Inside AI Policy

May 24, 2024

AI Daily News

Software alliance seeks harmony in letter to OMB on multiple AI, cyber workstreams

By Charlie Mitchell / February 9, 2024

BSA-The Software Alliance is urging the White House Office of Management and Budget to take the lead in coordinating the federal government’s work on “eight different regulatory efforts related to IT” including artificial intelligence and cybersecurity initiatives.

“Our members’ innovative solutions are helping to positively transform businesses and government agencies alike. That is why we urge the Office of Management and Budget to take a stronger role in coordinating a series of overlapping and conflicting regulations governing how the US government procures IT and software services,” BSA says in a Feb. 6 letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young.

“The current regulatory framework for IT is under rapid change. The Administration has an ambitious goal of modernizing the government’s current IT infrastructure to better serve the public. At the same time, President Biden’s executive order on artificial intelligence also charges the government with finding ways to responsibly incorporate AI-enabled technology,” BSA says.

“The executive order also sets a goal of creating ‘a coordinated, Federal Government-wide approach’ regarding the use of AI,” BSA says. “Through its Better Contracting Initiative, the Administration has an additional goal of setting a government-wide approach to purchasing technology. The Administration is taking steps to respond to the rapid pace of change in the IT market.”

The group identifies eight workstreams:

  • OMB’s recently closed memo on Artificial Intelligence
  • OMB’s recently closed FedRAMP memo
  • The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)
  • FAR Case 2021-017 Federal Acquisition Regulation: Standardizing Cybersecurity Requirements for Unclassified Federal Information Systems
  • FAR Case 2021–019 Cyber Threat and Incident Reporting and Information Sharing
  • FAR Case 2023-06 Implementation of Federal Acquisition Supply Chain Security Act (FASCA) Orders
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency CISA 2022-0010 responding to Request for Information defining Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act (CIRCIA)
  • Department of Commerce Proposed Rule DOC-2021-0007-001 National Emergency with Respect to Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities

BSA says, “To achieve the Administration’s stated goals, BSA asks that OMB take the lead in creating government-wide consistency in IT regulations, by working to harmonize and deconflict the ongoing regulations within OMB, the Federal Acquisition Council, and the DOD.”

Th group notes that OMB’s “primary function involves the coordination and management of functions, particularly procurement, across federal agencies. No entity in government is better-positioned to harmonize these different regulatory workstreams and ensure that the government can access innovative technologies to better deliver services to the general public.”

“Again,” BSA says, “we respectfully urge OMB to take a leading role in coordinating across all of the current regulations that impact the federal IT market to make sure that they do not conflict. We also strongly recommend OMB to consult with stakeholders, including industry, to look at these changes in concert, as the multiple regulations will need a coordinated approach to advancing AI innovation through modernized IT.”

“BSA stands ready to assist with substantive expertise regarding this effort and looks forward to assisting the Administration in their efforts,” according to the letter.

BSA recently released an agenda based on building trust in artificial intelligence and encouraging its adoption, “namely through passing laws related to bias and discrimination risks of AI.”

The group weighed in on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s tasks under the Biden AI executive order, focusing on roles and responsibilities for AI developers and deployers and other issues.