Senate OKs Bill Supporting Federal Cybersecurity Workforce
The U.S. Senate has approved a piece of legislation that would allocate more resources to strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce.
The Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act of 2021 would help develop skilled cybersecurity professionals for the public workforce. Under the act, the Office of Personnel Management must create a rotational workforce development program across several government agencies. The Government Accountability Office must also issue reviews to see which government agencies participated in the rotation program and to know what workers’ experiences were. Employees who are eligible for the program are those who work within the information technology, cybersecurity or other cyber-related functions according to the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act of 2015.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., in April. It is co-sponsored by Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and John Hoeven, R-N.D. It passed the Senate unanimously without amendment, Nextgov reported Thursday.
Peters said in a press statement that the bill would give federal cybersecurity professionals the tools and skillsets to deter foreign adversarial and criminal threats in their attempts to compromise the United States’ information technology systems.
The passage of the bill follows a series of major cyberattacks that impacted critical U.S. infrastructure from late 2020 to 2021. These attacks include the SolarWinds Orion and Colonial Pipeline hacks.
The goal of the legislation is to help government cybersecurity employees gain experience with different departments. It would help the government compete with the private industry in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.
The bill’s House companion was passed in September with a 410-to-15 vote.
Tags: cyber workforce cybersecurity Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act of 2021 Gary Peters Government Accountability Office Jacky Rosen John Hoeven Nextgov Office of Personnel Management US Senate