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Fed IT budgets to bulge

The federal information technology budget is expected to increase to $67 billion during the next five years, fueled in large part by the IT demands of homeland security, according to a new forecast by the Government Electronics and IT Association (GEIA).

GEIA predicts uncertainty in the near-term IT budget because of declining tax revenues, growing deficits, the potential war with Iraq and congressional budget battles. Nevertheless, federal IT spending will be one of the biggest winners.

The total IT budget for fiscal 2003 is expected to be $53 billion, 10 percent higher than in fiscal 2002. By fiscal 2008, GEIA expects the IT budget to be $67 billion — a 4.8 percent increase during the forecast period.

The report said there would be significant shifts of funds from the Justice, Transportation and Treasury departments to the proposed Homeland Security Department.

The Defense Department's fiscal 2003 IT budget will be $26.6 billion and will increase 5 percent during the forecast period as IT spurs transformation in the services, according to the forecast.

"The conclusions are that transformation is real and pervasive," said Mike Kush, director of public-sector marketing for Identix Inc. and GEIA's DOD IT forecast chairman.

OMB releases FAIR lists

The Office of Management and Budget last week released its latest notice of agencies' Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act listings, including those from the Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development departments.

The inventories provide each agency's lists of the federal functions that officials deemed to be commercial in nature and that are potentially available for outsourcing to the private sector. The functions include many IT jobs.

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