Legislation that would reauthorize and elevate the federal government’s top IT official passed its first major hurdle with a unanimous house vote Nov. 30.
The Federal CIO Authorization Act, introduced by Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Robin Kelly, D-Ill., would make the federal chief information officer (a position currently held by Suzette Kent) a presidentially appointed position in charge of the White House Office of E-Government, which would be renamed as the Office of the Federal Chief information Officer.
The federal chief information security officer, a position created Sept. 8, 2016, that reports to the CIO and drives governmentwide cybersecurity policy, would also be elevated to a presidentially appointed position.
But the newly House-approved bill has a long way to go in a short amount of time to make it into law. It must go through a likely committee consideration and Senate floor vote before the new Congress meets Jan. 3, 2019.
The Senate is scheduled to adjourn by Dec. 14, 2018, with numerous nominations and a pending minibus appropriations bill yet to consider.
If the legislation does not pass the Senate in time, it will have to be reintroduced in the next legislative session and start the process all over again.