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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Senators to nominee: Put 'M' back in OMB

The new director of the Office of Management and Budget must focus on management issues even in the midst of anticipated budget battles, members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee told nominee Jim Nussle Tuesday.

"We have tried to re-establish the 'M' in OMB," said Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, during a hearing to consider Nussle's nomination. "When I think about that, I think about working harder and smarter and doing more with less, about having the right people with the right skills in the right place, and also [about] being able to recruit, retain and reward."

In his opening statement, Voinovich said he believes he and Nussle are in agreement that "the 'M' in OMB has been forgotten." Nussle, who has extensive but somewhat controversial experience in the budget arena, having served as chairman of the House Budget Committee, made his commitment to the management side of the job clear.

He said that, if confirmed, he would focus on three specific areas of management. The first would be replacing the 60 percent of the federal workforce eligible for retirement in the next 10 years. The second would be keeping up with technology through OMB's e-government office, and the last, focusing on financial management within the agencies.

-Elizabeth Newell, GovExec.com

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