Congressional committees have issued reports supporting bills on improving training of federal employees in supply chain risks and expanding the “Plum Book,” typically a step taken shortly before a measure is to reach a floor vote.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee recently approved S-2201 to help protect against cybersecurity threats and other technological supply chain security vulnerabilities that arise when the federal government purchases services, equipment or products. The measure would create a standardized training program to help federal employees responsible for purchasing services and equipment identify whether those products could compromise the federal government’s information security.
“Recent major cyber attacks and incidents involving outside vendors show that supply chains present serious challenges to the security of federal agencies and their information technology networks. There is, however, no governmentwide supply chain security training that federal personnel must complete. This lack of standardized training puts federal agencies and the American public at risk,” says the report on the bill.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee meanwhile recently approved HR-2043, to require that the information in the “Plum Book”—currently posted only once every four years on politically-filled positions and certain other senior positions including career SES—be posted on a central public website and updated regularly.
“Modernizing the Plum Book would enhance visibility into who is serving in senior roles in the executive branch, identify offices with vacancies, and increase awareness of potential job opportunities to encourage a more diverse pool of candidates. The bill would also reduce unnecessary printing costs by eliminating the printing of the current list of those positions,” says its report.