Promoting Schedule F alternative, working group warns against Trump-era plan resurgence

The non-partisan experts warn Schedule F will leave the door open to politicization and patronage throughout the federal workforce.

  • A group of academic and former public sector executives is pushing forward an alternative to Schedule F. The Working Group to Protect and Reform the U.S. Civil Service is proposing a different vision for a future federal workforce. Led by Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University; Don Kettl, former Dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy; and Paul Verkuil, a former chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States; the working group outlined five areas that the next administration would focus on to re-imagine the federal workforce. The non-partisan experts say bringing Schedule F back would have negative effects on the quality of the government by opening the door to politicization and patronage throughout the federal workforce.
    (Experts push new vision for federal workforce - Working Group to Protect and Reform the US Civil Service)
  • A well-known agency chief information officer is moving to industry. Gerry Caron, CIO at the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration, is leaving federal service after more than two decades. Federal News Network has learned Caron is heading to a new job in industry. His last day will be May 31. The specifics about where he is going are unknown. Caron, who is well-known on the federal speaking circuit, has been the ITA CIO since February 2023. Before that, he was the CIO for the inspector general office at the Department of Health and Human Services and worked for the State Department for 18 years. Caron also has played a big role in helping drive the development of zero trust concepts through the CIO Council's Innovation Counsel for Zero Trust.
    (ITA CIO Caron heading to industry - Federal News Network)
  • A former White House official is taking a top job at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Jeff Greene will join CISA as a senior adviser next month. Greene is currently the senior director of cybersecurity programs at the Aspen Institute. He is expected to help pick up the responsibilities of CISA executive assistant director for cybersecurity Eric Goldstein, who is leaving his role next month. Greene previously led defensive cyber and incident response efforts at the White House National Security Council. He also served as director of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
    (Greene joining CISA as senior adviser - CISA)
  • The Office of Personnel Management is defending recent moves to block the return of Schedule F. OPM finalized a rule last month reinforcing civil service protections for career federal employees and hampering the return of Schedule F. That was a Trump-era policy that made it easier to fire career federal employees in policymaking positions. Acting OPM Director Rob Shriver said that the return of Schedule F would have a “chilling effect” on career federal employees and prevent them from providing candid feedback on policy matters. “The human capital challenges that the federal government already faces will be dramatically exacerbated," Shriver said.
  • The Navy has taken a look at its scores on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and decided it has some work to do. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro is launching what he calls Project Even Keel. It’s a four-phase effort to boost civilian employee engagement across the Navy and Marine Corps. The first phase is underway now, and focuses on gathering FEVS data from various commands. According to the Partnership for Public Service’s recently-released Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings – which are based on FEVS data – the Navy Department placed 11th among 17 large agencies.
    (SecNav Memo - Department of the Navy)
  • The Defense Department is expanding its military spouse career pilot program. The Pentagon will expand its program that offers paid fellowship opportunities to include entry-level jobs. Last year, the program mainly focused on placing “career-ready” military spouses into paid fellowships. This year, the program will provide opportunities for military spouses who are at the beginning or early stages of their career. The program connects hiring managers and talent acquisition specialists with military spouses for paid 12-week fellowships across different career fields. Congress wants to make the pilot program permanent next year.
  • Patrick Space Force Base in Florida will be the permanent home for STARCOM, the Space Force's Space Training and Readiness Command. STARCOM handles the Space Force’s training, doctrine, and test and evaluation missions. The command has been provisionally located at Patrick since last summer, but a decision on a permanent home has been awaiting a formal environmental review.
    (Patrick picked as permanent STARCOM HQ - Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.))
  • The Pentagon's office of industrial base resilience is seeking public input on how to support the defense industrial base integration of artificial intelligence into defense systems. Public feedback will help guide the Defense Department’s efforts as it works with the DIB to rapidly adopt AI for defense applications. The office wants to know what investments in the DIB the Defense Department needs to make to support adoption of AI into defense systems. It also wants to know if there are vulnerabilities in the current and future supply chain that the department needs to address prior to incorporating AI into defense systems. Respondents have 60 days to provide their feedback.
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee’s latest bill would create a new fund for spy agencies to acquire emerging technologies. That is just one provision in the fiscal 2025 intelligence authorization act, which the committee passed unanimously on Wednesday. The bill would promote reforms to the national security classification system and improve protections for intelligence community whistleblowers. The legislation would also require federal agencies to better engage with the private sector on threats to artificial intelligence systems.
  • The Social Security Administration closed field offices early on two Fridays this month. SSA granted that time off to thank its employees during Public Service Recognition Week. But the top Republicans on two Senate committees said those half-days made it harder for constituents to seek help from the agency. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) are asking SSA how many appointments and services were impacted by closing early and how much notice was given to the public about these early closures.

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