OMB has told agencies to plan for fiscal year 2019 spending levels reflecting the administration’s proposals for fiscal 2018, and which in many cases seek significant reductions from current levels.

“In the FY 2019 budget, the administration will build on the ambitious plans laid out in the president’s first budget. In particular, the FY 2019 budget will provide an opportunity to present a comprehensive plan for reforming the federal government and reducing the federal civilian workforce” and “will reflect the first impacts” of President Trump’s executive order on government reorganization, OMB said.


The directive came in the annual memo in which OMB sets guidance for agencies to make proposals that will be included in the budget proposal issued early the following year. Due to the late start on the fiscal 2018 budget because of the presidential transition, that’s just two months after the administration submitted its full proposal for that budget year, which starts October 1.

When submitting proposed spending levels, OMB said, agencies should avoid: reclassifying spending between mandatory and discretionary accounts; across-the-board reductions; and imposing of new user fees. However, within the overall limits, agencies may “identify additional investments in effective programs that further support their mission and fill a clear federal role” and seek up to a 5 percent increase for them.

It also reminded agencies that they are to submit–by September 11–final versions of their agency reform plans, the first drafts of which were due to OMB by the end of June. “These plans should include proposals in four categories: eliminate activities; restructure or merge; improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness; and workforce management,” it said.