Spending rises for intelligence and intell IT

Congress allocated $47.5 billion to the classified National Intelligence Program in fiscal 2008, a 9.2 percent increase over the year before, according to figures released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Oct. 28.

The growth rate of nearly 10 percent is “significant” and reflects a rise in global instability and tensions, said John Slye, principal analyst for the market research firm Input Inc. of Reston, Va.

Information technology in the intelligence community is a fast-growth category that is increasing in volume at a faster rate than IT spending in government as a whole, Slye added.

From 2008 to 2013, government intelligence-related IT spending is projected to expand by 5.5 percent on average annually, Slye said, in comparison with a 4.1 percent growth rate for IT governmentwide.

The intelligence community is looking to IT for cybersecurity, information-sharing initiatives, identity management , surveillance and counter-surveillance, and supply chain security, among other goals, Slye said.

“We are seeing more interest in role-based security,” Slye said, “and more demand for software over hardware.”

In fiscal 2007, the intelligence agencies were budgeted a total of $43.5 billion. Last year was the first time in nearly a decade that the classified intelligence program budget had been made public. The previous disclosure was in 1998, when the intelligence budget total was $26.7 billion.

Congress directed the release of the information in the 2007 law that implemented the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. The information has only the aggregate total amount, and does not have line items.

The total includes the allocations for 16 intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. It does not include spending for military intelligence.

“Beyond the disclosure of the top-line figure, there will be no other disclosures of currently classified budget information because such disclosures could harm national security,” a news release accompanying the disclosure stated.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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