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.
As agencies are considering the best ways to recruit technology talent, a new study from the Government Accountability Office said the State Department needs to test if recruiting measures are working. The State Department has raised entry-level pay and expanded their incentives to increase recruitment and retention. GAO said the agency needs to establish metrics and regularly assess current and future workforce needs. It provided 16 recommendations to improve the State’s IT workforce management including expanding the number of IT positions available each year to external applicants in the civil and foreign workforce.
The National Science Foundation moves up to second place in the annual Best Places to Work rankings. Second only to the Government Accountability Office, NSF’s overall employee satisfaction score increased nearly two points, up to 86 out of a total 100. The agency’s Chief Human Capital Officer, Wonzie Gardner, credits the increase to strong communication between employees and managers. (Federal News Network)
There’s new data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on diversity in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering, or STEM, jobs at agencies. Women account for 29.3% of feds in STEM roles. Two-thirds of those women are white. Only about a quarter of federal STEM leaders are women. Carlton Hadden, a director at EEOC, said there were much fewer women in tech and engineering than expected. Taking pay into account, women were 92% more likely to work in science, rather than tech jobs.
The Coast Guard holds its tenth and final virtual roadshow session on career management for service members next week. Coasties will have the chance to ask chief warrant officers about command opportunities, leadership positions, staff assignments and their specialties, E-resumes, and how to manage your career for future promotion boards or command screening panels. The session is Wednesday July 20 at 2 p.m. Eastern. These recordings are also available on the Coast Guard’s portal site.
Several federal workforce provisions in the Defense Authorization bill aim to address pay and workers’ rights. Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) is trying to drive the final stake through the heart of Schedule F. Connolly is sponsoring an amendment to the 2023 NDAA that would effectively end any chance of a new administration reviving the Schedule F concept. Under the Trump administration, Schedule F gave agency leaders authority to reclassify certain positions from the career competitive service to a new excepted service. President Joe Biden rescinded Schedule F in January 2021. The NDAA also includes amendments to move Transportation Security Administration workers into Title 5 and ensure competitive pay for nurses at the VA. (Federal News Network)
The IRS is hiring 470 revenue agents who specialize in auditing and examining taxpayers and businesses. New internal revenue agents will work with the agency’s Small Business Self Employed division, and will be brought on anywhere between the GS-5 and GS-12 pay scale. Eligible applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting. The IRS is hosting several virtual information sessions for prospective applicants through the end of July.
IRS career managers respond to allegations of politically-motivated tax audits of former FBI director James Comey and deputy director Andrew McCabe. The IRS-based Professional Managers Association issued a detailed statement of how the agency’s Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics division comes up with who to audit. It notes that Comey and McCabe did have possibly anomalous returns thanks to jumps in income from book sales. The group expresses confidence that wrongful influence will be rooted out by the IRS, while calling for more training for audit staff.
Federal employees traveling for work will have eight airlines to choose from in fiscal 2023. The General Services Administration awarded contracts under the City Pair Program for airlines to serve more than 12,000 markets. Under the governmentwide initiative, employees will see an estimated 45% discount on comparable commercial fares. There are no cancellation or change fees, all tickets are fully refundable and there are no blackout dates. The agency expects to save the government almost $1.3 billion next year through the program. GSA began the City Pair Program in 1980 with just 11 markets.
The General Services Administration says agencies are buying more electric vehicles. GSA said that so far in fiscal 2022, agencies have ordered more than 3,000 zero-emission vehicles. That’s compared to 200 electric vehicles the federal government purchased in 2020. GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan held a roundtable with auto manufacturers and union representatives in Ann Arbor, Michigan to promote the Biden administration’s green government goals. Those include getting the federal government to commit to purchasing only zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration lays out his number one priority if he’s confirmed to lead the agency for a second term. David Pekoske is up for another five-year run as TSA administrator. During a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Pekoske said his top priority will continue to be achieving pay equity for transportation security officers. “It’s very, very hard for us to recruit people because they’re looking at the pay system,” Pekoske said. “Even if we can recruit them, they’ll decide to come into TSA sometimes and then transition to another agency.” The Biden administration included a big pay increase for TSA employees in its 2023 budget, but Congress still needs to approve the funding. (Federal News Network)
A major services contractor commits big dollars to develop emerging technology. Booz Allen Hamilton forms a venture arm backed by $100 million. The company will invest in early stage companies making new products Booz believes will be useful to federal clients. Company officials s aid the new venture is part of a larger innovation sourcing strategy called Tech Scouting.
The Treasury Department is seeking public comment on opportunities and risks presented by the adoption of digital assets. This is in line with the president’s Executive Order on “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.” The order directs Treasury, along with the Labor Secretary and other relevant agencies, to report on the implications of development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment infrastructures for consumers, investors, and businesses. Comments are open through August 8.