White House against proposed DoD CIO reshuffling

Dive Brief:

  • The White House released a statement Tuesday denouncing proposed changes to the Pentagon’s CIO office introduced as part of the annual defense policy bill, according to a FedScoop report

  • The provision would introduce a new role in the Department of Defense called the assistant secretary of defense for information, who would serve as the department's CIO and while also overseeing "the security of the Department of Defense information network, as well as defense space policy and cyber warfighting activities."

  • The White House statement said the new role would "complicate rather than improve" current DoD cybersecurity efforts.

Dive Insight:

The growing function of technology within organizations and the need to protect them from cyberattacks means new tech roles or shifting tech responsibilities are not uncommon. While the average organization does not have to deal with "cyber warfighting" capabilties, traditional roles could change to meet technology demands.

The new role, part of the National Defense Authorization Act, is an effort to improve the Defense Department's oversight of its cyber activities, according to a summary of the bill from the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

The office of Management and Budget said it opposes the move because it "would be potentially duplicative" with existing DoD cybersecurity roles.

But Sen. John McCain,R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said "the administration repeatedly misstates and misconstrues provisions of the NDAA."

Federal agencies have some work to do when it comes to cybersecurity. In April, security risk benchmarking startup SecurityScorecard found that U.S. federal, state and local government agencies rank lowest in cybersecurity when compared to the private sector.

Filed Under: IT Strategy Security Leadership & Careers
Top image credit: Flickr, chucka_nc