OMB releases final budget guidance

Final guidance for agency fiscal 2007 budget preparations sent out by the Office of Management and Budget in late June contains few changes from last year.

Most agencies have already been working internally on their budget submissions since sometime last spring, but the guidance allows agencies to begin shaping their official requests according to final OMB rules. Agency budget requests for fiscal 2007 are due to OMB Sept. 12; fiscal 2006 begins Oct. 1.

The largest change in the guidance, circular A-11, codifies an earlier OMB memo requiring that changes in discretionary spending increasing mandatory spending to be offset with discretionary cuts.

OMB made only minor technical changes to section 53 of the circular, which outlines budget submissions for information technology projects. Among the revisions is an updated definition if what constitutes a major IT acquisition.

Section 52 of the circular, which contains guidance on financial management, requires agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers Act to submit an overview of their financial management systems. Included in the overview should be a migration strategy to a cross-agency financial management service center, the circular states.

OMB officials told Federal Computer Week that the circular does not mandate migration to a financial management service center, however.

Smaller agencies not covered by the CFO Act should “similarly outline their financial management strategies in their budget submissions,” OMB said in a written statement.

“We are working with each agency (CFO and non-CFO Act) individually to develop plans to help with possible migration,” the statement adds.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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