http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/4996867.htm 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 security. 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 Oracle. 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.'' - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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