OPM has reminded agencies of their obligations under a series of Biden administration diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives, including requirements to submit their implementation plans by March 23 and to create and staff up new offices of chief diversity officer or diversity and inclusion officer “as soon as practicable.”
A memo to agencies says that Biden has “a clear priority” through an executive order issued in June, a more recent government-wide strategic plan to carry out that order, and the vision statement for the President’s Management Agenda “to embed DEIA in federal hiring and employment practices.”
“A CDO or DIO can play an instrumental role in closing DEIA opportunity gaps that have been identified through internal deliberative processes, external oversight findings, and promising practices. These officials may be charged with enhancing existing program effectiveness, driving accountability, and communicating the value of DEIA,” it said.
“In addition, federal agencies may wish to utilize these officials to establish quarterly goals and actions that align with the government-wide DEIA Strategic Plan, lead reporting to the President on the status of the agency’s DEIA efforts and make available to the public information on efforts to advance DEIA in the agency’s workforce,” it said.
Those roles should be filled by someone “who has the expertise and authority to effectively work with the head of the agency and influence senior officials across the whole of government” and preferably should report directly to the agency head since “the inclusion of these officers in organizational decisions is essential,” it said.
“Agencies should utilize staffing flexibilities to ensure that incumbents have immediate and adequate resources available and should phase in long-term budget and staffing processes to ensure sustainability of these critical leadership roles,” it added.
It said that pursuing the initiative is to involve not only those offices but also EEO, HR, budget, human capital, data and information management functions, among others.