Davis: IT to see 15 percent boost

Rep. Tom Davis, (R-Va.), the newly named chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said Jan. 16 that the Bush administration wants to increase the federal information technology budget by about 15 percent in fiscal 2004.

The president's budget will be officially released Feb. 3, but Davis said it is likely that the budget will focus on using IT to increase security and information gathering to thwart terrorist threats. The IT budget request will likely to be about 15 percent more than the baseline fiscal 2002 budget that included $45 billion for IT, he said.

As the Bush administration puts the final touches on the fiscal 2004 budget, most agencies are still waiting for their fiscal 2003 funds nearly one full quarter into the new fiscal year.

Budget politics continue to dominate Capitol Hill this week as lawmakers struggle to pass a budget for this year that includes new money for IT. The fiscal year started in October 2002.

The Senate on Jan. 16 rejected a Democratic effort to pump $4 billion into the budget to protect ports, nuclear plants and other facilities.

As Davis organizes his new committee, he said he would be looking at "getting the best services, the best value for the dollar."

"Some of the modernization programs are going well. Some of them aren't. That's where the decision is going to be made if they are still stovepipes. It is not acceptable in this day and age," Davis told Federal Computer Week in a telephone interview.

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