Quick Hits

*** The White House is looking to overhaul the federal hiring system and deemphasize college education when recruiting new civil servants. In an executive order issued June 26, President Trump announced that federal agencies would be required to examine and prioritize applicants' job skills over whether they possessed a degree from an institute of higher education.

"Unnecessary degree requirements exclude otherwise qualified Americans from federal employment, impose the expense of college on prospective workers and disproportionately harm low-income Americans," a White House statement read. "As a result of this reform, talented individuals with apprenticeships, technical training, and apt backgrounds will have great opportunity to pursue careers in the federal civil service."

*** The Office of Personnel Management will kick off the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey on July 13, after the effort was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The survey will include a special section on agency response to the pandemic. The survey will be open for six weeks, with agencies receiving the first results in October.

*** President Trump nominated William Perry Pendley to become director of the Bureau of Land Management on June 26. Perry has served as acting director of the BLM since August 2019.

Since assuming the position, Pendley has faced an onslaught of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and former government workers for relocating the agency’s headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo., from Washington, D.C. Pendley justified the move as a common-sense decision in order for BLM personnel to be closer to government lands in the western U.S.

*** The General Services Administration created a tool that reminds agency contracting officers to get access cards back from their contractors when their work is completed. The agency described the tool in reply comments to an Inspector General report that looked at the agency's COVID-19 response. The report pointed out that GSA faced hurdles in retrieving out-of-date credentials from contractors who work on GSA's nationwide portfolio of buildings.

NEXT STORY: COVID-19 and the federal workforce

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