For the third straight year, the federal information technology budget will remain relatively flat as the Obama administration remains committed to finding ways to drive innovation in a fiscally responsible way, Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said on Monday.
The 2013 federal fiscal year budget that President Obama submitted to Congress on Monday calls for federal information technology spending to be cut from $79.5 billion to $78.9 billion, a 0.7 percent decrease that constitutes approximately $586 million.
Under Obama, the federal government’s information technology spend has had a -0.004 percent compound annual growth rate as opposed to a 7.09 percent CAGR the previous eight fiscal years. If that previous rate had continued, the federal IT spend for FY13 would have been approximately $104 billion, VanRoekel said.
“We flattened IT spending and innovated more in the past three years,” Van Roekel said.
The largest IT cuts in this budget will come from the Department of Defense (just more than $1 billion), the Department of Commerce ($111.1 million) and the Department of Energy ($103.8 million).
VanRoekel said that comes in part from DOD’s aggressive data center consolidation that saved more than $300 million, the Department of Commerce’s switch to a satellite system from a ground system for weather monitoring, and the Department of Energy’s completion of its Sequoia super computing system. If not for that system, the DOE’s IT budget allocation would have been flat.
The Department of the Treasury ($358.7 million), the Department of Veterans Affairs ($216.1 million) and the Department of Health and Human Services ($179 million) will see the biggest increases.
Treasury’s increase comes from a business system modernization project that is increasing availability of tax filing resources. HHS is making large investments in healthcare information and the VA is using the money for initiatives centered on the Blue Button program.
VanRoekel emphasized four areas of focus for the White House throughout 2012 and examples of each:
Maximize the return on investment of Federal IT
- DOD is saving up to $300 million in FY 2013 from the closure of 100 data centers.
- EPA saved $10 million since FY 2011 by consolidating IT procurements and standardizing help desks.
Productivity Gap and 21st Century Government
- Commerce will fully deploy its Patent End-to-End platform in FY 2013, enabling the Patent and Trademark Office to improve the time it takes to issue a patent decision, advance patent examination quality, and enhance the patent appeal/post-grant processes.
- IRS will improve and expand e-filing, and build on the FY 2012 conversion to daily tax processing through CADE 2 to continually improve the taxpayer experience and agency staff capability.
- SSA is modernizing earnings reporting systems to speed the reporting process, reduce employer burden, improve inter-agency data sharing and reduce improper payments.
Business and Citizen Interaction and National Priorities
- DOD and VA have been working together to enhance the eBenefits Portal which provides service members, veterans, and their dependents self-service access to comprehensive healthcare and benefits information online, and includes transactional and interactive capabilities for applying and managing those benefits.
- Commerce and SBA launching an online platform to streamline small business interactions with the Federal Government.
- DHS is investing an additional $204 million to support continuous monitoring.
- FedRAMP will provide provisional security authorizations for re-use by all agencies, establishing initial operating capability in Q3 of FY 2012.
As for cybersecurity, VanRoekel said the government will be investing $769 million to support the operations of the National Cyber Security Division at the Department of Homeland Security, that includes $202 million to improve government-wide continuous monitoring.
The administration also identified cybersecurity (Continuous Monitoring, Trusted Internet Connections/Einstein, and HSPD-12) as a Cross Agency Priority goal. This information will be publicly released on Performance.gov in 2012.
There will also be continuing CyberStat reviews where DHS leads face-to-face, evidence-based accountability sessions with agencies.
VanRoekel said the White House is looking to include the TechStat review sessions as well, using more of these sessions led by the Office of Management and Budget, but also including inter-agency ones as well.