Federal FY 2014 IT Budget to Grow, but there’s Winners and Losers

Published: April 10, 2013


Steven VanRoekel, U.S. Chief Information Officer at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a presentation today outlining the Obama Administration’s FY 2014 Information Technology priorities and budget numbers. The bottom line is that they are seeking 2% growth in the overall IT budget year-over-year, but individual department budget changes vary widely, meaning that there are “winners” and “losers.”

Preceding the public release of his presentation, VanRoekel posted a series of tweets on Twitter under the theme: All you need to know about the IT budget in 10 tweets. You can find the series under #FedITx10, but here they are in the descending order in which they appeared:
10-Flat or declining. IT=$82B in the 2014 Budget 2.1% increase from FY12, flat, 0.78% CAGR since 09, negative adjusted for inflation
9-Cut & Reinvest: Now more than ever we must use IT to drive savings to fund innovations that change how govt works
8-Priorities: IT priorities in 2014Budget: Innovate. Deliver. Protect. Evidence
7-Innovate: 2014 Budget enables the Digital Gov Strategy to build a 21st century govt, increase mobile services and Open Data
6-Deliver: PortfolioStat = +$2.5B in savings through IT consolidations and upgrades (over 3yrs)
5-Protect: Over $15B of the IT 2014 Budget is going to enhance our Nation’s cybersecurity
4-Evidence: 2014 Budget NEW evidence-based innovation initiative in my office to strengthen evaluations & drive results, beyond IT
3-Innovate with Less: Since 09 we flattened IT $ while FY01-FY09 IT increased ~2x At that rate, we’d be at +$110B on IT today
2-Dogfood: For geeks (like me!) interested in an Open Data 2014 Budget, key tables in XML here:
1-Progress: 2014 Budget enables strategic IT investment for a 21st century govt, drives innovation & protects our national assets
IT Budget “Winners” and “Losers”
The budget submission information included in VanRoekel’s presentation contains some top-line budget numbers which allows for some initial analysis. The IT budget summary table in the presentation calculates the amount and percentage change for FY 2014 based on FY 2012 budgets, even though he provides FY 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) budget estimates that are different. To provide a more detailed perspective I ran the numbers comparing the dollar and percentage change for all scenarios. 
The tables below are grouped by the “Winners” and “Losers” based on the percentage change from FY 2012 to FY 2014. The third table provides a comparison between Defense and Civilian segments, along with total federal IT.
While we are still waiting for the release of detailed IT budget information from OMB the proposed $1.4 or $1.7 billion increase for FY 2014, depending on which baseline year you use, is sure to surprise many who watch this market. Certainly, a 2% yearly growth rate is anemic compared to the growth rates we have seen over the last decade or so. (OMB reports a 7.09% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between FY 2001 and FY 2009 and they are projecting a 0.78% CAGR between FY 2009 and FY 2014) Yet, many expected lower growth – if not an outright decline – in the federal IT budget for this coming fiscal year.
Now the budget is in the hands of Congress, which has historically appropriated more for IT than what the President requests. With fiscal priorities clashing and sequestration impacts now being felt across the market, federal IT could weather the current fiscal storm in relatively good shape.