Labor works hard for the IT money

Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2001

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In an effort to modernize the Labor Department, the agency has proposed more than $337 million for information technology in its fiscal year 2001 budget — a 25 percent increase from 2000.

Among its major initiatives was the establishment of an information technology investment fund worth $60 million. This fund would pay for the modernization of IT architecture and World Wide Web capabilities, deployment of community office automation and improvements to critical infrastructure security, according to Bill Keisler of Labor's office of budget.

Labor also proposed $30 million to upgrade the administration's computer systems. About $19.9 million has been proposed for the operation and enhancement of the administration's data processing systems, $1.3 million for training staff, $7 million for the periodic roll review program and about $7 million for conversion to a paperless office. An additional $750,000 has been proposed for communications redesign and $2.7 million for IT maintenance and support. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is requesting $12 million for the improvement of statistical information and technology, and $2 million has been proposed for the development of a computer database and computer processing system at Labor's Employment Standards Administration.

Approximately $9 million is being proposed for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act Filing Acceptance System. The system, which allows employee benefit forms to be filed electronically, is expected to decrease operating costs by 50 percent by reducing the amount of paper to be processed and eliminating the need for data entry.

Labor plans to use part of its share of the president's proposed Equal Pay Initiative — about $17 million — to train women for nontraditional jobs, including those in high-tech industry and to help employers develop industry partnerships and nontraditional apprenticeships.

More information on the Labor budget is available at www.dol.gov.

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