New bill would create governmentwide CIO

New bill would create governmentwide CIO

Rep. Jim Turner says a governmentwide CIO would improve IT efforts.

By Shruti Dat' and Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

The House is considering a bill that would establish a governmentwide CIO to enforce systems regulations and coordinate multiagency projects.

'The Chief Information Officer of the United States Act, HR 4670, will ensure that the federal government is not left behind in the technology revolution,' said Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas), the bill's chief sponsor.

The House Government Reform Subcommittee on Government, Management, Information and Technology will review the bill this fall.

Meanwhile, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last month approved a bill that would create a government security czar whose duties would include cybersecurity.

That bill is awaiting a vote by the full House.

The CIO Act notes that 'federal agencies are not complying with existing statutory requirements to improve the management of information technology.' That includes improvements in investment control processes, personal privacy and information security, records' management and the development of tools to use Internet for public services, Turner said.

A governmentwide CIO would provide leadership, improve project coordination and create opportunities for innovation, the bill said.

At the top

As proposed by Turner, the CIO would oversee a 12-person Office of IT within the Executive Office of the President and provide technical, policy and management and leadership.

The CIO would serve as a special assistant and direct adviser to the president and lead the federal CIO Council.

The bill would create an IT Fund the federal CIO could use for cross-agency projects. That money would come from income from the FTS 2001 communications contracts.

An out

The CIO Act, however, would not apply to national security systems, as defined by the IT Management Reform Act of 1996.

As to the security czar proposal, the Preparedness Against Terrorism Act of 2000 would create an Office of Terrorism Preparedness within the Executive Office of the President.

Sponsored by Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-Fla.), HR 4210 would mandate that the security officer establish policies, objectives and priorities for detecting, warning and responding to domestic terrorist attacks, including cyberterrorism.

Currently, these efforts are dispersed among more than 40 agencies with little coordination, said Tom Alexander, Fowler's spokesman.

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