OMB Memo Establishes Expectations for FY2013 Spending

Posted on: September 9th, 2011 by Deborah Cox

On August 17, Jacob Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), released a memo directing all Federal department and agency heads to begin work on their FY2013 budget requests. The memo, intended to provide agencies with guidelines for spending limits, states that the FY2013 request should be at least five percent below the FY2011 enacted discretionary appropriation. They must also provide an additional list of potential funding reductions that would bring their upcoming request to 10 percent below FY2011 levels.

OMB has also directed agencies to be strategic in their cuts. Projects that might provide economic growth in the future should retain more funds; duplicative or ineffective programs should be consolidated or cut. According to the memo, agencies should not propose “across-the-board reductions or reductions to mandatory spending in appropriations bills, reclassifications of existing discretionary spending to mandatory, or enactment of new user fees to offset existing spending” and directs them to realign resources, improve operations efficiency and explain in their budgets how they will analyze data to improve policy decisions. Agencies are further encouraged to consider the Government Accountability Office’s list of duplicative federal programs. To view the full memo, click here.

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