United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 04, 2023
Responsibilities for Federal information systems standards
Except as provided under paragraph (2), the Secretary of Commerce shall, on the basis of standards and guidelines developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology pursuant to paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 20(a) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278g–3(a)), prescribe standards and guidelines pertaining to Federal information systems.
Standards and guidelines for national security systems shall be developed, prescribed, enforced, and overseen as otherwise authorized by law and as directed by the President.
Except as provided under paragraph (2), the Secretary of Commerce shall make standards prescribed under subsection (a)(1) compulsory and binding to the extent determined necessary by the Secretary to improve the efficiency of operation or security of Federal information systems.
Standards prescribed under subsection (a)(1) shall include information security standards that—
provide minimum information security requirements as determined under section 20(b) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278g–3(b)); and
are otherwise necessary to improve the security of Federal information and information systems.
Information security standards described in subparagraph (A) shall be compulsory and binding.
The President may disapprove or modify the standards and guidelines referred to in subsection (a)(1) if the President determines such action to be in the public interest. The President’s authority to disapprove or modify such standards and guidelines may not be delegated. Notice of such disapproval or modification shall be published promptly in the Federal Register. Upon receiving notice of such disapproval or modification, the Secretary of Commerce shall immediately rescind or modify such standards or guidelines as directed by the President.
To ensure fiscal and policy consistency, the Secretary of Commerce shall exercise the authority conferred by this section subject to direction by the President and in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The head of an executive agency may employ standards for the cost-effective information security for Federal information systems within or under the supervision of that agency that are more stringent than the standards the Secretary prescribes under this section if the more stringent standards—
contain at least the applicable standards made compulsory and binding by the Secretary of Commerce; and
are otherwise consistent with policies and guidelines issued under section 3553 of title 44.
The decision by the Secretary of Commerce regarding the promulgation of any standard under this section shall occur not later than 6 months after the submission of the proposed standard to the Secretary by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as provided under section 20 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 278g–3).
In this section:
The term “Federal information system” means an information system used or operated by an executive agency, by a contractor of an executive agency, or by another organization on behalf of an executive agency.
The term “information security” has the meaning given that term in section 3552(b)(3) of title 44.
The term “national security system” has the meaning given that term in section 3552(b)(6) of title 44.
cite as: 40 USC 11331