By Friday, agencies required to name senior career official to lead their presidential transition efforts

OMB memo also requires agencies to ensure that a succession plan is in place for each senior non-career position by September 15.

  • By Friday, agencies have to name a senior career official to lead their presidential transition efforts. Additionally, by Friday, agencies have to share that main point of contact with GSA’s Federal Transition Coordinator. These are two of the three deadlines the Office of Management and Budget outlined in a new memo. The other date agencies need to keep in mind is September 15. By then, each agency shall ensure that a succession plan is in place for each senior non-career position. In the memo, OMB also laid out the eight responsibilities of the agency transition lead. OMB will hold the first meeting of these senior career officials on May 29.
  • The General Services Administration is reinvigorating its open government efforts. GSA is looking for 20 federal and non-federal experts in open government and civil society to make up its new Open Government Federal Advisory Committee. GSA is seeking nominations of people with a strong background in open government themes, such as access to information, anti-corruption, digital governance, public participation, and improving the delivery of government services and benefits. The GSA Administrator will appoint all members of the committee, who will serve terms of one to three years. GSA Open Government Secretariat will host a virtual public Q&A session on May 10 to answer questions on the selection process and timeline.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has established a new Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security Board. The CEOs of leading AI firms, including OpenAI, Anthropic, Google and Microsoft, are all on the new board. The advisory committee will advise Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the development and deployment of AI in U.S. critical infrastructure. The board’s 22 members also include the heads of advanced computer chip firms, including NVIDIA and IBM. The group is expected to begin meeting later this year.
  • Agencies are encouraging employees to collaborate in the office, but the office space itself isn’t lining up with that push. A recent Federal News Network survey found that feds feel mixed about how closely office space is actually meeting their needs on the job. Some survey respondents said working in cubicles is distracting and leading to lower performance. Other feds in the survey are asking their agencies to rearrange the office space to create more collaborative spaces for teamwork. And overall, the survey finds that a majority of feds feel more productive while teleworking.
  • A group of senators is raising concerns about the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of searching through phones at U.S. border checkpoints. Both Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement assert broad authority to search anyone’s phone at the border. But in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last week, multiple senators said they are concerned CBP and ICE are overstepping their bounds. They are asking for more information about DHS authorities and how agencies use the data they gather from searching through electronic devices.
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it issued more than 1,700 notifications, as part of its Ransomware Vulnerability Warning Pilot last year. Under the program, CISA warns organizations when it finds an internet-connected vulnerability that could be exploited by ransomware gangs. About 7,000 organizations have signed up for the pilot program. Government facilities, which include schools, state and local governments, and federal agencies, accounted for more than a third of the notifications in 2023.
  • The IRS Direct File pilot program is seeing positive user ratings after surpassing the Department of Treasury’s usage goal of 100,000 users. The tax agency said more than 140,000 taxpayers successfully filed their taxes using Direct File this year, leading to those filers saving an estimated $5.6 million in tax preparation fees. The IRS collected user-experience information from Direct File, with 90% of respondents ranking their experience as “excellent’ or “above average.” The IRS and Treasury Department will continue analyzing results in the coming weeks, before determining the future of Direct File.
  • The Office of Personnel Management is already well underway in its goal to ramp up pooled hiring. The recruitment strategy is a way for multiple agencies to make hires off the same list of job candidates. In just the past couple months, OPM has been working on six different pooled hiring actions. Three of those actions are currently available governmentwide for agencies to hire IT specialists, data managers and program analysts.
  • As of this year, active-duty military service counts toward eligibility for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Now the Office of Personnel Management is reminding agencies that military service also counts toward Paid Parental Leave. The change means some employees may reach FMLA eligibility more quickly. Feds become eligible for FMLA leave after completing one year of qualifying service. A list of reminders from the Office of Personnel Management details several other pay and benefits updates for 2024. Those updates all stem from the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.
    (Recent pay and leave-related legislative changes - Office of Personnel Management)
  • The Commerce department is moving forward on its effort to provide more access to government data for the public, and to make that data more interpretable. The department's AI and Open Government Data Assets working group issued a request for information (RFI) as it explores AI-ready data. Commerce wants public and private sector feedback to develop guidelines and best practices for AI data usage. The working group will host a public webinar today about the RFI, which will close to comments on July 16.

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