Bush asks for 3 percent increase in IT spending

The Bush administration’s fiscal 2008 budget proposal asks for a 3 percent increase to $65 billion in information technology funding as departments set priorities and seek to offer better results from their services, according to the document released today.

The number of major IT investments has decreased 2 percent, from 857 in fiscal 2007 to 840 in fiscal 2008. In fiscal 2006, there were 1,084 major IT investments.

The budget chalks up the decrease to better capital planning and investments aligning with enterprise architectures. Officials analyzed investments for trends and potential duplications in different departments. The Bush administration also cites the President’s Management Agenda and the E-Government Initiative as causes for the reductions. In addition, programs are assessed based on specific performance targets, and departments are held to meeting those goals.

This year, 346 of the 840 fiscal 2008 major IT investments are on the Management Watch List. These investments still need to address performance measures, earned value management requirements, security concerns or other issues before obligating funding this fiscal year.

“One of the ways we’re achieving smart spending restraint is by closely examining each federal program to determine if it’s a priority, whether it’s effective in producing the intended results,” said Rob Portman, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Based on the reviews, which are posted at ExpectMore.gov, the budget proposes to terminate or cut back on 141 discretionary spending programs. Portman said the cuts would save $12 billion.

Meanwhile, the number of poorly managed investments increased 32 percent from fiscal 2007 to 2008, and well-planned and managed investments fell 17 percent in the same period.

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