Senate committee limits A-76 in Treasury, Transportation spending

The Senate Appropriations Committee retained language that limited privatization of federal jobs when it approved a $90.6-billion spending bill for the Transportation, Treasury and other government offices yesterday.

The fiscal 2005 spending bill also significantly cuts funding for IRS Business Systems Modernization to only $125 million over concerns about escalating costs and delays in the development of systems.

IRS released the initial version of the new taxpayer database, the Customer Account Data Engine, this summer and the Integrated Financial System is scheduled to begin to convert live data this month.

Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will receive an $8 million increase over the budget request, to $72.5 million. Of this, lawmakers targeted $5 million to BSA Direct, a system that will make it easier for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to retrieve FinCEN's data about suspicious transactions and other financial information.

The committee approved an amendment by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) that overturns the current OMB Circular A-76 rules and reverts back to previous rules, which have the effect of slowing privatization.

Under Transportation's funding, the Federal Aviation Administration will receive $2.5 billion for facilities and equipment, which includes air traffic modernization systems. The bill also provides $10 million to begin hiring and training new air traffic controllers to offset future mass retirements.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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