Federal Manager's Daily Report

A bill progressing in the Senate would require new security training for thousands of federal employees involved with acquisition, about half of whom would need to newly qualify for security clearances, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated.

A bill that recently cleared the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (S-1388) would require the OMB to establish a program to train federal employees to identify and defend against counterintelligence threats to the federal supply chain. Acquisition officials at all federal agencies who are involved with managing the supply chain for information and communications technology programs would be required to attend that training.

The CBO said that while there is no government-wide count on how many employees are involved in acquisition, the DoD has said it has about 150,000 such employees and that it accounts for about 60 percent of all federal contracts. On that basis, CBO estimated that the acquisition workforce of the federal government totals about 250,000 people, adding that it expects that 10 percent of them would require training every two years under the bill and that training for the first group of employees would begin in 2021.

It added that it expects that some of the information provided in that training would be classified and therefore trainees would be required to hold security clearances, but the number of acquisition employees in the federal government who have security clearances also is unknown.

“Given that lack of information, CBO assumes that 50 percent of the people who would receive training as a result of S-1388 already possess clearances at the secret level or higher. Thus, 12,500 people would require new clearances initially and about 600 additional clearances would be processed each year beginning in 2022 as a result of personnel turnover,” it said.