The White House is calling for an 11% overall increase in federal IT spending for fiscal 2023 in addition to nearly $11 billion proposed to bolster federal cybersecurity.
President Biden’s 2023 budget proposal, released Monday, requests a total of $65.8 billion for civilian IT spending, a significant increase over the estimated $58.4 billion spent in the current fiscal year.
According to White House data on IT spending, the 11% boost is the biggest in the past dozen years. The budget does not group defense IT funding or civilian grant spending with these numbers.
The large increase in civilian IT spending corresponds with the Biden administration’s top priority of enhancing and modernizing federal cybersecurity, spurred by last year’s cybersecurity executive order and the sweeping mandate for agencies to adopt zero-trust security frameworks. To support that, the White House is asking Congress for $10.9 billion for civilian cybersecurity spending. Last year, the president asked for about $1 billion less.
“Cyber threats have become a top risk to delivering critical Government services, and this Administration is committed to addressing root cause issues and taking transformational steps to modernize Federal cybersecurity,” the budget proposal says. It continues, “These investments will, in alignment with the Administration’s priorities, focus on addressing root cause structural issues, promoting stronger collaboration and coordination among Federal agencies, and addressing capability challenges that have impeded the Government’s technology vision.”
Since Biden issued his cybersecurity executive order in 2021 and subsequently the Office of Management and Budget released its corresponding strategy on moving agencies to zero trust, those mandates have gone largely unfunded. But this budget proposal “shows the Administration’s commitment to ensuring these requirements are implemented across the Federal Government,” the White House says.
The proposal calls for Congress to provide $2.5 billion of the greater cybersecurity budget to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), almost $500 million more than what it enacted for the agency last year, to support federalwide cybersecurity and network protection efforts.
In addition to the prioritized cybersecurity efforts, the $65.8 billion topline IT budget would also support the continued larger push for federal IT modernization — including a requested $300 million for the Technology Modernization Fund — the requirements set for in the recent customer experience executive order, ongoing federal data management efforts and plans to expand the federal IT workforce.