6 Months and 'Critical' OMB Post Still Unfilled

It's been six months and the Bush Administration has yet to fill the Office of Management and Budget's branch chief for information policy and technology. Speaking on background, an OMB spokeswoman said that "the goal is to find the right candidate for this critical position."

Glenn Schlarman, a long-time career federal employee, retired from the position in December 2006. He is the author of the 2002 Federal Information Security Management Act, the law that governs federal agencies information security policies. Schlarman said in May 2006 that it was too soon to judge the computer security law.

Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, a nonprofit cybersecurity research organization, said that whoever fills this position could be critical in changing FISMA from being implemented as a reporting exercise to forcing agencies to make genuine security improvements. "The key is to find a person with actual hands-on technical skills who also has great management and political capabilities. I can understand why it is taking a while to find the right person," Paller said.