Budget chief won’t rule out more proposals affecting feds

Federal employees could be called upon to sacrifice further in the name of deficit reduction, according to a top Obama administration official.

Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew did not rule out the possibility of more proposals affecting government employees during budget negotiations. "I can't say nothing else will happen regarding the federal workforce," he said during remarks Tuesday at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Lew was speaking to agency managers about the current fiscal environment. The Partnership and the consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton released budget reduction recommendations and strategies for the administration and Congress based on lessons learned from the Clinton-era reinventing government initiative and massive downsizing at agencies during the 1990s.

Last week, President Obama released a deficit reduction proposal that recommends increasing the amount that federal employees contribute to their pensions by 1.2 percent over three years beginning in 2013 -- a rate of 0.4 percent annually during that time. Civilian federal employees are under a two-year pay freeze through 2012, and several lawmakers have introduced legislation that targets government pay and benefits.

Lew called the president's proposal to raise employees' pension contribution rates "measured." He also emphasized that the administration will continue to seek budget savings while maintaining a strong federal workforce and delivering the best services possible to taxpayers.

"Federal workers are at the heart of what we do, and I think they deserve a lot of gratitude for what they do, and that's not always what they get," he said.

The budget director said federal employees often understand the need for sacrifice when it comes to belt-tightening, but attacks on their work ethic lower morale and make the burden especially hard to bear.

Lew said the administration wants to give senior leaders the flexibility to make strategic cuts during the upcoming budget cycles to come up with a package that is right for their agencies. He said he envisions OMB providing more counsel and less direction to agencies as they go through the difficult task of crafting leaner budgets. This will place a burden on agency leaders, Lew acknowledged.

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

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

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