Lawmakers press OMB to ensure federal agencies collect data on staff diversity

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) speaks during a House Oversight Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing at the U.S. Capitol on October 7, 2021 in Washington, DC. The committee is assessing the 2020 presidential election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, conducted by Cyber Ninjas, Inc. (Photo by Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

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Lawmakers on the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform have written to the Office of Management and Budget, calling on the agency to ensure departments across the federal government are collecting data on staff diversity.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said they are seeking evidence of progress over the collection of relevant data, which is intended to help identify areas where the government’s talent pipeline needs to be broadened.

The call for action is part of a push to open up access to government jobs – notably technology roles – that began with an executive order signed by President Biden on his first day in office. The order sought to establish a whole-of-government effort to embed equity in all aspects of the federal government and to eliminate barriers to opportunities.

“Addressing systemic racism across all functions of federal government must be an urgent priority. To do so effectively, agencies must first collect the required data, conduct in-depth analyses, and engage with stakeholders,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

In July, a report from the Office of Management and Budget found that many agencies lack access to data on the “personal characteristics in inclusion, services, and benefits.” and charged the Office of Personnel Management and OMB with overseeing the measures.

Commenting specifically on diversity within the government technology workforce, OMB told FedScoop in July that it was working to support the changing IT workforce through reskilling, training career growth opportunities, and worker flexibility, to recruit and hire the best talent.

“The recent executive order made clear that the administration is committed to cultivating a workforce that reflects our country’s diversity – meaning cloud technology experts are being recruited from a diverse talent pool,” it added.

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Cloud, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
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