Lawmaker seeks agency FISMA accountability

Impatient with agencies' slow progress in meeting federal IT security requirements, Rep. Adam Putnam wants to hold senior officials accountable for their agencies' compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act.

Although the Office of Management and Budget reported that progress has been made in IT security, most of the major 24 executive branch agencies have fallen far short of FISMA goals, officials told the Florida Republican last week.

Putnam, chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census, held hearings to review recent agency FISMA reports.

Karen Evans, OMB administrator for e-government and IT, said the same security weaknesses are found year after year.

A lack of individual accountability for compliance was cited several times as a cause for the problems. Putnam said he is working with Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) to amend the Clinger-Cohen Act 'to explicitly identify information security as a required element of the IT investment management oversight and decision making process.'

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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