Office of Management and Budget:

Changes Resulting From the OMB 2000 Reorganization

GGD/AIMD-96-50: Published: Dec 29, 1995. Publicly Released: Dec 29, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the changes that have occurred at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a result of OMB 2000, focusing on the: (1) changes in OMB organizational structure, responsibilities, staffing, and OMB statutory offices; and (2) attention OMB gave to management issues in the budget formulation process.

GAO found that: (1) OMB 2000 created a new organizational structure for OMB by reorganizing and replacing former budget program areas with resource management offices (RMO) staffed by employees reassigned to new program examiner positions; (2) OMB shifted specific oversight responsibilities of the statutory offices to RMO, while responsibilities for governmentwide management policies remained in the statutory offices; (3) OMB total staffing allocation remained the same, despite RMO having about 26 percent more staff than previously budgeted; (4) the implementation of OMB 2000 resulted in greater attention to agency management issues in the budget process; (5) while some OMB staff were concerned about their ability to perform their expanded responsibilities, OMB staff generally had a positive view of OMB 2000; and (6) although OMB initially planned to evaluate OMB 2000 as a distinct management initiative, it plans a broader assessment of its overall effectiveness in formulating and implementing management policies for the government.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OMB has not formally assessed the way it trains program examiners or the effectiveness of approaches taken to integrate management and budget issues. However, OMB officials said that the strategic planning process helps pinpoint where OMB training can achieve better integration and will assist in the assessment of what approaches work best. OMB established a strategic goal to improve development and use of its human resources and enhance its means of accomplishing work. An OMB team annually reviews staff needs to tailor a week-long training session for new staff which covers key statutory management issues. OMB staff also receive briefings on statutory management issues. Staff development is enhanced by team efforts such as preparing OMB's new "Capital Programming Guide," a major effort to integrate administration and statutory management initiatives into an asset management process based on long-range planning and a disciplined budget process.

    Recommendation: As part of its planned broader assessment of its role in formulating and implementing management policies for the government, OMB should consider the lessons learned from OMB 2000. Such a review should focus on specific concerns that need to be addressed to promote more effective integration, including the: (1) way OMB currently trains its program examiners and whether this is adequate given the additional management responsibilities assigned to these examiners; and (2) effectiveness of the different approaches taken by OMB in the statutory offices to coordinate with RMO and provide program examiners with access to expertise.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget


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