The General Services Administration has begun its Login.gov apology tour. GSA leaders appeared before the Technology Modernization Fund board on March 20 to explain how they are fixing problems highlighted by a recent inspector general report. The TMF Board awarded Login.gov $187 million in September 2021 under false assertions. Tomorrow, Sonny Hashmi, the Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner, will tell the House oversight lawmakers about the steps GSA has taken and will continue to take to ensure Login.gov is meeting agency customer needs. GSA is trying to regain the trust of agencies and Congress after misleading them for four years about the capabilities of Login.gov.
(TMF Board meeting - Federal News Network)
The federal workforce is becoming more diverse, but it also depends where you look. Despite some improvements overall in workforce diversity, most demographic groups are disproportionately found on the lower end of the General Schedule. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that men hold more positions at GS-11 and above, as well as in the Senior Executive Service. In contrast, women account for more than half of federal positions ranking GS-1 through GS-10. The EEOC recommends that agencies look for examples of success and try to replicate them for other demographic groups.
Aaron Weis, the Department of the Navy's chief information officer for the last three-plus years, has joined Google Public Sector as the managing director of technology. Weis's first day in his new role was yesterday. He joins Google Public Sector after announcing in February that he would leave the Navy Department as of March 17. A managing director of technology, Weis is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the technology strategy for the Google Cloud Platform. Before coming to government in 2018, Weis spent 28 years in the private sector.
(Google email - Aaron Weis)
VA’s National Cemetery Administration retains its top spot on a customer experience scorecard. NCA ranks number one among all public and private organizations on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. It is the seventh time NCA has won the top honor, but the latest ranking is the agency's first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Matthew Quinn said the agency’s top marks underscore how NCA prioritizes service to veterans and their families. “There really is no do-over in the case of that interment of the veteran or the loved one. And that memory is what will last with that family, as the nation grieves the loss of another veteran,” Quinn said.
The White House looks to put some meat on the bones of its new cybersecurity strategy, as it aims to issue an implementation plan for the strategy by June. The plan will put more details around the strategy’s high-level goals to secure critical infrastructure from cyber attacks. That is according to Acting Principal Deputy National Cyber Director Rob Knake. “What you’re going to see is implementation actions moving out to every single department and agency that’s been involved in this process,” he said. Knake also said the White House will issue a request for information on cyber regulatory harmonization in the coming weeks.
A bipartisan bill, called the Not Just a Number Act, would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to take a closer look at veteran suicides. VA analyzes how many veterans, who die by suicide, had recent VA medical or mental health appointments. The legislation would also have the VA analyze a veterans’ use of disability compensation, education and employment benefits, as well as home loans and foreclosure assistance programs. Senate VA Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and committee member Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced the bill.
Some federal employees on the Federal Wage System may soon see bigger paychecks. The Office of Personnel Management has issued a final rule to add several geographical regions to the Washington, D.C. wage area. The boundary change will impact blue-collar federal employees working in the Shenandoah National Park areas in Albemarle, Augusta, Greene, Page and Rockingham counties in Virginia. The employees will see the changes reflected in their paychecks in late April.
In a move aimed at strengthening the domestic supply chain, President Joe Biden signed an order authorizing use of the Defense Production Act for printed circuit boards and advanced packaging. The circuit boards make up critical components in electronics used in the national defense, economic, environmental, energy and healthcare management sectors. Advanced packaging allows multiple devices to be packaged and mounted on a single electronic device. The move is part of White House efforts to expand the supply chain for the microelectronics industrial base.
Agencies are restricted from using commercial spyware under a new executive order signed by President Joe Biden yesterday. Before agencies can use a spyware product, the EO requires them to certify that it doesn’t pose counterintelligence risks and hasn’t been used to illegally surveil Americans or commit human rights abuses. The directive comes amid mounting concerns about the proliferation of commercially available surveillance tools. White House officials believe 50 devices used by U.S. government employees across 10 countries have been compromised or targeted by spyware in recent years.
Airmen studying for their enlisted promotion exams will now be able to find everything they need in one place. The Air Force Air Education and Training Command created a website that compiled all the materials needed to prepare for tests. It includes electronic versions of the Air Force Handbook and study guides tailored to those testing to become staff sergeants and technical sergeants. The website also features information on everything related to promotions within individual career fields. In the past, airmen had to search multiple websites and resources to find the necessary material for their studies.