Doc:NIST SP 800-53r3 Appendix F/CA-6

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Control: The organization:
a. Assigns a senior-level executive or manager to the role of authorizing official for the information system;
b. Ensures that the authorizing official authorizes the information system for processing before commencing operations; and
c. Updates the security authorization [Assignment: organization-defined frequency].
Supplemental Guidance: Security authorization is the official management decision, conveyed through the authorization decision document, given by a senior organizational official or executive (i.e., authorizing official) to authorize operation of an information system and to explicitly accept the risk to organizational operations and assets, individuals, other organizations, and the Nation based on the implementation of an agreed-upon set of security controls. Authorizing officials typically have budgetary oversight for information systems or are responsible for the mission or business operations supported by the systems. Security authorization is an inherently federal responsibility and therefore, authorizing officials must be federal employees. Through the security authorization process, authorizing officials are accountable for the security risks associated with information system operations. Accordingly, authorizing officials are in management positions with a level of authority commensurate with understanding and accepting such information system-related security risks. Through the employment of a comprehensive continuous monitoring process, the critical information contained in the authorization package (i.e., the security plan (including risk assessment), the security assessment report, and the plan of action and milestones) is updated on an ongoing basis, providing the authorizing official and the information system owner with an up-to-date status of the security state of the information system. To reduce the administrative cost of security reauthorization, the authorizing official uses the results of the continuous monitoring process to the maximum extent possible as the basis for rendering a reauthorization decision. OMB policy requires that federal information systems are reauthorized at least every three years or when there is a significant change to the system. The organization defines what constitutes a significant change to the information system. Related controls: CA-2, CA-7, PM-9, PM-10.
Control Enhancements: None.