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Senate Bill Proposes $61.6M in Cuts to Pentagon IT Programs

Jul. 17, 2014 - 12:36PM   |  
By JOHN T. BENNETT   |   Comments
Information technology class at Naval Computer and
A sailor assigned to the Center for Information Dominance Learning Site, San Diego, discusses domain name server functions with students at Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station San Diego. (Rick Naystatt / US Navy)
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WASHINGTON — US senators want to slash the Pentagon’s information technology (IT) spending plan by tens of millions, calling on the military to trim duplicative programs.

The Obama administration requested about $11 billion for all Defense Department information technology activities next year. In a report accompanying its 2015 military spending bill, the Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee proposes several sizable cuts.

The Pentagon requested $87.2 million for enterprise information technology activities. The Senate bill, set to be approved late Thursday morning by the full Appropriations Committee, proposes cutting that by $15 million, to $72.2 million.

The department also seeks $109.6 million for logistics-related IT efforts, which the Senate bill proposes slashing by $46.6 million, to $63 million.

The report commends the Defense Department for recent efforts to trim its IT spending. So why the proposed cuts?

Too much duplication across the department — even after years of consolidation efforts — and inflated budget lines in the Pentagon’s budget proposal, the subcommittee says.

“The committee found a number of discrepancies where the resources reflected in the IT budget did not correlate to the operation and maintenance budget justification,” states a report accompanying the panel’s bill and obtained by Defense News. “The committee recommends reductions based on that analysis.

“Finally the recommendations include additional reductions to the operation and maintenance accounts to compel further review of non-cyber IT requirements — those not related to the defense of DoD networks — and eliminate duplication,” states the panel’s report.

The subcommittee report notes the armed services for years have sought to “find savings” by consolidating data centers, email servers, and purchases of software and hardware.

The panel’s proposed spending bill would give a boost to those efforts with its proposed $61.6 million IT cuts. ■

Marcus Weisgerber contributed to this report.

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