Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said he plans to introduce a bill that will develop a pilot program across agencies to enhance the government’s use of metadata.

The congressman announced his plans for the legislation during a July 28 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing to discuss the newly-released 14th installment of the committee’s FITARA Scorecard.

“I’m introducing a bill to develop a pilot program that enhances our government’s use of metadata, not just in one agency but across government,” Rep. Khanna said during the hearing. “We must rethink and invest in whole-of-government approaches that promote collaboration across agencies, and that prompt us to work together to fight America’s adversaries.”

Rep. Khanna said his legislation would be helpful for agencies to achieve their responsibilities under the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) memo related to improving response to cyber incidents, M-21-31.

David Shive, chief information officer (CIO) at the General Services Administration (GSA), agreed with Rep. Khanna and said metadata is “critically important” for the Federal government to uphold a “good defensive posture.”

“Capturing data and knowing things that exist within that data is critically important,” Shive said. “But, if we’re going to use the best, most practical tools – including machine learning and augmentation, like AI – we have to have that captured metadata to be able to apply those forward-leaning tools to those datasets.”

Vaughn Noga, CIO at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), echoed that same sentiment and added, “it’s invaluable to make sure that we collect all data as we start looking at how we can better improve and protect our IT assets and infrastructure.”

Although Rep. Khanna did not indicate a timeline for his metadata bill, he said he looks forward to continuing to work with Shive and Noga on the legislation.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.