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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.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which sets many of the tech standards for the government, would get $70 million for the Technology Innovation Program, which funds high-tech entrepreneurs. President Bush left that funding out of his fiscal 2009 budget, though Congress funded the effort this year anyway. NIST would also get an increase of $60 million for standards development, including $19 million for standards relating to health care IT and smart grids.

Help For Fighting Ponzi Schemes

The Securities and Exchange Commission, its reputation somewhat battered by the financial crisis, would increase its enforcement budget from $331 million to $353 million, focusing on "areas most at risk for fraud or other serious violations that could harm investors, such as market manipulation through the circulation of false rumors, subprime lending, auction rate securities, hedge funds, institutional insider trading, and ponzi schemes." The spending increase would largely help with forensic data analysis technologies similar to those used by the law firms it faces in court.

Meanwhile, within the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service spending on information services would increase $157 million to $1.9 billion, as well as $254 million for continued improvements to taxpayer databases and increased use of electronic filing systems.

A number of other agencies are seeing big changes in IT spending as well. The Department of Justice seeks $44 million in new spending on a number of strategic IT projects, including $21 million on a financial management system. Justice is also looking for $25 million to buy more mobile radios for a nationwide wireless law enforcement network. The Department of Education seeks a $169 million cut in spending on the Enhancing Education through Technology program, though that is offset by $650 million in similar spending in the stimulus package.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on government IT priorities. Download the report here (registration required).