministry of Finance, […]]]>

The government, under the Ghana Cares Obaatanpa program, has unveiled its new national unemployment insurance scheme.

The initiative starting with the tourism and education sector will undertake vocational and technical training for private sector workers who lose their jobs, amid the negative impact of the corona virus pandemic.

To this end, the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, has launched a national training and retraining program for certain persons concerned.

The Minister of Employment and Labor Relations, Ignatius Baffuour Awuah, defended in a speech the reason for choosing the tourism and education sector, saying that they are the most affected by COVID-19.

“The sectors chosen for the moment have been mainly affected and given the number and the impact, it is completely understandable that we start with them, in order to be able to widen the scope later”, he said. he noted.

The government announced during the 2020 mid-year fiscal policy review the establishment of a National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) which is to provide income support to workers who lose their jobs due to factors external factors such as COVID-19.

The training and retraining program is a component aimed at preserving and improving the human capital of the workers concerned and facilitating their reintegration into productive employment at higher levels of performance.

Training is piloted in the tourism, hospitality and education sectors.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is confident that this will transform the country’s employment landscape as many will have the opportunity to participate in the scheme.

“The training and retraining program which is a component of the NUIS aims to preserve and improve the human capital and skills of the current cohort of workers who have lost their jobs or are underemployed due to the pandemic.”

“It focuses on skills development, work ethic, productivity and attitude change. It focuses on improving the prospects of workers re-entering the labor market at higher levels of productivity or performance. It emphasizes vocational, technical and vocational training and retraining,” he stressed.

Other stakeholders including Trades Union Congress, Ghana Employers Association among others have given their blessing to the initiative.

TUC General Secretary Dr Yaw Baah has urged the ministry to speed up the process which will ensure that other sectors of the economy which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are added to the scheme.

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Job: Business Services Manager at GUS Consulting https://ocupario.org/job-business-services-manager-at-gus-consulting/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 23:54:24 +0000 https://ocupario.org/job-business-services-manager-at-gus-consulting/ Purpose of the position Provide strategic, operational and supervisory oversight of the corporate services department which includes HR, administrative and corporate communication units as well as IT and legal consultants. Duties and Responsibilities Manage and oversee the human resources, administration and corporate communication units and the activities of the respective officers Manage and provide oversight […]]]>

Purpose of the position

  • Provide strategic, operational and supervisory oversight of the corporate services department which includes HR, administrative and corporate communication units as well as IT and legal consultants.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage and oversee the human resources, administration and corporate communication units and the activities of the respective officers
  • Manage and provide oversight to external consultants for IT functions and legal services
  • Develop and implement the annual budgets of the various teams/units under management
  • Establish a brand strategy and then determine how to integrate this strategy into corporate communications.
  • Create communication and marketing strategies for new products, launches, events and promotions.
  • Provide leadership and guidance to team members to manage HR operations deliverables and daily operations flow.
  • Determine staffing requirements across the organization each fiscal year.
  • Source, filter and select candidates.
  • Oversee staff verification and confirmation.
  • Oversee staff appraisals and promotions.
  • Demonstrate a strong command of processes and standard operating procedures with the ability to resolve complex queries.
  • Responsible for change management activities within the organization for seamless execution of new initiatives while keeping all HR stakeholders informed of changes prior to implementation.
  • Manage escalations from employees, HR and other stakeholders.
  • Articulate an HR strategy aligned with the corporate strategy and aimed at supporting the organization in achieving its strategic objectives.
  • Ensure continued alignment of the Bank’s organizational structure with its overall strategy/objectives.
  • Evaluate jobs within the organization to ensure fair job classification, while assigning appropriate responsibility, value, and reward to all jobs within the company.
  • Identify and gather staff training needs, coordinate training sessions and plan corporate training activities for the year.
  • Develop clearly defined career and succession plans for the company.
  • Review and update of corporate compensation framework (in line with industry and operational realities).
  • Any other mission as directed by the COO or CEO

Key performance indices
The following KPIs should be used to monitor HOD performance:

  • Percentage of HR, administrative and corporate communication initiatives implemented.
  • Percentage deviation of the budget compared to the actual of the different units and of the whole department.
  • Staff turnover rate
  • Number of unidentified training needs
  • Feedback from participants on training programs
  • Productivity/performance index of the 3 units with department
  • Level of understaffing/overstaffing per unit
  • Percentage of initiatives implemented by HR.
  • Employee satisfaction index

specification

  • Minimum education level: HND / BSc in Human Resource Management, Accounting or relevant field from a reputable tertiary institution. A Master in HR will be an added advantage
  • An additional professional qualification will be an added advantage.
  • Minimum work experience: 10 years of related experience

Knowledge, skills and abilities required:
The incumbent should possess knowledge, skills and abilities in the following areas:

  • Leadership and team management skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with a diverse workforce.
  • Demonstrated success in identifying and resolving issues prior to escalation with strong problem management skills.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of employment law and relevant HR legislation, policies and procedures
  • Results oriented with the ability to manage competing priorities and multiple stakeholders.
  • Excellent analytical and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to delegate, supervise and coach
  • Excellent knowledge of the different HR functions and skills
    • Performance management and training
    • Recruitment and staff welfare
    • Teamwork skills and problem solving skills
    • Basic counseling skills
    • Negotiation techniques
    • Techniques of conducting an interview
    • Time management skills
  • Excellent and efficient use of the MS Office suite (Word, Advanced Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Ability to maintain standards of conduct
  • Has cultural and political awareness and sensitivity
  • Good work ethic.

Click here to apply

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A lagging public service and our persistent bureaucratic challenge https://ocupario.org/a-lagging-public-service-and-our-persistent-bureaucratic-challenge/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 01:26:31 +0000 https://ocupario.org/a-lagging-public-service-and-our-persistent-bureaucratic-challenge/ “Within the civil service, it becomes quite normal that there are too many people who do nothing, too many people who do little and too few people who do too much” — Tunji Olaopa, retired federal permanent secretary and professor of public administration. The organizational structure of a country; his ability to be consistent, to […]]]>

“Within the civil service, it becomes quite normal that there are too many people who do nothing, too many people who do little and too few people who do too much”

— Tunji Olaopa, retired federal permanent secretary and professor of public administration.

The organizational structure of a country; his ability to be consistent, to make things happen, to innovate and to adopt new technologies and ideas are crucial determinants of his ability to grow, to get out of the ruts and to invite himself, if no one there invites you into the enchanted circle of the world’s most developed nations. Look around the globe, especially at the growth miracle countries of East Asia, and you will see the validity of this claim. Indeed, countries that have undisciplined, corrupt, lazy and unmanagerial public services and institutions take much longer to develop, tending to go in circles, especially because their public services lack discipline and the will to advance their societies.

In recent weeks, our public service has received renewed attention due to outcry and protests from federal retirees over the delay in benefits as well as the arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, following allegations of gambling dangerously with almost 80 billion naira in national funds. Considering that one of the functions of the civil service is to administer and administer the finances of a state, this gargantuan embezzlement allegation can be likened to a guard who, during a robbery, practically seizes the gate itself, leaving the house wide open for serial thefts. looting.

To put things into perspective, we can paraphrase the coinage of the famous writer Chinua Achebe by saying: There was a public service. Remember the stars of public service who once ruled this country, such as CO Lawson, Allison Ayida and Simeon Adebo, among others, well known both at home and abroad, and you will see how quickly the function current public has rolled down the slope. There are too few names these days that can be associated with momentum, fresh ideas, transparency and the capacity for innovation. On the contrary and sadly, the national memory is plagued by the escapades of officials like Abdulrasheed Maina, chairman of the defunct pension reform task force who was sentenced to prison for 2 billion naira fraud and Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, who quit the service under controversial circumstances over a contract worth N3 billion.

That’s not to say there aren’t worthy public servants in the category identified by Olaopa in the opening quote as “too few people doing too much”; nevertheless, they are unfortunately little overshadowed by the majority categorized by Olaopa as “too many people who do nothing”. It is not even clear if they are doing nothing or if they are doing things that may endanger Nigeria in the form of draining its resources.

Why is this important? Partly because in the architecture of governance, the public service is an institution of enormous scope and importance. Some of its mandates include formulating and implementing policies, serving as advisers to the political class, ensuring the continuity of governments, constituting the repository of government information as well as safeguarding government resources and keeping records on how these resources are used.

In my opinion, it is almost the whole range of governance if one excepts the political functions attributed constitutionally to members of the political class. To put it bluntly, next year whoever becomes President of Nigeria will be able to take the oath, to find that he has, apart from the ministers, official companions among the civil servants who are discouraged, retarded, just waiting to win fast money at the frontiers of new politics and generally the kind of staff who don’t care much about the development race. That is to say, unless the public service is reinvigorated, reorganized and reinvented, all the talk of rapidly climbing the development ladder will be for naught.

Britain may not be a civil service paradise. Its detractors speak of red tape, a toxic work environment, infighting among other ills. Despite this, its civil service and other government institutions have passed a threshold of competence from which Nigeria can learn some lessons. An anecdote may shed some light. A few years ago a colleague of mine who had just returned from the UK, where he was undertaking studies in psychiatric medicine and was also a lecturer, rushed into my office in an enthusiastic mood. He barely greeted me before laying on my table a letter from the British Tax Office authorizing a refund of the taxes he paid beyond the stipulated amount to be sent to him. The money, the letter said, would be paid to him within a few days from the receipt of this letter. Hearing such an uplifting report, I seized the opportunity and we both danced to celebrate the good news. The money sent to him afterwards was enough, converted into naira, to buy him a car which he soon bought.

The takeaway for a Nigerian, of course, is this: will Nigeria ever grow at the rate it grows to reach such stature that the tax authorities can refund the overpayment of tax to any who, let alone someone living outside our shores? This incident should highlight the gap between countries with effectively functioning public services and those where the bosses and many of their underlings are almost perpetually “absent”. Needless to say, there is a connection between the working culture of the political class and that of the public service. Mr. Allison Ayida, Federal Permanent Secretary to Chief Obafemi Awolowo (then Minister of Finance), it was he who revealed that Awolowo had an impact on work ethic because while most other Ministers (they were called commissioners at the time) came late to the office and demanded that their permanent secretaries do the heavy lifting and forward the files to the minister for approval, Awolowo came to the office early, did most of the work on the table and forwarded the files to the permanent secretary. In other words, he gave advice, leadership and vision to the public service of his time.

We don’t know what’s going on these days, but it could well be that several ministers leave the strategic work to their permanent secretaries, who can either take advantage of it wisely or let it pass indolently or nonchalance. The point to be made, however, is that if an administration leaves the public service rudderless and leaderless or fails to commit to effective governance, it has no right to expect more than dithering from the part of the public service.

Overall, however, and given the strategic role of the civil service; it is important in case anyone is listening to do an overhaul of the civil service with a view to bringing it back to the glory days. This would involve less politicization, more merit-based standards, controlling corruption at source (not when the horse has already left the stable) as well as an overhaul of work ethics. Until and unless this is done, 2023 could be just a mirage in terms of improved governance.

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A Conflict of Professional Ethics and Ambition in NAATCO’s ‘Queen’ Off-Broadway Debut at ART/New York https://ocupario.org/a-conflict-of-professional-ethics-and-ambition-in-naatcos-queen-off-broadway-debut-at-art-new-york/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 23:00:33 +0000 https://ocupario.org/a-conflict-of-professional-ethics-and-ambition-in-naatcos-queen-off-broadway-debut-at-art-new-york/ Close friends and fellow ecology researchers Sanam Shah and Ariel Spiegel have spent the past seven years investigating the cause of the global decimation of the bee population, which they believe to be the result of a toxic pesticide produced by a large agrochemical company, while Sanam, a doctoral student in applied mathematics, discovers what […]]]>

Close friends and fellow ecology researchers Sanam Shah and Ariel Spiegel have spent the past seven years investigating the cause of the global decimation of the bee population, which they believe to be the result of a toxic pesticide produced by a large agrochemical company, while Sanam, a doctoral student in applied mathematics, discovers what could be a miscalculation in her data. It couldn’t come at a worse time. Professor Philip Hayes, who oversees the project, is set to receive a prestigious award and present his career-defining paper – which has already been accepted for publication by a reputable journal – at a professional conference in a few days only. Will they follow through with the presentation to further their careers, or will they acknowledge the problem, accept the ramifications, and spend another three years researching the matter – which might be too late to save the bees that disappear quickly?

Avanthika Srinivasan and Stephanie Janssen. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Written by Madhuri Shekar, Queen – the inaugural production of the NAATCO (National Asian American Theater Company) National Partnership Project with lead partner Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT, where it performed in May – is now Off-Broadway for a limited engagement at ART /New York Theaters. It is extremely clever work that combines discussions of such important academic topics as bee colony collapse syndrome, Bayes’ law of statistical probability and linear regression analysis with personal background, interrelationships and the motivations of the characters, which explain their contradictory perspectives and choices.

Aneesha Kudtarkar directs the mesmerizing four hands, delivered by an excellent cast featuring Avanthika Srinivasan in an impressive Off-Broadway debut as Sanam, a brilliant young mathematician from a wealthy Indian family (who continues to arrange dates). you for her so she can find the suitable husband she doesn’t really want), and Stephanie Janssen as Ariel, a struggling single mother and beekeeper dedicated to saving the species from extinction. The former’s unwavering adherence to proper procedures and accurate reporting of numbers, and the latter’s dedication to bees and advancing her career so she can provide for her two-year-old daughter and herself, lead to increasingly heated arguments that threaten their collaboration and camaraderie. . The contrasting personalities (Sanam is more controlled, Ariel is more emotional) and character development are well embodied by the two, as their mutual respect and support turns into insults and animosity. Will they find a mutually beneficial solution, or will they become “the queen bee” in the competitive realm of academia?

Avanthika Srinivasan and Ben Livingston. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

The female leads are supported by Ben Livingston as Dr. Hayes, a hard-nosed academic who belittles his colleagues at other institutions, plays favorites with his two students, and is only too willing to let them manipulate their study results. . advantage. And Keshav Moodliar, as a blind date arranged by Sanam and Wall Street financier Arvind Patel, adds humor to the show with his analysis of how to win at poker and his determination to marrying her, moving her to New York and supporting her, after they just met, contrary to Sanam’s intention of being an empowered professional woman (Srinivasan’s reactions to all of this are equally funny). He also adds another serious economic/political note in his acknowledgment of their inherent bias against the corporate giant and pesticide producer, whose shares he trades, with which the women approached their research, suggesting that the study was wrong from the start.

Keshav Moodliar and Avanthika Srinivasan. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Minimal art design effectively enhances the theme without distracting from the show’s words and message. Junghyun Georgia Lee’s simple set of a movable table (with the audience seated on three sides of the theater) and Yuki Nakase Link’s overhead lighting both take on the hexagonal shape of a honeycomb. Sound effects and original music by UptownWorks (Daniela Hart, Bailey Trierweiler and Noel Nichols) include the subtle buzzing of bees, and costumes by Phuong Nguyen indicate the socio-economic status of the various figures.

Queen presents an intriguing debate on a hot topic with resonant political, ecological and ethical overtones, in a production that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.

Duration: approximately 1h45 without intermission.

Queen plays through Friday, July 1, 2022 at NAATCO, performing at ART/New York Mezzanine Theater, 502 West 53rd Street, New York. For tickets (priced at $35), go on line. Everyone must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID to enter the building and must wear a mask at all times while inside.

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Sandeep Singh, Alkem Laboratories, Health News, ET HealthWorld https://ocupario.org/sandeep-singh-alkem-laboratories-health-news-et-healthworld/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 00:07:00 +0000 https://ocupario.org/sandeep-singh-alkem-laboratories-health-news-et-healthworld/ Shahid Akhter, Editor-in-Chief, ETHealthworld, spoke with Sandep SinghManaging Director, Alkem Laboratories and also Co-Founder, Blue Tribe Foods, to learn more about the advent of plant-based meat and how it is gradually entering the Indian market. Plant-based meat: Trends Plant-based meat sounds like an oxymoron if it’s plant-based, how could it be meat? Well, I think […]]]>
Shahid Akhter, Editor-in-Chief, ETHealthworld, spoke with Sandep SinghManaging Director, Alkem Laboratories and also Co-Founder, Blue Tribe Foods, to learn more about the advent of plant-based meat and how it is gradually entering the Indian market.

Plant-based meat: Trends
Plant-based meat sounds like an oxymoron if it’s plant-based, how could it be meat? Well, I think the perception has changed. Thanks to science and food science, plant-based meat is basically plant-based meat. Now what is meat? Meat is fatty, meat is water, meat is fibrous, and if you can do the same with plants, then you get plant-based meat. In fact, it all started in the United States many years ago when global companies like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat established their presence in the United States. Many non-vegetarian food consumers are now consuming these products in the US to begin with and they can’t even tell them apart. So plant-based meat is basically plant-based meat and it is possible, and food science has already done it.

What made the CEO of Alkem Laboratories think of a brand of plant-based meat?
I’ve been working in the health sector for 20 years and realized that this has to be global, it can’t just be about an individual, so the health of the planet and the soil is very important, and you can’t cure only an individual and not thinking of the mother planet.

These factors got me thinking about what factory animal farming is doing to the planet and if we can reduce global warming by reducing animal farming around the world, we can certainly make the planet a better place healthier for life and for future generations.

Therefore, I started thinking about what we should do next so the health of the planet can be taken care of as we don’t realize the impact of the massive livestock cull. From antibiotic resistance in poultry to methane emissions from large animals, we can eliminate them from the food chain at the same time consumers enjoy the product, we’ve made the planet an unhealthy place.

Plant-based meat: Indian market
Plant-based meat started on a global scale, maybe ten years ago. In India, it has recently arrived. The Indian meat industry itself is about three hundred thousand crores which is one of the largest in the world and Indians by nature feel guilty for eating meat so the Plant-based meat can be a great substitute for many people who are environmentally conscious or have animal ethics in mind. It is nascent right now but growing globally. Currently we have 5 or 6 companies that have come and some of them have big names, we have big celebrities joining and endorsing plant based meat like Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma. Now if you look at the trend, normally things are innovating in the west and they are moving east and India is one of them. Big brands in the US have already started replacing meat of animal origin like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, they’ve really taken a lot of market share from the meat itself, and if you go to any QSR in the US you will have an option of a vegetable patty there.

In India this is growing, the market is small but it is growing fast and the level of awareness as they increase you will see plant based meat increase tremendously in India.

Plant-based meat: Indian consumers

So Indian consumers are very interesting consumers of plant-based meat because a large proportion of Indian consumers are said to be non-vegetarians. However if you look under the hood they aren’t really non-vegetarians because when you say people in the west are not vegetarians they eat meat twice a day but in India most of the non-vegetarians eat meat twice a week. is a huge difference. I believe that’s obviously the economic scenario but also inherently I think there’s a guilt attached to most Indians when they eat non-veg food they obviously like the taste and the so called nutrition, but somewhere in the mind they feel guilty about it.

This has been debated immensely and the debate will continue, but we understand that no amount of lecturing on the environment or animal rights is going to make people give up on non-vegetarian food because it doesn’t work. This will only work if you give them an option, for example, plant-based chicken nuggets are indistinguishable from animal-based chicken nuggets. When we did this consumer survey, 90% of them told us they would stick with plant-based chicken nuggets because there is no difference.

People don’t eat meat because they are sadistic or because they want to kill animals or damage the environment and eat it. They consume it simply because its aspiration and it is tasty as long as plant-based meat companies can cater to it, consumers will change and we are seeing that change. 60% of consumers swear by us that they can’t tell the difference with meat of animal origin and most of them are return customers, and if we meet the qualities like meat of animal origin that ‘they stay with us, we find out, very rarely in life have I seen conversions of two things, conversions of what’s good for the planet and the world and what’s good for business.

Plant-based meat: Opportunities
Plant-based meat is that crossroads where, what you’re doing is great, for the planet, for sustainability and at the same time it’s one of the best business opportunities I’ve seen in the last ten to twenty years of my life. Because I’ve been an investor with a lot of startups outside of my pharma business, I’ve invested in a lot of startups and a lot of companies around the world, but plant meat was something, I said I wouldn’t be satisfied just by being an investor, I have to do it myself because, as I said, you rarely come across things where you can do business and at the same time good for society and that’s the one of those things.

I come from the pharmaceutical world, so this example comes to mind. You know, when people first started taking insulin in the early 1920s or 30s, the insulin came from the pancreas of pigs, and a lot of pigs had to be slaughtered just to get a small ounce of insulin, but today you don’t need pigs to make insulin, you make it recombinant. There’s the science that you can do things without animals. We did it with insulin which was used for medicine but you can do the same for meat and people are already doing it so in the beginning we had plant based meat but now we also have lab-grown meat and companies are already doing it. There is enough science, biotechnology has come a long way, you can make insulin, you can make animal cells, you can make animal meat and it’s already happening. Science will quickly disrupt this industry because look at technology, it has changed the way we work, but animal agriculture has not changed for thousands of years and it is about to change and biotechnology will.

Blue Tribe Foods
Blue Tribe Foods started in India. We started from the city of Mumbai to be precise, but we are currently present in 26 cities in India and we have also moved to a few countries, but we plan to really expand in Europe and the United States because the consumption of meat per capita in these countries is maximum. In terms of products we have a lot of product range right now but this is just the start we will eventually get into all products, foods where animals are used as a food source so whether dairy products or eggs, you will see, Blue Tribe Foods are launching these products as we go, our ambitions are global and we want to have an impact that will be felt for the next thirty-forty years.

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Recent civil rulings haven’t stopped Co. from a $66 million deal with the military https://ocupario.org/recent-civil-rulings-havent-stopped-co-from-a-66-million-deal-with-the-military/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 00:35:00 +0000 https://ocupario.org/recent-civil-rulings-havent-stopped-co-from-a-66-million-deal-with-the-military/ By Daniel Wilson (June 10, 2022, 8:35 p.m. EDT) — The U.S. Government Accountability Office has dismissed a protest against a $66 million Army logistics mission order, saying the winning bidder failed to make any material misrepresentation by failing to disclose recent information. civil judgments in its proposal. The civil decisions involving Vanquish Worldwide LLC […]]]>
By Daniel Wilson (June 10, 2022, 8:35 p.m. EDT) — The U.S. Government Accountability Office has dismissed a protest against a $66 million Army logistics mission order, saying the winning bidder failed to make any material misrepresentation by failing to disclose recent information. civil judgments in its proposal.

The civil decisions involving Vanquish Worldwide LLC or its CEO were either unrelated to federal contracts or were ultimately resolved by no-fault settlements, meaning the company was not bound, under federal takeover regulations. , to disclose them in its proposal to the military, the GAO ruled, dismissing a protest from The Logistics Co. Inc.

“In sum, none of the judgments listed by the…

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Most Axon Ethics Committee Members Resign in Protest Against Drone Projects https://ocupario.org/most-axon-ethics-committee-members-resign-in-protest-against-drone-projects/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 18:36:41 +0000 https://ocupario.org/most-axon-ethics-committee-members-resign-in-protest-against-drone-projects/ Nine of 12 members of Axon’s ethics committee – an independent group of experts and advocates it convened to help identify potential problems with new technologies before rolling them out – have resigned in protest against the company’s idea of ​​equipping drones with stun guns. The idea for the company appeared in a June 2 […]]]>

Nine of 12 members of Axon’s ethics committee – an independent group of experts and advocates it convened to help identify potential problems with new technologies before rolling them out – have resigned in protest against the company’s idea of ​​equipping drones with stun guns.

The idea for the company appeared in a June 2 blog post by company CEO Rick Smith amid a series of mass shootings, including the murder of 19 children and two teachers in a elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, as well as the killing of 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY In the post, Smith said Axon had officially begun work on a drone equipped with the company’s Taser technology that could potentially react quickly and non-lethally to stop a shooter.

Four days later, the majority of the company’s ethics committee members resigned, issuing a public letter calling the company’s idea “to entertain society with real solutions to a tragic problem” and “to discuss the tragedy of the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings”.


In a response, Smith acknowledged the company mooted the idea earlier than it otherwise would have because of the shootings, but insisted the technology was years away and without a solid timeline.

He also said that in response to the comments, the company was suspending work on the idea.

“We have a lot of work and exploration to see if this technology is even viable and to understand if public concerns can be adequately addressed before moving forward,” Smith wrote. “Pursuing a broad research path is just one part of getting it right.”

Members of the ethics committee said the technology would involve more than just drones, but the massive deployment of surveillance cameras, leading to “persistent surveillance”. These surveillance technologies, such as automatic license plate recognition cameras, have often been deployed more heavily in areas with high concentrations of low-income people and racial minorities, which has drawn criticism from civil rights activists.

“This type of surveillance will undoubtedly harm communities of color and others who are over-policed, and likely well beyond that,” the board members wrote.

The board also said none of its members expected Axon’s announcement and believed the company was bypassing the board despite its commitment to consult with it.

Axon’s press office did not immediately respond to questions about whether the board remains active or will be disbanded, but in its response, Smith said the company was committed to gathering comment. .

“It is unfortunate that some members of Axon’s Ethics Advisory Board have chosen to opt out of engaging directly on these issues before we have heard or had the opportunity to answer their technical questions,” he said. -he writes. “We respect their choice and will continue to seek diverse perspectives to challenge our thinking and help guide other technology options we should consider.”

Board members acknowledged in their statement that the company had listened to them many times and changed course based on their feedback. This included the decision to move away from the use of facial recognition, to stop pursuing plans to collect data from social media and to push for legislation regulating license plate cameras.

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By flouting ethics rules, the tax commissioner is sending the wrong message to taxpayers https://ocupario.org/by-flouting-ethics-rules-the-tax-commissioner-is-sending-the-wrong-message-to-taxpayers/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://ocupario.org/by-flouting-ethics-rules-the-tax-commissioner-is-sending-the-wrong-message-to-taxpayers/ If you’ve been waiting for the Cook County Board of Review, which handles tax appeals, to turn into a shining example of transparency and ethics, we have a tip. To keep waiting. More recently, the county’s ethics board filed a lawsuit last week, claiming that Tammy Wendt, one of the review board’s three commissioners, violated […]]]>

If you’ve been waiting for the Cook County Board of Review, which handles tax appeals, to turn into a shining example of transparency and ethics, we have a tip.

To keep waiting.

More recently, the county’s ethics board filed a lawsuit last week, claiming that Tammy Wendt, one of the review board’s three commissioners, violated the county’s anti-nepotism policy by hiring her first cousin. , Todd Thielmann, as First Deputy Commissioner. The county ethics ordinance prohibits hiring a direct relative.

The ethics board asked a judge to uphold its decision to fire Thielmann and that Wendt pay a $2,000 fine.

“The fact that the ethics board had to sue is bad news for public confidence in the county government and in government as a whole,” Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, said on Friday.

We agree.

What happens in the Board of Review is important to all Cook County property owners because the decisions of the Board affect the property tax bills that all property owners pay. The Cook County Assessor sets assessments for each property, but the Board of Review can change them. As this is a zero-sum game, each time one good receives a reduction, the taxes owed by all the others increase.

For payments to be fair, everyone involved in the property tax system must be completely open and transparent. But that’s just not the case.

In typical Cook County political fashion, for example, when Thielmann filled out his job application, he left that question blank, according to the ethics board’s complaint: “Appoint BOR employees [Board of Review] with whom you are familiar or related. If related, please indicate the link.

Maybe it was an oversight. But now Wendt’s wrangling with the ethics board is making the situation worse.

Yes, an elected official may be tempted to hire a relative who can be counted on to do the job. But Cook County’s history of nepotism is more like padding the payroll with unproductive family members. This is why there are anti-nepotism rules.

Wendt, who was elected to represent the council’s first district in 2020, argues that as an elected official she is not bound by county rules. She says she abides by the Board of Review’s looser policy on nepotism, which is a dubious argument. Even if that were true, it still seems inappropriate when elected officials start filling their payrolls with well-paid relatives. Thielmann earns at least $150,000 a year.

In a well-functioning system, the three commissioners of the Board of Review would work harmoniously together to ensure that they all apply the same analyzes of property taxes. But Wendt disagreed with the other two commissioners, Michael Cabonargi and Larry Rogers Jr.

The council should also work closely with the office of assessor Fritz Kaegi. Kaegi has worked to make assessments more transparent and predictable and says a sign of progress is that tax appeals are down 30% from 2018. But Kaegi can only carry the ball so far. We are told that the review board refuses to share data and cooperate with the evaluator. For the system to work, both offices must openly review the same indicators of property value. It doesn’t happen.

As a result, “we have a system that is opaque and difficult for citizens and taxpayers to understand,” Msall said.

Last year, outside researchers and county officials involved in the property tax system formed a property tax task force to establish best practices that the assessor and review board can adopt at the property tax system. ‘unison.

It’s an idea that could benefit taxpayers, but it won’t work unless everyone involved commits to transparent and ethical practices.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

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Singapore Launches World’s First Artificial Intelligence Governance Self-Test | Denton https://ocupario.org/singapore-launches-worlds-first-artificial-intelligence-governance-self-test-denton/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 17:48:41 +0000 https://ocupario.org/singapore-launches-worlds-first-artificial-intelligence-governance-self-test-denton/ I. Launching AI Verify At the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Davos in May this year (2022), Minister of Communications and Information Josephine Teo (Minister Teo) announced Singapore’s launch of AI Verify , which is the world’s first AI governance testing framework and toolkit, to provide companies with a way to […]]]>

I. Launching AI Verify

At the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Davos in May this year (2022), Minister of Communications and Information Josephine Teo (Minister Teo) announced Singapore’s launch of AI Verify , which is the world’s first AI governance testing framework and toolkit, to provide companies with a way to measure and demonstrate the security and reliability of their artificial intelligence (AI) products and services.

The launch of AI Verify in Singapore follows the launch of the Model AI Governance Framework in 2020 and the National AI Strategy in 2019. AI Verify seeks to promote transparency on the use of AI between companies and their stakeholders through self-performed technical testing and process verification. Developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the Personal Data Protection Commission, AI Verify places Singapore at the forefront of international discourse regarding the ethical use of AI.

AI Verify was launched as a minimum viable product (the MVP) that will be subject to further development. Organizations can participate in piloting the MVP where they can get early access to the MVP and use it to perform self-tests on their AI systems and models. It also helps shape an internationally applicable MVP to reflect industry needs and develop international standards.

II. AI Governance Testing Framework and Toolkit

Products and services are increasingly using AI to offer greater personalization and make autonomous predictions. There is a strong public desire for AI systems to be fair, explainable, and safe, and for companies that use AI to be transparent and accountable.

The MVP includes a “testing framework” and a “toolbox”. They allow developers to authenticate the claimed performance of their AI systems against standardized tests. However, the MVP does not set ethical standards, rather it provides a means for developers and owners of AI systems to expose and demonstrate their claims about the performance of their AI systems against ethical principles of AI.

A. The testing framework

The testing framework addresses five (5) main areas of concern for AI systems (the 5 pillars) which covers 11 international ethical principles in AI (the AI Ethics Principles).

The 5 Pillars are:

  1. transparency on the use of AI and AI systems;
  2. understanding how an AI model arrives at a decision;
  3. ensure the security and resilience of AI systems;
  4. ensuring fairness and freedom from unintended discrimination by AI; and
  5. ensure proper management and oversight of AI systems.

The ethical principles of AI are:

  1. Transparency;
  2. Explainability;
  3. repeatability or reproducibility;
  4. Security;
  5. Security;
  6. Robustness;
  7. Justice;
  8. Data governance;
  9. Responsibility;
  10. Human agency and supervision; and
  11. Inclusive growth, societal and environmental well-being.

The testing framework defines the ethical principles of AI and assigns a set of testable criteria to each principle. The test framework provides test processes, which are feasible steps to perform to check whether each testable criterion has been met. The test framework also defines well-defined parameters for the metrics to be measured and thresholds that define acceptable values ​​or benchmarks for the selected metrics.

B. The toolbox

The toolkit covers technical tests of fairness, explainability and robustness. It provides a user interface to guide users through the testing process, supports some binary classification and regression models, and produces a summary report to help developers and system owners interpret test results. It is packaged in a Docker container to be easily deployed in the user’s environment.

III. The development of international standards on AI governance

AWS, DBS Bank, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Singapore Airlines, NCS, Standard Chartered Bank, UCARE.AI and X0PA.AI have tested and/or provided feedback on the MVP. Going forward, Singapore aims to work with owners or developers of AI systems around the world to gather and establish industry benchmarks for the development of international standards on AI governance. For the interoperability of AI governance frameworks and the development of international AI standards, Singapore has participated in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 42 on AI and is working with the US Department of Commerce and other like-minded countries and partners.

IV. Final Thoughts

Developments in the digital space are changing rapidly and regulations must be able to keep pace; rule-making will in turn require policymakers and technology leaders to be dynamically and collaboratively involved, with the ultimate goal of enabling the exploitation of new technologies while guarding against the risks that come with them.

Dentons Rodyk thanks and acknowledges trainee in practice Tan Wei En for his contributions to this article.

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The value of health | The current of UCSB https://ocupario.org/the-value-of-health-the-current-of-ucsb/ Wed, 01 Jun 2022 18:32:43 +0000 https://ocupario.org/the-value-of-health-the-current-of-ucsb/ Teenagers, as a rule, do not know much about health insurance. But Laura Halcomb was way ahead of her peers. “My parents were divorced and they both had insurance,” the doctor recalls. candidate in sociology at UC Santa Barbara. “I was switching from one plan to another depending on what I needed. “My mom had […]]]>

Teenagers, as a rule, do not know much about health insurance. But Laura Halcomb was way ahead of her peers.

“My parents were divorced and they both had insurance,” the doctor recalls. candidate in sociology at UC Santa Barbara. “I was switching from one plan to another depending on what I needed.

“My mom had an HMO, which was cheaper and easier to use, but offered less choice than my dad’s PPO. I remember I was on my mom’s HMO when, at 17, I needed to see a specialist, so I used my dad’s insurance. I remember my mom taking me to the specialist’s office and saying, “Wow, that’s really nice! » »

This visit not only exposed Halcomb to the disparities inherent in our health care system. It also foreshadowed his college career. A specialist in medical sociology, she is working in depth on her thesis, “Negotiating the Costs of Cancer Care”.

In it, she analyzes the complex and sometimes convoluted system of health care economics in the United States, including the often inscrutable methods by which prices are determined, and the ways in which doctors, hospitals, healthcare companies insurance and pharmaceutical companies jockey to make the system work for them.

“My experiences with the healthcare system definitely shaped my interest in the subject,” said Halcomb, whose research combines qualitative interviews with secondary data analysis.

His journey to complete this thesis became much smoother. She was awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Thesis Fellowship, which is awarded for Ph.D. candidates who “address questions of ethical and religious values ​​in an interesting, original or meaningful way”.

Verta Taylor, professor emeritus of sociology at UC Santa Barbara and chair of the department, congratulated Halcomb on receiving the prestigious fellowship, noting that it “will support his innovative research on the cultural, medical, and economic processes that influence the delivery of health care in the United States.

“His findings underscore the role charity plays in treating colorectal cancer patients, showing how charity care perpetuates inequity in access to treatment in America’s market-based healthcare system,” Taylor added. “We are very proud of our students’ research that addresses pressing social issues, such as equity in health care.

Born in Fullerton, California (a town in Orange County), Halcomb earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Boston University, majoring in ethics. But even before graduating, she found her focus shifting from abstract constructs to practical concerns.

“I thought I was going to go to law school, but I took a sociology course the summer before my senior year,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘That’s really cool!’ I met a professor who advised me on an independent research project my senior year, about looking at single mothers by choice I enjoyed doing this research and my advisor suggested I apply to a school doctorate in sociology.

At the University of Houston, where she earned her master’s degree, “my original plan was to study birth control,” she said. “I was told about a project to make an affordable, long-acting, reversible contraceptive—a $45 IUD. People kept asking me about the price, which made me made me really curious why it was $45.IUDs are not particularly new technology.

“I realized the reason it was $45 was because someone decided it was going to be $45. I’m not sure an economist would agree with me, but at the end of the day, it was a decision about production and profit margins.

While delving deeper into medical device pricing, Halcomb came across the argument that nothing can be done about our seemingly arbitrary system, because any price restrictions would compromise quality. “Yet, anecdotally, I’ve heard complaints about the absurdity of this — stories like, ‘I got a bill and the hospital charged me $200 for an aspirin,'” he said. she declared.

Determined to find out more, “I started talking with people who regularly work with these complicated numbers and thought about why the prices are the way they are and what people think about it. ” His dissertation will examine this topic from a wide variety of perspectives.

Halcomb has been at UC Santa Barbara for seven years, working toward his Ph.D. This effort has been slowed by pandemic-related restrictions; for more than a year, she was unable to do the in-person interviews that are an essential component of her research.

But she will soon return to that work, speaking with cancer patients about how they managed the costs of their care. Before the pandemic, she spoke with a number of oncologists and found that “on the whole, they wouldn’t blame the pharmaceutical companies for the high price of cancer drugs. They were much more openly critical and hostile towards insurance companies.

Halcomb made good use of her time during the lockdown, poring over transcripts of congressional drug pricing hearings and analyzing approaches taken in Go Fund Me campaigns dedicated to paying for colorectal cancer treatment. Of more than 1,600 such efforts, she found that most involved a third party requesting funds for a friend or relative in need, “which lessens the stigma of patients in need of financial assistance.”

For Halcomb, the fact that people need to strategize about the most effective way to raise desperately needed funds suggests the precariousness of our healthcare payment system – and the need to study it further to find potential solutions. To this end, she is grateful to receive the Newcombe Fellowship from the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, which gives her $30,000 to complete her dissertation.

“It’s a really nice kind of camaraderie,” she said. “You have funding, so you can spend your time thinking, writing, and reading books in your senior year.”

Among the topics she spends time pondering: The fact that Americans hate the idea of ​​the government rationing health care, even as many ration it to themselves by delaying doctor visits for fear of cost.

Needless to say, these delays can be dangerous and, ironically, make care more expensive, which ultimately increases inequities. This is both a practical and a moral question – an intersection which Halcomb finds particularly worthy of study.

“I find sociology to be an interesting way of thinking about good and bad,” she said.

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