The federal government uses four major systems to track workforce vacancies but none maintain completely accurate personnel accounts because agencies must provide the information, data is slow to refresh, and personnel and positions aren't always coupled together, says a paper published June 12 by the Brookings Institution.
Improving cybersecurity emerged as the top priority again for federal chief information officers and chief information security officers, according to an annual survey from industry group TechAmerica.
The Homeland Security Department would have more flexibility in hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals under a bill introduced May 20 by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). The bill (S.2354) was reported favorably to the full committee May 21 and aims to help the department compete with the private sector in staffing its cybersecurity workforce.
Existing levels of information technology talent within government and civil society do not meet the current needs, finds a report based on dozens of interviews and secondary research. Those technically skilled programmers, designers and engineers with expertise in computer science and data science that are in government are not distributed evenly across agencies, it adds.
The caustic political environment of recent years and its results – involuntary furloughs and a half-month government shutdown – have taken a toll on a federal workforce, shows a new FierceGovIT-Market Connections PulsePoll™. An online poll of 370 federal civilian and defense workers shows a picture of a struggling workforce. Half of respondents say they're considering looking for a job outside government.
A House Homeland Security subcommittee approved by unchallenged voice vote a critical infrastructure cybersecurity bill, adding in the process several amendments – one of which could generate opposition to an otherwise bipartisan bill.
The federal talent pool fails to meet the need to develop technology because the public sector can't recruit or retain talent, a Ford Foundation report prepared by Freedman Consulting says. Freedman interviewed dozens of key stakeholders including professor and technology advocacy groups for the report (.pdf).
A new name for the Government Printing Office would clear up confusion about the agency and help it attract a younger workforce, Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks said.
Ability trumps credentials when it comes to hiring cybersecurity workers, and the federal government faces obstacles in picking up the best talent, said panelists during a Nov. 1 event. "Do I look if somebody has a CISSP or a law degree? Mostly no," said Philip Reitinger, chief information security officer for Sony Corp. and a former director of the National Cyber Security Center at the Homeland Security Department.
The House Homeland Security Committee approved Oct. 29 a bill that would require the Homeland Security Department to issue cybersecurity workforce occupation classifications, conduct an assessment of its current workforce, and develop a recruitment and retention workforce strategy. The committee also passed that day a bill that would require the Science and Technology Directorate to develop a strategic plan to guide federal cybersecurity and physical security research and development efforts.