Bill promotes DHS' chief of cybersecurity

A House subcommittee late last month approved a bill that would elevate the Homeland Security Department's cybersecurity director to the level of an assistant secretary in the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate.

The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity passed HR 285, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2005, by unanimous voice vote. The bill specifies that the assistant secretary for cybersecurity will lead the directorate's National Cybersecurity Division.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) offered and withdrew an amendment that would have mandated a study of the department's cybersecurity activities and possible reorganization. Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, has serious doubts about the wisdom of elevating the cybersecurity slot to the assistant secretary level, according to his staff.

'Chairman Davis believes Congress gave DHS broad reorganization powers, and he will not support the legislation unless the secretary of Homeland Security supports it,' said Melissa Wojciak, the committee's staff director, at a panel discussion sponsored by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management in Washington.

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