Budget

Intel community IT spending exceeds that of many agencies

abstract image of money

The 17 agencies within the intelligence community (IC) spend more money on enterprise IT systems alone than all but three cabinet-level departments requested for total IT spending in fiscal 2013.

The $52.6 billion "black budget" for fiscal 2013, passed to the Washington Post by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, contains an agency-by-agency comparison of enterprise IT systems that cost $4.7 billion in fiscal 2013.

That sum total, led by the $1.6 billion the NSA will spend on enterprise IT systems, is more than every  other department and agency total IT spending request for fiscal 2013 with the exceptions of Defense ($32.6 billion), Homeland Security ($5.6 billion) and Health and Human Services ($7.1 billion).

Collectively, intelligence agencies spend more on enterprise IT systems than the second-largest federal agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs ($3.3 billion), spends on total IT, and far more than other agencies, including NASA ($1.4 billion), the Department of Agriculture ($2.6 billion) and the Justice Department ($2.6 billion).

Detailing what intelligence agencies spend on enterprise IT systems is not an absolute indicator of how much they spend on IT. But because enterprise IT systems make up a large portion of IT expenditures, the comparison to total IT spending within civilian agencies is  a good indicator of the relative relationship. 

Among intelligence community components, the largest spenders on enterprise IT systems are: NSA, $1.6 billion; National Geospatial-Intelligence Program, $1 billion; General Defense Intelligence Program, $833 million; National Reconnaissance Office, $536 million; Central Intelligence Agency, $529 million; Office of the Director of National Intelligence, $168 million; Justice Department, $40 million; Department of Defense Foreign Counter-Intelligence Program, $16 million.

IT Budgets

According to leaked documents, Intelligence Community spending on enterprise IT than other agencies spend on IT altogether. (Scale in billions of dollars; IC number is for enterprise systems only.)

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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Reader comments

Mon, Sep 30, 2013

Throw the word "security" into any budget item and they'll raise taxes to keep you happy. Like the entire InfoSec community that if the the least efficient producer in all job areas nobody can figure out why they keep getting funded. For the most part the whole community is made up of IT people who either couldn't make it in IT anymore or just didn't want to keep being IT, so they just got into "InfoSec" as an easy paper-pushing out. But hey, there's no end to the cash their fear-mongering rakes in.

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 John Denver

I would venture to guess that the way "Enterprise IT" is classified may be different between agencies. One agency may call a laptop an IT asset, another may call it an Enterprise IT asset. Not that NSA would inappropriately classify anything...

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