NIST labs get $47M increase

NIST Technology Administration Budget Summary

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The fiscal 2005 omnibus spending bill includes $378.4 million for scientific and technology research laboratories at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, $47.3 million more than was in the 2004 budget.

NIST officials have not yet created specific budgets for the agency's information technology labs, but they said they are satisfied with their 2005 funding.

"When you look at the overall budget and how tight things are right now, NIST was certainly pleased that the budget came out as well as it did," spokesman Michael Newman said today.

The omnibus spending bill provides special funding beyond the agency's requested amount for the three IT initiatives, Newman said. NIST's Computer Security Division will get $10 million for cybersecurity activities. The additional funding will help pay for NIST officials' responsibilities under the Federal Information Security Management Act and the Cybersecurity Research and Development Act. Those laws require NIST officials to create federal information security standards, guidelines, checklists, testing methods and scanning tools for unclassified computer information systems.

In addition, the agency will get $2 million to test multimodal biometric systems for the Homeland Security Department's U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program. Multimodal systems combine fingerprint and facial recognition technologies.

NIST also will receive $500,000 to provide technical assistance to the Election Assistance Commission, which is studying electronic voting technologies as authorized by the Help America Vote Act.

NIST's overall budget this year will be $708.6 million, up $101.1 million from last year's budget of $608.5 million. The increase is partly a result of an expanded budget for NIST's industrial technology program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

And at least $43 million of the $708.6 million budget is for lawmakers' special projects for which NIST officials did not request funding.

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