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US. House of Representatives

House Information Resources FY2001 Budget Request

The HIR training budget decreased by $87k ($337k to $250k) and is projected to fund approximately 145 classes for training in areas such as network systems, systems engineering, and messaging systems. An amount of $70k for supporting the mainframe migration testbed and LIMS replacement initiative is also a new budget item for FY01. Specialized contract services for mainframe operations are proposed at $80k to continue support of the mainframe during the migration process. Use of contracted mainframe operators helps facilitate the training and transition of HIR staff into client server-based operations. Software maintenance and support for the Member and Committee facsimile service was moved from the FY00 budget BOC 3100 (equipment) to be more correctly located in BOC 2500 (other services) with an inflationary increase to $120k. An amount of $30k for employee recruitment advertising has also been moved out of BOC 2500 (other services) in FY00 to BOC 2400 (printing & reproduction) in FY01, accounting for some of the BOC increase.

Additional projects funded in this category include support of Instructor-led and on-line training for Member, Committee, and House staff. Training includes courses on how to use House supported software and a variety of Web-related training. This BOC area also covers data center operations and cleaning.


FY00 $3,397,000

FY01 $2,874,000

The reduction of this BOC by $523k is due primarily to a scale-back in the amount of replacement equipment and software maintenance proposed for purchase in FY01. This scaleback allows an acceptable level of budgeting and continuation of existing services while including limited new services requested by the Members and Committees. The success of the mainframe migration effort has resulted in a 53% reduction of the processing capability of the mainframe. This reduction, combined with the elimination of external mainframe users, results in a requirement for less software maintenance and equipment upgrades.

Reductions in this BOC area are comprised of $778k less for mainframe software and related equipment costs, $560k less for purchase of replacement Web servers, and $70k less for graphics and training software. These reductions total $1,408k (carried to equation below).

The equipment BOC area has $652k of new items (carried to equation below) in the FY01 budget request. An enterprise license for Microsoft operating systems and email software was purchased in 1997 for a 33-month period. This license is proposed for renewal in the FY01 budget causing an increase of $500k. Additional equipment for Technical Support Representative service, equipment and incoming Member office Microsoft operating system software for the 107th transition, CAO server upgrades, and the Customer Tracking System enhancements comprise $152k of the new items.

Increases in budgeted items include $130k for HIR equipment (from $70k to $200k), $45k for messaging server support (from $297k to $342), and $56k for House software (e.g. Command Anti-virus) and equipment support. These increases total $233k (carried to equation below).

The BOC decrease of $523k is accounted for by subtracting the new items and increases from the identified reductions ($1,408k - $652k - $233k = $523k).

US House of Representatives

House Information Resources FY2001 Budget Request

Net Telecommunications Fiscal Year Budget Comparison

The HIR Net Telecommunications budget request of $6,416,000 supports the mission to provide a network and communications infrastructure to meet the needs of all House offices. The Net Telecommunications budget request is comprised only of non-personnel costs and is submitted as a separate line item to provide services of the highest quality, and to maximize the return on House communication expenditures. HIR technical project execution is conducted by combining the Net Telecommunications equipment and services with HIR personnel to produce integrated systems and capabilities such as email, calendars, electronic subscriptions, and Internet access.

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The most significant change to the net telecommunications budget is the addition of a project for $237k to support the 107th Congress transition. The requested budget without the transition support costs is actually a 1.3% decrease over the FY00 budget. Although the budget is less than expected inflation rates, efficiencies of operations and improved technologies may be used to help maintain the same level of service or support. Technology improvements may also help maintain performance levels despite increased use of areas such as Internet access. Continued support of infrastructure and current services such as the House campus telephone system, long distance and local telephone services, cellular phone services, Inter/Intranet access, backbone network communications, and voice mail systems is the primary focus of the telecommunications budget request. The data communication infrastructure includes Member District Office communications, a multi-media campus backbone network, network interfaces that provide for networking to other Legislative branch agencies and the Internet, which provides for World Wide Web access. Other data communication infrastructure includes Committee and Leadership local area networking and a secure remote access facility.

US House of Representatives

House Information Resources FY2001 Budget Request

The Net Telecommunication budget is expended through three key areas of Wide Area Networks, Campus Networks, and Voice and Video. The continued support and maintenance of existing telecommunication systems and equipment is a recurring annual expense in order to retain a communications service or capability. Wide Area Networks represents a telecommunications area that spans a large geographic area and requires commercial phone services to establish network connectivity. ISDN (a type of high-speed phone line) hardware and software, frame relay services, DSL circuits (a newer type of high-speed phone line) and leased lines are examples of commercial phone services needed to achieve network connectivity. Campus Networks represents a telecommunications area for localized network support of the House community. This localized network consists of complex communications equipment such as switches, routers, hubs, concentrators, and fiber/copper wiring. Voice and Video represents a telecommunications area that provides the House with full telephone and voice mail services as well as video conferencing capabilities. The telephone and PBX system is maintained at the House and provides specialized phones services. Following is a table that illustrates the differences between the 1999, 2000 and proposed 2001 Net Telecommunications budgets within the three categories outlined above:

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The distribution and explanation of the requested Net Telecommunications budget request of $6,416,000 is outlined in the following BOC areas below:

Rent, Communications, Utilities

FY00 $4,522,000 FY01 $4,347,000

The decrease of $175k in the RCU budget area is attributed to a scale-back in areas of Internet access lines and expected inflation costs for telephone rates and maintenance costs. Basic phone line service for local and district offices are a recurring expense, for service and maintenance, and total over $1,630,000 per year. Frame relay communications services comprise $2,480,000 of RCU costs, which provides for House ISDN services and other leased lines. Telephony (PBX) maintenance requirements are met by using Lucent contract maintenance services. The level of potential savings from efficiencies and technology advancements (such as DSL communications lines) may help fund higher access speeds as the amount of electronic correspondence increases with constituents. Additional costs for this BOC area include $237k for 107th transition support based on an estimated 50 new Members.

Other Services


FY01 $250,000

The increase of $250k is for wiring moves/installations requests throughout the year. The $250k for wiring was previously located in the RCU cost area and remains at the same level based on historical request trends. This amount has also been moved from the Voice and Video principle area to Campus Networking.

U.S. House of Representatives


House Information Resources FY2001 Budget Request

FY00 $1,738,000

FY01 $1,819,000 The increase of $81k for equipment and maintenance compared to FY00 is primarily due to increased costs for LAN switching and router technology. LAN switching provides a faster and more reliable way for Member and Committee offices to connect to the various servers for access to data, email, and Web services. Routers also make it possible for district offices to communicate with the House network. There are over 840 units of routers, switches, and other communications equipment that must be maintained and supported throughout the year to keep network services operating. Basic maintenance cost for these units average over $800k with demand for additional connection equipment projected at $400k for FY01.

An additional $240k will be required for minimal network management and secure ID access. There are also a number of older routers located throughout the campus data network that will need to be replaced (edge routers) to begin supporting advanced multi-media capabilities at a projected cost of $250k. Software maintenance for the MONIES financial system is projected at $55k with miscellaneous costs for jumpers, connectors, and wire/fiber estimated at $60k.

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The House support areas represent key areas identified by HIR through the CAO strategic planning process and provides technical and consultation services to the House community. The ten support areas were selected to provide technical service to the Member and Committee functional areas of Legislation, Constituent Services, Communications, and Administration. Each House support area has one or more technical support projects and represents the HIR fiscal year 2001 goals. These support areas are listed and summarized as follows:

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Messaging and Scheduling: This support area provides automation of critical daily functions to pass messages, documents, and information within the House environment and globally. In addition, automation of calendar and scheduling functions are provided with the ability to coordinate schedules over the House computer network. This area provides capabilities to the

US. House of Representatives

House Information Resources FY2001 Budget Request

entire House community and enhances the ability of a Member to communicate with constituents in ways that never before existed.

Internet/Web: The Web is a tremendous growth area and important capability for Members to communicate with constituents using technology such as Web pages for posting pertinent information. HIR will continue to assess Web technologies and help apply these technologies in the House environment. This support area also provides the foundation for making the “Easy-toUse" concept of fluid information technology a reality.

Communications: This support area provides a critical infrastructure for multiple types of electronic communications at ever increasing speeds and distances. This support area differs from the Net Telecommunications budget and represents the combining of many projects that support House communications. The necessity of this area is analogous to our highway infrastructure throughout the DC area. The goal is to avoid electronic traffic jams and maintain fast and reliable communications. Communications is one of the four Member and Committee functional areas meaning that this support area provides direct support to the Members by providing the network and communications backbone that supports transfer of electronic information.

Information Systems Security: Members have expressed significant concern about safeguarding their electronic information. The information security area provides both capabilities and support for Members to safeguard their electronic data. Capabilities include virus protection software and applications that protect against internal or external (e.g. Intranet/Internet) intrusion into the House networks, including the sub-networks in each Member and Committee office. Electronic Information Services: Electronic information is available in a number of different forms, such as Newswires, and plays a key support role to the legislative process. Electronic information is provided to Members by delivering all relevant news articles on any particular topic as reported by the Worlds' news organizations. For example, Member Offices use Federal Funding Services as an important constituent communications tool. By having a readily searchable Internet based information service, Members and their staff may easily identify the amount of funds received within the Congressional District or to other geographical entities within their State. The investment for funding electronic information is comparable to paying for electricity into a place of business.

House Systems and Technical Support: This support area addresses the need to maintain the hardware and software, maintenance/technical support contracts, technical support personnel, and staff training to ensure non-stop, up-to-date computer application services for the House. In addition it includes the ability to deliver and coordinate direct services to Members, and provide consultation on information technology purchases, installation, and support delivery of mission critical systems and applications to the House.

Process Improvement: One of the key components of the Systems Development Life-Cycle (SDLC) policy is to identify and update business processes prior to involving technology. Many of the proposed projects include Business Process Reengineering (BPR) or Improvement (BPI),

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