Retiring intelligence officials are going to have to wait a few months before working for foreign governments

In today's Federal Newscast, U.S. intelligence officers have new restrictions on working for foreign governments when they retire.

  • The head of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs moved to a new job in the administration. Jenny Yang, who led OFCCP since January 2021, joined the White House today as the deputy assistant to the president for racial justice and equity. Michele Hodge, the deputy director of OFCCP, takes over as the director on an interim basis. Hodge has been the deputy director since 2021 and has been with the Labor Department for 14 years. (OFCCP Bulletin – Department of Labor)
  • Agencies have new directions to make their workplaces more gender inclusive. The Office of Personnel Management is encouraging agencies to develop more trainings on gender identity and inclusion. New OPM guidance says agencies should also avoid releasing personal information about an employee transitioning from one gender to another. The guidance also touches on dress and appearance standards, names and pronouns, restroom facilities and the hiring process, as well as the use of sick leave and insurance benefits for employees in transition. OPM’s guidance builds on other inclusion efforts from Biden administration, such as calling on agencies to improve collection of LGBTQ+ data and making federal services more inclusive to transgender people. (OPM details how agencies can create a gender-inclusive workplace – Federal News Network)
  • Roughly 10,000 federal employees working overseas will soon have the option to join a union. The American Federation of Government Employees is planning to launch a new local chapter for federal employees stationed in Europe. The chapter will expand AFGE District 14, which currently represents a handful of feds working overseas. Most who are eligible for the new chapter are Defense Department employees working at military hospitals, child care centers, commissaries and exchanges. (AFGE launching new local to cover federal employees in Europe – American Federation of Government Employees)
  • In an effort to make mental health care more accessible to sailors, the Navy released a mental health care playbook. It details how communication about mental health should work between naval personnel up and down the chain of command. The Navy wants the manual to not only help prevent mental health problems, but create an environment that is more welcoming to open discussion of those problems. The playbook also offers contacts for specific mental health providers, and a roadmap for how to get help. (Stopping problems before they start: DoD aims for more proactive mental health care – Federal News Network)
  • Military service members who lose a family member can now take paid bereavement leave. Under the new policy, a service member who loses a child or spouse and has less than 30 days accrued leave can use the benefit. It offers up to two weeks of leave for active or reserve service members as long as the member has served for at least one year. The new policy came from a mandate in the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. The directive simplifies the process for commands to authorize emergency leave when there is a death in the family. (DoD Announced New Bereavement Leave Benefit for Members – Department of Defense)
  • It’s been three years since Congress told the Defense Department to build climate resiliency into the master plans for each military base. A new audit by the Pentagon’s inspector general finds local installation officials are working on the problem, but they’re using inconsistent data sources that may or may not be reliable. The IG said that hampers their ability to accurately predict future climate impacts. The report says DoD and the military services need to offer consistent guidance on how those assessments should be built and what data they should rely on. (Audit of Military Department Climate Change Assessments and Adaptation Plans in the Southeastern Continental United States – Department of Defense)
  • The FAA’s network is getting a major facelift. The FAA is ready to upgrade the underlying network that supports the National Airspace System, which includes providing Air Traffic Management (ATM) to more than 45,000 flights and 2.9 million airline passengers a year. The administration chose Verizon under its Federal Aviation Administration Enterprise Network Services or FENS contract. The 15-year, $2.4 billion deal replaces the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure or FTI contract, which was implemented in 2002. Under FENS, Verizon will design, build, operate and maintain the FAA’s next-generation communications platform that includes dynamic service provisioning and reconfiguration, higher security, faster performance and a flexible, more seamless user experience. (Verizon Public Sector wins Federal Aviation Administration FENS contract – Verizon)
  • A big milestone for DoD’s Space Development Agency: it now has its first satellites in orbit, just two-and-a-half years after it signed its first contracts to build and launch the first tranche of the new National Defense Space Architecture. The first 10 of what will be 28 satellites in “Tranche zero” launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base yesterday. The new satellites operate in low-earth orbit, and are meant to give the military new ways to communicate on the battlefield and track missile threats. SDA said the successful deployment proves it can use the existing DoD acquisition system to add new space-based technology every two years. (SDA delivers first 10 satellites on-orbit, two-and-a-half years from award to launch – Space Development Agency)
  • The Biden administration wants to drastically cut down the time it takes to evaluate people for sensitive government positions. Agencies have some new goals for how long it should take to vet prospective employees: 25 days for public trust positions, 40 days for secret-level security clearance and high-risk public trust eligibility, and 75 days for top-secret clearance. The current average timelines for getting through the clearance process are nearly twice those numbers. The new targets are part of the Trusted Workforce 2.0 initiative that’s introduced continuous vetting and other reforms to the federal background investigations process. (‘This would be wild’ Agencies have ambitious new personnel vetting goals – Federal News Network)
  • U.S. intelligence officers have new restrictions on working for foreign governments when they retire. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released the new directive laying out the guardrails last month. The policy includes a 30-month cooling off period before many officers can work on behalf of a foreign military, intelligence or security service. Congress passed the new restrictions after it was revealed that U.S. intelligence officers contributed to a United Arab Emirates surveillance program. (Issuance of Intelligence Community Directive 712: Requirements for Certain Employment Activities by Former Intelligence Community Employees – Office of the Director of National Intelligence)
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology is launching a one-stop shop for its resources on artificial intelligence. NIST’s new Responsible AI Resource Center includes access to the agency’s recently released AI risk management framework. That framework sets voluntary rules of the road for how agencies and other organizations develop and use this emerging technology. NIST’s AI resource center also includes a standards tracker for AI standards used around the globe. (NIST Trustworthy & Responsible Artificial Intelligence Resource Center – National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • The Postal Service hit its delivery targets for the 2022 midterm election, but may have left money on the table. USPS delivered a greater percentage of mail-in ballots on time in the 2022 midterm election compared to other recent election cycles, well surpassing its performance targets. But its inspector general’s office reports the agency may have missed out on $23 million in revenue from election mail. That’s because USPS treats all marked ballots as first-class mail, even if state election offices pay a lower marketing mail rate. The IG’s office found USPS delivered more than 9 million first-class mail ballots in 2022 — a fraction of the more than 73 million ballots that went out as marketing mail. (USPS hit 2022 midterm election delivery targets, but may have missed $23M in revenue – Federal News Network)

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