Agencies’ fiscal 2015 budget requests should be 5 percent below the amounts President Obama outlined for them in April, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell said in instructions released Wednesday.
And to give the White House more budget-cutting options, agencies should also lay out additional reductions to bring discretionary funding totals to 10 percent below what Obama set for 2015 in his fiscal 2014 budget plan, Burwell said in the guidance posted on OMB’s website.
The guidance is similar to what OMB issued last year; it is noteworthy for its position that agencies should again ignore the possibility of another sequester. Obama’s 2014 budget request includes “a balanced approach with more than enough deficit reduction to cancel sequestration,” Burwell said.
For the first time, however, OMB orders agencies to add a separate section spelling out ways to reduce program fragmentation, duplication and overlap. Those recommendations should address Government Accountability Office suggestions in the same area, Burwell said.
Agencies are also supposed to couple updated strategic plans with their 2015 budget submissions that provide “an ambitious yet realistic expectation of the impact achievable as a result of proposed budget policy,” she said.
Draft strategic goals and objectives, along with agency priority goal areas, are due to OMB by Monday. Fiscal 2015 budget submissions are likely due in the fall.