House panel takes ax to Defense's 2004 IT budget

House panel takes ax to Defense's 2004 IT budget

A House subcommittee voted Friday to slash $2 billion from the Defense Department's $28 billion fiscal 2004 IT budget request.

Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities, said he was not convinced that department leaders had fully justified their IT spending plans.

Saxton added that because past DOD systems investments have only met with limited success, the subcommittee's members are concerned that additional money would be wasted on programs and systems that lack proper planning.

'I am not confident as to how well the plan is managed or enforced at various agency levels and whether the funding is properly scrutinized by the various chief information officers at the department,' Saxton said.

Saxton voiced similar concerns last month, when Defense directors and CIOs testified at a subcommittee hearing and gave overviews of major IT programs [see story at].

The subcommittee's vote affects the IT portion of the 2004 Defense Authorization Bill, HR 1588. The full House Armed Services Committee is expected to debate the proposed cuts this week.

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