OMB kicks off sequestration planning process

With massive budget cuts set to take effect in early January, the Office of Management and Budget is beginning to reach out to agencies to start planning for implementation of a sequestration order.


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But so far the OMB guidance is focused on talking.

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 in cuts will be automatically triggered unless a budget is passed that meets the requirements of the Budget Control Act.

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 plans to talk to agencies about expected reporting requirements set by Congress that are related to, but separate from, a sequestration order under the Budget Control Act, Zients said.

The exact amount of money being cut by sequestration can only be calculated once fiscal 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.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

Reader Comments

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 David Boylan

One year ago when I was watching the evening news and the story of our debt limit was the only thing being talked about the Republican party anounced with grand fan fair the agreement for the super committee and what would happen if the super committee did not function as designed (sequestration). I turned to my wife and said: I CAN NOT BELIEVE HOW STUPID THE REPULICANS ARE TO MAKE THAT AGREEMENT. OF COURSE THE COMMITTEE WILL FAIL. IT WAS DESIGNED TO FAIL. THEN ALL THE PRESIDENT HAS TO DO IS (NOTHING). SEQUESTRATION IS THE LAW AND THE ONLY WAY IT CAN BE STOPPED IS FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO ADMIT THEIR STUPIDITY AND AGREE TO AN INCREAS IN FUNDING ALONG WITH A DECREASE IN SPENDING. PROBABLY WILL BE TOUGH TO ADMIT THEY WERE IDIOTS BUT THAT IS WHAT THEY WILL HAVE TO DO.

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 David Boylan

Reid and Boehner and one vote in the Senate and one vote in the house. Hardly enough to pass a bill and get it signed by the President.

Thu, Aug 2, 2012

I thought the agreement announce two days ago between Reid and Boehner put sequestration on hold until March, so why is the OMB acting on a January date?

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