The Biden administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request includes a total of $74 billion of IT spending for Federal civilian agencies and $12.7 billion for cybersecurity spending, according to a budget appendix released by the White House on March 13.

IT Spending Totals

“The budget proposes spending $74 billion on IT at civilian agencies in 2024, which will be used to deliver simple, seamless, and secure government services,” the budget document says.

The $74 billion request is up 13 percent from 2023 budget levels, the administration said.

Agencies with the sharpest proposed increases include: the Veterans Affairs Department, up 14.7 percent;  Department of Health and Human Services, up 13.4 percent; Department of Homeland Security, up 12.1 percent; and Treasury Department, up 9.8 percent.

“The President’s Budget also supports the implementation of Federal laws that enable agency technology planning, oversight, funding, and accountability practices, as well as Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance to agencies on the strategic use of IT to enable mission outcomes,” it says.

The document continues, “Technology serves as the foundation of the Federal government’s ability to deliver on its mission. The administration is leading on the technology issues of our time—stopping foreign intrusions into U.S. agencies, balancing difficult trade-offs in digital identity and artificial intelligence, redefining security expectations for software and the cloud, and maximizing the impact of taxpayer dollars to drive digital transformation across the Government to deliver a better customer experience for the American people.”

“The budget supports launching tech policy that meets today’s expectations and technology that is secure by design, allowing Federal agencies to deliver on their missions safely, reliably, and easily,” the document says. “The administration is focused on understanding where agencies are on their IT modernization journeys and making the right investments at the right time to enable secure technology and innovation to advance from year to year.”

The IT spending request, the White House said, supports four main areas:

  • Cybersecurity, including executing on the administration’s 2021 cybersecurity executive order and subsequent guidance on zero trust cybersecurity;
  • IT Modernization, including “adopting modern technologies, retiring legacy systems, employing methods of continuous improvement, and scaling them across government, so that government can run more effectively and improve the delivery and reliability of trusted services”;
  • Digital-First Customer Experience, which the document describes as “using design and technology to deliver an exceptional customer experience for the American public that demonstrably meets user needs and is on par with today’s customer expectations,” including executing on the administration’s customer experience executive order and meeting obligations under the 21st Century Integrate Digital Experience Act; and
  • Data as a Strategic Asset, which the document describes as “driving key insights into the decision-making process by harnessing accurate, available, and actionable data to power intelligent government operations and citizen experiences,” and building on the Office of Management and Budget’s 2019 Federal Data Strategy.

Cyber Budget Details

The budget document features $12.7 billion of spending requests for Federal civilian agency cybersecurity, with $12.1 billion of that figure allocated to the largest CFO Act agencies.

The $12.7 billion request represents a 13 percent jump from FY2023 spending, which totaled about $11.1 billion, versus the $10.4 billion of spending in FY2022.

In discussing Federal civilian cybersecurity imperatives, the budget request states: “Agencies can no longer rely on a perimeter-based approach or ‘digital walls’ to keep sophisticated actors from gaining unauthorized access to Federal systems. The administration is focused on making Federal systems more defensible by adopting zero trust principles, a security strategy premised on the idea that trust is never granted implicitly but must be continually evaluated.”

The request describes zero trust-related aspects of the 2021 cybersecurity executive order, and subsequent guidance documents on zero trust, supply chain security, and emerging threats including post-quantum cryptography.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.