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Press Release Published: Jul 28, 2022

Hice: Biden Administration Ignoring the Law, Failing on Cyber

WASHINGTON — Government Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member Jody Hice (R-Ga.) opened today’s hearing by slamming the Biden Administration for its recent FITARA scorecard, demonstrating that 10 federal agencies are failing in cyber. He noted that the grades for the scorecard do not reflect any cyber goals set forth by the Biden Administration because they haven’t issued any.  Subcommittee Ranking Member Hice highlighted how the Biden Administration’s shortcomings on cyber follow a similar pattern to their transitioning of the Technology Modernization Fund from a useful tool for agencies to save money into a slush fund.  He concluded by emphasizing that the Biden Administration needs to comply with the law and the will of Congress and hoped it gets that message loud and clear.

Below is Subcommittee Ranking Member Hice’s remarks as prepared:

Thank you, Chairman Connolly, for calling this hearing.

On this, the 14th FITARA Scorecard, the issue that stands out is the cyber metric.

But more importantly, what stands out is the Biden Administration ignoring the law.

Since a cyber grade was included on the FITARA Scorecard, it has included an assessment of agency progress against cyber-related goals set by the administration.

These were generally part of a larger set of Cross-Agency Priority Goals which are required by law.

But the grades for the Scorecard do not reflect any cyber goals from the Biden Administration…

Because they haven’t issued any.

And from what I can tell, the Biden Administration has not issued any CAP goals at all.

While we are at it, the Biden Administration has not delivered the annual cybersecurity report required by FISMA.

So, when it comes to the most important topic we will cover today – cyber – we do not have much of an idea as to what is going on.

If I look at the Scorecard, it says 10 agencies are failing in cyber.

Another Biden Administration failure to add to an already-long list.

This is similar to what it is doing with the Technology Modernization Fund.

As we heard in a hearing earlier this year, the Biden Administration has turned that into a slush fund.

The idea behind the TMF was that agencies would create savings by retiring old systems.

These savings would be used to repay the fund and allow for additional modernization projects.

It was intended to create an efficient cycle.

But the executive director of the TMF board gave us nonsensical answers about how the savings would be realized by the public.

And they are not going to make agencies pay back TMF funds.

This is clearly ignoring the intent of the Modernizing Government Technology Act.

The Biden Administration is thumbing its nose at this Committee.

And it’s not like this Committee has been hard on the Administration.

Chairman Connolly has been the rare exception among Committee Democrats in calling Biden Administration officials to testify.

I will give credit where it is due.

These current cyber grades are of little value.

OMB is depriving this Subcommittee of insight on the most important FITARA metric and cybersecurity in general.

The Biden Administration needs to comply with the law and the will of Congress. 

I hope it gets that message loud and clear.

I yield back.