OMB Sequestration Update Report to the President and Congress for Fiscal Year 2015
OMB is issuing the OMB Sequestration Update Report to the President and Congress for FY 2015 to report on the status of the discretionary caps and on the compliance of pending discretionary appropriations legislation with those caps. The report finds that if the current limits remain unchanged, under OMB's estimates Senate action to date for the 12 annual appropriations bills for fiscal year 2015 would result in a sequestration of approximately $34 million in discretionary programs in the defense category. The report also finds that actions by the House of Representatives for both the defense and non-defense categories and actions by the Senate for the non-defense category are in compliance with the current 2015 spending limits and that present House and Senate action on pending 2014 supplemental appropriations would not breach the current 2014 limits. Finally, the report also contains OMB's Preview Estimate of the Disaster Relief Funding Adjustment for FY 2015.
Effective Use of Programmatic NEPA Reviews
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is publishing draft guidance on when and how Federal agencies can effectively use National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) programmatic reviews. Guidance on programmatic NEPA reviews has been requested by the agencies and attention on programmatic NEPA reviews has increased as agencies are increasingly undertaking broad landscape scale analyses for proposals that affect the resources they manage. This guidance is designed to assist agency decision-makers and the public in understanding the environmental impacts from proposed large-scope Federal actions and activities and to facilitate agency compliance with NEPA by clarifying the different planning scenarios under which an agency may prepare a programmatic, broad-scale, review. The guidance also addresses how agencies can prepare such reviews to ensure they are timely, informative, and useful for advancing decision-making. The goal of this guidance is to encourage a more consistent approach to programmatic NEPA reviews so that the analyses and documentation will allow for the expeditious and efficient completion of any necessary tiered reviews. It builds on guidance issued since 1981 that explained the use of tiering and its place in the NEPA process.
Request for Comments on Digital Services Playbook and TechFAR Handbook
OSTP and OMB's Offices of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) and E-Government & Information Technology (E-Gov) are seeking public comment on two documents, the Digital Services Playbook and the TechFAR Handbook, which were developed to improve the delivery of digital services by the Federal Government.
Revised Guidance on Appointment of Lobbyists to Federal Advisory Committees, Boards, and Commissions
On June 18, 2010, President Obama issued ``Lobbyists on Agency Boards and Commissions,'' a memorandum directing agencies and departments in the Executive Branch not to appoint or re-appoint federally registered lobbyists to advisory committees and other boards and commissions. The Presidential Memorandum further directed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ``issue proposed guidance designed to implement this policy to the full extent permitted by law.'' The Presidential Memorandum is available at http:// www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-l obbyists- agency-boards-and-commissions. OMB posted proposed guidance on November 2, 2010, and published final guidance on October 5, 2011. See 76 FR 61756. OMB is now issuing revised guidance regarding the prohibition against appointing or re-appointing federally registered lobbyists to clarify that the ban applies to persons serving on advisory committees, boards, and commissions in their individual capacity and does not apply if they are specifically appointed to represent the interests of a nongovernmental entity, a recognizable group of persons or nongovernmental entities (an industry sector, labor unions, environmental groups, etc.), or state or local governments.
2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Revision
Under the authority of the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 1104(d)) and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3504(e)), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is announcing that the Factoryless Goods Producer (FGP) recommendation will not be implemented in the 2017 NAICS revision. The August 17, 2011, Federal Register notice (76 FR 51240-51243) announcing OMB's final decisions for NAICS 2012 required Federal statistical agencies to implement the FGP classification beginning no later than 2017. However, the Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), which advises OMB on periodic revisions to NAICS, recently reported to OMB that results of preliminary research on the effectiveness of survey questions designed to identify Factoryless Goods Producers (FGP) shows inconsistent results. These results indicate that questions tested in the 2012 Economic Census fail to yield responses that provide accurate and reliable identification and classification of FGPs. The ECPC has advised that additional research, testing, and evaluation are required to find a method for accurate identification and classification of FGPs, and that this process could take several years. Given these initial research results and the large number of public comments submitted on the topic of FGPs, OMB here announces that the FGP recommendation will not be implemented in 2017. OMB is taking this action now in order to give the affected agencies notice that the directive of the August 17, 2011, Federal Register notice (76 FR 51240- 51243) is no longer in force. Without the deadline imposed by the 2017 NAICS revisions, the relevant statistical agencies will now have the opportunity to complete the additional research, testing, and evaluation needed to determine the feasibility of developing methods for the consistent identification and classification of FGPs that are accurate and reliable. This process will also be informed by questions raised in public comments. Results of this research, testing, and evaluation could lead to a different FGP proposal for consideration or implementation. More information about this announcement may be found in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.