recommended reading

Delays prompt White House to propose deep cut in secure border initiative

President Obama proposed slashing by more than a quarter the fiscal 2011 budget for the Homeland Security Department's massive border security project, which relies on high-tech equipment to look for illegal immigrants, because of long development delays.

The White House asked for $574.2 million for the Secure Border Initiative, a cut of 28 percent from the $800 million fiscal 2010 budget. SBI includes security fencing that would eventually run along the southern and northwestern borders of the United States, and a network of sensors, cameras and control towers to monitor the areas.

"The deployment rollout schedule is taking longer than anticipated, [which is why] the secretary announced a review of the program," said a DHS official during a press briefing about the budget.

DHS confirmed in January that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would reassess SBI in the wake of extensive delays. "[She] indicated she'd take a look at the status of the project and where it was going to go, and this reduction reflects that [review]," the official said.

Fiscal 2011 funding will pay for the full deployment of the first phase of SBI, but will not cover additional developments in other areas that originally were included in the 2011 budget, the official said.

The administration also asked Congress to withhold $75 million until House and Senate appropriations committees approve a spending plan that Napolitano will have prepare within 90 days of the budget's enactment.

In addition, 15 days before the award of any task order requiring funding of $25 million or more, and before the award of a task order that would cause the cumulative obligation of funds to exceed 50 percent of the total amount appropriated, Napolitano will have to report to the committees on the progress of the program and specific objectives the funding would support.

DHS' budget request also includes $5.6 billion for aviation security. Of that, no more than $4.5 billion will be used for screening operations, including $214.7 million to deploy an additional 500 advanced imaging machines at airport checkpoints. When combined with the 500 systems already planned for fiscal 2010, 75 percent of the nation's largest airports will have the scanning devices. Nearly $706 million also will be available for explosives detection systems.

"Any award to deploy explosives detection systems shall be based on risk, the airport's current reliance on other screening solutions, lobby congestion resulting in increased security concerns, high injury rates, airport readiness and increased cost effectiveness," the budget stated.

DHS allotted $866 million for infrastructure protection and information security programs and activities, a slight decrease from the nearly $900 million allocated in fiscal 2010. Of that, $379 million will go to the national cybersecurity division to identify and patch vulnerabilities in the dot-com and dot-gov domains, and $10 million will pay for staff increases and information sharing initiatives at the National Cyber Security Center.

To support internal IT initiatives, DHS budgeted a total of $398.5 million for the department's Office of the Chief Information Officer, of which $315.7 million will be used for development and acquisition of IT equipment, software, services and related activities. No less than $82.8 million will be used to continue building the DHS datacenter, including $38.5 million for improved power efficiency at the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage, known as Data Center One and based at NASA's Stennis Space Center, near the Gulf Coast in Mississippi.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.