Change in DOT make-up results in more funds for FAA systems, CIO says

The Transportation Department plans to spend most of its fiscal 2004 IT funding on the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic systems modernization and on DOT telecommunications programs.

The budget proposal that President Bush sent to Congress this month earmarked $2.6 billion for IT at Transportation. The department would allocate $660 million for FAA's systems and $400 million for telecom projects, said Eugene "Kim" Taylor, the department's acting CIO.

Now that the Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard are moving to the new Homeland Security Department, more funds are available for FAA systems, he said.

'Until the time that TSA came into the department, 80 percent of our IT budget was in FAA,' Taylor said. Transportation plans to allocate more funds for FAA systems such the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System and the Integrated Terminal Weather System, he said.

In its role as overseer of Transportation programs, the CIO office plans to spend $25 million on capital planning, enterprise architecture and cybersecurity efforts. 'That's a significant increase in what we've seen in the past,' Taylor said.

'Cybersecurity is clearly high on our list to make sure our program is solid and protected across the department,' he said. 'We're spending a lot of energy on that, but we also are spending a fair amount on making sure our capital-planning program is solid, so that we can clearly justify the investments that we need to make.'

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