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House OKs Bill to Codify FedRAMP, Create Federal Cloud Advisory Panel

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HPCBOX Supercomputing
HPCBOX Supercomputing

The House has passed by voice vote a bipartisan bill that seeks to codify the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program and establish an advisory panel that would coordinate procurement and cybersecurity efforts under the governmentwide cloud computing initiative.

The FedRAMP Authorization Act of 2021 would allocate a $20 million budget for General Services Administration (GSA) efforts to increase the availability of secure cloud offerings and require GSA to automate its process of assessing and monitoring technology offerings, the office of Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said Tuesday.

“For nearly four years, I have worked with the Office of Management and Budget, GSA, industry stakeholders, and my friends on the other side of the aisle to ensure that the bill makes needed improvements to the FedRAMP program, and also gives the program flexibility to grow and adopt to myriad future changes in cloud technologies," said Connolly, who serves as the bill's principal sponsor.

James Comer, R-Ky., and Jody Hice, R-Ga., co-sponsored the legislation.

The bipartisan bill allows the formation of a Federal Secure Cloud Advisory Committee to facilitate government-industry dialogue, the establishment of a “presumption of adequacy” for authorized cloud platforms and the reuse of technologies with authority to operate certifications.

Connolly's office noted that 211 products are FedRAMP-compliant and small businesses account for 30 percent of the 240 industry participants in the program. GSA found that the number of agencies reusing certified platforms under the program rose 50 percent during fiscal 2020.