ProSight helps DHS get control of spending

When billions of dollars are at stake, relying on paper and pencil to justify how much money an agency needs from the federal coffers is risky.

When billions of dollars are at stake, relying on paper and pencil to justify how much money an agency needs from the federal coffers is risky.

That is why Homeland Security Department officials have turned to web-based portfolio management software from ProSight. The product, Fast Track for CPIC Budgeting, is part of the ProSight Portfolios software suite. Officials hope it will help them comply with an Office of Management and Budget mandate that requires them to justify their request for each dollar they plan to spend.

Because of the form they must fill out, known as Exhibit 300, DHS officials are using the software to collect, update and analyze every budget request as well as make the business case for why the expenditure is needed. This year, they also are using it to justify how much they want to spend in fiscal 2006.

"We were lucky we got a budget together last year," said Rich Kuzmack, who does capital planning and investment control for Steve Cooper, the chief information officer at DHS. "We were so new."

DHS would get an 8 percent increase in information technology spending under President Bush's proposed fiscal 2005 budget. The portion targeted for IT would rise to $4.43 billion, up 8 percent from the $4.1 billion requested for fiscal 2004.

Because they are using ProSight's Portfolios software this year, agency officials are relying on more than just luck.

"What is really going on is a collaboration that captures additional data, evaluates data and presents information that shows how well you are progressing against all the initiatives going on," said John Cimral, ProSight's chief executive officer.

DHS officials have a unique problem as they continue to struggle to integrate 22 agencies into one. Until two years ago, each agency had its own budget and spending plan, but now they must be coordinated under one umbrella.

DHS budget analysts are now able to take a broad view of potential spending, eliminate redundancies and determine where money needs to be added or taken away.

Officials with DHS' Science and Technology Directorate are using another product, ProSight Portfolios 4.0, to help them evaluate products to fight terrorism.

"We're using ProSight through the investment life cycle of taking ideas, prioritizing [and] applying the resources available within appropriations on the highest value technology development programs for national security," said Marc Hollander, deputy assistant secretary for plans, programs and budget at the directorate.

Managing budgets

The Homeland Security Department is using ProSight Inc.'s portfolio management software to analyze budget request information as well as make business cases for why expenditures are needed.

Fast Track for CPIC Budgeting helps agencies:

Capture business information for information technology investments.

Comply with Office of Management and Budget capital planning requirements.

Reuse captured data.

Source: ProSight Inc.

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