Justice Department workers to undergo implicit bias training

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on  Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

  • Law enforcement agents and attorneys working for the Justice Department will be undergoing training soon to address implicit bias. DOJ said over the next few weeks more than 28,000 department employees will receive training on how to recognize their own implicit bias, which is defined as unconscious stereotypes people associate with certain groups. (Department of Justice)
  • The Supreme Court is giving the Justice Department a chance to argue a case that questions the legality of Office of Personnel Management acting Director Beth Cobert’s appointment. SCOTUS announced it will review a decision by a lower court on the case involving the ineligibility of certain presidential nominees next year.
  • Sixty-one percent of federal employees under 35 said they’re perceived differently in the workplace because of their age. That’s according to the results of a Federal News Radio survey. Many millennials said their supervisors rely on cliched ideas about their age group. See more results in our special report, What Millennials Really Want from Federal Service. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Homeland Security Department wants its employees to leave public service, at least for a little while. Under DHS’ new pilot program, Exemplar, 10 employees will be selected to spend six months at various companies, learning how industry handles everything from cybersecurity to infrastructure investment. (Department of Homeland Security)
  • If you’ve got a great idea for improving federal real estate management, now is your moment. GSA launches its 19th annual achievement award for real property best practices and innovation. The agency will give awards in three categories: asset management, sustainability and workplace innovation. Over the years, the program has generated some 500 ideas. Ideas are due Aug. 22. Last year, NASA won an asset management award for its lease of Moffet Federal Airfield in California. (General Services Administration)
  • Former Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal is testifying before Congress today. McChrystal will inform members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on how to better integrate strategy at the Defense Department. Congress has been trying to reorganize the Defense Department so it can work better against global threats. The annual defense bill has provisions that will completely reorganize parts of DoD. McChrystal was recalled to Washington and resigned as commander of Afghanistan forces after he said unflattering things about Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials. (Senate Armed Services Committee)
  • The Veterans Affairs Department failed to meet its call response time goals for the Veterans Crisis Line. The Government Accountability Office said about 65 percent to 75 percent of VCL calls were answered within 30 to 60 seconds. The goal was to answer 90 percent in that time frame. GAO also said while VA has improved its monitoring of the line, it still hasn’t set quantifiable goals to measure progress. (Government Accountability Office)
  • Navy researchers are looking for ways to make robots behave better. The Office of Naval Research is working with Georgia Tech on how to apply machine learning to robots. The goal is for robotic systems to mimic human behavior in the way they go about tasks and even interacting with people. It uses a software agent called Quixote that translates plain language instruction into robotic action. And it applies game scoring to reward proper functioning. (Navy)