New bill would make PIFs permanent

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A new House bill would make the Presidential Innovation Fellows program permanent if signed into law.

The TALENT Act of 2016 — introduced by House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. — looks to codify the PIF program, started by White House in 2012. 

According to the Republican Policy Committee, the bill will be considered Tuesday under a suspension of the rules.

The legislation would change the program into a long-term program under the sole leadership of the General Services Administration, instead of a partnership between the White House’s Office of Science and Technology and Office of Management and Budget, and GSA.

“It is in the national interest for the Government to attract the brightest minds skilled in technology or innovative practices to serve in the Government to work on some of the Nation’s biggest and most pressing challenges,” the legislation states, hoping that codifying the team will help it continue to “create meaningful solutions that can help save lives and taxpayer money, fuel job creation, and significantly improve how the Government serves the American people.”

The legislation also calls for the creation of a PIF program advisory board to help direct the team’s project selection and placement of fellows. 

The PIF program recruits and places talented individuals in positions at different agencies for six months to two years to address challenges in the federal government using innovation and technology. Currently, there are 13 fellows, considered full-time federal employees, embedded in 12-month projects at federal agencies.

[Read more: Obama makes PIF program permanent]

Last August, President Barack Obama passed and executive order making the PIF program permanent. A future president, however, could revoke that.

Since 2013, the team has operated as an office within GSA. The agency made the PIFs part of the recently created Technology Transformation Service.

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Government IT News, Innovation
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