Lawmakers make second bipartisan push to elevate federal IT official
A bipartisan duo of lawmakers on Friday reintroduced legislation that would elevate the post of the federal government’s chief information officer, as well as establish a new line for reporting about information technology across the administration.
Reps. Robin Kelly(D-Ill.) and Will Hurd (R-Texas), the chairwoman and ranking member, respectively, of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology, reintroduced the bill after it failed to pass Congress during the last legislative session.
The House passed the legislation in November, but it did not advance out of the Senate committee it was assigned to in time for it to be taken up by the end of the 115th Congress.
Under the measure, the federal chief information officer (CIO), who oversees all IT for the federal government and currently reports to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) deputy director, would start reporting directly to the head of OMB.
The CIO would also be mandated to draft and submit a report to Congress on streamlining IT across the federal government.
The bill also states that the federal chief information security officer would be made a presidential appointee who would report directly to the federal CIO.
Kelly said in a statement that the bill “will help streamline government IT processes and advance modernization efforts to bring government into the 21st century.”
Hurd added that as hackers target private data, “Americans should be able to trust their government to keep their information safe.”
“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,” he said in a release.