WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) and Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) introduced the Senior Executive Service Diversity Assurance Act of 2009 today in the House and Senate to enhance diversity in the Senior Executive Service.
The bill would:
- Require federal agencies to submit a plan to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on how the agency is removing barriers to minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities to obtain appointments in the Senior Executive Service (SES);
- Encourage agencies, to the extent practicable, to include minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities on the Executive Resource Boards that review SES candidates; and
- Re-establish the Senior Executive Service Resource Office (SESRO) at OPM to manage and oversee the Senior Executive Service and to ensure SES diversity through strategic partnerships and mentorship programs.
“Coming from a state rich with many cultures, I understand that importance of working together with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences,” said Senator Akaka. “A diverse workforce can further innovative thinking and improve an agency’s effectiveness. The federal worlforce should be a model for diversity in the modern American workforce.”
Over the next ten years, 90 percent of career SES will be eligible to retire. “As many members of our Senior Executive Service become eligible to retire, we must put in place the practices needed to ensure that women, minorities, and persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed in entering the SES,” Senator Akaka said.
“Ensuring that diversity at this critical level of government operations will strengthen the Senior Executive Service and improve the functioning of the agencies while ensuring equal opportunity for every American,” Congressman Danny K. Davis said.
The Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, and the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia held a joint hearing entitled, “Managing Diversity of Senior Leadership in the Federal Workforce and Postal Service” in April 2008. At the hearing, the Government Accountability Office and other witnesses provided testimony regarding low levels of diversity in the SES of the federal government and suggestions for improvement.
Senator Akaka is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, and Congressman Davis serves on the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia.