New border funds include surveillance, intelligence

A portion of the $1.9 billion in new border security funding approved by Congress this week will pay for IT systems for surveillance and intelligence analysis to be used by National Guardsmen at U.S. borders.

About 6,000 National Guardsmen will be stationed at U.S. borders under HR 4939, the massive emergency supplemental legislation passed by the House and Senate this week. The president is expected to sign the bill, which also includes $70 billion for the Iraq War and foreign aid, $20 billion for hurricane recovery and $2.3 billion for pandemic flu preparations.

About $708 million of the border security funding is to be devoted to National Guard support, which will pay for operating surveillance and intelligence systems, training, and construction of fences, vehicle barriers and roads, according to the conference report for the spending bill.

The bill includes $240 million for state and local preparedness for the avian flu; $200 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for global and domestic disease surveillance and other activities; and $30 million for the U.S. Agency for International Development for international surveillance.

In other provisions, the law rescinded $20 million in lapsed fiscal 2005 balances available in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Automation Modernization account.

The conferees also rescinded $3.96 million from Office of Screening Coordination and Operations and transferred the funds to the Office of Policy.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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