The FedRAMP Authorization Act, sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., passed unanimously in the House by voice vote on Feb. 5.

Rep. Connolly touched on the House vote Thursday night at MeriTalk’s FITARA Awards, calling the unanimous vote in the House a “very good piece of news” for the legislation, and looking forward to action on the legislation “by that other group” in Congress – the Senate.

The bipartisan legislation, cosponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., would codify into law the FedRAMP (Federal Risk Assessment and Management Program), and take a number of other actions aimed at making the program work more efficiently. The bill was initially introduced on July 24 and then cleared the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Dec. 19.

“It’s critical that we streamline processes for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) to cuts costs, improve efficiency, and better facilitate modernization for their IT systems,” said Meadows when the bill was initially introduced.

Once it is signed into law by President Trump, the FedRAMP Authorization Act will:

  • Codify the program into law;
  • Establish a presumption of adequacy for FedRAMP authorized cloud services;
  • Encourage further automation of the FedRAMP process;
  • Establish a Federal Secure Cloud Advisory Committee;
  • Require the Office of Management and Budget to ensure all agencies get authorizations for cloud services;
  • Relocate the FedRAMP PMO within GSA; and
  • Allocate $20 million annually for FedRAMP’s program management office and the Joint Authorization Board.

The legislation also received praise from industry groups. The Professional Services Council “applauded” the passage of the bill in a Feb. 6 statement.

“As the overall shift to buying technologies ‘as a service’ continues, Federal agencies risk falling even further behind how leading private sector organizations operate,” said Alan Chvotkin, PSC’s executive vice president and counsel. “This legislation moves in the right direction to a more efficient and streamlined process for the government’s use of cloud products and services. Accelerating the ATO [Authority to Operate] process is essential for bringing more innovation into government and achieving the President’s Management Agenda goals for IT modernization and leveraging data as a strategic resource.”

The bill doesn’t currently have companion legislation in the Senate.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.