President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that aims to streamline the processes of acquiring and developing better information technology (IT) infrastructure, among other measures.
Specifically, the mandate will “implement successful IT management practices from the private sector,” thus empowering agencies with the ability to better safeguard sensitive information, decrease costs “and improve services offered to the public,” according to a White House press release.
Through the executive order, chief information officers for all relevant agencies will be given further powers to go forward with cybersecurity initiatives including investments, while still directing some checks over the executive role by having them report directly to the agency head.
“We’re embracing big change, bold thinking, and outsider perspectives to transform government and make it the way it should be, and at far less cost,” Trump said in a statement.
The move by the Trump administration is an attempt to comply with the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), a bill passed in 2014 that requires federal agencies to provide the Office of Management Budget (OMB) with reports on inventory, quarterly progress and strategies of consolidation and optimization for data centers. It was designed to reduce the amount of inter- and intra-agency duplicate spending, as well as placing more responsibility for IT resource management in general.
More than 25 federal agencies and departments are affected by FITARA, including the Department of Justice, Department of Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency and multiple military branches, just to name some.
“This Administration is committed to modernizing the Federal Government while eliminating antiquated processes,” Chief Federal CIO Suzette Kent said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “President Trump understands CIOs have an important role at their agencies to drive results, and this executive order furthers their ability to be mission enablers in providing the quality service not only to their federal agency but to the American people.”
The announcement of the presidential order came the same day Politico reported that national security adviser John Bolton eliminated the top cyber policy adviser, a move the administration saw as a help in “eliminating another layer of bureaucracy.” (RELATED: White House Removes Head Cybersecurity Officer)
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia somewhat vehemently opposed the idea of cutting out the post since attacks on America’s virtual systems in both the private and public sectors are apparently intensifying in prevalence, reverberations or both.
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