Security Draws Extra Millions

WASHINGTON (05/15/2000) - The Senate last week responded to the growing menace of cyberattacks by adding $76.8 million to the fiscal 2001 Defense authorization bill to kick-start a new information security scholarship program and a security institute.

The Information Security Scholarship Program will be designed to recruit and retain U.S Department of Defense personnel who have computer and network security skills.

The Institute for Defense Computer Security and Information Protection would conduct research and development on critical security technologies and act as an information-sharing hub on cybersecurity between agencies and companies.

The Armed Services Committee, which completed markup of the bill May 10, also took aim at the department's overall management of information technology programs and acquisition work force issues. The committee called for enhanced planning and tracking of IT programs throughout the department as a means to obtain a "better return on investment" on the more than $20 billion DOD spends on IT each year, according to a committee statement.

The Senate must still meet with the House in conference to iron out differences between the two versions of the bill.

In addition, the committee called for a three-year moratorium on further reductions in the Pentagon's acquisition work force to address what it termed "problems" that have resulted from past reductions.

The committee recommended a total of $309.8 billion in budget authority for the Defense Department, which is $4.5 billion more than the Clinton administration asked for in its budget request for fiscal 2001. The Senate included in that amount more than $63 billion in procurement funding and more than $39 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation.

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