David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog : news & perspectives from a long-time egov advocate
Updated: 1/2/2004; 9:12:57 AM.



Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The US Senate will consider the consolidated appropriations bill passed by the House when they reconvene on January 20th.  Here is a summary of the bill which includes $820 billion in total spending.  Among other things, the bill includes (my comments or emphasis in italics, links are also my insertion):

  • $4.64 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an increase of $423 million above FY 2003, excluding supplemental amounts, and equal to the Presidentís request. This funding will support almost 2,300 new agents and analysts to improve counterterrorism and counterintelligence efforts, and to continue fighting violent crime, drugs, corporate fraud and cyber crime. The bill also includes $93 million for high priority technology needs, and funding above the request for language translation and training programs.
  • $3.1 billion for assistance to State and local law enforcement for crime fighting initiatives (Utah receives about $14M of this), $764 million above the Presidentís request and $499 million below FY03 including:
    • $500 million for the Byrne formula program, $353 million for juvenile delinquency prevention and accountability programs, $388 million for violence against women prevention and prosecution programs, $100 million to eliminate DNA analysis backlogs, and $300 million to reimburse States for criminal alien detention costs.
  • Assistance for the Independent States of the former Soviet Union is funded at $587 million, $11 million above the Presidentís request.  A primary polical object of these funds is to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation / weapons of mass destruction
  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is funded at $139 million, $46 million below the Presidentís request and $6 million below last year.  Here are some of the most recent projects approved by the GEFThe GEF has an online projects database
  • Homeland Security/Biodefense programs are supported at $1.625 billion in NIH, $1.116 in CDC and $518 million in hospital preparedness. (we received $11M through this program last year)
  • Increases funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN has a State & Local gateway) by $6.1 million, and provides funds for the Treasuryís newly established Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) is increased $300 million over last yearís level and $130 million over the budget request, bringing FY04 funding to $5.6 billion, the largest NSF budget ever.  NSF is generating some interesting opportunities for state and local partnerships with higher education. NSF is spending $550K on a study to understand how to detect terrorist groups on the internet.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is funded with an emphasis on state grants, particularly in the areas of clean water and safe drinking water. Provides $8.4 billion for the EPA, $375 million above the Presidentís request and $74 million below FY03.
    • The Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program is funded at $76 million, $4 million over last yearís level.  (I'm wondering why funding for this program is going up - financial compliance was required by 1998) Here is the latest report on underground storage tank cleanups.  California still has a backlog of over 15,000 tanks - what a mess (Wyoming and Montana still have over a thousand - no excuse for that)

9:05:35 AM    comment []

NASA is still struggling with information technology issues.  Here is the strategic plan:

By 2005, NASA plans to implement the following measures:

  • Provide all NASA operations with secure, highly reliable, interoperable information systems
  • Enable NASA people to communicate across and integrated, low-cost information technology infrastructure
  • Design and operate a One NASA network to improve organizational interactions and foster improved collaboration and sharing of accumulated NASA knowledge assets
  • Establish systems to deliver superior information services to consumers, educators, students, researchers, and the general public, as well as to Government agencies, NASA contractors and suppliers, and other businesses

That sounds pretty basic.  The GAO just released a series of reports discussing how NASA needs more discipline in the management of its financial systems.  A year ago, I mentioned how NASA was throwing millions of dollars at its financial systems.  Apparently, they still don't know how much it will cost and the system may not be complete by the end of Fiscal Year 2006.  I'm interested in this because our Division of Finance is planning a major upgrade of the state's financial system in FY2005.

8:08:06 AM    comment []

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