OMB gears up for sequestration
With massive budget cuts set to take effect early in 2013, the Office of Management and Budget is making plans to meet with agency heads to discuss the implementation of the sequestration order.
In a July 31 memo, OMB Acting Director Jeffrey Zients informed agency heads his office will be holding talks about the how the sequester would be implemented. The $1.2 trillion sequester was automatically triggered when the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction in November 2011 botched its attempt to find ways to reduce the budget deficit.
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President Barack Obama “remains confident that Congress will act, but because it has not yet made progress toward enacting sufficient deficit reduction, the Office of Management and Budget will work with agencies, as necessary, on issues raised by a sequestration of this magnitude,” Zients wrote.
OMB also plans to engage with agencies on expected reporting requirements set by Congress that are related to, but separate from, planning for or adopting a sequestration order under the Budget Control Act, Zients said.
The exact amount of money being cut can only be calculated once FY 2013 funding levels are determined, Zients said. OMB will have to gather information on sequestrable amounts and gauge the percentage reductions necessary to implement the cuts before any sequestration order is issued.
“In the meantime, agencies should continue normal spending and operations since more than five months remain for Congress to act,” Zients said.
Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.