Policy briefs

CIO Council spreads security

The CIO Council has not de-emphasized information security in its reorganization -- which eliminated the security subcommittee-- but it has made the issue a focal point across its committees and has created teams to address the top areas of weakness regarding homeland security, according to Jim Flyzik, the council's vice chairman.

A dedicated security leader has been named to the three committees under the new structure — Best Practices, Governmentwide Architecture Framework, and Workforce and Human Capital for IT -- Flyzik said at a conference in December sponsored by the Information Technology Association of America.

IT vital in PCAST agenda

In its first meeting under the Bush administration, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) identified information technology as an essential component of its new agenda.

PCAST is a private-sector committee that was established by former President Bush to advise the White House on science and technology matters. PCAST will make policy recommendations on how the country might combat terrorism, improve the communications infrastructure, invest federal money in science and technology, and improve energy efficiency.

"We all understand that the war against terrorism at home and abroad is going to be a technologically intensive war, and we hope to be able to advise the president on policy on that," said John Marburger, co-chairman of PCAST and director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, after the group's meeting in December.

Davis aims to solidify GISRA

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) intends to introduce legislation early this year to reauthorize the Government Information Security Reform Act (GISRA) to make the law permanent and include mandatory standards for information security.

Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement Policy Subcommittee, said at a conference last month that his legislation would require agencies to follow security best practices for their information systems.

GISRA, which requires agencies to better manage their security and to document their progress in doing so, is set to expire in October.

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