Homeland Security requests flat budget

DHS seeks $43.2 billion, less than 1 percent above fiscal 2010 enacted level

The White House today requested $43.2 billion for the Homeland Security Department in fiscal 2012, an increase of $309 million above the 2010 enacted level. That is less than a 1 percent increase, essentially a flat budget.

The White House budget document released today reflects double-digit increases for several of DHS’ 22 agencies, significant reductions for others, and savings resulting from efficiency reviews and reduced contracting.

For example, the White House said the DHS fiscal 2012 budget contains more than $450 million in reductions to consulting and professional services contracts along with reductions in travel, printing, supplies and advisory services.

“The budget targets limited resourc­es to the department’s highest federal mission priorities,” the White House budget document states. “These re­ductions result from the Secretary of Homeland Security’s departmentwide efficiency reviews and the President’s Accountable Government Initiative. These cost savings have been used to expand DHS’ mission operations.”

DHS agencies projected for increased funding include U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, up 55 percent, to $365 million; the Science & Technology Directorate, up 18 percent, to $1.2 billion; DHS management, up 15 percent, to $1.3 billion; Secret Service, up 14 percent, to $1.7 billion; and Customs and Border Protection, up 2.6 percent, to $10.4 billion.

Agencies slated for substantial cuts include the National Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, down by 12 percent, to $331 million; Transportation Security Administration, down by 7.3 percent, to $5.1 billion; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, down by 4.6 percent, to $6.8 billion.

Several agencies have requested nearly flat budgets, including the National Protection and Programs Directorate, overseeing infrastructure, at $1.4 billion, which represents a drop of 1 percent, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at $5.5 billion, which is a 1 percent increase..

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget includes $459 million for the National Cyber Security Division to secure and defend federal and national computer networks against cyber threats, and $273 million for explosives detection technology at airports.

The president requested $242 million to complete installation of border security technology along three sectors in Arizona. This apparently refers to a 53-mile segment under construction of SBI-net, or the Secure Border Initiative Network. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano canceled the remainder of SBI-net in January and said an assessment would be performed in 2011 to determine a mix of technologies for the remainder of the southwest border.

Other highlights of the budget include:

  • Allocating $3.8 billion for state and local grants for first responder preparedness, which includes consolidation of several existing grant programs.
  • Giving $358 million to the Coast Guard to build six more fast response cutters and $130 million to construct two more maritime patrol aircraft.
  • Budgeting $276 million for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, a reduction of 2 percent.

Napolitano is scheduled to provide additional details on the budget proposal later today.


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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Reader comments

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

Alice. Your article highlighted the increase of 15% to the DHS management effort. I would see this as more big government centered at the top when the need for DHS action is at the local level with adequate direction. I hope the effeciency at DHS management increases proportionate with the fund increase.

Tue, Feb 15, 2011 E United States

Alice - your headline stirred concern, however after reading the article - the budget/funding allocation is not so bad. That's providing two things happen: 1)the allocations to the key areas and initiatives turn-out to be the right ones 2)we get bang for the buck and avoid seeing another $1 billion waste - like SBInet. Thought the article might reveal that the budget/allocation would not even be sufficient enough to continue building infrastructure and to protect us from the growing and diverse threats. Saw a blerb on MSN Home Page the other day - and it showed a protester (undisclosed country) with a warning to Europe indicating that Europe will see its 9/11 shortly. That kind of bold activity - just reinforces the need for the US to continue building its DHS arsenal - just to allow us to "sleep more comfortably at night" and preserve/perpetuate what we believe in.

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