Feds Budget $75.83 Billion for IT

Security Prompts Boost in Government Spending
Feds Budget $75.83 Billion for IT
The federal government will budget $75.83 billion on information technology in fiscal year 2010, which begins Oct. 1, up from the $70.72 billion budgeted on IT in the current year, according to a White House Office of Management and Budget analysis released Monday.

The pace of spending on IT also will rise by 7.2 percent. IT spending rose by 6.5 percent from fiscal 2008 to 2009.

Defending against attacks on federal IT systems along with making them more efficient are behind the increased spending. "The nation cannot continue to ignore this threat," the analysis says.

But, the OMB analysis did not provide many new specifics about the administration's IT security thinking, noting that more details will come shortly, when the White House releases its strategic IT security framework following its evaluation of cybersecurity advisor Melissa Hathaway's 60-day review of information security programs and processes. The White House did not say when that framework would be made public.

OMB will work with agencies and their inspectors general, CIOs and senior officials for privacy; the Government Accountability Office and Congress to strengthen the federal IT security and privacy programs, the analysis says. OMB will review its rules governing agencies' justifications for cybersecurity programs and spending and the way it measures information security compliance. "One goal for new metrics would be to move beyond periodic compliance reporting to more continuous approach," the analysis says.

The budget reveals several new initiatives that would require special IT security attention: adoption of cloud computing that accesses applications and services over the Internet and the expansion of telework, both seen as ways to eventually save the government money.

OMB says the government will initiate cloud-computing pilots to determine how the technology can be securely employed. Risks associated with cloud computing can be mitigated by establishing a proactive program management office to implement industry best practices and government policies, the analysis says. Among the cloud-computing pilot programs being considered: help-desk support; software as a service, virtualized data centers connecting government-to-government, government-to-contractor and contractor-to-contractor; content, information and records management; data analytics; and workflow and case management.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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