The Government Accountability Office is getting a new technology leader. Beth Killoran is heading to the Government Accountability Office to be its new chief information officer. She comes to GAO from the General Services Administration, where she had been deputy CIO since 2018. Killoran starts at GAO on May 7. She replaces Howard Williams, who held the role for more than a decade. Among her top priorities as GAO's CIO is to continue the IT modernization work to give auditors and investigators better tools and improve the agency's cybersecurity. This is Killoran's second time as CIO. She previously held that role for three years with the Department of Health and Human Services from 2015 to 2018.
( - Federal News Network)
For federal employees, new White House telework guidance is creating more questions than answers. About 40% of feds expect their agency to increase in-office work in response to the Office of Management and Budget's latest guidance. Another 40% of respondents to Federal News Network's survey said they are unsure what will happen next. The OMB memo calls on agencies to increase in-person work, while still maintaining workplace flexibilities. Out of nearly 5,000 respondents to FNN's survey, a majority said telework makes them more productive and better able to meet their agency's mission. Two-thirds of respondents said they would leave their job if their agency increased requirements to come into the office.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is figuring out what more in-person work looks like for its benefits workforce. The Veterans Benefits Administration is trying to keep workforce productivity up while complying with the Biden administration’s call for more in-person work. VBA said it is already following the Office of Personnel Management’s general rule of having employees work in the office at least twice per pay period. But VA Secretary Denis McDonough said he is working with supervisors in the National Capital Region to make sure the VA is meeting the goals of a recent Office of Management and Budget memo calling for more in-person work. “We are going to make sure that they continue to operate the way they’re operating now,” McDonough said.
A new system for managing cyber talent in government is slowly taking hold. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has now hired 80 people using the Cyber Talent Management System (CTMS). The Department of Homeland Security launched the CTMS in late 2021, as an alternative to the traditional Title 5 pay-and-benefits system. While CTMS is supposed to help streamline cyber hiring, it has gotten off to a slow start. Officials fell short of the goal to hire 150 people within its first year. But CISA plans to increase its use of CTMS hiring this year. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency is set to become the next DHS component to begin using the system to recruit cyber talent.
Congress is giving the Coast Guard what it calls a much-needed funding boost. In the fiscal 2024-2025 authorization bill, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members authorized more than $14 billion for 2024 and almost $15 billion for 2025. This authorization is significantly more than the over $13 billion received this year and what the White House requested in the 2024 budget. House lawmakers authorized extra funding to deal with a $3 billion shoreside technology infrastructure backlog and payment for career-status bonuses and continuation pay for coasties. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.
Newly introduced legislation would give participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program more coverage for some assisted reproductive treatments. Called the Family Building FEHB Fairness Act, it would require FEHB health carriers to cover in-vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive technology, two common types of infertility treatments. If enacted, the Office of Personnel Management would have one year to implement the requirements for health carriers.
The Army will hold an aviation safety stand down after two separate incidents of helicopters colliding. Two Apache helicopters collided last week near Fort Wainwright, Alaska, killing three crew members. In March, nine soldiers died during a training flight near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, when their Blackhawk helicopters collided. The 24-hour safety stand down must be completed by the end of this week. It will focus on reviewing the risk approval-risk management process, aviation maintenance training program, aircrew training and supervisory responsibility.
(Army Chief of Staff directs aviation stand down, Units to focus on safety, training - Army email)
The State Department is showcasing projects that make its worldwide footprint more sustainable. The U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tunisia won a State Department Greening Diplomacy Initiative award for energy efficiency, reducing waste, and partnering with the local community on eco-diplomacy initiatives. The Bureau of Information Resource Management’s IT Sustainability Working Group also won an award for energy efficiency efforts that have saved the department more than $300 million.
A new plan from the National Institute of Standards and Technology aims to speed up the development of digital identity technologies. NIST is seeking comment on a draft version of its Identity and Access Management Roadmap. One of the agency’s strategic objectives is to accelerate the adoption of mobile drivers licenses. Another is to improve the accuracy, usability and inclusivity of biometric and identity technologies. Comments to NIST are due by June 1.
Service members and their families will get free credit monitoring, if a new bipartisan bill becomes law. Two Republicans and two Democratic senators introduced the Servicemembers’ Credit Monitoring Enhancement Act. Currently, only active duty servicemembers and members of the National Guard are eligible for free credit monitoring services. The bill would expand eligibility for free credit monitoring to military spouses and dependents over 18 years old, as well as all servicemembers including non-active duty reservists. The legislation would help military families stay informed about their finances and get an early warning of potential financial problems.