Though a public-private swap of IT workers has been under way, the Defense Department issued final rules governing the program just Wednesday.
Officials wrote in their notice in the Federal Register:
Given the changing workforce dynamics in the IT field, DOD needs to take advantage of these types of professional development programs to proactively position itself to keep pace with the changes in technology.
The federal government has been working hard to define the roles and skills for cyber security workers in particular, but a report by the General Accountability Office in December cited fragmented and overlapping efforts to attract, manage and retain these workers.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must work in IT, must be the equivalent of the GS-11 level or above, and be considered an exceptional employee who is expected to take on greater responsibilities. Private-sector workers must meet citizenship requirements for federal employment and obtain a security clearance, if necessary.
Assignments will last from three months to a year, but can be extended in three-month increments up to a second year. So far, only one private-sector worker has completed an assignment, six months with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense. Two more private-sector employees are expected to begin assignments in the third quarter.
Nine other opportunities also have been published on tasks including service-oriented architecture, cyber security, IT project management, IT infrastructure/consolidation, social media, along with mobility and wireless. There is also an opportunity for a DOD employee to work in networking with a small, veteran-owned company.