The Pentagon expects to soon issue guidance on its authority to create a cyber excepted service, acting DoD CIO John Zangardi said at a conference.

Hiring and retaining employees with high-demand cyber skills has been a persistent issue government-wide, with one result being the authority for DoD to take an enterprise-wide approach for managing civilian cyber professionals across the department.

As with many other personnel policies that were tested first at DoD, the concept has the potential to spread to other agencies. It was approved in the fiscal 2016 defense budget, based on an existing excepted service personnel system for DoD civilian employees in intelligence work.

The cyber excepted service will provide more flexibility in hiring, allowing DoD components to source candidates with more options and post jobs clearly identified as cyber excepted service in a range of locations, he said.

“It will also leverage a market-based pay structure to deliver more targeted and competitive compensation packages for critical civilian personnel,” he said, according to the CIO site.