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Agencies have a little more guidance now on how they’re supposed to implement the president’s recent federal hiring executive order. The Office of Personnel Management listed dozens and dozens of occupations that currently require an educational degree or experience to score a spot on an agency’s list of pre-certified candidates. The EO requires agencies to start using skills-based assessments to decide whether someone is minimally qualified. OPM said these assessments will serve as a third and co-equal mode in setting minimal qualifications. Agencies have three weeks to review the occupations that are relevant to their organization and give feedback.
The payroll tax deferral is still causing headaches for some. The National Treasury Employees Union said federal employees are subject to the deferral than it initially expected. The deferral applies to employees’ gross salaries after taxes and other deductions. Not before. Meantime Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin whether federal employees could opt out of the payroll tax deferral. Mnuchin said, “I’d be happy to follow up with [the Office of Management and Budget], who’s responsible. I think that’s a reasonable issue if people don’t want to participate, but let me follow up with them.” (Federal News Network)
The Trump administration is joining forces with the U.K. on research and development of artificial intelligence. The agreement identifies areas of cooperation in R&D, such as improving the explainability and fairness of AI algorithms. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said the research agreement stems from an economic working group created by the two countries after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Department of State)
The House Committee on Homeland Security named a new top Democrat on cybersecurity issues. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL), already the vice chairwoman of the full committee, will also lead the subcommittee on cyber, infrastructure protection, and innovation. She’ll take over for Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who was recently appointed to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee. The subcommittee oversees policy related to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate.
Thirteen lawmakers are petitioning the Armed Services Committees to save the Defense Department chief management officer position. In a letter to the committees, senators like Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) argue that the CMO position needs more time to implement change within the department. DoD CMO Lisa Hershman took office in December last year. The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act would get rid of the CMO and move the responsibility of saving money and streamlining business practices back to the deputy defense secretary. (Federal News Network)
The military has already removed photos from packets sent to promotion boards. However, it may go farther. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said the military is considering removing all personal identifying information from the files. The hope is that removing the information will get rid of conscious or unconscious bias by the people selecting who gets promoted. The Defense Department is currently undergoing an internal review of diversity and inclusion in the military.
The Trump administration could be getting a new federal chief information officer and federal chief information security officer soon. Basil Parker and Camilo Sandoval are expected to be tapped to take over two of the top governmentwide technology leadership positions. Parker is currently the chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management. He is expected to be named the new federal CIO to replace Suzette Kent. Sandoval, the former acting CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is expected to be appointed the new federal CISO. Multiple sources confirm the two names are working their way through the Presidential Personnel Office in the White House and the President could announce the appointments in the next week or two. (Federal News Network)
Lora Shiao will be the new Chief Operating Officer in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. She replaces Deirdre Walsh who left in May. Shiao currently serves as the deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center. As the ODNI COO, she will be responsible for corporate governance processes and policy development while also overseeing the chief management officers like the CFO, chief acquisition officer and facilities. Shiao starts in her new role as COO on Oct. 12.