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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
7/28/2014--Passed House amended. (Sec. 1) Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to add provisions entitled the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act, which require the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to: (1) develop occupation categories for individuals performing activities in furtherance of DHS's cybersecurity mission, (2) ensure that such categories may be used throughout DHS and are made available to other federal agencies, and (3) conduct an annual assessment of the readiness and capacity of the DHS workforce to meet its cybersecurity mission.
Directs the Secretary to include in such readiness assessment information on which cybersecurity positions are performed by: (1) permanent full time departmental employees (together with demographic information about such employees' race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, and veterans status); (2) individuals employed by independent contractors; and (3) individuals employed by other federal agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA). Requires the assessment to address vacancies within the supervisory workforce, job training, and recruiting costs.
Directs the Secretary to develop: (1) a workforce strategy that enhances the readiness, capacity, training, recruitment, and retention of the DHS cybersecurity workforce, including a multi-phased recruitment plan, a 5-year implementation plan, and a 10-year projection of DHS workforce needs; and (2) a process to verify that employees of independent contractors who serve in DHS cybersecurity positions receive initial and recurrent information security and role-based security training commensurate with assigned responsibilities.
Requires the Secretary to provide Congress with annual updates regarding such strategies, assessments, and training. Requires the Comptroller General (GAO) to study and report to the Secretary and Congress with respect to such assessments and strategies.
Directs the Secretary to report to Congress regarding the feasibility of establishing a Cybersecurity Fellowship Program to offer a tuition payment plan for undergraduate and doctoral candidates who agree to work for DHS for an agreed-upon period of time.
(Sec. 2) Authorizes the Secretary to exercise personnel authorities (in the same manner as the Secretary of Defense [DOD] exercises authority with respect to civilian intelligence personnel and scholarship programs) to establish positions in the excepted service, appoint individuals, fix pay, and pay retention bonuses if needed to retain essential DHS employees who perform functions relating to the security of federal civilian information systems, critical infrastructure information systems, or related networks. Requires the Secretary to provide an explanation to Congress before announcing a bonus.
Requires the Secretary to provide an annual report to Congress for a specified period regarding the processes used in accepting applications, assessing candidates, ensuring adherence to veterans' preference, and selecting applicants for vacancies to be filled by a qualified employee.