For fiscal 2007, Bush seeks $64B for IT

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 5:50 p.m. Feb. 6, 2006, to add the final two paragraphs.

The Bush administration submitted a fiscal 2007 budget proposal this morning that seeks about $64 billion for information technology in fiscal 2007, a 3 percent increase in overall federal government IT spending.

Furthermore, the administration wants to implement three new lines of business to help control the budget.

Although the budget proposal calls for $64 billion for IT spending governmentwide, funding for major IT investments dropped about $4 billion, according to the proposal.

The president proposed holding “overall discretionary spending below the rate of inflation and to cut spending in nonsecurity discretionary programs below 2006 levels,” according to budget documents. The belt-tightening budget proposes cuts to 141 programs and is reviewing other programs to find efficiencies.

The new lines of business are:

  • IT infrastructure – to refine opportunities for IT infrastructure consolidation and optimization.

  • Geospatial – to optimize and consolidate federal geospatial-related investments to reduce the cost of government.

  • Budgeting – to build toward a budget of the future, employing standards and technologies for electronic information exchange to link budget, execution, performance and financial information throughout all phases of the annual budget cycle.
The budgeting line of business will look for common solutions and tools to enhance agency and central budget processes. It will work to standardize information from budget formulation, execution, financial management and performance measurement systems. It also will align programs and their outcomes with budget levels and actual costs to help the government review its budget performance.

The IT infrastructure line of business will define specific common performance measures for service levels and costs, and it will identify best practices. It will also develop guidance for technology transitions, such as the move to IP Version 6. A coordinated approach to IT service levels will allow agencies to focus on fulfilling their core missions instead of managing services. The administration expects to save between 16 percent and 27 percent of the IT budget annually, accord to budget documents.

The geospatial line of business would analyze ways to work together to find sustainable business models for geospatial-related activities.

NASA, the Office of Personnel Management, the General Services Administration and the Treasury and Education departments took cuts in IT spending. NASA lost $30 million, according to the budget proposal.

On the technology front, the president proposed a 2.8 percent increase in IT spending governmentwide, including a 2.2 percent increase in IT security spending. In addition, Bush is seeking a nearly 9 percent increase in the government's IT workforce -- an addition of 1,416 jobs to the current 15,760 -- which will further help federal e-government efforts.

"The federal government must harness the power of information technology to improve services to the public, share information among agencies and save taxpayer money," said Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) chairman of the House Government Affairs Committee.

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