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house Bill H.R. 247

Should the Federal Chief Information Officer Have More Authority?

Argument in favor

Giving the federal CIO more authority and making them report directly to the OMB Director would give this position greater authority to modernize the federal government’s IT infrastructure.

Traci's Opinion
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01/15/2019
Obviously between Hillary's email server fiasco, IRS server problem that conveniently lost emails pertaining to IRS singling out Conservatives, the people fired and arrested for leaking info; the failure of Obamacare website and more there needs to be a dept head keeping this under control, keeping up with technology and most of all holding violators and bad actors accountable.
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Jacob's Opinion
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01/15/2019
We need protection in the modern era however it must come at accountability and I would support this. The only change I could see is more oversight so there is less of a chance that this agency could be abused by administration or by a party
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01/15/2019
As technology changes, so do our problems, and so must our solutions. This Bill would help modernize our IT infrastructure and move us closer to where we need to be if we want to work quickly and efficiently.
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Argument opposed

There have been multiple recent efforts to elevate agency CIOs, none of which have addressed the federal CIO. Based on this, it seems that there’s no need to elevate the federal CIO to the level this bill proposes.

TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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01/15/2019
No. Always, always, always no to giving any government official more authority.
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lachancp's Opinion
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01/15/2019
No! Stop giving more authority to unelected bureaurats.
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Frances's Opinion
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01/15/2019
IF A REPUBLICAN WANTS TO GIVE A CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER MORE AUTHORITY, THAT MEANS THAT THEY WILL BECOME PROPAGANDISTS! THIS BILL WAS CREATED BY A REPUBLICAN, SO I DO NOT TRUST IT!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 4th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 247?

The — Federal CIO Authorization Act of 2018 — would aim to modernize the federal government’s information technology (IT) infrastructure by reauthorizing, renaming, codifying, and elevating the role of the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO).

To achieve this goal, the bill would create a clearer IT reporting structure within the Administration by:

  • Reauthorizing and renaming the Office of E-Government as the “Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer”;

  • Elevating the Federal CIO’s role to that of a presidential appointee who directly reports to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director instead of the deputy director, as it currently stands;

  • Codifying the Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) as a presidential appointee reporting the Federal CIO;

  • Directing federal agencies to report to Congress on the IT investments; and

  • Directing the Federal CIO to submit a proposal to Congress for consolidating and streamlining IT across federal agencies

Impact

Federal agencies; federal IT infrastructure; Office of E-Government; OMB; agency CIOs; Congress; OMB Director; federal CIO; and the federal CISO.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 247

$2.00 Million
When this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, the CBO expected that it’d largely codify current practices, so the only expenditure would be the cost of creating a report on the feasibility of consolidating the federal government’s 100 small-to-midsize agencies’ IT services. The CBO estimates this would cost up to $2 million.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to keep Americans’ information stored with the federal government safe:

“Every single minute of every single day, hackers are trying to steal Americans’ information. From credit card numbers, to social security numbers, our personal information is targeted by bad actors around the globe. Americans should be able to trust their government to keep their information safe.”

Rep. Hurd originally introduced this bill in the 115th Congress to modernize the federal government by reauthorizing, renaming, codifying, and elevating the role of the Federal CIO:

“No entity can operate securely and efficiently without a CIO in the year 2018, including the federal government. This bill does more than just rename an office. It makes a clear statement that the Federal CIO is in charge of coordinating IT policy across the government in order to ensure that our agencies are able to provide better, faster and more cost-efficient services for the American people.”

In the 116th Congress, this bill has the support of three bipartisan cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican. In the previous Congress, it passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on a voice vote with the support of four cosponsors, including three Democrats and one Republican.


Of Note: The 2014 Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) gave greater authority to executive agency CIOs, requiring that they report directly to an agency secretary or deputy secretary. However, FITARA didn’t address the authority of the federal CIO.

The White House also issued an executive order in May to again elevate the role of agency CIOs. However, this again didn’t address the federal CIO’s authority.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / undefined undefined)

AKA

Federal CIO Authorization Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend chapter 36 of title 44, United States Code, to make certain changes relating to electronic Government services, and for other purposes.