Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget and acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, discusses commendable work performed by federal employees, and reducing the security clearance backlog.
The Gears of Government Awards were established last year to reward employees for their work in accordance with CAP goals and the President’s Management Agenda. Hundreds of workers were recognized in the inaugural awards, and they will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in May. Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget and acting director of the Office of Personnel Management says that they wanted to highlight the less seen positions that keep the government going. “We focused on mission support because so often, it is the astronauts out in space or the coast guard on the front lines saving that is getting a lot of attention. It’s easy to do a news story about that. But, I think what a lot of people realized during the government lapse… is there’s so much work behind the scenes to make all of that possible,” Weichert said. “It is the tip of the iceberg as far as what people see. And most feds are doing work that people don’t see.” In other news, large-scale changes are coming to the security clearance process in the federal government. Weichert said that the Trusted Workforce 2.0 initiative is the biggest change to clearances in 50 years, and that several of the revisions are designed to help employees move throughout the government, “Harmonization, reciprocity and mobility are three key elements of we want to achieve. There are three major components to the Trusted Workforce 2.0 activity,” Weichert told Government Matters. “There’s process improvements. There’s the continuous approach, looking at continuous vetting, not one and done kind of vetting or once every five years kind of vetting. Most importantly, there’s the ability to use technology, artificial intelligence, and more ongoing monitoring; looking for data signatures that may affect our knowledge. Those three things we believe are going to help us get to this new approach that is more flexible more harmonized and more reciprocal.”