GAO says government lacks a plan for PKI

GAO says government lacks a plan for PKI

By Preeti Vasishtha

GCN Staff

FEB. 28—The Office of Management and Budget should establish governmentwide standards to guide federal agencies in implementing public-key infrastructures, the General Accounting Office said.

In a report, Advances and Remaining Challenges to Adoption of Public Key Infrastructure Technology, released yesterday, GAO said agencies have lacked standards for developing and managing PKIs. The report said interoperability among agency PKIs is essential to implementing the technology.

Although the Federal PKI Steering Committee has acknowledged the need for a governmentwide framework, it has not provided top-down policy guidance, the report said.

Among the challenges agencies face is the high cost both of building a PKI and enabling software applications to use it. Also, it is not yet known how well the technology will interoperate as its use grows, the GAO report said.

GAO asked OMB to work with federal organizations such as the CIO Council, the PKI steering committee and the National Institute of Standards and Technology on constructing a framework.

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