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Bill would give DHS special hiring authority for cyber professionals

May. 20, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Sen. Tom Carper wants to give DHS authority to hire cybe pros faster.
Sen. Tom Carper wants to give DHS authority to hire cybe pros faster. (Gannett Government Media Corp)

The Department of Homeland Security would be given authority to pay cybersecurity professionals more and to hire them faster under legislation introduced May 20 by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

The DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Retention Act of 2014 would give the DHS secretary the same hiring authorities as the Defense Department and the National Security Agency to set pay scales and speed up hiring times, according to Carper, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“Our nation needs a strong cybersecurity workforce to address these growing threats in cyberspace,” Carper said in a press release. “Unfortunately, the demand for cybersecurity experts in the government greatly outpaces the supply and many agencies have had difficulty attracting the best and brightest and retaining those already in service.”

The legislation would allow the DHS secretary to appoint someone with cybersecurity skills to an “excepted service” with pay set at prevailing levels within the industry. DHS could also convert positions into the excepted service.

DHS would have 120 days from passage of the bill to submit a plan to Congress for using the hiring authority and then would have to provide annual reports on its use for four years.

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