Budget

OMB looks to continue civilian-side cuts into 2019

illustration dollar sign in vise 

The Trump administration is directing civilian agencies to continue to look for deep cuts in operations and workforce to offset planned increases in defense and homeland security, according to a memo from budget director Mick Mulvaney.

In the July 7 directive, the Office of Management and Budget chief said the goal for Fiscal Year 2019 is to follow the administration's directive to sharpen "efforts to streamline government"

The memo covers 2019 agency discretionary budget submissions, which are due on Sept. 11. The submissions "should continue the proposals included in the FY 2018 Budget, and should reflect a level no higher than the net total provided for your agency in the FY 2019 column of the FY 2018 Budget," Mulvaney wrote.

Agencies were told by Mulvaney to "maintain sufficient funding for presidential priorities, while closely scrutinizing other spending to ensure it reflects a proper Federal role and that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely."

Along with the budget requests, agencies are also expected to be fine-tuning what have been dubbed "Agency Reform Plans," according to the memo. These reform plans, along with long-term workforce plans, are to go to OMB in September along with agencies' FY 2019 budget requests. Mulvaney reminded agency heads that these plans should include proposals in four categories: "eliminate activities; restructure or merge; improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness; and workforce management."

Mulvaney has also asked that agencies submit draft strategic plans that cover Fiscal Years 2018 through 2022, and draft FY 2019 performance plans. Mulvaney's memo noted that "agencies should develop agency priority goals that are near-term, implementation and outcome focused, measurable, and reflect the performance priorities of agency leadership."

About the Author

Ben Berliner is an editorial fellow at FCW. He is a 2017 graduate of Kenyon College, and has interned at the Center for Responsive Politics and at Sunlight Foundation.

He can be contacted at bberliner@fcw.com.

Click here for previous articles by Berliner.


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