Input sees $33B for DHS

Funding for programs to fight bioterrorism, securing the nation's airports and modernizing the Coast Guard's fleet would see large increases under the Senate's proposed fiscal 2005 budget for the Homeland Security Department, according to a market research firm's report.

Analysts at Input, based in Reston, Va., predict that DHS will have a $33 billion budget for next year. That's about $2.8 billion — or 9.4 percent — more than fiscal 2004 levels. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the department's appropriations bill June 17, but the full Senate has yet to vote on the measure. The House has passed its version.

The report's co-authors — Kim Hovda, grants products manager, and Brian Terrill, federal opportunity products manager — said they weren't able to isolate the IT spending increase from the Senate version. But, in general, they said the appropriations bill puts more emphasis on technology. In April, Input analysts had projected a 12 percent increase in DHS IT spending in 2005 compared to this year's spending level.

"IT is going to be one of the ways that [DHS] continues to stay one step ahead," Terrill said.

Once the Senate version is approved, Terrill and Hovda expect the House and Senate versions to be reconciled and signed into law by October, they said.

Some programs highlighted in the Input report are:

$1.2 billion for the Urban Area Security Initiative Program, which includes security for port, rail, transit and other areas.

$776 million for the Coast Guard's Deepwater program to modernize the fleet.

$346.3 million for the Science and Technology Directorate for biological countermeasures.

$340 million for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program.

$321.7 for the Automated Commercial Environment, an initiative at the Customs and Border Protection Directorate to speed trade and combat terrorism.

$292.9 million for the Transportation Security Administration's airport information technology programs.

$210 million for TSA for explosive-detection systems.

$100 million for expanding and enhancing wireless communications within the border areas and continued support of the Safecom Program.

$70 million for the department's new human resources management system.

$22 million for DHS' IT development and acquisition, software services, and other programs.

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