OMB: agencies to cut 10 percent off FY15 discretionary budgets

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The Office of Management and Budget is calling for federal agencies to cut 10 percent off their discretionary spending for the fiscal year 2015 budget.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, OMB’s new administrator, sent a memo Wednesday that told all agencies to look for ways to reduce fragmentation, overlap and duplication, and increase effectiveness in finding those reductions from the FY14 budget.

“We recognize that agencies will identify the most effective way to implement this request,” Burwell said. “Your budget submission will provide the president with the options needed to make the hard choices necessary to adhere to the [Budget Control Act’s] discretionary funding levels, invest in priority areas, and focus on programs that work.”

The list of recommendations should include proposals that address the Government Accountability Office’s recommendations in this area as well.

The guidance also instructs agencies to not include budget cuts based on sequestration or other mandatory spending reductions.

“Agencies should review their mandatory spending with the same rigor as their discretionary spending,” Burwell said.

She added agencies should use the next several months to work with OMB to review the mandatory proposals included in the 2014 budget, identify areas for special scrutiny, and develop any new proposals prior to including them with the 2015 submission.

Along with making budget cuts, OMB is asking federal agencies to update their strategic plans and revise their performance plan with specific strategies and performance goals.

Burwell wrote these plans should align with the 2015 budget, and provide Congress and the public with an ambitious, yet realistic, expectation of the impact achievable as part of proposed budget policy. These plans should also identify new agency priority goals for the FY 2014 to FY 2015 time period.

The priority goals should represent the administration’s top implementation-focused priorities and ambitious, measurable, near-term results, which will be delivered for the American people, Burwell said.

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Agencies, Government IT News, Management & Budget, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Sylvia Burwell
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