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GPO and OMB Release President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget. (Note: that link may not be permanent. See permanent links to each part of the budget from that link, while you can.)
According to a press release this morning (PDF), GPO management will soon be reducing their personnel by 15% (a reduction of 330 positions out of 2,200) including a reduction of 25% in management and supervisory levels. This is one more grim announcement on top of drastic budget cuts to govt information services and govt transparency efforts across the federal government. Stay tuned for more as we learn more about these reductions.
In response to overall Government cutbacks and projected reductions in appropriated funding, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) informed employees today of its plan to send a request to Congress and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for authority to offer buyouts and early outs to the agency’s 2,200 employees. GPO’s goal is to achieve a personnel reduction of 15% (or 330 positions), including a reduction in management and supervisory levels of 25%. Once GPO is given authority, employees can be offered lump-sum payments up to $25,000 as an incentive to voluntarily separate from the agency. The actual amount of the payout is based on a formula. GPO will use current funds to conduct this program, which needs to be concluded by the end of the first quarter of FY 2012 to achieve the needed savings for the coming year. In combination with a careful workforce restructuring plan, GPO management believes these reductions in personnel can be achieved without compromising the agency’s ability to carry out mission critical operations.
“GPO has restructured and reinvented itself numerous times throughout the last 150 years to carry out the critical mission of meeting the dissemination and information needs of the U.S. Congress and Federal agencies,” said Public Printer Bill Boarman. “These challenging economic times have no boundaries and are forcing many Federal agencies to seek ways to survive. GPO is open for business. We are an agency with a dedicated workforce that will continue to reengineer itself in the 21st century to serve as the digital information platform for the Federal Government.”
Sunlight reports on the House bill that will slash funding for major government data sharing and transparency projects. Noting that the funding for these programs is only a few million dollars, Daniel Shuman says, “The returns from these e-government initiatives in terms of transparency are priceless.”
- Budget Technopocalypse: Proposed Congressional Budgets Slash Funding for Data Transparency, by Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation Blog (March 23, 2011).
Data.gov, USASpending.gov, and other Obama tech innovations face virtual extinction if the FY 2011 budget bill passed by the House of Representatives in February or considered by the Senate in March becomes law.
It is not just the Statistical Abstract and related compilations that we are in danger of losing due to budget cuts (see The demise of the Statistical Abstract and other critical Census titles). Budget cuts are aimed at some of the most basic government information programs.
In such a climate, how can we rely on GPO, FDsys, NARA, and government agencies as our sole source of the government information that is released? We need this information in our digital depository libraries so that our communities can decide what is essential for long term preservation and access!
One of our favorite rss feeds, docuticker, identifies an interesting gov doc in a recent update – Budget of the United States Government — Fiscal Year 2010: The Budget Documents, A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America’s Promise (OMB).
A New Era of Responsibility “… [p]rovides a description of the Obama Administration’s fiscal policies and major budgetary initiatives. This document is an overview of the full Fiscal Year 2010 Budget expected to be released this spring.”
It is comprehensible in the way a well written commercial outline can distill an impenetrable appellate decision. In it, the President’s Message begins:
“Throughout America’s history, there have been some years that appeared to roll into the next without much notice or fanfare. Budgets are proposed that offer some new programs or eliminate an initiative, but by and large continuity reigns. Then there are the years that come along once in a generation, when we look at where the country has been and recognize that we need a break from a troubled past, that the problems we face demand that we begin charting a new path. This is one of those years…”