Most people know that the Office of Management and Budget plays
a leadership role in the development of the President's budget.
However, too often advocates solely focus their federal funding
advocacy efforts on the Congress and the members of the House and
Senate Appropriations Committees. While clearly, those who control
the purse-strings are essential to the federal funding process and
outcomes, the staff – both political and career
– at OMB maintain significant expertise in –
and authority over - federal departments, agencies, and programs.
OMB maintains responsibility for five core functions, only one
which relates to the development of the annual budget proposal. It
is important to note that OMB:
provides "oversight of agency performance, federal
procurement, financial management";
coordinates and reviews "all Federal regulations by
engages in "legislative clearance and coordination (review
and clearance of all agency communications with Congress, including
testimony and draft bills)"; and
is involved in "Executive Orders and Presidential
Memoranda to agency heads and officials."
Given this significant role and associated authority, OMB and
its staff are in an unique position to influence policies,
programs, and funding across the entire spectrum of the federal
government. In my experience, visiting with the OMB staffer whose
portfolio includes the program or agency of concern of interest
will prove time well spent.
To read the 2014 Budget Guidance released by OMB on May 18th,
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President Obamaís Export Control Reform initiative has taken a significant step forward with the final rule changes published by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Commerce on April 16, 2013.
While multi-million dollar False Claims Act settlements paid by Government contractors get the lionís share of the press, those with an attentive eye will have noticed a recent steady stream of more "contractor friendly" FCA decisions flying just under the national pressís radar.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 requires the Comptroller General to report on the effect of reducing the allowable costs of contractor compensation to be equivalent to the compensation of the president or vice president of the United States.
The Proposed Rules introduced by the U.S. Department of Commerceís Bureau of Industry and Security and the U.S. State Departmentís Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, a part of the on-going Export Control Reform initiative, are consistent with the previous changes made as part of the initiative.