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Monday, November 22, 2010

OMB cuts back financial management programs

The Office of Management and Budget canceled two federal financial management programs and significantly reduced the scope of five others following a broad review that was launched over the summer.

According to Jeffrey Zients, federal chief performance officer, the OMB canceled systems under development for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Small Business Administration, saving more than $500 million.

Three financial management programs at the Department of Health and Human Services as well as one at the Department of Homeland Security and one at the Justice Department will proceed with a narrowed scope. The government said the changes will save $680 million.

This summer, the OMB halted new spending on selected federal agencies' financial management systems, requiring reviews before the projects could continue. The agency cited the typical sluggishness and high cost of the projects.

With the review now complete, Zients said about half of the 20 identified programs are on track.

Besides the two cancellations and five scaled-down projects, the OMB has accelerated the most useful parts of the programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Zients.

Additionally, the OMB said it has made another $200 million in budget reductions in various agencies.

-Marjorie Censer, WashingtonPost.com

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