House approves raft of DHS bills

US Capitol 

The leader of the House Homeland Security Committee touted the House's ratification of almost 20 bills that would tackle an array of cybersecurity, border technology and management issues at the Department of Homeland Security.

The 17 bills that cleared the House, according to a Jan 31 statement by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), address border security, transportation security, and cybersecurity defenses, enhance first responder capabilities and streamline DHS' management efficiency.

The DHS Insider Threat and Mitigation Act of 2017 would require the agency secretary to set up a "holistic" insider threat program within the department within a year of the legislation's passage. The bill calls for that program to include insider threat identification and mitigation training, as well as investigative support to track down insider threats when they are detected.

Other notable technology and cybersecurity-related legislation in the package:

The DHS Acquisition Documentation Integrity Act would require the secretary to request component heads to maintain specific types of acquisition documentation. That documentation would include complete lifecycle cost estimates with supporting documentation, as well as verification of those lifecycle estimates  against  independent  cost  estimates;  a   cost-benefit   analysis   with   supporting documentation; and a  schedule,  including an integrated master schedule.

The Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2017 would strengthen accountability for deployment of border security technology at DHS. The legislation would ensure each border tech program has a written acquisition program baseline approved by the relevant acquisition decision authority, as well as documentation verifying that each program is meeting cost, schedule and performance thresholds and complies with the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

The Cyber Preparedness Act of 2017 would enhance preparedness and response capabilities for cyber attacks and bolsters the sharing of information related to cyber threats.

The United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2017 would set up a DHS grant program to promote cooperative cybersecurity research and development between the U.S. and Israel.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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