The Office of Management and Budget has detailed the necessary information agencies should submit with their fiscal 2019 budget submissions.

The Trump administration is pushing agencies to focus on using their limited resources on the most effective programs available while still continuing to reduce waste, fraud and the abuse of taxpayers' money.

To help with this mission, FY 2019 budget submission should include the same mandatory proposals requested for the FY 2018 budget. In addition, agencies — both defense and non-defense focused — should look to the FY 2019 column of the FY 2018 budget and note their net totals. Agencies will not be given higher levels and are not authorized to reduce costs in one area to offset an increase in another area.

At the same time, agencies should identify additional investments that would further support their missions while still filling a clear federal role. These investments are not to be more than 5 percent above the submission level, but should be ranked in order of priority and identified separately in the agency's submission.

In separate proposals, alternative methods to achieve the guidance level can be submitted for consideration. These methods include:

  • Shifting costs or activities to different areas of the federal budget.
  • Reclassifying discretionary spending as mandatory.
  • Mandatory spending reductions enacted in appropriations bills.
  • Across-the-board spending reductions.
  • Enacting new fees to help offset spending.

Those methods should not be addressed in the main 2019 budget submissions.

Fiscal 2019 budget requests should be submitted with agency reform plans and long term workforce plans. These plans should include four categories of proposals: workforce management, improving efficiency and effectiveness, restructure or merging, and elimination of activities. Each reform proposal should indicate savings, costs and/or cost avoidances as well as any up-front or short-term costs needed for implementation. Costs should not exceed guidelines, and if they do, the agency must provide detailed justification explaining the anticipated investment’s return in terms of improved performance and savings.

Any reform or reorganization proposals with the potential to dramatically improve government operations will be given special consideration.

Agency budget requests are to include the reforms suggested in the Agency Reform Plan submissions. In addition to the budget requests, agencies are to draft and submit strategic plans for FY 2018-22 and performance plans for FY 2019 that align resources requested and agency goals for the 2018-2019 cycle. Priority goals should be near-term that are measurable, focused on outcomes and reflect priority duties of agency leadership.

To help strengthen the use of data and evidence for better decision making, agencies should complete and submit a 2019 evidence templet. Agencies should also limit proposal submissions to those that will advance efforts to build and use portfolios of evidence as well as proposals that will strengthen infrastructure and capacity to use evidence, data, and evaluation as tools for improving the federal government’s effectiveness.

All submissions are due to OMB by Sept. 11, 2017.

Rachael Kalinyak is an editorial intern with Network Solutions.

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