State Department and USAID FY 2020 IT Budget Request Observations

Published: May 09, 2019

Federal Market AnalysisUSAIDBudgetInformation TechnologySTATE

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development have requested more than $2.4B combined for information technology (IT).

After a delay due to a month-long partial federal government shutdown, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request in mid-March. The Department of State (DoS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) continue to experience yearly fluctuations in budget allocations both at the overall discretionary level as well as for IT. At the topline discretionary level, the State Department and USAID request a combined $2.4B, which is a 2.8% decrease from FY 2019, nearly all at USAID.

Department of State and USAID FY 2020 IT Budgets

The State Department’s FY 2020 IT budget request is $2.3B and is a $600K decrease from FY 2019, but this is $26M and 1.2% above the FY 2018 level. USAID’s IT budget request is $168M, which is $70M less than FY 2019 and $27M less than FY 2018. Given their respective flat or decreasing total discretionary budgets it is not surprising that their IT budgets would follow a similar trajectory.  

Both the DoS and USAID allocate a portion of their total IT budgets for new development spending, known as Development, Modernization and Enhancement (DME). For FY 2020 State allocates $382M for DME, which is 32% less than the FY 2019 estimate. Similarly, USAID’s FY 2020 DME allotment of $26M is 14% less than in FY 2019, resulting in a combined $408M in DME. (See table below.)

Noteworthy IT Programs

To find potential contracted support opportunities and even potential growth, the details of the State Department’s and USAID’s IT investment priorities and initiatives provides some perspective on where they are planning to invest in FY 2020. These are a handful of initiatives that stand out among others due to their relative size.

  • Bureau IT Support: This investment encompasses centrally provided shared IT support services such as desktop services; telecomm, wireless & data services; peripherals; software; and any other IT infrastructure costs incurred by the bureaus. It receives an aggregate $509M for FY 2020, which is 8% above FY 2019 and is made up of 4% DME. Historically, Bureau IT Support has been listed as a single large initiative. For the FY 2020 budget, Bureau IT Support was broken out by 33 bureaus, offices, etc. offering the same IT infrastructure support to each. It is re-aggregated here to show the comparative size and influence of the effort.
  • Consular Enterprise Infrastructure & Operations: Provides 24 by 7 operational support, infrastructure management, HW/SW maintenance, technology refreshes, upgrades, technical services and training to support consular systems and services worldwide. Funding of $359M for FY 2020 would be a $56M decrease from FY 2019, but would be $85M above FY 2018. The FY 2020 amount consist of about 40% DME funding.
  • Deployment, Maintenance, and Refresh Services: Ensures domestic and overseas IT equipment is routinely updated, relocated, and/or replaced. Service includes procuring, deploying, and maintaining upgraded workstation/software packages, server, telecommunications, radio, and video collaboration. This initiative receives $223M for FY 2020, a $23M increase and is categorized entirely as O&M.
  • Messaging Services, Email and Remote Connectivity: MSERC supports State-wide messaging by integrating technologies with messaging programs to ensure messaging is accessible, including e-mail, mobile computing, and special messaging for DoS. MSERC receives $141M for FY 2020 – the same amount as in FY 2018 and FY 2019 – and is 100% O&M.
  • Enterprise Network and Bandwidth Services: Designs, operates, maintains, secures, and modernizes the DoS IT network infrastructure and systems, enabling collaboration and information sharing across DoS and its foreign affairs partners. It receives $117M for FY 2020, an increase of $9M. Four percent of the total budget is marked for DME.
  • Steady State IT Infrastructure & Technology Modernization Program: This USAID initiative provides IT infrastructure maintenance and related support for local servers and desktops, network and corporate application servers in missions, worldwide telecommunications, local voice telephone services and cable processing. It receives $28M for FY 2020, which is a $3M drop and consists of 7% DME.
  • IT Security and Compliance: This USAID investment supports setting IT Security policy, establishing process and means, measuring compliance and responding to security breaches. The $21M for FY 2020 represents a $13M cut from FY 2019 but is $4M above FY 2018. This investment consists of 20% DME funding.

A couple of State's largest IT budget lines are familiar multi-year initiatives, like Bureau IT Support and Messaging Services, Email and Remote Connectivity. However, the others have risen in relative rank, in part due to modest budget increases combined with the fact that previous large programs have matured and are receiving less funding in the new budget.  

These large budget lines show that their priorities continue to focus on infrastructure and operational requirements. However, pockets of new development and growth within such programs indicate ongoing efforts to modernize IT infrastructure for mission support.

For a deeper dive into the details of the FY 2020 budget, check out our report: Insights and Implications: FY 2020 Federal Budget Request.

Get a free report summary of Insights and Opportunities: FY 2020 Federal Budget Request.