Senate information security bill awaits floor action

Senate information security bill awaits floor action

Sen. Fred Thompson joined with Sen. Joseph Lieberman to sponsor the security bill.

Bill includes directives for training, procurement, more management personnel and DOD protection

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff


The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee last month unanimously approved the Government Information Security Act.

The bill, S 1993, aims to reform government information protection by strengthening security practices throughout government.

Committee chairman Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and ranking minority member Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) introduced the bill in November. It includes seven directives:

• The Commerce Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology would develop standards and guidance for security training and planning.

• The Justice Department would provide legal remedies for security breaches.

• The General Services Administration would assist agencies with computer security procurements.

• The Office of Personnel Management would review information security regulations covering federal civilian employees.

• Each agency's chief information officer would designate a senior information security officer.

• A deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget would oversee federal information security efforts.

• The Defense Department and the CIA would provide protection for national security systems and classified information.

The committee also approved an amendment from Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) that would require agencies to report to Congress on how they spend funds and allocate personnel for their security programs. Agencies already must provide this information under the Government Performance and Results Act.

The act would take effect 30 days after enactment. The bill now awaits a vote by the full Senate. The House Science Subcommittee on Technology this month is slated to mark up a comparable House bill, HR 2413.

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