White House would cut State IT funds

In a year of great budget restraint, President Bush's fiscal 2005 budget would parcel out $831 million for the State Department's information technology spending, a drop of $48 million from 2004.

Most programs would remain static, but several global integration systems would see cuts if Congress passes Bush's request. Among them:

* The Global Financial Management system to integrate overseas and domestic financial management into one worldwide system would decline from $15.8 million in 2004 to $9.2 million in fiscal 2005.

* Funding for e-mail operations would fall from $10.3 million in fiscal 2004 to $7.4 million in fiscal 2005. The program provides round-the-clock support for e-mail and telegram messaging systems, firewalls, and secure domestic dial-in capabilities.

* Money for State Messaging and Archival Retrieval Toolset to position the department to provide secure electronic connectivity with the foreign affairs community would drop from $38.7 million in fiscal 2004 to $32.5 million in fiscal 2005.

However, one big-ticket operation, Global IT Modernization, got a huge boost from $284 million in fiscal 2004 to $313.7 million proposed for fiscal 2005 for centrally managed modernization that would maintain the department's office automation and support its server infrastructure.

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