Author Archive

Natalie Alms

Staff Writer

Natalie Alms is a staff writer at FCW covering the federal workforce. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has written for the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. Connect with Natalie on Twitter at @AlmsNatalie.
AI & Analytics

Bill to train acquisition workforce on AI clears Senate

The bill will help the U.S. stay afloat in global competition on artificial intelligence, its sponsors on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee say.

Cyber

NDAA requires DOD to report on prospects for a ‘cyber academy’

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) says these reports could inform potential legislation to establish an academy to educate cyber workers for government modeled after military service academies.

IT Infrastructure

What’s next for security clearance reform?

Expect new milestones from the DOD’s governmentwide vetting IT and new policies on vetting criteria in 2022.

IT Infrastructure

Final 2022 defense bill calls for new data and software job series

The House-passed compromise NDAA also has other workforce provisions, including a change to the probationary period for civilian feds at DOD and paid parental bereavement leave for federal employees.

IT Infrastructure

White House asks agencies to delay consequences for vaccine mandate violations

Agencies have the power to decide how to discipline unvaccinated feds, but the White House is encouraging them to go beyond education, counseling and letters of reprimand until after the holidays.

Cyber

Homeland Security updates cyber workforce system

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Talent Management System updates the agency’s practices around hiring, compensating and developing employees.

IT Infrastructure

Intelligence community diversity lags at the highest levels

Although there have been some gains in the representation of women and minorities in the IC workforce overall, the highest ranks are less diverse.

IT Infrastructure

DHS faces steep climb with financial systems modernization

The agency made some awards on a long-delayed financial management modernization effort earlier this month, but years of work awaits the agency on establishing an enterprisewide system.

Cyber

AFGE looks to block Cyber Command reserve program in NDAA

A proposed amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act to pilot a cybersecurity reserve force at the Department of Defense would weaken merit systems principles, according to the largest federal employee union.

Cyber

Fostering a diverse cybersecurity workforce

Experts at an Aspen Institute event explained some roadblocks to cultivating a diverse cybersecurity workforce and offered potential solutions, including putting less reliance on formal certification.

IT Infrastructure

Was DOD ready for telework in 2020?

Slow networks, a lack of management buy-in and the need for more government equipment all affected how DOD feds transitioned to telework at the start of the pandemic, new reports from DOD's IG found.

Cyber

DHS workforce sprint brings in nearly 300 cyber employees

Cybersecurity vacancies totaled about 2,000 at the start of the hiring sprint in May.

Cyber

Hassan, Cornyn float bill to create new federal cybersecurity training programs

One part of the bill would create a pilot program to train vets to work in cybersecurity.

IT Infrastructure

Executive order covers diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility for federal workers

An executive order issued last Friday directs the federal government to ramp up diversity training, rethink the use salary history as a basis for pay determinations and supply gender non-conforming and non-binary and transgender feds with employee credentials that reflect their current names, pictures and pronouns.

IT Infrastructure

DOD watchdog says DDS director didn't mistreat employees

A probe found that Defense Digital Service Brett Goldstein did condone the use of unapproved encrypted communications apps and also identified discussion among staffers about programming a script to rig an online competition.

IT Infrastructure

Clearance reciprocity still a policy issue despite better tech

The backlog of security clearance investigations has continued to drop from a 2018 high of 725,000 to 200,000, but agencies continue to struggle with reciprocity issues.

IT Infrastructure

House Dems back bill to put guardrails around IGs

The proposal would limit the power of the president to remove inspectors general to for cause reasons and outline exactly who can serve as an acting IG.

Cyber

Still more questions than answers on SolarWinds attack

At a recent hearing on the massive hack on SolarWinds' IT management software, witnesses explained that they are still unsure how widespread the attack was, how hackers corrupted the Orion software and what they intend to do with the information they’ve accessed

IT Infrastructure

Biden's ODNI pick looks to restore IC workforce morale

If confirmed, Avril Haines says that one of her top priorities as the Director of National Intelligence will be "institutional" issues, like renewing public trust in the intelligence community and improving workforce morale.

IT Infrastructure

DOD nixes diversity training modification for contractors

The Pentagon eliminated a class deviation that implemented the president's executive order purging diversity training across federal grants and contracts.