OMB wants budget boost to rebuild workforce

OMB deputy director nominee Shalanda Young at her March 2, 2021 nomination hearing. Image from video stream. 

Shalanda Young, shown here at her March, 2021 confirmation hearing for the post of deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget

The acting director of the Office of Management and Budget described a 14% increase in her agency's annual budget as an opportunity to "rebuild its career staff" following a "decade of harmful spending gaps."

Acting Director Shalanda Young said on Wednesday the full request for $121.9 million will allow OMB to execute the president's budget while restoring its own staff capacity to levels she suggested were critical towards fulfilling "numerous new responsibilities" the agency has taken on in recent years.

"The incredibly hardworking career staff at OMB have been running a marathon," Young told the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. "They need these critical resources to continue effectively serving the American people long after my tenure with the institution is over."

Many departments within OMB have faced staffing issues over the last decade. Some offices remain 30% below fiscal year 2012 staffing levels, the acting director added, while noting the increased investments will go "entirely for career positions."

The request also includes $10.4 million for the Information Technology Oversight and Reform Fund, otherwise known as ITOR. Young said those funds will primarily go towards building out ITOR's staffing levels to reach 46 full time employees.

President Joe Biden's $6 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget proposal released late last month featured 1.5 trillion in discretionary spending across agencies, featuring a 2.7% pay raise for civilian feds, $58.4 billion in IT spending among civilian agencies and proposals for increased staffing levels throughout the federal government.

Young said OMB's commitment to restoring its staffing levels was "consistent" with the president's budgetary request, which also included calls to restore government-wide paid internship programs.

The acting director noted her own internship experience on Capitol Hill when speaking with lawmakers and added that OMB plans to relaunch its internship program to help "strengthen the pipeline of diverse and historically underrepresented candidates in OMB," while recruiting top talent and advancing equity.

About the Author

Chris Riotta is a staff writer at FCW covering government procurement and technology policy. Chris joined FCW after covering U.S. politics for three years at The Independent. He earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as 2021 class president.


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