Bush seeks $134M boost in Justice IT spending

The Justice Department would receive an additional $134 million to spend on management and information technology in the fiscal 2007 budget proposed by President Bush.

Much of the spending in Bush’s budget would improve the management, storage, sharing and security of Justice’s information. The request would markedly increase IT spending by the FBI to improve its intelligence and information-sharing capabilities.

The Bush administration would give $100 million to Sentinel, the FBI’s new investigative and administrative case management system. This would be the first year Sentinel made it into the official budget. In fiscal 2006, the program received $97 million reassigned from other programs.

The budget request allotted $31.1 million to improve the FBI’s intelligence infrastructure and operations and $5 million to create two new databases. The former would help the FBI better plan the use of its facilities and the latter would cover preventive maintenance tasks.

The FBI would get $10 million to help create a service-oriented architecture and $2.6 million for its Office of IT Program Management. The bureau would get $38.1 million to continue development of its Next Generation Integrated Automatic Fingerprint Identification System initiative.

The bureau would also get $33 million – up from $2.9 million received in fiscal 2006 – to buy hardware, software and services to improve the sharing of fingerprint data with the Homeland Security Department.

Justice would get $8.3 million to implement secure communications departmentwide. Under the plans, the department would start a public-key infrastructure and departmentwide infrastructure for sharing, processing and storing classified information.

Funding for Justice’s Regional Information Sharing System would stay essentially flat at $39.7 million.

The National Criminal History Improvements Program would get $39.2 million, up from $9.9 million appropriated in fiscal 2006. The program provides states with grants to make their records complete, accurate and accessible by federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics would get $59.8 million, up from $34.6 million last year. The National Institute of Justice, the department's research arm, would get a small increase, to $56.2 million from $54.3 million.

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) would get $7.1 million to improve its IT infrastructure, raising its total IT budget for fiscal 2007 to $47.2 million.

Of the $7.1 million, $3.9 million would go to the Justice Detainee Information System, which consolidates and tracks prisoner data. Another $2 million would be used to make USMS conform to Justice's Web portal initiative, support e-government, accommodate rising costs for e-mail and software and put a fileserver replacement cycle in place.

The Drug Enforcement Agency would get $12 million to establish procedures to improve information sharing with federal, state and local partners and improve its IT infrastructure.

The U.S. Attorneys Office would get $7.7 million for national security and terrorism prosecutions, some of which would go toward improving IT security.

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