Policy to Advance Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management in Federal Agencies’ Use of Artificial Intelligence

By: LSN Partners on April 2nd, 2024

This week, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the completion of the 150-day actions tasked by President Biden’s Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Vice President Kamala Harris unveiled OMB’s first government-wide policy aimed at mitigating risks associated with AI while maximizing its benefits. This policy calls for extensive measures to bolster AI safety and security, safeguard privacy, promote equity and civil rights, support consumers and workers, foster innovation and competition, enhance American leadership globally, and more.

Federal agencies have successfully fulfilled all the 150-day actions outlined in the Executive Order, following their previous completion of the 90-day actions. The new OMB policy encompasses several key directives:

  1. Addressing Risks from AI Use
  • Federal agencies are mandated to implement concrete safeguards by December 1, 2024, when utilizing AI in ways that could affect Americans’ rights or safety.
  • These safeguards include measures to assess, test, and monitor AI’s impacts on the public, mitigate algorithmic discrimination, and ensure transparency in government AI usage across various sectors such as healthcare, education, employment, and housing.
  • Agencies failing to adhere to these safeguards must discontinue AI system use, unless justified by agency leadership to mitigate increased risks or operational impediments.
  1. Expanding Transparency of AI Use
  • Federal agencies must enhance transparency by releasing expanded annual inventories of AI use cases, reporting metrics on withheld use cases, notifying the public of AI waivers, and disclosing government-owned AI code, models, and data where appropriate.
  1. Advancing Responsible AI Innovation
  • The policy aims to remove barriers hindering responsible AI innovation by federal agencies, encouraging the use of AI to address societal challenges such as climate crises, public health issues, and public safety concerns.
  • It also encourages responsible experimentation with generative AI technology while ensuring adequate safeguards.
  1. Growing the AI Workforce
  • Agencies are directed to expand and upskill their AI talent pool, with initiatives like the National AI Talent Surge and career fairs for AI roles across the Federal Government.
  • The President’s Budget allocates additional funds for AI training programs and emphasizes the importance of AI talent retention across federal agencies.
  1. Strengthening AI Governance
  • Federal agencies are required to designate Chief AI Officers and establish AI Governance Boards to coordinate and govern AI usage within their organizations.

Additionally, the Administration announced several other measures to promote responsible AI use, including an RFI on Responsible Procurement of AI in Government and expansion of the Federal AI Use Case Inventory reporting.