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OMB Memo to Federal Agency Heads: Planning for Budgetary Uncertainty Due to Sequestration and FY 2013 Appropriations Delays

Jan. 14, 2013

On Jan. 14, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies about planning for a number of FY 2013 budgetary uncertainties, including sequestration and delayed final FY 2013 appropriations. The memo states that, should Congress fail to amend current law, the president is required to issue a sequestration order on March 1, canceling roughly $85 billion in budgetary resources across the federal government, which will mean significant and harmful impacts on government services and operations. OMB includes a number of guiding principles for agencies to follow, including: identifying appropriate means to reduce civilian workforce where necessary through hiring freezes, not renewing term or contract hires, authorizing separation incentives and early retirements, or implementing administrative furloughs; reviewing grants and contracts to achieve cost savings; and taking advantage of funding flexibilities, such as reprogramming and transfer authorities. OMB may release additional guidance, as appropriate. As more information becomes available, ASTHO will keep members informed through the ASTHO website and the State Public Health Weekly newsletter.