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house Bill H.R. 6901

Should the Federal Chief Information Officer Have More Authority?

Argument in favor

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

Scott's Opinion
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11/30/2018
CIO should be a cabinet position, technical infrastructure is more and more vital to our country’s wellbeing, as is cyber security.
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Cosmo 's Opinion
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11/30/2018
Information technology is serious and should carry the highest staff position in the Whitehouse. Hard to understand why this issue to be debated. It’s the new way to wage war against your enemies. Interesting enough that we are not the best in this new arena. It cost much less than buying aircraft, battleships, feed and cloth half a million troops, you get the idea. The first time our nations power grid crashes for weeks at a time,those non believers will believe. First time you can’t access your money or a landlord who can’t collect his rent or all the professionals who cannot perform their specialty, then non believers will say Ah, Ah.
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David's Opinion
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11/30/2018
Tying someone's hands does not make sense. However, when you say given them Authority. Could you explain the functional needs both pros and cons. These ambiguous questions are quite troublesome.
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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.

Jim's Opinion
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11/30/2018
Elevating the job to be a presidential appointment would turn it into a blatently political propaganda position. That is a terrible idea.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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11/30/2018
I don’t think this is a good idea. Mainly because a IT position shouldn’t be a appointed position. IT isn’t the place to put a partisan player in power. IT needs the best and that means hiring professionals... IT specialists not politicians looking for consolidating power placement.
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TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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11/30/2018
This is an easy one. The answer to "Should [government official] have more authority?" is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a loud, firm, decisive NO. The answer becomes obvious when you ask it the other way: "Should everyone not in government have less freedom?"
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What is House Bill H.R. 6901?

The — Federal CIO Authorization Act of 2018 — would amend the E-Government Act of 2002 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. 6901

$2.00 Million
The CBO expects that this bill would largely codify current practices, so the only expenditure is 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) introduced this bill 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.”

This bill 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 2018

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.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed November 30th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 391 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedSeptember 26th, 2018

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    CIO should be a cabinet position, technical infrastructure is more and more vital to our country’s wellbeing, as is cyber security.
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    Elevating the job to be a presidential appointment would turn it into a blatently political propaganda position. That is a terrible idea.
    Like (36)
    Follow
    Share
    I don’t think this is a good idea. Mainly because a IT position shouldn’t be a appointed position. IT isn’t the place to put a partisan player in power. IT needs the best and that means hiring professionals... IT specialists not politicians looking for consolidating power placement.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Information technology is serious and should carry the highest staff position in the Whitehouse. Hard to understand why this issue to be debated. It’s the new way to wage war against your enemies. Interesting enough that we are not the best in this new arena. It cost much less than buying aircraft, battleships, feed and cloth half a million troops, you get the idea. The first time our nations power grid crashes for weeks at a time,those non believers will believe. First time you can’t access your money or a landlord who can’t collect his rent or all the professionals who cannot perform their specialty, then non believers will say Ah, Ah.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    This is an easy one. The answer to "Should [government official] have more authority?" is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a loud, firm, decisive NO. The answer becomes obvious when you ask it the other way: "Should everyone not in government have less freedom?"
    Like (18)
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    Share
    Tying someone's hands does not make sense. However, when you say given them Authority. Could you explain the functional needs both pros and cons. These ambiguous questions are quite troublesome.
    Like (16)
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    👍🏻 H.R. 6901 the Federal CIO Authorization Act of 2018 👍🏻 I’m in support of and recommend the passage of HOUSE bill H.R 6901 AKA the Federal CIO Authorization Act of 2018 — would amend the E-Government Act of 2002 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). Giving the federal CIO more authority and making them a direct report directly to the OMB Director would give this position greater authority to modernize the federal government’s IT infrastructure. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻💽💻🖨👍🏻. 11*30*18....
    Like (7)
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    I'm not against giving the government power, but I think an IT position should be hired by qualifications, not an appointment. I think this Administration has made incredibly clear just how damaging and ineffective the presidential appointment system can be.
    Like (5)
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    Not sure we should be doing this under current corrupt criminal regime.
    Like (4)
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    Turning this into a cabinet position gives it the potential of making their appointment political. You do not want that when the politics of your nation are becoming more partisan.
    Like (4)
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    Yes,if he could educate POTUS on the difference btw real news & fake news, scientifically proven fact and convent PR to make a profit (emollients)
    Like (3)
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    I think making this a presidential appointment would become political. If it becomes political, who is to say that appointee would operate with integrity and not be abliged to let his morals and laurels default because it is politically motivated and because some kind of sick loyalty to the party as opposed to the people. NO!
    Like (3)
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    This position can’t be under the direct WH control. It will soon become a political tool for presidents. It’s position should not be an appointee either.
    Like (3)
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    This all sounds good except for the CIO becoming a presidential appointee. That puts the job in the political realm. As the 2016 election showed us, this should be a Defense position. We need the best of the best in this role. That means hiring, not appointing.
    Like (3)
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    Concentrates to much power to the executive administration through presidential appointment.
    Like (3)
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    As a former federal employee, I can attest to the need for newer and better IT systems and the upgrades that go with it
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    They are not elected so no. That position shouldn’t even exist.
    Like (3)
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    It would help.
    Like (3)
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    Given the cyber attacks that we've experienced, this seems like a good idea.
    Like (2)
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    Total bi-partisan issue. The federal government is a hodge podge of disparate systems duct taped together... Federal government employees are not flexible enough to keep up with emerging technologies... There needs to be a cabinet level standards bearer...
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