The 14 percent year-over-year budget increase requested by the Biden administration for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Fiscal Year 2022 would be devoted to hiring new career personnel across the agency, including increasing staffing that is critical for IT and cybersecurity oversight across the government.

That was the message from OMB Acting Director Shalanda Young at a June 9 House Appropriations subcommittee hearing to consider the FY2022 budget request, which totals $121.9 million.

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Young said the FY2022 request was “consistent” with the administration’s overall budget approach to restore staff capacity at agencies “after decades of harmful spending caps.”

“This increase would allow OMB to rebuild the agency’s career staff and to continue its pivotal role in developing and executing the President’s budget, overseeing the performance of Federal agencies, and ensuring an efficient and accountable government,” she said. “The incredibly hard working career staff at OMB have been running a marathon, and they need these critical resources to continue effectively serving the American people, long after my tenure with the institution is over.”

Young said that OMB staffing levels have declined “over many years,” leaving some of its offices at “historically low staffing levels,” some as much as 30 percent below FY2012 levels.

On the technology front, Young said the budget request includes $10.4 million for the Information Technology Oversight and Reform Fund, where planning calls for staff to be increased to 45 full-time employees.

That staffing level, Young said, is “critical” to the “important mission of providing strategic direction and oversight for the development and management of IT and cybersecurity across the Federal government” following the past several months of cyber attacks that have targeted government and private sector institutions.

Young, who previously served as staff director of the House Appropriations Committee, received a warm personal welcome from members of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee at the June 9 hearing.

Rep. Michael Quigley, D-Ill., chairman of the subcommittee, said at the hearing that previous budgets for OMB had attempted to remove job security at the agency, and that staff morale had declined by 16 percent in 2020.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.