Bush's New Cyber-Security Czar
Clarke serves under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., who retains overall responsibility for government-wide security policy and implementation. Mark Forman, associate OMB director for IT and electronic government, oversees the interagency task force in charge of federal IT as well as the administration's $100 million e-gov fund; Daniels calls him the closest thing to a government CIO.
Daniels has made it clear that IT falls into a special priority category that will be funded, no matter what the cost.
"We have to try to rationalize systems spending in the federal government," Daniels told a Washington symposium last fall. "The situation is not as bad as you think, it's much worse."
Already, the President has requested funding for Project Matrix, which will identify the networks, nodes and assets within 14 federal agencies that, if incapacitated or destroyed, would put the country's survival at risk. The evaluation includes utility systems such as electrical, gas and water.
Although the initial study is small - $1.7 million - it will affect future IT spending, because the vulnerabilities so identified will have to be protected by redundancies or other security measures.
Much of post-terrorism spending will be to beef up computer security as well as law enforcement manpower. New personnel will have to be trained, and IT education management systems are expected to be in high demand.
Other IT research areas that have been identified as urgent priorities by various government officials include:
Speaking at a Washington meeting of 350 government and industry IT leaders, Office of Homeland Security director Tom Ridge urged the IT community to think of national security as not just a federal government problem but a truly national issue. The Bush administration separately is trying to foster a new partnership with the scientific and research community.
"Take this city by the neck and shake it," Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Penn.), chair of the procurement subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Washington IT audience.
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