Forman asks for 15 percent more for IT in 2003

Forman asks for 15 percent more for IT in 2003

The administration is asking Congress for $52 billion for IT in fiscal 2003, a 15 percent increase over the fiscal 2002 budget. The request includes nearly $30 billion for 2,900 of the most significant government IT projects, said Mark Forman, associate director for e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget. The budget request will go to Congress Monday.

Each of the 2,900 projects is intended to:
  • Simplify and unify

  • Improve program management

  • Improve government information system security

  • Eliminate redundant IT investments

  • Bring e-business practices to the government.

  • “The IT budget represents an unprecedented review of major systems across government,” Forman said. “This is the first time OMB has taken a cross-agency look at IT spending on major initiatives and how they relate to different agencies.”

    Forman said a significant part of the IT increase will go toward President Bush’s focus areas: improving homeland security, fighting terrorism and improving the economy.

    The budget will include some funding for all 24 OMB-sponsored e-government initiatives, including payroll processing projects recently announced by the Office of Personnel Management. Although Forman did not say how much OMB requested for e-gov projects, he said the president’s three-year, $100 million pledge still is the target. Agencies that are managing the 24 e-gov initiatives could see budget increases for their projects, Forman added.

    In the budget request, OMB will assess each agency’s e- government progress. Forman said agencies got better scores on e-gov initiatives than they did on other aspects of the president’s management agenda: human capital management, competitive sourcing, financial performance, and budget and performance integration.

    The budget request will include 53 agencies’ performance plans for major IT investments and their spending plans since 2001.

    Forman also discussed improvements to the site. “The relaunch will show FirstGov as a one-stop point of service” for citizens and agencies, he said. It will no longer be just a Web page with a search engine but a direct portal that will connect users to relevant sites in three clicks. FirstGov eventually will have transaction capabilities, he said.

    OMB also is requesting more funding for information security and will issue a report next week on agency progress.

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