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DHS IT Projects Escape Continuing Resolution Budget Woes

Photo: Jack Moore

Department of Homeland Security IT projects escaped the budget freezes affecting most federal agencies, which had their budgets capped at 2010 levels in a long-term continuing resolution passed by the House of Representatives last week.

When Congress failed to pass appropriations bills earlier this fall because of an ongoing kerfuffle with the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, federal budgets were forced to limp along with the aid of a series of short-term continuing resolutions.

Last week, the House passed a continuing resolution to fund the government until the end of fiscal year 2011, which funds most agencies at 2010 levels — $45.9 billion less than federal agencies had asked for, according to a report on FierceGovernmentIT.

However, the House did fully fund DHS IT projects and almost fully funded the Veterans Affairs Department’s IT budget, according to Nextgov.

Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement received the full amounts the groups had requested for their automation modernization program.

Citizenship and Immigration Services received its full request for more than $103 million to bolster its E-Verify program, an online system to check employee eligibility.

The U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program received about $339 million — $4.7 million more than requested. The US-VISIT program collects biometric identifiers at ports-of-entry into the United States.

Apart from its critical IT projects, DHS, like most federal agencies and departments, was funded at 2010 levels.

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