Friday, May 27, 2016

Amendments to S 2943, FY 2017 NDAA – 5-26-16

Yesterday the Senate continued consideration of S 2943, the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. An agreement was reached to continue consideration on June 6th when the Senate returns from their Memorial Day weekend. During the day yesterday a total of 134 amendments were offered for consideration. Two of those amendments may be of specific interest to readers of this blog:

The Amendments

The two amendments of potential interest were

SA 4244 (pg S3302) – Sen. Reed (D,RI) - SEC. 1097. Cybersecurity transparency.
SA 4303 (pg S3322) – Sen. Portman (R,OH) - SEC. 526. Plan to meet the demand for cyberspace career fields in the reserve components of the air force.

The Reed amendment is essentially identical to S 2410 introduced by Reed in December, 2015 establishing cybersecurity expertise requirements for corporate boards. The language does specifically include “industrial control systems, such as supervisory control and data acquisition systems, distributed control systems, and programmable logic controllers” {new §1097(a)(3)(B)} in the definition of ‘information system’.

The Portman amendment would require the Air Force to report to Congress on their plan “for meeting the increased demand for cyberspace career fields in the reserve components of the Air Force, in accordance with the recommendations of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force” {new §526(a)}.

Moving Forward

The Senate has only reached agreement on the consideration of one amendment so far (and it is not one of the amendments of concern here), but I expect that we will see a lot more movement when the Senate returns. Either of these two amendments could easily be adopted if they were to be considered in the floor debate.

The Reed amendment is not really a DOD related topic, but the Senate rules are quite generous about the topics that can be added in the amendment process. It all depends on how much political will Reed and any other amendment supporters can bring to bear on the Senate leadership.

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