In his resignation letter, Mr. Beckstrom wrote that “the NCSC did not receive appropriate support inside DHS. … During the past year, the NCSC received only five weeks of funding, due to various roadblocks engineered within the department and by the Office of Management and Budget.”
“Someone canceled all our contracts for office space, computers and furniture … without telling us,” he told UPI. “I never had a one-on-one meeting with the new secretary, although I reported directly to her … and last year, there were only five weeks during which we had access to the money to make hires, rent office space and buy equipment we needed.”
“He came from a very different background” than most federal officials, said Miss Herrera-Flanigan of Mr. Beckstrom, who was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author before joining the department.
“There was a big challenge” for him in negotiating “the dynamics between the different players” in the department, she said. “Unless he was given the authorities to coordinate across the department, it would have been a problem,” she added.
Mr. Beckstrom said the center he ran, set up to oversee and coordinate all federal government cyber security activity, “has a role which is much coveted by others in government, so there were natural tensions.”
“Rod is a friend and a remarkable talent,” Mr. Baker said. “He understood Washington much better than most in Silicon Valley. His inability to move the bureaucracy shows how deep is the divide between government and the tech community.”
Department spokeswoman Amy Kudwa told UPI that DHS “has a strong relationship with the NSA … and is fully engaged with the 60-day cyber-security review. … We look forward to our continued, positive working relationship with all our partners on outreach to the private sector as we strive to further secure our nation’s cyber networks.
“We thank Rod for his service, and regret his departure,” she concluded.
The NSA’s public affairs office referred requests for comment to DHS.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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