H.R. 5388, Support for Rapid Innovation Act of 2016

H.R. 5388

Support for Rapid Innovation Act of 2016

June 21, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5388, the Support for Rapid Innovation Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on June 7, 2016, by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security which ordered the bill reported, by voice vote, on June 8, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5388 requires the Under Secretary for Science and Technology (S&T) to support cybersecurity research, development, testing, evaluation and transition and to coordinate those activities with other Federal agencies, industry, and academia.  In service to the components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),  the Under Secretary is required to: 1) advance the development and deployment of secure information systems; 2) improve and create technologies to detect attacks or intrusions; 3) improve and create mitigation and recovery methodologies; 4)support the review of source code that underpins critical infrastructure information systems in coordination with the private sector; 5) develop and support tools to support cybersecurity research and development efforts; 6) assist the development of technologies to reduce vulnerabilities in industrial control systems; and 7) develop and support forensics and attack attribution capabilities.

In addition, the bill requires the Under Secretary to support the full life cycle of cyber research

and development projects and identify mature technologies to address the needs of existing or imminent cybersecurity gaps. The Under Secretary must target federally funded cybersecurity research that demonstrates a high probability of successful transition to the commercial market within two years.

Finally, H.R. 5388 extends the timeframe for the use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) until the year 2020. Prior to the use of OTA, the Secretary of DHS must approve a submitted proposal outlining the rationale, funds to be spent, and expected outcomes of the project. The Secretary of DHS is required to submit an annual report to Congress detailing those projects for which OTA was authorized.


DHS S&T was established by Congress in Title III of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. DHS S&T is the primary research and development arm of the Department. The Directorate manages basic and applied research and development of science and technology, including cybersecurity research and development, for the Department’s operational components and first responders that protect the homeland. OTA allows the Department to engage with entities that are not prepared to work through the regular government contracting mechanisms. Ensuring there are mechanisms in place like S&T’s cybersecurity research and development programs and OTA, to support the dynamic nature of cybersecurity R&D, is essential for addressing homeland security capability gaps.[1]

[1] https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/about-st


A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is currently unavailable.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jason Grassie with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 3-1555.