Budget proposes 7.2 percent increase in IT spending at Labor

The Labor Department would receive a boost in information technology spending under President Bush’s budget proposal for fiscal 2009, while the department’s overall funding would drop significantly.

The administration’s $10.5 billion budget request for Labor includes $564.7 million for IT programs next year, a 7.2 percent increase over the enacted funding of $526.7 million for fiscal 2008. The request comprises $124.7 million for enhancement and modernization projects and $440 million for existing programs.

By program area, financial management would get $96.2 million, an increase of 26 percent compared with current funding of $76.2 million. The proposed amount includes $21 million for a new core financial system designed to give managers the financial data and metrics they need to manage their programs more effectively and efficiently, according to budget officials. The core financial system received $3 million in enacted funds this year.

Although Labor’s spending for IT would rise under the proposal, overall discretionary spending for the department would decrease nearly 8 percent percent to $10.5 billion from the enacted 2008 level of $11.4 billion.

Budget officials said that the request cancels or reduces 10 programs that represent more than $1.4 billion in spending, including Employment Service State Grants, which provide services that duplicate those provided under Workforce Investment Act programs, and the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s grant program, which duplicates other grantmaking programs.

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