House passes bill to elevate post of federal chief information officer

The House on Friday unanimously passed a bipartisan bill to elevate the role of the federal government's chief information officer.

The measure would establish a new line for reporting about information technology within the federal government, now instructing the federal chief information officer (CIO) — who oversees information technology throughout the administration — to report to the director of the Office of Management and Budget instead of the office’s deputy director.

The bill also designates the federal chief information security officer (CISO) as a presidential appointee, and orders the person in that role to report directly to the federal CIO.

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If passed, the legislation will require the federal CIO to create and submit to Congress a report on how to streamline IT throughout the federal government.

The bipartisan Federal CIO Authorization Act of 2018 was introduced by Reps. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Democrat running for Will Hurd's seat raises over million in first 100 days of campaign Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas) and Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyTo combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks Democratic lawmakers support Bustos after DCCC resignations Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (D-Ill.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s subcommittee on information technology.

Hurd said in a statement Friday that as hackers continue to try to steal individuals’ personal 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 continued. “I thank my colleagues for coming together in a bipartisan manner today to work toward finally catching our federal government up with the 21st century.”

And Kelly said the bill is “part of our larger push to finally bring government into the 21st century.”

“As Democrats assume control of the House, this commitment to a bipartisan federal tech policy must and will continue,” Kelly said in a statement.

The bill comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE signed an executive order in May that gave more authority to chief information officers within federal agencies, ordering each of the officials to report to the head of their respective agencies.

However, the order did not address the role of the federal CIO, as this bill does.

The legislation will now be referred to the Senate for consideration.