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Monday, January 30, 2023

GAO Tells Intelligence Community to Strengthen Workforce Diversity Planning and Oversight

The Intelligence Community’s (IC) workforce in FY2011-2019 had slight increases in the proportions of women (+.7%), racial or ethnic minorities (+3.3%), and persons with disabilities (+6.2%). But proportions of women and racial or ethnic minorities stayed below federal workforce benchmarks, and proportions of persons with disabilities didn’t meet federal goals. Recruiting, developing, and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce is part of the 2019 National Intelligence Strategy.

IC elements report taking steps to address leading practices for managing workforce diversity, but report gaps in diversity planning. The practices are: leadership commitment, recruitment, employee involvement, diversity training, performance, succession planning, accountability, strategic planning, and measurement.

A review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that most IC elements report taking steps to address the first seven of the nine leading practices for diversity management. For the remaining two leading practices—strategic planning and measurement—most elements report taking one or no steps.

GAO also found that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Office of Intelligence Community Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity (IC EEOD) is meeting most leading practices for enhancing and sustaining the coordination of diversity initiatives across the IC elements. However, IC EEOD only partially met the practice to reinforce agency accountability. Specifically, IC EEOD has not established IC-wide implementation objectives and timeframes to demonstrate progress. As a result, GAO says IC EEOD risks not holding IC elements accountable for enhancing workforce diversity.

GAO is making seven recommendations, including that the Director of National Intelligence issue or update guidance to ensure IC elements maintain diversity strategic plans, assess and take steps to eliminate barriers to diversity, and establish implementation objectives and timeframes to hold IC elements accountable. ODNI agreed with the recommendations.

Read the full report at GAO 

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