State Tech Agency Budget Reflects Cybersecurity, Endpoint Protection

Detail from the new 2020-2021 Fiscal Year budget for the California Department of Technology shows a slight staffing decrease, but a monetary increase overall that reflects financial commitments to the California Cybersecurity Integration Center, the Statewide Endpoint Protection Platform, and annual capacity adjustments and budget adjustment drills.

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The detailed version of the state budget for the new fiscal year offers additional information on what vendors may see from California’s technology agency over the next 12 months.

Detail for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year state budget, released Tuesday by the California Department of Finance, reveals that while the California Department of Technology has made anticipated cuts, given the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall picture is not as stark as some feared this spring when officials projected a $54.3 billion state shortfall. Among the takeaways:

• Generally, CDT’s budget is up, but staffing is down. CDT’s adopted budget rose from nearly $402 million in FY 2019-2020 to $440.1 million in FY 2020-2021, with rounding. That’s an increase of nearly 8.7 percent — albeit one that has been in the cards for months. The department’s proposed budget, delivered Jan. 10 by Gov. Gavin Newsom before the pandemic took hold, was nearly $443.8 million. Viewed through that lens, CDT’s adopted budget represents a cut of $3.7 million or more than three-quarters of 1 percent compared to its January proposed budget. Staffing, meanwhile, is down from 746 positions to 734 positions. That’s 12 fewer positions, a decrease of about 1.5 percent year to year.

CDT spokesman Bob Andosca told Techwire the department’s positions rose to 741 positions in Newsom’s January proposed budget, for the CDT Workload Increase and Statewide Technology Procurement Level of Service budget change proposals (BCPs), reflecting an addition of 14 positions combined. “However, during (the) May Revise both BCPs were reduced by 50 percent resulting in a decrease of 7 positions, bringing the new total positions to 7,34.4,” Andosca said via email.

• The increase in overall budget, Andosca said, is attributable to four approved budget change proposals (BCPs) totaling slightly more than $4.9 million. That includes a BCP of nearly $1.3 million for the California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC); a BCP for CDT Workload Increase of $706,000; and a BCP for the Statewide Endpoint Protection Platform of more than $2.5 million. It also includes the Statewide Technology Procurement Level of Service, at $472,000; annual capacity adjustments of more than $30.2 million; and “regular annual budget adjustment drills” of more than $7.5 million “completed by all state departments.”

“An increase in the CDT’s workload resulted in a FY 2020-21 budget increase through the BCPs mentioned above. To date, the pandemic has not resulted in an increase in CDT’s budget, as the additional COVID-19 workload has been absorbed within our existing budget,” Andosca said.

In an email to Techwire late Wednesday, DoF pointed out CDT’s financial picture has shifted somewhat since the June 2019 approval of the FY 2019-2020 state budget. By June 26, when the current state budget was enacted, CDT’s 2019-2020 budget had increased from nearly $402 million to $460.1 million, a 9.5 percent increase. This, DoF said, was “mainly due to the additional $50 million one-time expenditure authority granted to CDT’s Technology Services Revolving Fund to support additional procurements of Vendor Hosted Subscription Services on behalf of other entities.” With this as comparison, CDT’s 2020-2021 budget actually decreased 4.3 percent, from $460.1 million in FY 2019-2020 to $440.1 million in FY 2020-2021.

In addition to the BCPs in FY 2020-2021, DoF pointed out “workload budget adjustments” to CDT’s budget include a $30.2 million increase “which aligns budget authority for the Technology Services Revolving Fund with actual expenditures for that year.” And utilization of services that are provided through CDT have risen beyond what was originally budgeted, DoF said, so “the Technology Services Revolving Fund received an augmentation to allow CDT to procure and cost recover for these services, which include data storage and access to Microsoft Office 365.”

• Andosca said CDT’s top three initiatives this year are artificial intelligence, digital ID and project performance measurement. And the budget detail shows CDT’s share of funding for Cal-CSIC. The department budget includes “three year limited-term funding of $1.3 million General Fund from 2020-21 through 2022-23 to support additional capacity … consistent with the requirements of Government Code section 8586.5,” which defined the center. The funding, per the budget, is a piece of a larger proposal and a collaboration among CDT, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), the California Military Department (CMD) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

• Among those three departments, each is also contributing to Cal-CSIC with “three-year limited-term funding.” CalOES’s budget includes $7.6 million for Cal-CSIC from the General Fund in FY 2020-21 and $8.1 million in FY 2021-22 and 2022-23. CMD’s budget includes $1.2 million from the General Fund from FY 2020-21 through FY 2022-23. CHP’s budget includes $977,000 from the General Fund from FY 2020-21 through FY 2022-23.

Andosca said the six new personnel years are to “enhance the maturity of the (Security Operations Center) SOC with incident response, and scale out threat intelligence and response services as a partner within the Cal-CSIC to state, local, municipal, tribal, territorial, and academic entities.”

Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.