Department of Commerce FY 2018 IT Budget Observations

Published: July 12, 2017

BudgetDOCInformation Technology

The Department of Commerce IT budget requests $2.5B in FY 2018, marking a steady increase in IT dollars over FY 2017 and FY 2016.

The overall FY 2018 Commerce budget requests $7.8B, facing a 16% decrease from FY 2017 numbers. From it, the FY 2018 IT request follows a different path with a steady increase in dollars and a $2.5B budget for FY 2018; a 5% increase over FY 2017 and 9% increase over FY 2016 numbers.

The activities leading up to the 2020 Decennial Census, including the planned 2018 End-to-End test, is a main driver in the IT budget. Dollars continue to be invested in the final research and testing of IT design capabilities surrounding the innovative approach planned for the 2020 Census. As such, the development, modernization & enhancements (DME) funding under Census sees the largest increase at 15% in FY2018. Moreover, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) faces numerous surges within several of its IT investments surrounding network and security infrastructure, financial systems, and IT capabilities. The focus on strengthening the nation’s trade tactics and reducing unfair and fraudulent trade practices also affects growth in the IT infrastructure and management of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and International Trade Administration (ITA).

Additional observations from the IT budget:

  • 140 investments with associated dollars; the top ten represent 55% of the total IT budget.
  • The Census Bureau, USPTO and NOAA represent 85% of the Commerce IT budget.
  • The top two investments under Commerce receive the largest increases in FY 2018: Census 2020 Research and Testing, Operational Development, and Systems Testing (+$74M) and USPTO Network and Security Infrastructure II (+$24M).
  • The NWS Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputer Systems investment faces the largest decrease in funding: $40B requested in FY 2018, an $8M decrease, or 16% lower than FY 2017 levels.
  • Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding represents 64% of the total IT budget with a total of $1.6B;  3% higher than FY 2017 and 5% higher than FY 2016.
  • $186M slated for cloud spending, a 17% decrease from 2017 levels.

Source: OMB

Notable IT Investments:

  • Census - 2020 Decennial Census Research and Testing, Operational Development, and Systems Testing: Planning, development and testing for the 2020 Census focused on completing research and testing to make fundamental design innovations required to contain the cost of the 2020 census. $318M, (+30%), 68% DME
  • USPTO Network and Security Infrastructure II (NSI-2): Enhancements and upgrade of critical IT infrastructure to enable operations and services provided to USPTO and external customers. $264M, (+10%), 32% DME
  • Census - IT Infrastructure: Census Bureau IT Infrastructure captures costs for Telecommunications, Data Centers, Applications Development, and LAN Technology Support. $193M, (-1%), 29% DME
  • NOAA IT Infrastructure: NOAA IT Infrastructure. $145M (+2%), 1% DME
  • Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing (CEDCAP): Unique, survey-specific data collection and processing systems will be replaced by an integrated, standardized Enterprise solution to meet the needs of the Decennial and Economic Censuses. $123M, (+1%), 100% DME
  • USPTO Corporate IT Capability: Reports on USPTO's corporate systems in the Administrative and Policy IT Capabilities Portfolios supporting the agency management of personnel, accounting, attorney enrollment and discipline and government and International Affairs. $32M, (+39%), 62% DME
  • USPTO Consolidated Financial System: Financial management systems/subsystems at USPTO including Core Financial, Acquisition, Travel, Revenue, Reporting, Fixed Assets, Budgeting, Cost Accounting, Financial Imaging, Data Warehouse, and Transit Subsidy functions. $30M, (+26%), 26% DME