Senate appropriators milder to DHS IT than House


Information technology programs at the Homeland Security Department found a more sympathetic reception with Senate Appropriators than the House of Representatives.

The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up its version of the fiscal 2012 annual spending bill for the department, voting in many cases for IT spending of larger amounts than the House. Fiscal 2011 ends on Sept. 30. 

Notably, while the House stripped away all funding for DHS data center consolidation, Senators decided it would be worth $76.39 million--still less than the $136.6 million DHS has wanted. The DHS office of chief information officer would also have funding closer to its request should Senators get their way. They voted for a DHS OCIO budget of $267.97 million against the $122.12 million that the House recommended.

Within the Infrastructure Protection and Information Security budget line, Senate appropriations recommend $449.96 million for "cybersecurity," an amount $9.14 million below the request but $86.9 million more than the fiscal 2011 level, according to the Senate report accompanying the markup.

With the Customs and Border Protection's Automation Modernization budget, line, the Automated Commercial Environment would receive $140 million, the same as the House recommendation.

Senators, however, would reduce the amount of money going to CBP's Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology budget line, which, until its cancelation, is funded the SBInet program. Senators say the line only needs $400 million, since as of July 31, CBP had more than $440 million available in unobligated balances. The House voted to extend $500 million for the budget line--still less than the $527.62 million the Obama administration requested in February.

For more:
- go to the THOMAS page for the fiscal 2012 DHS spending bill

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