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What is the Office of Management and Budget?

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  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the management and budgetary office, located within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) of the United States. This office was created in 1970, during the administration of President Richard Nixon, and has the primary role of overseeing all department programs within the executive branch of government. Prior to the creation of this office, all budgetary oversight was managed by the Bureau of the Budget, which was an office located within the Department of Treasury.

The largest office within the Executive Branch, the Office of Management and Budget supports many facets of the overall management for the EOP. This includes human resources, information technology (IT), program management, and procurement management, as well as the overall performance and evaluation of the agencies goals. OMB is the primary body used by the Executive Branch to ensure that agencies are delivering on objectives in the most efficient manner possible.

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One of the primary roles of the Office of Management and Budget is to assist the president with the creation of the federal budget. The federal budget is the president's proposal to the United States Congress on the fiscal spending plan for the coming fiscal year, which begins on 1 October. OMB is made up of sub-components that provide guidance and analysis on the funding levels required for obtaining the goals desired by the administration. These sub-components include the Office of Federal Financial Management, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and the Office of Procurement Policy.

In addition to budgetary oversight, the Office of Management and Budget also plays a key role in the overall management of programs within the administration. This program oversight role allows the president insight on the effectiveness of procurements, spending, and the adoption of administration goals and legislative policy. This insight gives the president a mechanism to gauge the success and failures of programs and thereby ensure that the goals of the administration are met.

Another important area within the Office of Management and Budget is the Office of E-Government & Information Technology. With the expansion of information technology (IT) throughout the world, it is critical to have a branch of government focused on enhancing and automating the federal government domain. This office was created to oversee and direct IT investments, security, and implementation throughout the federal government. This broader role provides OMB the leverage required to enforce automation and enhancements in productivity through more efficient government organization and management.

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SkyWhisperer
Post 2

@Charred - Well, I don’t think OMB has much influence in that regard. They can make suggestions but Congress and the President are the key decision makers.

If OMB has any real usefulness in my opinion it is in helping to gauge the effectiveness of internal programs. Perhaps that’s where the budgets should begin – by slashing any programs that are not working.

The government hasn’t exactly been known as being an efficient institution. I agree with you however, submitting a budget has become an act of heroic proportions for politicians because any budget they submit is bound to make somebody unhappy.

Charred
Post 1

If the OMB is tasked with helping our politicians craft a budget, why is it so difficult to get them to do that so often?

I think we’ve come to the place where nobody wants to put a budget together because politicians simply don’t want to say “no” to any constituency or interest group. A budget means making hard decisions.

It means that Congress has to tighten its belts like the rest of the public and live within its means. I think that the OMB needs to exert whatever influence it has to make sure that Congress passes a budget and does so every year.

If not, then we the people need to vote these politicians out and replace them with those will do just that.

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