Office of Foreign Assets Control
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury under the auspices of the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign states, organizations, and individuals.
As of March 2012, Adam J. Szubin is Director of OFAC. He was named to the position in August 2006.
Involvement of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in economic sanctions against foreign states dates to the War of 1812, when Secretary Albert Gallatin administered sanctions against Great Britain in retaliation for the harassment of American sailors.
The Division of Foreign Assets Control, the immediate predecessor to OFAC, was established in December 1950. Predecessor agencies of the Division of Foreign Assets Control include Foreign Funds Control, which existed from 1940 to 1947, and the Office of International Finance (1947 to 1950). OFAC's earliest predecessor, Foreign Funds Control, was established by Executive Order 8389 as a unit of the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury on April 10, 1940. The authority to establish Foreign Funds Control was derived from theTrading with the Enemy Act 1917. Among other operations, Foreign Funds Control administered wartime import controls over enemy assets and restrictions on trade with enemy states. It also participated in administering the Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals, or the "Black List", and took censuses of foreign-owned assets in the United States and American-owned assets abroad. Foreign Funds Control was abolished in 1947, with its functions transferred to the newly established Office of International Finance (OIF). In 1948, OIF activities relating to blocked foreign funds were transferred to the Office of Alien Property, an agency within the Department of Justice.
The Division of Foreign Assets Control was established in the Office of International Finance by a Treasury Department order in 1950, following the entry of the People's Republic of China into the Korean War; President Harry S Truman declared a national emergency and blocked all Chinese and North Korean assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction. In addition to blocking Chinese and North Korean assets, the Division administered certain regulations and orders issued under the amended Trading with the Enemy Act.
On October 15, 1962, by a Treasury Department order, the Division of Foreign Assets Control became the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
United States Sentencing Commission
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency of the judicial branch of the federal government of the United States. It is responsible for articulating thesentencing guidelines for the United States federal courts. The Commission promulgates the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which replaced the prior system of indeterminate sentencing that allowed trial judges to give sentences ranging from probation to the maximum statutory punishment for the offense. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The commission was created by the Sentencing Reform Act provisions of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. The constitutionality of the commission was challenged as a congressional encroachment on the power of the executive but upheld by the Supreme Court in Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361 (1989).
Unlike many special-purpose "study" commissions within the executive branch, the U.S. Sentencing Commission was established by Congress as a permanent, independent agency within the judicial branch. The seven voting members on the Commission are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and serve six-year terms.Commission members may be reappointed to one additional term, also with the advice and consent of the Senate. At least three of the commissioners must be federal judges, and no more than four may belong to the same political party. The United States Attorney General or his designee and the chair of the United States Parole Commission sit as ex officio, non-voting members of the Commission.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a United States government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs andsmall businesses. The mission of the Small Business Administration is "to maintain and strengthen the nation's economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters". The agency's activities are summarized as the "3 Cs" of capital, contracts and counseling.
SBA loans are made through banks, credit unions and other lenders who partner with the SBA. The SBA provides a government-backed guarantee on part of the loan. Under the Recovery Act and the Small Business Jobs Act, SBA loans were enhanced to provide up to a 90 percent guarantee in order to strengthen access to capital for small businesses after credit froze in 2008. The agency had record lending volumes in late 2010.
SBA helps lead the federal government's efforts to deliver 23 percent of prime federal contracts to small businesses. Small business contracting programs include efforts to ensure that certain federal contracts reach woman-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses as well as businesses participating in programs such as 8(a) and HUBZone.
SBA has at least one office in each U.S. state. In addition, the agency provides grants to support counseling partners, including approximately 900 Small Business Development Centers (often located at colleges and universities), 110 Women's Business Centers, and SCORE, a volunteer mentor corps of retired and experienced business leaders with approximately 350 chapters. These counseling services provide services to over 1 million entrepreneurs and small business owners annually. President Obama announced in January 2012 that he would elevate the SBA into the Cabinet, a position it last held during the Clinton administration, thus making the Administrator of the Small Business Administration a cabinet level position.
The SBA was created on July 30, 1953, by President Eisenhower with the signing of the Small Business Act, currently codified at 15 U.S.C. ch. 14A. The Small Business Act was originally enacted as the "Small Business Act of 1953" in Title II (67 Stat. 232) of Pub.L. 83–163 (ch. 282, 67 Stat. 230, July 30, 1953); The "Reconstruction Finance Corporation Liquidation Act" was Title I, which abolished the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). The Small Business Act Amendments of 1958 (Pub.L. 85–536, 72 Stat. 384, enacted July 18, 1958) withdrew Title II as part of that act and made it a separate act to be known as the "Small Business Act". Its function was and is to "aid, counsel, assist and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns".
The SBA has survived a number of threats to its existence. In 1996, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives planned to eliminate the agency. It survived and went on to receive a record high budget in 2000. Renewed efforts by the Bush Administration to end the SBA loan program met congressional resistance, although the SBA's budget was repeatedly cut, and in 2004 certain expenditures were frozen. The Obama Administration has supported the SBA budget. Significant supplemental appropriations for the agency strengthened SBA lending through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
The SBA has an Administrator and a Deputy Administrator. It has an associate administrator or director for the following offices:
- Business Development
- Capital Access
- Communications and Public Liaison
- Congressional and Legislative Affairs
- Credit Risk Management
- Disaster Assistance
- Entrepreneurial Development
- Entrepreneurship Education
- Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Compliance
- Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
- Field Operations
- Government Contracting and Business Development
- Hearings and Appeals
- HUBZone Program
- International Trade
- Investment and Innovation
- Management and Administration
- Native American Affairs
- Performance Management
- Small Business Development Centers
- Veterans Business Development
- Women's Business Ownership
Senate-confirmed appointees include: Administrator, Deputy Administrator,
Chief Counsel for Advocacy, and Inspector General.
Business.gov is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide small business owners with access to federal, state and local government resources from a single access point. The site provides innovative information services that save time and money, engage citizens to participate, and enable collaboration across all levels of government. Business.gov creates a dialogue among business owners and the organizations serving them, making government resources and information more accessible to the nation's small business community.
Business.gov was launched in 1997 as the U.S. Business Advisor by the National Technical Information Service of the United States Department of Commerce. The U.S. Business Advisor aimed to improve interaction between businesses and government agencies by providing a single resource for finding tools, how-to guides, frequently asked questions, current items of interest, and information on doing transactions with the federal government.
Business.gov was re-launched in May 2004 as a Presidential E-Government Initiative SBA assumed management oversight of Business.gov in partnership with 21 other federal agencies. This partnership, known as the Business Gateway, established Business.gov as the single access point to government services that help the nation’s businesses with their operations. The content of the site was primarily aimed at starting, growing, and managing a small business, with an emphasis on government assistance programs and services available from SBA and other federal agencies.
Business Gateway officially re-launched Business.gov on October 12, 2006. as a web portal targeted at helping small and medium-sized businesses find, understand and comply with government regulations. The website has since evolved to provide guidance and resources for all aspects of starting and running a business.
The Business.gov Community launched in March, 2009 as an interactive extension of the website, creating a forum for business owners to interact with government, industry experts and each other through discussion boards, idea exchanges and blog articles.
Reducing regulatory burden for small businesses
Business.gov provides a platform for online services—feature articles, interactive tools and a specialized, Google-based search engine—that help small businesses reduce significant regulatory burdens.
All businesses, large or small, are subject to legal and regulatory burdens. Small businesses face the greatest burden of all. Research conducted and documented by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy revealed the following:
- Very small firms with fewer than 20 employees spend 45% more per employee than larger firms to comply with federal regulations.
- These very small firms spend 4.5 times as much per employee to comply with environmental regulations and 67% more per employee on tax compliance than their larger counterparts.
- Businesses with fewer than 20 employees spend an average of $7,647 per employee to stay in compliance vs. an average of $5,282 for firms with 500+ employees.
- Firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.7% of the 29.6 million businesses in the U.S.; the most recent data show there are only 18,000 large businesses.
- Small businesses generated 64% of net new jobs annually over the past 15 years.
- Small businesses must also comply with labor and safety regulations.
The mission of Business Gateway is to provide innovative information services to the small business community that save time and money, engage citizens to participate, and enable collaboration across all levels of government.
Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002
The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act (SBPRA) of 2002 requires federal agencies to designate one point of contact to act as a liaison between the agency and small business concerns. SBPRA also requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in conjunction with the Small Business Administration, to publish on the Internet a list of compliance assistance resources available at Federal agencies for small businesses. In accordance with the SBPRA, Business.gov has published a Federal Compliance Contacts page which gives the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of individuals at federal agencies that can help small business answer regulatory and legal questions. Business.gov also provides guidance through links to federal, state and local agency resources that help small businesses meet their regulatory requirements.
Features and services
Small business resources
Business.gov offers a variety of resources that address each phase of a business life cycle from preparing to launch a business to financing growth to ensuring compliance with federal, state and local regulations. Authoritative information is provided through links to other government agencies, fact sheets, guidelines, forms, interactive tools, training resources, and compliance experts.
Business.gov covers a wide variety of business topics and industries. Additionally, there are specific guides for self-employed and home-based businesses; resources for women, veteran and minority business owners; and a portal for non-profits.
State and local guides
Business.gov includes federal, state and local government information so business owners don’t have to know which level government to go to in order to obtain licenses and permits and comply with other laws and regulations. The State & Local guides provide access to programs and services that help small business owners start and expand their operations while complying with state and local laws.
Federal, state and local contacts
Business.gov provides direct line contacts to federal, state and local personnel who are available by phone or e-mail to answer questions about complying with government regulations.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Business.gov provides links to FAQ databases from across the federal government in which regulatory agencies provide answers to common business issues. Business.gov's FAQ Directory is organized by topical area making it easier to find information relevant to a user's specific business area.
Doing business with the federal government
The Business.gov Small Business Guide to Government Contracting provides links to information that helps small to medium sized business understanding how to contract with the federal government and locate business opportunities.
Business search engine
The Business.gov search engine uses Custom Search Engine Business Edition, filtering only federal, state and local government websites and pages that are relevant to small business owners.
"Permit Me" is an interactive search tool that provides a single place for business owners to obtain licenses, permits and registrations needed to run their businesses. Currently, Permit Me only includes information on general licensing requirements and information on ten different business types.
Loans & Grants Search Tool
The Loans & Grants Search Tool is an interactive search tool that provides a list of financing programs for which a small business may qualify.
Business.gov gadgets for website
The Business.gov Toolkit is a "gadget" that business owners or small business organizations can place on their websites or iGoogle homepages to provide instant access to essential Business.gov resources without leaving their site.
The Business.gov Partners Program works with industry, trade associations and other government agencies to contribute their expertise and authoritative resources to Business.gov. Partners also use the site's tools and features as a platform for sharing information and to facilitate outreach and collaboration.
Model for government-to-business websites
Business.gov served as a model for other government websites by fulfilling the goals of President George W. Bush's 2001 President's Management Agenda. The site continues to deliver on the current Administration’s Open Government Initiative under President Barack Obama and is showcased on the White House Open Government Innovations Gallery.
Business.gov strictly adheres to all requirements and guidelines for Federal websites, including those established by the E-Government Act of 2002, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Policies for Federal Public Websites, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 regarding website accessibility. The site also strictly follows requirements of the Privacy Act, the Federal Information Security Management Act, and other privacy and security requirements.
- Business.gov Helps Businesses Meet Federal Compliance Requirements. News Release, October 12, 2006.
- U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, FAQ
- Google.com[dead link]
- Business.gov - Official Site
- Presidential E-Gov Initiatives - About Business Gateway
- U.S. Small Business Administration - Official Site
- President's Management Agenda
- Open Government Initiative
- White House Innovations Gallery
- Business Week – Twitter for Entrepreneurs: 20 to Follow
- Huffington Post - Five Places on the Web to Find the Truth
- Wyoming Business Report-New Online Community Offered to Small Businesses
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a proprietary information security standard for organizations that handle cardholder information for the majordebit, credit, prepaid, e-purse, ATM, and POS cards.
Defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, the standard was created to increase controls around cardholder data to reduce credit card fraud via its exposure. Validation of compliance is done annually — by an external Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) that creates a Report on Compliance (ROC) for organizations handling large volumes of transactions, or by Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) for companies handling smaller volumes.
The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Pub.L. 106–102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted November 12, 1999) is an act of the 106th United States Congress (1999–2001). It repealed part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, removing barriers in the market among banking companies, securitiescompanies and insurance companies that prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company. With the passage of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies were allowed to consolidate. The legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
A year before the law was passed, Citicorp, a commercial bank holding company, merged with the insurance companyTravelers Group in 1998 to form the conglomerate Citigroup, a corporation combining banking, securities and insurance services under a house of brands that included Citibank, Smith Barney, Primerica, and Travelers. Because this merger was a violation of the Glass–Steagall Act and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, the Federal Reserve gave Citigroup a temporary waiver in September 1998. Less than a year later, GLB was passed to legalize these types of mergers on a permanent basis. The law also repealed Glass–Steagall's conflict of interest prohibitions "against simultaneous service by any officer, director, or employee of a securities firm as an officer, director, or employee of any member bank".
Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002
The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 ("FISMA", 44 U.S.C. § 3541, et seq.) is a United States federal law enacted in 2002 as Title III of the E-Government Act of 2002 (Pub.L. 107–347, 116 Stat. 2899). The act recognized the importance of information security to the economic and national security interests of the United States. The act requires each federal agency to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide information security for the information andinformation systems that support the operations and assets of the agency, including those provided or managed by another agency, contractor, or other source.
FISMA has brought attention within the federal government to cybersecurity and explicitly emphasized a "risk-based policy for cost-effective security." FISMA requires agency program officials, chief information officers, and inspectors general (IGs) to conduct annual reviews of the agency’s information security program and report the results to Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB uses this data to assist in its oversight responsibilities and to prepare this annual report to Congress on agency compliance with the act.In FY 2008, federal agencies spent $6.2 billion securing the government’s total information technology investment of approximately $68 billion or about 9.2 percent of the total information technology portfolio.[3
Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) is a framework created by ISACA for information technology (IT) management and IT governance. It is a supporting toolset that allows managers to bridge the gap between control requirements, technical issues and business risks.
The Information Systems Audit and Control Association first released COBIT in 1996; ISACA published the current version, COBIT 5, in 2012.
COBIT aims "to research, develop, publish and promote an authoritative, up-to-date, international set of generally accepted information technology control objectives for day-to-day use by business managers, IT professionals and assurance professionals".
COBIT, initially an acronym for "Control objectives for information and related technology" (though before the release of the framework people talked of "CobiT" as "Control Objectives for IT"), defines a set of generic processes for the management of IT. The framework defines each process together with process inputs and outputs, key process-activities, process objectives, performance measures and an elementary maturity model.
The framework supports governance of IT by defining and aligning business goals with IT goals and IT processes.
The COBIT framework
The business orientation of COBIT consists of linking business goals to IT goals, providing metrics and maturity models to measure their achievement, and identifying the associated responsibilities of business and IT process owners.
The process focus of COBIT 4.1 is illustrated by a process model that subdivides IT into four domains (Plan and Organize, Acquire and Implement, Deliver and Support, and Monitor and Evaluate) and 34 processes in line with the responsibility areas of plan, build, run and monitor. It is positioned at a high level and has been aligned and harmonized with other, more detailed, IT standards and good practices such as COSO, ITIL, ISO 27000, CMMI, TOGAF and PMBOK. COBIT acts as an integrator of these different guidance materials, summarizing key objectives under one umbrella framework that link the good practice models with governance and business requirements.
The COBIT 4.1 framework specification can be obtained as a complimentary PDF at the ISACA download website. (Free self-registration may be required.)
COBIT 5 was released in April 2012. COBIT 5 consolidates and integrates the COBIT 4.1, Val IT 2.0 and Risk IT frameworks, and draws from ISACA's IT Assurance Framework(ITAF) and the Business Model for Information Security (BMIS). It aligns with frameworks and standards such as Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), PRINCE2 and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF).
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is a measurement standards laboratory, also known as a National Metrological Institute (NMI), which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. The institute's official mission is to:
NIST had an operating budget for fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006-September 30, 2007) of about $843.3 million. NIST's 2009 budget was $992 million, and it also received $610 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NIST employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel. About 1,800 NIST associates (guest researchers and engineers from American companies and foreign countries) complement the staff. In addition, NIST partners with 1,400 manufacturing specialists and staff at nearly 350 affiliated centers around the country. NIST publishes theHandbook 44 that provides the "Specifications, tolerances, and other technical requirements for weighing and measuring devices".
All these different organization where all setup to help.
Curacao Caribbean & International Compliance Solution. (CCICS)
Ronald Wederfoort (President)
Ronald Wederfoort (President)
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