Knee-Capping Budget Thuggery from OMB?
by Craig Jennings
Jan 13, 2010
WaPo's Federal Eye (AKA Ed O'Keefe) reported this morning that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating whether the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is threatening inspectors general (IGs) for reporting to Congress insufficient FY 2011 budget levels.
This investigation comes after the oversight committee's chair, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) received a letter form the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) IG, which stated that the someone at the OMB threatened to "make life miserable" for the IG's office if he complained to congress that his 2011 budget would 'substantially inhibit" his ability to do his job.
On January 4, 2010, my office received a telephone call from the OPM budget officer. He stated that he had been asked by a program examiner in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to determine if my office planned to exercise the provisions of section 6(f)(3)(E) of the Inspector General Act regarding our fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget. This provision provides that "any comments of [an] affected Inspector General" shall be included in the budget of the United States Government submitted to Congress if the Inspector General concludes that the budget would "substantially inhibit" him from performing his duties. The troubling aspect of the telephone conversation occurred when the OPM budget officer informed my Assistant Inspector General for Management that there is a "not so veiled threat from OMB" to expressly inform my office that they [OMB] will be working with the same [Congressional] committees that we do and if we go to the Congress regarding our FY 2011 budget, they [OMB] "will make life miserable for us."
Of course, if the allegations in the letter are true, the Obama administration has a lot of explaining to do.
And not to make light of the accusation, but come on: Who does that? Who actually says they'll "make life miserable" for someone?
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