Navigating the Federal AI Governance and Risk Management Landscape

The recent Executive Order (EO) 14110 on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, followed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memo M-24-10, provide a detailed framework for federal agencies to improve AI governance, innovation, and risk management. As a prominent mission-oriented technology company in the Federal IT sector, we understand how crucial these directives are for shaping AI adoption in the government.

EO 14110 emphasizes the need to harness AI’s transformative potential while protecting public rights, safety, and well-being. OMB Memo M-24-10 offers guidance on achieving this balance, focusing on three main areas: AI governance, responsible innovation and adoption, and risk management.

The OMB memo is a rather long read, so we have summarized the key points for you below. Then, we will share our viewpoint on advancing responsible AI innovation.

Key Requirements for Federal Agencies

1. Strengthening AI Governance:

    • Designate Chief AI Officers (CAIOs) and establish AI Governance Boards to oversee and coordinate agency-wide AI initiatives.
    • Develop and publish AI Strategies outlining current and planned AI uses, capacity augmentation plans, risk management processes, and workforce development strategies.
    • Maintain an inventory of AI use cases, with a focus on identifying rights-impacting and safety-impacting AI systems.

2. Advancing Responsible AI Innovation:

    • Remove barriers to AI adoption, such as improving IT infrastructure, enhancing data governance, and addressing cybersecurity challenges.
    • Prioritize AI talent recruitment, development, and retention through initiatives like the forthcoming AI and Tech Hiring Playbook.
    • Foster collaboration and sharing of AI code, models, and data assets across agencies to facilitate reuse and interoperability.

3. Managing Risks of AI Use:

    • Implement minimum risk management practices for rights-impacting and safety-impacting AI systems by December 1, 2024.
    • Conduct AI Impact Assessments, real-world testing, independent evaluations, and ongoing monitoring to identify and mitigate risks.
    • Ensure adequate human oversight, training, and intervention mechanisms for high-risk AI systems.
    • Incorporate equity and fairness assessments, solicit public feedback, and provide opt-out options for rights-impacting AI.
    • Incorporate responsible AI procurement practices, including transparency, performance improvement, and environmental sustainability considerations.

REI is taking a Mindful Approach to AI Adoption

With over 20 years of experience and partnerships with more than 25 federal agencies, REI is well-equipped to help our clients seize the opportunities from the Executive Order and OMB Memo on AI. Our Mindful Modernization® approach focuses on aligning government customers’ goals with measurable outcomes using people, processes, and technology.

We combine our deep knowledge of technology modernization and digital transformation with a clear understanding of our clients’ unique operating environments. Our expertise in integrating reliable AI technologies ensures responsible innovation that prioritizes people.

REI excels at managing the changes needed for AI integration. Our advisory team has a strong track record of guiding organizations through such transformations, working closely with multiple stakeholders to ensure success. This customer-centric focus makes REI the perfect partner to navigate the complexities of AI adoption while maximizing its benefits.

The table below demonstrates how REI will partner with agencies for each of the three pillars of the OMB memo:

Our Commitment to Safe and Trustworthy AI Practices at REI

To effectively support federal agencies in AI governance and risk management, we are committed to ensuring safe and trustworthy AI practices within our organization. Our efforts include:

    1. Integrating AI Ethics and Governance into Delivery Practices: We have added an AI ethics and governance pillar to our Delivery Excellence Framework, ensuring ethical principles, risk management, and regulatory compliance in our AI projects. A dedicated unit oversees these practices.
    2. Develop AI Risk Management Frameworks: Our AI experts have created robust risk management frameworks aligned with industry standards, such as the NIST AI Risk Management Framework, OMB M-24-10, EO 14110, and the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights. These guide our AI development and deployment.
    3. Implementing Responsible AI Practices: We enforce responsible AI development through AI Impact Assessments, continuous model monitoring, bias and fairness testing, and human oversight for safety-critical AI systems.
    4. Fostering AI Talent Development: We invest in upskilling our workforce in AI technologies, ethical practices, and risk management through specialized training, certifications, and continuous learning initiatives.
    5. Ensuring Data Privacy and Security: We enforce strict data governance and cybersecurity measures to protect client data used in AI solutions, ensuring privacy and security.
    6. Collaborating with Industry and Academia: We engage with industry experts, academic institutions, and research organizations to stay updated on advancements, best practices, and challenges in AI governance and risk management.

As the federal government moves towards responsible AI adoption, REI stands as a strategic partner to navigate AI governance and risk management complexities. By aligning our practices with the Executive Order and OMB Memo guidelines, we are committed to the safe and ethical integration of AI solutions that enhance mission effectiveness while protecting public rights and well-being.

Our dedication goes beyond compliance; we aim to unlock AI’s full potential while mitigating risks, driven by a commitment to responsible and trustworthy AI integration.

Read the following recent articles to find out more about REI’s approach to AI and Data & Analytics:

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