Bush proposes boost in 2003 IT security budget

Bush proposes boost in 2003 IT security budget

Systems initiatives tied to the government's homeland defense efforts received a boost beyond the $52 billion earmarked for IT in the fiscal 2003 budget proposal President Bush sent to Congress today.

'The role IT will play will be considerable,' Homeland Security director Tom Ridge said.

Bush's proposal flagged $722 million for seven cybersecurity initiatives:

  • The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center to combat cyberterrorism

  • The Cyberspace Warning Intelligence Network to link public and private sectors when potential cyberspace crises arise

  • Priority wireless access to give authorized users priority on cellular networks during emergencies

  • The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center to study how the Internet, critical infrastructures and the economy are linked

  • A study to determine whether the government should develop GovNet, a secure network linking federal agencies

  • Promotion of the Advanced Encryption Standard

  • The Cyber Corps project to fund college scholarships for computer security students who commit to working for the federal government.

  • OMB's 24 e-government initiatives also received priority in the budget request.

    'We want to avoid existing projects being the enemy of new ones,' said Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., director of the Office of Management and Budget. 'Each of the 24 initiatives will be fully funded whether by passing the hat or through the lead agency.'

    In all, the administration's fiscal 2003 request totals $2.1 trillion, up from $2 trillion this year.

    The Defense Department and Homeland Security Office would receive the bulk of the increases.

    The administration asked for $369 billion for DOD, up 12 percent from this year. Homeland Security funding would almost double to $37.7 billion, from $19.5 billion. The administration also seeks a $10 billion contingency fund for unseen expenses incurred by DOD in the country's war on terrorism.

    'We are holding the rest of the government to a 2 percent increase to keep spending under control,' Daniels said. 'We forecast a small deficit over the next two years.' He said the deficit would be about $80 billion next year.

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