Lawmakers Reintroduce Legislation to Strengthen Federal CIO

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The bill would elevate the authority of the federal chief information officer and chief information security officer.  

Less than two months after the Senate failed to take up the Federal CIO Authorization Act, the bipartisan bill’s cosponsors reintroduced it to the House Friday.

Sponsored by Reps. Robin Kelly, D-Ill. and Will Hurd, R-Texas, the bill is unchanged from the version that passed the House unanimously on Nov. 30 but died in the Senate. The legislation’s main intent is to elevate the authority of the federal chief information officer by moving the position to a direct report to the Office of Management and Budget director.

It would also codify the federal CIO and federal chief information security officer position as presidentially appointed positions. The federal CIO would oversee the federal CISO.

“Reauthorizing and codifying the roles of the federal CIO and CISO will help streamline government IT processes and advance modernization efforts to bring government into the 21st century,” said Rep. Kelly, in a statement. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation to increase government effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness unanimously passed the House during the 115th Congress; we need to get this done in the 116th Congress.”

The Federal CIO Authorization Act would also direct the federal CIO to submit a proposal for consolidating and streamlining federal IT to Congress, as well as rename the Office of E-Government to the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer.

“Americans should be able to trust their government to keep their information safe,” said Hurd, one of the few in Congress who holds a computer science degree. “This bill helps keep the vast information stored by the federal government secure from hackers by making clear that the federal CIO is in charge of the security of our data across the government. I am proud to introduce this bill with my friend Rep. Robin Kelly so we can continue to work toward finally catching our federal government up with the 21st century.”