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 HurdWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration GOP rep: Trump emergency declaration puts US in 'uncharted territory' Immigration groups press for pairing Dreamer benefits with border security MORE (R-Texas) and Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyWorries mount as cybersecurity agency struggles amid shutdown Hillicon Valley: Apple cutting iPhone production | Senior citizens more likely to share fake news on Facebook | Graham says AG nominee will let Mueller finish probe | Dems warn shutdown hurting IT recruitment Hillicon Valley: Marriott cuts breach estimates, but says millions of passports exposed | Los Angeles sues Weather Channel app over data collection | Bill would create office to fight Chinese threats to US tech | German politicians hit by major breach 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 TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration 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.