New data shows federal workers with disabilities are having a tougher time getting management positions

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The American Federation of Government Employees is continuing its dispute over return-to-office plans. AFGE has filed two new unfair labor practice complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The union says EEOC imposed reentry timelines before completing negotiations. AFGE also takes issue with the commission’s...

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To listen to the Federal Newscast on your phone or mobile device, subscribe in PodcastOne or Apple Podcasts. The best listening experience on desktop can be found using Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

  • The American Federation of Government Employees is continuing its dispute over return-to-office plans. AFGE has filed two new unfair labor practice complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The union says EEOC imposed reentry timelines before completing negotiations. AFGE also takes issue with the commission’s requirement for workers to sign for clearance to be able to continue telework. The complaints come after EEOC began reentry for all employees starting May 16. The commission says returning to the office was necessary to effectively serve the public.
  • A new report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finds opportunities for federal workers with disabilities are improving, but more work can be done on retention and representation in leadership positions. The report found that persons with disabilities are still underrepresented in federal sector leadership, and that they were also more likely to leave federal service whether voluntarily or involuntarily.
  • Upcoming sessions with the Office of Personnel Management can help agencies improve their hiring strategies. Along with their internal hiring experts, agencies can turn to OPM for additional resources. OPM will host both overview sessions and focused meetings to help managers improve job applications. That’s part of a new directive calling on agencies to recruit employees based more on experience, instead of education. OPM says it will soon release a calendar of those sessions. (Federal News Network)
  • Leaders on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee are pushing for a cost-of-living adjustment for service-disabled veterans. The Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act would have some VA benefits, including disability and dependent compensation, increase based on the cost of living calculated each year by the Social Security Administration. SSA bases its annual COLA adjustment off the Consumer Price Index. Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced the bill.
  • The Technology Modernization Fund is putting millions of dollars behind digitizing veteran records to fix pandemic-era backlog. The TMF board is giving the National Archives and Records Administration more than $9 million to digitize veteran records held at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. NARA will use the money to replace its legacy records systems with cloud-based platforms. That will allow its staff to fulfill records requests remotely. Veterans and their families rely on these records to obtain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The TMF board is also giving the Agriculture Department more than $4 million to invest in zero-trust cybersecurity architecture. (Federal News Network)
  • The Defense Department has updated its regulations to help junior servicemembers pay the costs of moving to private housing when on-base housing gets squeezed for space. According to Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), who’s been pressing the Pentagon to make the change, the problem’s become more serious in recent years – government-owned barracks have been deteriorating, and bases have been shutting them down. The update means single military members living in those barracks can get a one-time dislocation allowance when they’re forced to move.
  • About $20,000 soldiers, civilians and reservists will test out the Army’s new approach to “bring-your-own-device” or BYOD technology. Army CIO Raj Iyer says the pilot will start in the next 60 days and prove out the concept for a broader roll out in the coming years. Iyer says the Army found a technology from a service disabled veteran owned small business that works on “unmanaged” devices where the government can’t monitor data on the user’s personal device. (Federal News Network)
  • The State Department’s intelligence arm is putting a major emphasis on digital modernization. The Bureau of Intelligence and Research is out with a new strategic plan that puts a big emphasis on digital modernization. The State Department bureau wants to use more modern digital technologies to improve how it analyzes information and shares insights with diplomats across the world. Brett Holmgren is assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research. “It’s a cultural shift,” Holmgren said. “I think it’s vitally important. And it starts at the top in terms of how the leadership of our organization views technology and the role that it will play.” The bureau has already hired its first chief information officer and is in the process of establishing a technology governance board. (Federal News Network)
  • New details are out about the a possible updated approach to buying cloud services. The General Services Administration offers its first look at its thinking for how agencies can buy cloud services in the future. GSA released the draft performance work statement for Ascend, a governmentwide blanket purchase agreement. The agency is asking for industry feedback on this draft solicitation. Under the proposed approach, GSA outlines the requirements vendors must meet to qualify for each of the three different pools, including infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and IT cloud support services. Comments on the draft performance work statement are due by June 6.
  • The Central Intelligence Agency fills a key cybersecurity position. Rich Baich will serve as chief information security officer and director of the office of cybersecurity at the CIA. Baich was most recently the global chief information security officer at the American Insurance Group. He’s also been CISO for Wells Fargo and a principal at Deloitte. Baich is a retired Navy information warfare officer and also served at the FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center.

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