House panel holds annual debate on splitting OMB

In what has become an annual ritual, Rep. Stephen Horn, R-Calif., presided over a hearing Wednesday on whether or not to divide the Office of Management and Budget into separate management and budget offices.

Congress has considered splitting OMB for more than a decade. Proponents of the idea argue that budget functions at the office overshadow the management side of the house.

"The M bit [of OMB] hasn't worked since Nixon. If it did work, we wouldn't be here today," Horn said.

Horn said the impending year 2000 computer problem showed the need for better federal management. "Y2K [planning] should have happened way back in 1989," but it didn't, he said, because "there was no system for management."

G. Edward DeSeve, deputy director for management at OMB, said the administration opposes Horn's plan. Without the control provided by a combined management and budget office, DeSeve said, his job would be much harder. "I simply cannot imagine a bifurcated OMB trying to deal with agency streamlining, improving customer service or implementing the Government Performance and Results Act," he said in a prepared statement.

Dwight A. Ink, president emeritus at the Institute of Public Administration, however, said his efforts at management reform under several Presidents showed that management must be handled separately from budgets. "The more we could distance ourselves from the budget [side], the greater our ability to function," he said.

Horn will introduce legislation that would separate federal management functions from OMB within the next few days.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.