OMB issues FISMA guidance

The Office of Management and Budget has issued a memo to guide agencies as they prepare their annual reports under the Federal Information Security Management Act.

Issued July 17 by Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management, the 42-page memo covers security and privacy reporting. Agencies get annual FISMA score cards to show how effectively they are managing security year by year.

Among the points Johnson emphasized:

  • FISMA applies to all information systems used or operated by an agency, contractor or other organization on behalf of the agency. Agencies must include all general support systems, even nonmajor ones, in their report.
  • Agencies must follow National Institute of Standards and Technology standards for programs and systems that are not related to national security.
  • National security systems may be reported separately from non-national security systems, but agencies also may choose to include both kinds of systems in one report.
  • Agencies must report an overall agency view and on specific components.
  • Information should be shared among program officials, agency chief information offices, inspector general personnel and others as it becomes available, to promote more rapid correction of identified problems.
  • Reports should represent a consensus view of agency and IG officials, with disagreements resolved before OMB receives the report.

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