On Monday, Politico reported that the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer (OFCIO) is in a state of chaos and dysfunction.
The OFCIO, a division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is a $105 billion office tasked with helping government agencies across the board improve government technology and manage their budgets for equipment. It also plays a crucial role in government cybersecurity.
But according to one employee, the agency is languishing under "high turnover," "a lot of infighting," a "crushing workload" and "inaction from leadership," possibly with "a debilitating effect on overall cybersecurity in the long run." A former senior information technology staffer agreed, telling Politico that "This organization looks like it’s in free fall."
The OFCIO's parent agency is headed up by Mick Mulvaney, who is currently dividing his time between running OMB and serving as the White House's acting chief of staff.
The struggles at a critical cybersecurity office come one year before the 2020 elections, amid detailed reports of how the Russian government hacked Democratic organizations in the previous election, and of how vulnerable new electronic voting machines are. A cyberattack on the federal government itself would be yet another added risk.