Davis continues to push Waxman to act on data breach bill

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is trying again to convince Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), committee chairman, to pay attention to information technology security issues.

Davis sent a second letter in three months to Waxman today imploring him to bring Davis’ Federal Agency Data Breach Protection Act before the committee next month after the Thanksgiving recess.

“Given the volume of personal data held by the federal government, citizens need to know when their sensitive information has been lost or compromised,” Davis said in the letter. “As I am disappointed the committee did not take up the legislation, I ask you to take advantage of Congress’ return in December to move this important bill to the full House.”

Davis wrote that Waxman supported identical language to his bill in the Veterans Identity and Credit Security Act, which the House passed in September.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) introduced the same bill June 6. But the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hasn’t moved it either.

One of the provisions of Davis’ bill would require agencies to ensure that equipment containing potentially sensitive information is accounted for and secure.

Another provision would require the director of the Office of Management and Budget to issue policies and procedures to agencies on notifying individuals in a timely manner when a data loss has occurred, on how the notice would be provided, and for determining when additional actions, such as credit protection services, would be needed.

Davis introduced the bill May 3, and it was referred to the committee’s Government Management, Organization and Procurement Subcommittee May 16.

A request to Waxman’s spokeswoman for comment on Davis’ letter was not immediately returned.

The full committee has held one hearing on technology issues since January. It met July 24 to discuss peer-to-peer file sharing.

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