2004 IT budget request focuses on homeland defense, cybersecurity

The Bush administration's 2004 IT budget request will put the majority of funding increases into homeland defense and cybersecurity, a senior administration official said.

Mark Forman today said homeland security, the war on terrorism and other modernization increases, and cybersecurity would account for more than $9.6 billion in the 2004 request.

In all, the administration's 2004 IT budget request would be $59 billion, an increase of 14 percent over the 2003 request, Forman, the Office of Management and Budget's associate director for IT and e-government, said.

Forman, who released the IT budget at the Oracle AppsWorld Conference in San Diego, said the request for homeland security IT funds would increase to $4.9 billion and cybersecurity to $4.7 billion. OMB also attributed the overall increase to realizing $1.6 billion in IT spending not previously reported by agencies, Forman said.

Non-defense discretionary spending, however, will increase only by a 'few hundred million,' he said.

'Last year was the first year we put in place rigorous budget reporting requirements,' Forman said. 'Capital planning is a critical element of that and we also took action to strengthen the roles of CIOs at the departments of Energy and Veterans Affairs, so we got better reporting.'

For the second straight year, cybersecurity will see a significant increase, up from $4.2 billion in 2003 and $2.7 billion in 2002.

'The increase in security spending represents a increased commitment and need to do more cybersecurity,' Forman said.

The overall budget, which the administration will release Feb. 3, will see only a modest increase, OMB director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. said last week. This is the third straight year the administration's IT budget request has increased dramatically.

OMB also wants to increase the funding for work on agency enterprise architectures. The $1 billion request would make sure every agency receives at least $15 million to $25 million for work on their modernization blueprints, Forman said.

Forman said the administration also is requesting $37 billion for mission projects and $21 billion for office automation and infrastructure initiatives.

(Updated Jan. 21, 2003, 9:15 a.m.)

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