Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

The State Department Implements Its Domestic Partner Benefits Changes


Admittedly, State had a heads-up on other departments and agencies in equalizing benefits for the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees and for the spouses of heterosexual workers, since Secretary Hillary Clinton ordered a review of department policies long before President Obama announced a government-wide review. But as of June 26, the changes to State's operating manuals governing those benefits were in effect. I'll be interested to see what role State's example plays in the agency-by-agency reviews, which I think were underlooked in the mainstream coverage of President Obama's benefits order. As Office of Personnel Management director John Berry proved as an assistant secretary at Interior, a deep review of a department's policies can turn up a whole mess of ways that a department treats gay workers different from straight ones. Policies get calcified, ignored, perhaps not even really enforced, but they're still there, and can still present a problem. If the reviews are substantive and thorough, agencies may end up changing a whole bunch of policies that disproportionately, or only, affect their gay employees. They still can't extend access to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program--Congress is going to have to do that. But agencies could end up taking on relocation benefits and other issues. The full impact of Obama's order remains to be seen.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.