CIO, CHCO councils developing cybersecurity workforce models

Monday - 11/23/2009, 4:18pm EST

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
FederalNewsRadio

An interagency working group is developing governmentwide competency models for cybersecurity workers.

The Office of Personnel Management, the Chief Information Officers Council, the Chief Human Capital Officer's Council and the National Security Council will identify the critical elements for the new framework.

Agencies must submit information about their cybersecurity workforce to the task force by Jan. 15 that covers position descriptions, vacancy announcements, crediting plans, training plans, performance management plans and any studies or competency models for cybersecurity work the department already is using.

The working group also wants information on each agency's recruitment efforts, its challenges around recruiting and its progress toward bringing in cybersecurity workers.

"Because cybersecurity work is performed in many different positions and places throughout the federal government, it is not easy to identify them by looking solely at job titles or organization charts," says OPM director John Berry in a memo to CHCOs.

Berry states that the working group also will want agencies to identify subject matter experts to review draft models, and the task force plans to survey the cyberscurity workforce in late spring 2010.

The working group will develop competency models in three main areas:

  • IT infrastructure, operations, maintenance and information assurance
  • Domestic law enforcement and counterintelligence
  • Specialized cybersecurity operations

Agencies have long had trouble finding cybersecurity experts to hire.

They end up competing with the private sector for these highly skilled workers.

OPM in June 2003 gave agencies direct hirer authority for cybersecurity.

And earlier this year, the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton issued a report detailing the challenges to hire these cyber experts.

The Partnership report found there needs to be an overall strategy for bringing in the best people, and it doesn't exist as of now.

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