DOD bill provisions

Congress last week passed the Defense Department's fiscal 2004 spending bill.

Among some of the systems, the bill included $73.7 million for Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, about $5 million less than requested. The program will see a large integration contract. DOD last week selected Northrop Grumman Information Technology as the lead contractor for the project.

The controversial Total Information Awareness program was cancelled for at least fiscal 2004. The report said no money can be designated for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency initiative to help investigate potential terrorists by collecting personal information, but it made exceptions for lawful military operations outside of the country or for foreign intelligence activities overseas or against non-U.S. citizens.

The Army's Future Combat System received the requested $1.7 billion. FCS is the service's transformation program to a lighter, rapidly deployable force by 2010 that links 19 manned and robotic systems using a fast, secure communications network.

The $14.9 billion program through fiscal 2009 will get reviewed by Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the new Army chief of staff, and Air Force Secretary James Roche, who was nominated in July to be the service's next secretary, said Ted Stroup, vice president of education at the Association of the United States Army, a service lobby organization based in Arlington, Va.

"The pace of FCS development will continue," Stroup said. "But its fielding likely will be pushed back two to four years because of funding and technology concerns."

Meanwhile, DOD IT spending accounts for almost $2 billion of the Bush administration's $87 billion supplemental budget request submitted to Congress Sept. 17 for war and reconstruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

President Bush requested $65.4 billion for DOD and $21.4 billon for the State Department in the proposal called "funding the War on Terrorism." The nearly $2 billion in DOD IT spending includes $541.9 million for procurement and $338.8 million for research and development.

The Air Force received the largest IT procurement, $239.3 million, including $150.3 million for communications systems in the Central Command region, followed by DOD-wide programs that netted $170.5 million to include $45.4 million for communications and computer security improvements. The Army garnered $121.8 million including $42.2 million for command and control equipment, and the Navy $10.3 million for command and control and Global Broadcast System satellite terminal updates.

President Bush also requested $835 million for Iraqi transportation and telecommunications improvements.

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