Saturday, October 1, 2022

GAO Reports – Cybercorps Scholarships

This week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on Cybersecurity Workforce:

Actions Needed to Improve CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Program. The program was started in 2000. Since that time the program has awarded about $621 million in scholarships to over 4,707 recipients.

According to the Highlights section of the actual report:

“GAO was asked to review the Scholarship for Service Program. GAO determined the extent to which (1) NSF and OPM are complying with program legal requirements, and (2) NSF has identified, analyzed, mitigated, and reported on program risks.”

The report includes three recommendations for the National Science Foundation:

• NSF should periodically evaluate and make public, information on how long CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program scholarship recipients stay in the positions they enter upon graduation.

• NSF should provide Congress with all required information in a timely manner for the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program so Congress can use this information to make informed decisions regarding the SFS Program.

• NSF should develop and implement a risk management strategy that includes a process to effectively identify, analyze, mitigate, and report CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program risks and challenges.

The report includes two recommendations for the Office of Personnel Management:

• OMB should establish a time frame for implementing a process to ensure that all CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program scholarship recipients provide their institutions of higher education and the Office of Personnel Management (in coordination with the National Science Foundation) with annual verifiable documentation of post-award employment and up-to-date contact information for a period of at least through the end of their work service obligation.

• OMB should ensure the collection of complete and consistent data that relate to the fulfillment of all post-award obligations or requirements pursuant to the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service Program.

NOTE: GAO actually published two very nearly identical reports (GAO-22-105187 and GAO-22-106146.pdf), both on October 29th, 2022. Most of the changes are very minor formatting changes, the biggest change that I have found in a quick look is that the later report refers to the ‘Office of Personnel Management’ in a number of locations where the earlier report refers to it in the same places as the ‘U.S. Office of Personnel Management’.

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