Sen. Carper Reacts to Report on Need to Improve the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, reacted to a recent report by the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton, “Cyber In-Security II: Closing the Federal Talent Gap,” that examined the federal government’s ability to build a strong cybersecurity workforce. The report found that over the span of its 6-year study, federal agencies have made little progress in developing or implementing a coordinated strategy to attract and build a workforce of highly trained cyber professionals.

“As the cyber threat to our nation grows more diffuse and sophisticated, the workforce demands of our agencies evolve, too. In order to readily respond to those evolving threats, the federal government needs a robust and reliable cyber workforce,” Sen. Carper said. “Last Congress, I helped to enact two laws that help the Department of Homeland Security – one of the largest civilian agencies — improve its ability to compete with the private sector and other agencies to hire and retain the people it needs to combat the cyber threats our country faces. But as this report underscores, more work needs to be done to build on those efforts and to give federal agencies the necessary authorities to stay ahead of the curve in cyber workforce recruitment and retention. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to examine the needs of our federal agencies and support initiatives to help nurture and attract the next generation of our nation’s cyber warriors.”

Last Congress, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs passed two bills into law to help the Department of Homeland Security recruit and retain cyber professionals. 

The Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2013 (S. 1691) included language from Sen. Carper’s DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act, which helps address critical challenges that the Department faces in hiring and retaining cybersecurity professionals by providing the Department of Homeland Security hiring and compensation authorities for cybersecurity experts like those of the Department of Defense.

The Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act (H.R. 2952) requires that Department of Homeland Security to examine where critical cyber positions are located within the Department, the types of positions, and the Department’s readiness and capacity to meet its cyber missions. The goal of the strategy is to enhance the readiness, capacity, training, recruitment, and retention of the cybersecurity workforce, and will include a recruitment and implementation plan. The bill was originally introduced by Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY).

Read more about the report here.