House Appropriations Committee OKs funds for Customs, IRS overhauls

House Appropriations Committee OKs funds for Customs, IRS overhauls

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff

JULY 19—The full House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday passed by voice vote the Treasury-Postal fiscal 2001 spending bill, which provides $14.4 billion in discretionary funding.

The allocation is $2.1 billion less than the administration's request, but the bill would set the Customs Service modernization in motion and continue IRS modernization.

HR 4871 would give Customs $105 million to build the Automated Commercial Environment to replace its 16-year-old Automated Commercial System.

The committee also approved $123 million, the amount Customs requested, for ACS life support. Customs plans to use the money to replace its old packet-switching network with a TCP/IP Internet-ready, high-bandwidth network and upgrade some desktop PCs, said Charles Armstrong, Customs' modernization director.

The Customs International Trade Data System pilot would receive $5.4 million. The pilot tests a function through which trading community files data would be shared across government agencies, Armstrong said.

The total Customs appropriation of $233.4 million for automation projects would be $161 million more than fiscal 2000's tally.

The committee approved $8.5 billion for the IRS, a net increase of $261.5 million from fiscal 2000 funding. It maintained the availability of $140 million provided in fiscal 2000 for organizational modernization, and $282 million to implement the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.

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