Federal CIO Authorization Act Passes House

The Federal CIO Authorization Act, sponsored by Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Robin Kelly, D-Ill., passed the House today unanimously on a voice vote, setting the stage for an elevated, more empowered Federal CIO position.

While the bill passed the House in November, the bill did not clear the Senate before the end of the 115th Congress. Hurd and Kelly reintroduced the bill on January 4, and guided it to quick passage through the House, despite concerns that the partial government shutdown would delay the bill.

The bill would elevate the Federal CIO to a presidential appointee reporting to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The bill would also permanently establish the Federal CISO position as a presidential appointee reporting to the Federal CIO. The bill would also rename the Office of E-Government to the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer.

For agencies, the bill would require them to report IT spending to the Federal CIO’s office, and require it to be publicly displayed, similar to the IT Dashboard. The bill would also require the Federal CIO to submit a report on consolidating IT across the Federal government and increasing shared services.

“This bill helps keep the vast information stored by the Federal government secure from hackers by making clear that the Federal CIO is in charge of the security of our data across the government,” said Hurd. “I am proud to lead this bipartisan effort with my friend Rep. Robin Kelly so we can strengthen national cybersecurity and catch our Federal government up with the 21st century.”

“I’m glad that the House has moved quickly to again pass this important bill. Using business and states as a model, we’ve seen how a strong CIO office can help streaming IT processes and accelerate modernization,” said Kelly. “As in the 115th Congress, I’m glad to see that IT modernization remains a bipartisan priority in this Congress.”

The bill will move to the Senate for consideration.

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