Tag Archives: state department

Minority Hiring Initiative

minority

Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, plans to launch a new initiative to improve diversity in foreign service. This includes a requirement that at least one minority candidate be considered for all ambassadorial positions.

He noted there was a significant gap between the racial makeup of the State Department and the American population. “We have a great diversity gap in the State Department. We need a State Department that reflects the American people, reflects who we are. The State Department must redouble our efforts to increase diversity at the highest ranks of the department, including at the ambassador level,” Tillerson said.

About 12 percent of senior Foreign Service officers are people of color, and that is “about the same” for the agency’s senior executive service contingent.

Tillerson has instructed staff that at least one minority must be considered and interviewed for every open ambassador position.

State Department Press Secretary, Heather Nauert said even if this plan doesn’t produce immediate results, it will advance the agency’s diversity goals in the future. “When we look at ambassadorial candidates, when we look at that pool, we want a minority represented in those interviews, to be interviewed for the job. And if they’re not ready for that position yet, that gives us the opportunity to know who they are and put them on our radar. And it helps us get them ready for the future,” she said.

Tillerson also announced he will retain “all of our fellowship and internship programs”. He plans to boost the agency’s recruitment efforts at college campuses, particularly historically black colleges, and universities.

He said, “While our diplomats in residence at Howard, Spellman, Morehouse, and Florida A&M do an outstanding job ensuring that people understand the opportunities at the State Department, there are more than 100 historically black colleges and universities, and there’s so much more we can do to raise awareness about the range of careers at State. We also want to expand our footprint at minority-focused job fairs, and we can do more to recruit from one of the most diverse and proven talent pools, as I mentioned: our U.S. Military.”

Nauert said she didn’t have a timeframe for when the agency will begin ramping up its recruitment efforts, but she did say the initiative is “important to the secretary”.

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Deep Spending Cuts for Agencies-Part 2

spendingThe first part of this article showed you how the new spending bill affects Homeland Security, the EPA, and the IRS. This second part will show you more areas of the government that will see changes in their budgets.

Cybersecurity/IT

The office of the federal chief information officer gets close to $50 million with $33 million being for cyber security.

The Treasury Departments cybersecurity enhancement gets $47.7 million.

About $1.5 billion will go to the Defense Department for cyber security training. “The agreement fully funds the fiscal year 2017 base budget requirement of $6.7 billion for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Airforce, and the defense agencies cyberspace activities.”

The Energy Department will see $20 million to help with IT.

Homeland Security will see $286 million provided for the office of the chief information officer. However, this includes a $2.1 million cut to legacy information technology services.

OMB’s Information Technology Oversight and Reform (ITOR) fund is set to get $27 million under the spending bill.

The Transportation Department’s cybersecurity initiatives would be funded by $15 million.

The Office of Personnel Management

OPM will see a budget boost, $289.2 million, of $17.1 million over last year. More funding will go to OPM’s Retirement Services to handle retirement claims and answer annuitant calls and emails. They will receive $11 million to strengthen OPM’s legacy and Shell environment IT systems and “the modernization, migration, and testing of such systems”. OPM must submit reports to Congress detailing the full scope and cost of this IT project, and the agency’s IG must review the business case and comment on it.

A portion of OPM’s funding will go towards efforts to strengthen the agency’s acquisition workforce, “including recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of such workforce and information technology in support of acquisition workforce effectiveness of for management solutions to improve acquisition management.”

The Defense Department will receive $95 million to “develop, replace, and sustain” security and suitability background investigation IT systems for OPM’s National Background Investigative Bureau.

General Services Administration

The Federal Citizens Services Fund gets $55 million. This fund is the middleman between agencies and members of the public who are trying to obtain information or access public services through media. The GSA must spend no less than $2 million on the Unified Shares Services Management Office.

The Federal Buildings Fund will receive $8.8 billion and $200 million for the FBI headquarters consolidation project.

State Department

There are many cuts made to foreign aid, assistance, research and grant programs at the State Department.

“The act doesn’t include funding for any new, non-security positions unless specifically noted. The Secretary of State may fill existing positions that become vacant due to attrition, as needed.”

Diplomatic and consular programs will receive an additional $524.3 million this year. Educational and cultural exchange programs will get $43 million more this year.

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