Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/19/arra_it_spending/

US gooses economy with IT billions

Grab a bucket and get in line

By Rik Myslewski

Posted in Government, 19th February 2009 01:20 GMT

The $787bn American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), signed Tuesday by US president Barack Obama, contains significant chunks of cash targeted towards IT spending.

Some of the line items are relatively straightforward, such as over $1bn for IT upgrades at the Social Security Administration, State Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Farm Service Agency.

Other price tags are less precise, such as $17.6bn for "Incentives for the use of health information technology." The term "incentives" is used in the ARRA to cover everything from "the infrastructure necessary within different agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services to support the electronic use and exchange of health information," which appears to be clearly IT spending, to "dissemination of information on best practices," which sounds more like a boon to management consultants.

Other direct IT-spending areas include:

Spending that will have a strong IT component includes:

In addition to these fine-grained expenditures, there are more IT billions tucked away in other nooks and crannies of the 1,073-page bill, plus over $288bn in personal and business tax cuts. ®