Frank Raines Testimony 3/11/97
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March 11, 1997

     Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here this afternoon to discuss President Clinton's request for fiscal 1998 funding for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

     I will make a short statement, and then I would be delighted to answer any questions that you have.


     Mr. Chairman, if I have one message for you today, it is this: OMB is doing more than it ever has, it is continuing to perform at a very high professional level, and it is doing so with fewer resources and less staff.

     On one hand, the workload has exploded in recent years, due to the year-round, all- consuming nature of the budget process as well as a host of new laws and reporting requirements designed to make our Government work better. With these new laws, the President and Congress have taken significant steps to ensure that the Federal Government and its programs operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

     On the other hand, OMB is operating with fewer people and a very constrained budget. At OMB's request, Congress has held the agency's budget essentially flat since fiscal 1993, when it totaled $56,039, 000. Also since 1993, OMB has cut the number of funded full-time equivalent (FTE) positions by 55 -- from the 573 in 1993 to 518 in 1998 -- or nearly 10 percent. Over those six years, OMB has cut its administrative costs by $1,467,000 -- from $6,831,000 in 1993 to $5,364,000 in 1998 -- or 21 percent.

     We are proud of the work we do. We feel strongly that we are providing high-quality work, both in support of the President as well as in response to the varied new legal requirements that we face.

     At the same time, I want to make it clear today that the work will continue to increase at OMB. The legal requirements that Congress has imposed will add even more to our workload in fiscal 1998.

     To ensure that OMB continues to provide the high-quality work that the President and Congress have come to expect, the President requests $57,240,000 in 1998, three percent more than the enacted level of $55, 573,000 in 1997. The budget provides for 518 FTEs, the same as in 1997. Anything less will jeopardize our ability to meet the goals that Congress has set for us.

Growing Demands

     The last two Congresses -- the 103rd and the 104th -- added numerous new or broadened responsibilities for OMB, requiring the institution to perform at even higher levels of production.

     OMB is on the cutting edge of major changes in Government. Congress has asked OMB to manage and oversee numerous new initiatives. We are playing a leading role in balancing the budget, improving Government performance, auditing Government programs, and managing information technology.

     I would like to take a moment to walk you through some of the new requirements that we must fulfill:


     Mr. Chairman, OMB is a proud institution that has performed well over the years. I can tell you with great confidence that the more than 500 employees want to continue serving at the highest possible level.

     At a time of tight resources, we have sought to ensure that we are working as efficiently as possible. Our proposed budget request will allow us to meet the new or broadened workload requirements of the laws that I have discussed, in addition to our many existing functions, with the same number of FTE as in 1997.

     Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be happy to answer any questions that the Subcommittee has.

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