IT Spending Holds Steady in Trump’s Budget

Ton Snoei/

Civilian agencies would get more and the Defense Department less in the president’s budget proposal.

Civilian agencies and the Defense Department would collectively receive approximately $88 billion to spend on information technology in fiscal 2020, according to supplemental budget data released by the White House Monday.

The total is essentially the same as the federal government spent on IT last year, although civilian agencies—led by the Homeland Security Department—would receive about $1 billion more in this year’s request while the Pentagon receives about $1 billion less.

Under the proposed budget, civilian agencies would receive approximately $51 billion. The Defense Department would get about $37 billion.

Total IT spending covers more than 7,600 IT investments across the federal government, 584 of which are referred to as “major IT investments.” IT spending broadly supports three functions, according to the budget request: mission delivery; IT infrastructure, security and management; and administrative services and mission support. The request also indicates the largest 100 investments at civilian agencies represent 44 percent of the government’s IT spending.

Should the budget request reflect actual spending, Homeland Security would receive approximately $7.1 billion, followed by the departments of Veterans Affairs ($6.1 billion), Health and Human Services ($5.6 billion), Treasury ($5 billion), Commerce ($3.8 billion), Transportation ($3.7 billion), Justice ($2.9 billion), Energy ($2.4 billion), State ($2.3 billion) and Agriculture ($2.2 billion).

The budget request also indicates “slight decreases in the general health of IT investments” across civilian agencies, as chief information officers issued fewer green—or low-risk—ratings to large IT investments.

“’Green’ investments comprised 41 percent of all rated investments in 2019 compared to 58 percent in 2018,” the budget request states.

The budget also requests $150 million for the Technology Modernization Fund. Thus far, agencies have used TMF to fund seven projects totaling close to $90 million or the total $125 million Congress authorized for the program.