Nextgov reports that a forthcoming bill would give federal chief information security officers more authority to strengthen network security and related policies.
The bill, to be introduced in September by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), would give chief information security officers more authority to define policies and test network defenses without working through their agencies' chief information officers, according to Nextgov.
new Bush administration directive could mitigate one of the sticking points that plague the federal government’s process for granting security clearances: reciprocity.
Agencies are often unwilling to accept clearances granted by other agencies, forcing career-changers — and their would-be managers — to wait out a process before they fully can move into a new job.
Executive Order 13467 mandates that other agencies accept background investigations and adjudications conducted by one agency. Once the process is in place, this order is expected to help reduce the backlog, freeing resources to focus on new clearances.
Although this is only one of numerous problems with the clearance process, the Bush administration has laid a foundation on which to begin the reforms, observers say.
Shaping reforms The order creates two executive agents to resolve security investigation issues and set standards to apply governmentwide. It also establishes a council charged with ensuring the reforms move ahead.
“The new order finally clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the agencies involved in both the suitability and security clearance processes,” said Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia Subcommittee.
Some members of Congress say it’s a good next step toward reforms that senators, such as Akaka and George Voinovich (R-Ohio), the subcommittee’s ranking member, have pushed for several years.
“It is my hope that the new council, headed by the Office of Management and Budget, can work closely with clearance stakeholders to put new systems into place that will cut down on the redundancies and inefficiency that plague the current process,” Akaka said.