Bush asks to boost State and USAID budgets for information technology

The Bush administration plans to spend significantly more for information technology programs for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for fiscal 2009.

President Bush wants to increase what the administration had estimated it would spend on the Department’s IT Central fund in fiscal 2008 by a third — or more than $100 million. The estimates for fiscal 2008 were done before Congress passed the 2008 omnibus spending bill in late 2007.

The $414 million the administration hopes to get for its IT Central Fund projects at State and USAID in fiscal 2009 will go toward meeting five strategic IT goals that State has set for 2006 to 2010, the department said.

Initiatives meant to reach the five goals would get boosts from what the administration had estimated it would spend in fiscal 2008. The Knowledge Leadership for Diplomacy goal would get a $26 million increase from fiscal 2008 estimates.

The Anytime/Anywhere Computing goal would receive a $41 million boost. Initiatives involving the Diplomacy Through Collaboration goal would get a $27 million increase, the Risk Management goal would see a $5 million increase and projects for the IT Work Practices and Workforce goal would get an raise of more than $500,000.

Some IT highlights from the fiscal 2009 budget request include:

• Spending $36.3 million for the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset to update the way diplomats send cables and consolidate communications technology into a single platform that takes advantage of new technology.
 
• Allocating $76.3 million for Global IT modernization that aims to renovate 111 sites worldwide in fiscal 2009.
 
• Spending $57.8 million for the Department Bandwidth Management program to  enhance network capacity and implement federally mandated encryption processes.
 
• Allocating $17 million to consolidate IT infrastructure in State's Information Resources Management  bureau.
 
• Spending $5 million to integrate State and USAID’s unclassified networks.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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