CIO Council pulls its support for CISO Exchange

The CIO Council today pulled its support for the controversial Chief Information Security Officers Exchange.

Instead, the council will ask its own Best Practices Committee to develop ways to improve cybersecurity scores governmentwide, said Karen Evans, director of the council and Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and IT. Navy CIO Dave Wennergren leads the Best Practices Committee.

"While we firmly support the CISO Exchange's objective of improving the federal government's security posture and improving the cybersecurity scorecard grades, we believe the most appropriate context for doing so is through the CIO Council's Best Practices Committee," Evans said in a statement.

The CISO Exchange, announced in February by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who was to co-chair the group, attracted controversy when an advisory board was named April 6. The exchange set a $75,000 fee to become an industry member of the advisory board. Lower levels of participation carried fees of $25,000 and $5,000.

The fees and the structure of the exchange raised concern that it appeared to be a vehicle for gaining exclusive access to Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.

Like the CIO Council, Davis is re-evaluating his support.

The Industry Advisory Council, a nonprofit group in Fairfax, Va., is considering taking over the exchange.

"The CIO Council looks forward to establishing a Chief Information Security Officers Exchange that is open and accessible to all members of the IT community in both the government and private sector," said Dan Matthews, vice chairman of the council.

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