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Government IT Spending Still Strong

CIO panel says the economic slowdown has had less of an impact on government spending than on the private sector.

InformationWeek Staff

January 11, 2002

1 Min Read

With the recession holding down IT spending in the private sector, government has become one of the few areas of growth, a panel of CIOs said Friday. During the latest CIO Unplugged, an informal roundtable sponsored by Morgan Stanley Equity Research, moderator Chuck Phillips noted that IT expenditures for federal, state, and local governments are running about $90 billion a year, making the sector one of the few healthy IT spending areas in the United States in the last 12 months.

In San Francisco, a significant amount of IT investment is devoted to modernizing IT infrastructures and developing an E-government initiative, says county chief technology officer Rod Loucks. He's working on a project to let citizens access more local government information through the Web. His plans don't stop there, however. "Many citizens view local government as the first touch point for state and federal needs, such as renewing a driver's license or receiving a passport," he says. "The next phase is this to have state and federal links in the application."

Along with local and state efforts, the federal government is assuring that technology funds will be in place. "The president's budget is projected to include double-digit growth in technology, with focus on E-government, E-authentication such as public key infrastructure, and cybersecurity," says Stuart Robbins, founder and executive director of the trade group the CIO Collective. Tech funds will also include investments in homeland security, such as better integration for data among various federal agencies.

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