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Orszag and Schmidt Release Memo Defining DHS’ Cybersecurity Role

Congress Economic StimulusThe Office of Management and Budget released a memorandum earlier this week giving the Department of Homeland Security full responsibility of all civilian agency computer networks.

In the memo, OMB Director Peter Orszag and Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt outlined activities for DHS to fulfill its cybersecurity duties in an effort to clarify the responsibilities and activities of the Executive Office of the President and DHS.

These activities include: overseeing government-wide implementation of cybersecurity policies, assisting these efforts to provide adequate cybersecurity, overseeing the agencies’ compliance with FISMA and developing analyses for OMB to assist in development of annual FISMA report, overseeing agencies’ cybersecurity operations and annually reviewing the programs.

In the memo, Orszag and Schmidt wrote, “To clarify and avoid confusion, effective immediately, OMB will be responsible for the submission of the annual FISMA report to Congress, for the development and approval of the cybersecurity portions of the president’s budget, for the traditional OMB budgetary and fiscal oversight of the agencies’ use of funds, and for coordination with the cybersecurity coordinator on all policy issues related to the prior three responsibilities.”

They added, “The Cybersecurity Coordinator will have visibility into DHS efforts to ensure Federal agency compliance with FISMA and will serve as the principal White House official to coordinate interagency cooperation with DHS cybersecurity efforts.”

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