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5/8/2009
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Obama's Budget Calls For Shifts In IT Spending

The Department of Defense would see a number of increases for IT spending, but some tech-heavy programs such as a battlefield network effort are marked for cuts.

President Obama's budget, released this week, asks for more than $400 million in cybersecurity spending for the Department of Homeland Security, $1.3 billion in new broadband spending, and additional funds for a smart energy grid and health care information technology.

Under the budget, the Department of Defense, the agency that spends the most on information technology already, would get a number of budget increases, but would also see a decrease in almost $600 million in spending on its next-generation Future Combat Systems initiative.

Other tech-heavy programs that would see spending cuts include a $52 million reduction on the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio effort and a $311 million cut on a battlefield network effort called the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical.

The Defense Department would get $237 million to expand airborne "Full Motion Video" surveillance, including high-definition upgrades, and an increase of $114 million on the Joint Tactical Radio System. Overall, the budget includes a whopping $57.2 billion for communications and mission support systems and $10.5 billion for Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems.

The Department of Homeland Security, another big spender, would see a number of changes in spending on IT. They would include $400 million to protect critical infrastructure and IT networks from hackers, a $75 million increase for cybersecurity spending by a few subagencies like US-CERT, $39 million in new spending to standardize IT acquisitions and "streamline maintenance and support contracts," $40 million on "smart security" on the Canadian border, a $21 million increase on authentication and RFID technology at land border crossings, and $25 million for smart card issuance.

The budget calls for $71 million in new spending for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement IT, including detainee tracking, case management, data warehousing, and data center consolidation, as well as $20 million in new IT spending for the Secret Service.

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