Homeland Security gains IT funds from supplemental bill

Homeland Security reaps IT funds from supplemental bill

The Homeland Security Department reaped millions in additional funds for IT from its $6.71 billion slice of the fiscal 2003 supplemental appropriations bill, according to a department official.

Some of the funds will come as direct line items added in the bill signed by President Bush today. Examples include $665 million provided to the Transportation Security Administration for modifications to commercial airports and port security, as well as $170 million to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, partly to help develop the Entry Exit System for tracking individuals crossing the border.

The bill tags $35 million for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection's Container Security Initiative, which partly involves building systems to track containers shipped to the United States. Also under the BCBP, $90 million in new funds are set for portal radiation detectors and monitoring systems.

In addition, $2.23 billion of the funds will flow, mostly in grants, to state and local governments for domestic preparedness.

Additional technology spending will arise from $628 million set aside to defray Coast Guard costs arising from the service's participation in the Iraq war and Operation Liberty Shield, an enhanced domestic security program launched last month. The department's Counterterrorism Fund received $150 million to help prevent, investigate and respond to acts of terrorism, and $2.4 billion will go to the airline industry to enhance its security.

'There is some designation of funds for technology,' said Rachel Sunbarger, HSD spokeswoman. 'There is a lot of money for first responders.' She added that it is safe to assume a lot of additional money designated for various directorates will go to technology.


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