House committee passes bill to reorganize DHS cyber office

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The House Homeland Security Committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would rename and reorganize the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency Act of 2016 changes NPPD to the Cybersecurity and Information Protection Agency, run by a director of national cybersecurity who would oversee four divisions dedicated to cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection policy and operations for the DHS.

“This measure realigns and streamlines the department’s cybersecurity and infrastructure protection missions to more effectively protect the American public against cyberattacks that could cripple the nation,” Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, said during Wednesday’s markup hearing.

The four divisions — Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, Emergency Communications and Federal Protective Service — would all have their own deputy directors to oversee the programs. The director of national cybersecurity would be a new position, but the bill directs that the position can be filled by “an undersecretary responsible for overseeing critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity and any other related program.” Suzanne Spaulding currently sits in that position as NPPD under secretary.

The bill would also codify the Office of Biometric Identity Management, which helps federal, state and local governments accurately identify people, supplies the technology for collecting and storing biometric data, and provides additional analysis.

That office was created in March 2013 from the department’s United States Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology program.

FedScoop reached out to Rep. McCaul’s office as well as House leadership on the future of the bill.

You can read the full bill on the committee’s website.

Contact the reporter on this story via email at greg.otto@fedscoop.com, or follow him on Twitter at @gregotto. His OTR and PGP info can be found hereSubscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Cybersecurity, Departments, Homeland Security Department, Michael McCaul, NPPD, Tech
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