Security could consume 10 percent of IT budget

The Bush administration’s fiscal 2009 budget proposal asks Congress to increase spending on information technology security by $646.8 million over 2008 levels.

The administration proposed $7.2 billion in IT security funding for fiscal 2009, while $6.6 billion was allocated in fiscal 2008. In other words, agencies as a whole would spend 10.3 percent of the $70.9 billion requested for IT on security. But the percentage for particular agencies would vary based on the nature of their projects.

For example, the Transportation Department is working on projects that might require an additional IT security investment, said Karen Evans, administrator for e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget. Therefore, the department could spend as much as 25.7 percent of its requested $2.9 billion in IT funding on security, budget documents state.

“The budget reflects the investments necessary to improve service delivery and to secure and protect government information while maximizing and spending taxpayer dollars wisely,” Evans said.

Meanwhile, agencies are improving the security of their systems. Evans said agency inspectors general have certified and accredited 90 percent of IT systems for meeting security requirements. In addition, 83 percent of agencies’ contingency plans have been successfully tested.

On March 1, OMB will release a report on the government’s IT security program and agencies’ performance.

Cybersecurity is also a key element in protecting the government’s infrastructure. “The consequences of a cyberattack could cascade across the economy, imperiling public safety and national security,” the budget document states.

To address that concern, the administration is seeking to increase cybersecurity spending to $7.3 billion, a 73 percent increase over fiscal 2004 levels, according to budget documents.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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