Budget

OMB seeks 10 percent cuts for fiscal year 2015

Sylvia Burwell

OMB Director Sylvia Burwell urges agencies to 'focus on programs that work' while cutting costs. (Photo by Sen. Dick Durbin's office.)

Federal agencies are being asked to cut their discretionary budgets for fiscal year 2015 by 10 percent below levels previously requested in the president's 2014 budget submission, according to new budget guidance from Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell.

Agencies are being asked to adopt proposals from the Government Accountability Office's annual report on duplication and overlap in government programs as part of an overall effort to achieve savings. OMB wants to see these savings proposals broken out in a separate section of the budget submission, per the May 29 memorandum.

Per the memo, the Obama administration is preparing for the spending framework of the Budget Control Act, which established the current policy of sequestration, to continue. Burwell wrote: "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."

Agencies are instructed to exclude across-the-board reductions, cuts to mandatory spending, cost-shifting, and the reclassification of discretionary spending to mandatory spending, and new fees from factoring in to their requests. Burwell said that agencies could separately propose such solutions as a way of hitting the targeted 10 percent reductions.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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