FBI unable to hire number of computer scientists authorized, according to Inspector General program audit

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had only hired 52 of the 134 computer scientists it was authorized to employ under the Justice Department’s Next Generation Cyber Initiative launched in 2012, according to a report released today, July 30, 2015, by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.  Although the “audit found that the FBI has made considerable progress towards achieving the goals it established for the Next Gen Cyber Initiative,” it also concluded:

  • the NCIJTF [National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force] did not have a process to measure the timeliness of information sharing among members;

  • recruitment and retention of qualified candidates remain a challenge for the FBI, as private sector entities are often able to offer higher salaries and typically have a less extensive background investigation process;

  • the FBI has encountered challenges in attracting external participants to its established Cyber Task Forces; the FBI did not hire 52 of the 134 computer scientists for which it was authorized; and

  • 5 of the 56 field offices did not have a computer scientist assigned to that office’s Cyber Task Force.

Finally, although the FBI is working to develop strategies to enhance outreach to private sector entities, it continues to face challenges partnering and sharing information with these entities.

The editorial position of this blog is that it is critical for policy, law and investigations — both criminal and national security intelligence investigations — to be “tech informed.”  The Cyber Task Forces all need a computer scientist.  Additionally, it is no surprise that low pay and lengthy and intrusive background checks inhibit the Bureau’s hiring process, but we are confident that sufficient adequately trained personnel not motivated exclusively by pay and not deterred by the drug policy (p.8) can be found out of a nation of 320 million persons.

You can read the entire report by clicking here or on the image, below.

FBI audit

A response by the FBI to the Inspector General is on page 28 of the report.

Additional coverage of this story can be found, here.

[The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and the blog editor and not necessarily those of Syracuse University, its College of Law, or of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism.]

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Authors

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

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