Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better Stand by for no real news on the administration’s cyber-security review

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Not only was the administration telling people about the new chief performance officer/OMB deputy director of management and the Obama chief technology officer/director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, but… the White House also announced late Friday — at 9:37p ET, in fact — that the administration has completed its 60-day top-to-bottom cyber-security review … and that there was nothing to announce.

The White House review is being led by Melissa Hathaway, the Office of the Director for National Intelligence’s senior advisor and the cyber coordination executive, who joined  the National Security Council on a 60-day detail to oversee and review federal cybersecurity. Many people have been hoping that there would be some conclusion about the future of the government’s cyber-security efforts, which have been leaderless, particularly after the departure of Rod Beckstrom as the director of the Homeland Security Department’s National Cybersecurity Center. (Read Beckstrom’s resignation letter here … and more on Beckstrom’s departure here… and Miller about Beckstrom’s recent appearance before Congress.) There have been some who have proposed a cyber-security “czar” in the White House, including the much watched study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency‘s recent cyber-security report . But Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller has reported that post seems unlikely.

Here is the money quote from Friday’s White House announcement — or the non-money quote: “After the President has had an opportunity to carefully review the group’s report, we will begin discussing the results,” the White House release said.

I have posted the release below:

April 17, 2009

Statement by the Press Secretary on Conclusion of the Cyberspace Review

On February 9, the President directed a 60-day review of the plans, programs and activities underway throughout the government that address our communications and information infrastructure (i.e., cyberspace). The purpose of the review is to develop a strategic framework to ensure that our initiatives in this area are integrated, resourced and coordinated appropriately, both within the Executive Branch and with Congress and the private sector. Today, theinteragency group undertaking the review concluded its work and is now in the process of submitting its findings and recommendations for the President’s review.

The report being submitted summarizes the review team’s conclusions and outlines the beginning of the way forward in building a reliable, resilient, trustworthy digital infrastructure for the future. It provides to the President recommendations regarding an optimal White House organizational structure to address cyberspace-related issues and includes an action plan on identifying and prioritizing further work in this area. After the President has had an opportunity to carefully review the group’s report, we will begin discussing the results.

Written by cdorobek

April 19, 2009 at 5:30 PM

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