The Department of Defense has contracted out a study to examine how a congressionally-directed office for cyberspace should be structured and a nominee to head the new office is unlikely until after the report is completed this fall, a DoD official said last week.

The study by a federally-funded research and development center will also look at things such what components of electronic and information warfare should be in the new assistant secretary of defense for cyberspace policy office, John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy and the principal cyber adviser to the secretary of defense, told a House Armed Services Committee cyber panel. The study should be finished around September, he said during a March 30 hearing to review DoD cyberspace operations.

Congress directed the creation of the DoD cyberspace policy office in the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. Plumb was responding to a question from Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chairman of the subcommittee, who said he’s “confident that the senate is ready to rapidly confirm a nominee” based on “many conversations to that effect.”

Gallagher asked on the status of a nominee to head the new policy office and Plumb replied that it’s “above my pay grade” but that he expects a nomination once the report is out.

“That’s disappointing,” Gallagher said.