FBI Readies Multimillion Contract for Cyber Expertise

Gil C/Shutterstock.com

The FBI plans to contract out professional, management and support services for up to $100 million.

Finding the right workforce talent is never easy, but it’s a particularly challenging feat for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which frequently requires subject matter experts with high clearances and diverse skill sets.

To fill its growing list of unique openings -- especially in the cybersecurity arena -- the FBI plans to contract out professional, management and support services for up to $100 million, according to a request for proposal synopsis posted last week.

The upcoming RFP, expected to be released by May 6, seeks a contractor with “the ability to recruit, retain and replace” operational subject matter experts.

The experts “will perform a wide range of daily support services,” including consulting, data collection and analysis, and program development, according to the synopsis.

The contract will cover six branches within the FBI, including the Intelligence Branch, the National Security Branch, and the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. The synopsis suggests cybersecurity experts with high-level clearances will be particularly in demand within the FBI’s Cyber Division.

The synopsis describes the division as applying the “highest level of technical capability and investigative expertise toward combating cyber-based intrusions targeting U.S. national security, critical infrastructure and the economy.” That includes terrorist acts, hostile foreign intelligence operations and cybercrime.

That the agency faces a shortage of cyber talent shouldn’t come as a surprise. The National Security Agency has the same issue thanks to slower government hiring patterns and lower pay rates compared to commercial counterparts.

This mirrors a governmentwide trend. According to a recent report from the Partnership for Public Service and consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, 2014 was the second consecutive year in which the number of civilian federal cyber employees leaving government eclipsed new cyber hires.

(Image via Gil C/ Shutterstock.com)