[ISN] Tech security boost sought

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Jan 22 2003 - 03:48:18 PST

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    By Aaron Davis
    Mercury News
    January 21, 2003
    President Bush will ask Congress to boost federal spending on
    information technology by $5 billion next year to continue fighting
    terrorism and to begin combining the computer systems of 22 government
    agencies under the Department of Homeland Security.
    The government's technology budget would increase 12 percent from the
    $52.6 billion proposed for this year to $59.1 billion for next fiscal
    year, which begins Oct. 1. Of the total, spending on cybersecurity for
    fiscal 2004 would hit $4.7 billion, or more than Congress approved
    after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to federalize airport
    Some of Silicon Valley's largest companies said Monday that government
    contracts for those high-tech security tasks represent some of their
    best chances for growth in the coming year.
    ``Government has always been a big, strong area for us and I would
    only guess that would continue,'' said Jennifer Glass, spokeswoman for
    The White House's budget director for information technology, Mark
    Forman, unveiled next year's budget Monday at an Oracle conference in
    San Diego.
    >From 2002 to 2004, spending on computer security will increase 75
    percent under Bush's plan.
    Congress had previously boosted IT security spending from $2.7 billion
    in 2002 to $4.2 billion in 2003, but most of that has yet to be seen
    because Congress has so far passed just two of 13 appropriations bills
    to distribute the money.
    In addition, Bush signed a bill authorizing $903 million for Internet
    and computer security research in November and some technology
    companies have already begun hiring hundreds of workers to meet the
    government's homeland security needs on the digital front.
    ``Any companies with long-term presence in the marketplace are in a
    position to receive more'' in government contracts, said Mike
    Dickerson, spokesman for El Segundo-based Computer Sciences, which
    announced last month it would hire 400 employees to complete new
    government IT contracts.
    The $37 billion bulk of the IT budget will go to supporting government
    agencies, including the Bush administration's goal that citizens be no
    more than ``three clicks'' away at any time from finding government
    services they need on the Internet.
    Forman said Congress is likely to approve the technology budget by
    late September, for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
    ``Everyone understands that IT is critical to the modernization of the
    federal government,'' Forman said. ``This is not a partisan issue.''
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