The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2023 19 Some measures that should be undertaken by the State Department immediately include: • Advocate for a follow-on executive order that incorporates nonmilitary families into the provisions of E.O. 14100; • Advocate for consistent rules and parity between the Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority and those applicable to spouses of appropriate nonmilitary employees and officers serving overseas; • Provide interpretive guidance for bilateral work agreements and/or other relevant instruments at each post where a family member is working outside the mission so spouses and their employers have clarity on their tax and/or other liability exposure, particularly concerning remote work for U.S. companies; • Negotiate local income tax immunity or exemption for teleworking U.S. government spouses, and relevant tax and tort protections for their U.S.-based employers into BWAs; • Develop a governmentwide policy allowing federal employees and thirdparty contractors to work remotely on U.S. government business on employing- or contracting-agency approved equipment from U.S. embassy-approved housing, perhaps by including such provisions in the current legislative proposal that would provide military spouses with more U.S. government telework options; • Conduct a thorough review of economic and professional opportunity programs, preferences, and benefits available to military spouses and family members to determine whether there is a legal or otherwise sound policy rationale for excluding civilian employee spouses and family members from each of the identified programs, preferences, and benefits; and • Ensure the interests of nonmilitary families are represented during the process of further updating the DETO program, as further discussed in last month’s issue of the FSJ. n Speaking Out is the Journal’s opinion forum, a place for lively discussion of issues affecting the U.S. Foreign Service and American diplomacy. The views expressed are those of the author; their publication here does not imply endorsement by the American Foreign Service Association. Responses are welcome; send them to