Congress

Senate panel approves IT, cyber legislation

Shutterstock image.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee met on June 25 to pass a trio of bills that aim to augment cybersecurity and bolster IT management.

The panel also approved, by a 9-1 vote, the nomination of HUD Secretary Shaun L. Donovan to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. The lone dissenter was Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who questioned Donovan's trustworthiness.

"We need honesty," Johnson said. "We have far too many reality deniers. We have put Donovan on notice, and … he refused to be honest in Congress. I don't believe he is qualified to be OMB director."

The bills, which were each approved by voice vote, are:

  • The Federal Information Security Modernization Act, which updates the FISMA standards legislated in 2002 to move toward automated and continuous monitoring. The bill also aims to further define the responsibilities of both OMB and DHS in assessing the federal government's cybersecurity risks. Carper said OMB will continue to "steer" by managing policy and oversight, while DHS continues to "row the boat" by advancing the necessary systems that assess and respond to cybersecurity breaches.
  • The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center Act, which focuses on the need for agencies to share cybersecurity resources and consolidate federally managed cybersecurity systems. Sen. Johnson expressed concern that DHS might be acquiring too much regulatory authority, but fellow Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the panel's ranking member, said "DHS is not asking for any additional power beyond what is already present."
  • The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which aims to increase the power of agency and component CIOs, including the authority to approve IT budget requests and contracts and enhanced hiring authority. "We spent $84 billion on IT last year and $40 billion of that went to waste," Coburn said. "We need to stop the bleeding and fix the problem." The House passed its version of FITARA as a stand-alone bill in February and in May as part of the defense authorization bill; the senators took up the House legislation, but substituted language drafted by Carper and Coburn before passing the bill.

About the Author

Jonathan Lutton is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him at jlutton@fcw.com

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group