OMB will consolidate Homeland Security systems work

OMB will consolidate Homeland Security systems work

Office of Management and Budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. today told agencies of the proposed Homeland Security Department to stop work on all IT infrastructure and modernization plans with lifecycle costs greater than $500,000, pending approval by a new Homeland Security IT Investment Review Group.

The review group, composed of CIOs from the eight agencies involved, will have information from agencies to decide by Aug. 15 how to consolidate systems that deliver the same services, potentially saving taxpayers $100 million to $200 million over the next two years, Daniels' memo said.

'There are high-quality infrastructures available at the Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the board needs to decide which platform to build and obviously not continue building several at the same time,' Daniels said earlier this month at a midyear budget review press conference.

The agencies involved would have collectively spent at least $360 million on IT infrastructure by the end of fiscal 2002 and more than double that next fiscal year, OMB said. In fiscal 2003, four agencies plan to spend at least $244 million on telecommunications investments, mostly for systems that deliver the same service, it said .

'A worker at La Guardia [Airport] ought to be able, if he needs, to immediately contact somebody at the Port of Los Angeles or a border station in Texas,' Daniels said. 'The new department cannot protect Americans if its people cannot communicate with each other.'

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