The Public Eye with Eric Chabrow

DoD CIO Nominee: Stuck Between Rock, Hard Place

Takai's Name Withdrawn, But Is Nomination Dead?
DoD CIO Nominee: Stuck Between Rock, Hard Place

Takai's nomination fell victim to two unrelated happenings: an intransigent Senate that is slow (or refuses) to act on presidential nominations and a planned reorganization of the Pentagon.

Obama had more than 110 executive- and judicial-branch nominees pending on the Senate's executive calendar as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the website The Hill. But in a deal with Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won approval on 54 nominees - not including Takai - in exchange for a pledge to keep the Senate officially in session till after the midterm elections so Obama can't make recess appointments.

Takai's nomination fell victim to two unrelated happenings: an intransigent Senate that is slow (or refuses) to act on presidential nominations and a planned reorganization of the Pentagon 

The Pentagon reorganization, announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in August, would eliminate the Network and Information Integration unit, assigning its tasks to other DoD entities in an effort to slash $100 million in spending over five years. Though the assistant secretary of network and information integration will vanish, the CIO post will not. Defense officials haven't provided details on how the CIO job will be reconstituted, but at a congressional hearing this week, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman and Marine Gen. James Cartwright promised the new CIO position will be strengthened.

Federal law requires that each major department and agency have a CIO, and requires that position to have prime responsibility for its IT security. The law, though, does not require the CIO to be a Senate-confirmed post. CIOs who are confirmed usually hold a high-ranking title such as assistant secretary, and Cartwright's pledge suggests the new CIO will be a Senate-confirmable position. Conceivably, Obama and Gates may decide that the best person for the restructured CIO job is Takai. Withdrawing a nomination is not necessarily the same thing as killing it.



About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.




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