office management and budget

Office of Management and Budget

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is a Cabinet-level office, and is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP). It is an important conduit by which the White House oversees the activities of federal agencies. OMB is tasked with giving expert advice to senior White House officials on a range of topics relating to federal policy, management, legislative, regulatory, and budgetary issues. The bulk of OMB's 500 employees are charged with monitoring the adherence of their assigned federal programs to presidential policies. OMB performs its coordination role by gathering, filtering, and promulgating the President's annual budget request, by issuing circulars dictating agency management practices, by overseeing the "President's Management Agenda", and by reviewing agency regulations. The Office contains significant numbers of both career and politically appointed staff; OMB staff provide important continuity within the EOP since several hundred career professionals remain in their positions regardless of which party occupies the White House. Six positions within OMB the director, the deputy director, the deputy director for management, and the administrators of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and the Office of Federal Financial Management are presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed positions.

Jim Nussle was confirmed as Director of OMB on September 4, 2007, replacing Rob Portman. Karen S. Evans, administrator of the OMB Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology, serves as the de facto chief information officer for the United States.

Structure of OMB

The largest component of the Office of Management and Budget are the four Resource Management Offices which are organized along functional lines mirroring the U.S. federal government, each led by an OMB associate director. Approximately half of all OMB staff are assigned to these offices, the majority of whom are designated as program examiners. Program examiners can be assigned to monitor one or more federal agencies or may be assigned a topical area, such as monitoring issues relating to U.S. Navy warships. These staff have dual responsibility for both management and budgetary issues, as well as responsibility for giving expert advice on all aspects relating to their programs. Each year they review federal agency budget requests and help decide what resource requests will be sent to Congress as part of the president’s budget. They perform in-depth program evaluations using the Program Assessment Rating Tool, review proposed regulations, agency testimony, analyze pending legislation, and oversee the aspects of the President's Management Agenda including agency management scorecards. They are often called upon to provide analysis information to any EOP staff member. They also provide important information to those assigned to the statutory offices within OMB, which are Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the Office of Federal Financial Management, and the Office of E-Government whose job it is to specialize in issues such as federal regulations or procurement policy and law.

Other offices are OMB-wide support offices which include the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Budget Review Division (BRD), and the Legislative Reference Division. BRD performs government-wide budget coordination and is largely responsibly for the technical aspects relating to the release of the president’s budget each February. With respect to the estimation of spending for the executive branch, BRD serves a purpose parallel to that of the Congressional Budget Office for the estimation of spending for Congress, the Department of the Treasury for the estimation of revenues for the executive branch, and the Joint Committee on Taxation for the estimation of revenues for Congress.

The Legislative Reference Division has the important role of being the central clearinghouse across the federal government for proposed legislation or testimony by federal officials. It distributes proposed legislation and testimony to all relevant federal reviewers and distills the comments into a consensus opinion of the Administration about the proposal. They are also responsible for writing an Enrolled Bill Memorandum to the president once a bill is presented by both bodies of Congress for the president’s signature. The Enrolled Bill Memorandum details the particulars of the bill, opinions on the bill from relevant federal departments, and an overall opinion about whether the bill should be signed into law or vetoed. They also issues Statements of Administration Policy that let Congress know the White House’s official position on proposed legislation.


The Bureau of the Budget, OMB's predecessor, was established as a part of the Department of the Treasury by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. The Bureau of the Budget was moved to the EOP in 1939, and reorganized into OMB in 1970 during the Nixon administration. The first OMB included Roy Ash (head), Paul O'Neill (assistant director), Fred Malek (deputy director) and Frank Zarb (associate director) and two dozen others. In the 1990s, OMB was reorganized to remove the distinction between management staff and budgetary staff by combining those dual roles into each given program examiner within the Resource Management Offices.

Directors of the Office of Management and Budget

Name Dates Served ↓ President Notes
Jim Nussle September 4, 2007 - present George W. Bush
Rob Portman May 26, 2006 - 19 June 2007 George W. Bush
Joshua B. Bolten June 26, 2003 - April 15, 2006 George W. Bush Bolten was designated on March 28, 2006, to replace Andy Card as White House Chief of Staff
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. January 23, 2001 - June 6, 2003 George W. Bush Daniels left and successfully ran for governor of Indiana
Jacob J. Lew May 21, 1998 - January 19, 2001 Bill Clinton Jack Lew served as deputy director of OMB from 1995 to 1998
Franklin D. Raines September 13, 1996 - May 21, 1998 Bill Clinton Raines went on to be CEO of Fannie Mae
Alice M. Rivlin October 17, 1994 - April 26, 1996 Bill Clinton Rivlin became a governor of the Federal Reserve after leaving OMB
Leon Panetta January 21, 1993 - October 1994 Bill Clinton Panetta went on to become President Clinton's chief of staff
Richard Darman January 25, 1989 - January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
Joseph R. Wright, Jr. October 16, 1988 - January 20, 1989 Ronald Reagan
James C. Miller III October 8, 1985 - October 15, 1988 Ronald Reagan
David A. Stockman January 21, 1981 - August 1, 1985 Ronald Reagan
James T. McIntyre September 24, 1977 - January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Bert Lance January 21, 1977 - September 23, 1977 Jimmy Carter Lance resigned amid a corruption scandal
James T. Lynn February 10, 1975 - January 20, 1977 Gerald Ford Lynn left to head Aetna Insurance
Roy Ash February 2, 1973 - February 3, 1975 Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford
Caspar Weinberger June 12, 1972 - February 1, 1973 Richard Nixon Weinberger later served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and as Secretary of Defense under President Reagan
George P. Shultz July 1, 1970 - June 11, 1972 Richard Nixon Shultz had previously served President Nixon as Secretary of Labor and would later serve under him as Secretary of the Treasury and under Ronald Reagan as Secretary of State.
Robert Mayo January 22, 1969 - June 30, 1970 Richard Nixon
Charles Zwick January 29, 1968 - January 21, 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Charles Schultze June 1, 1965 - January 28, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson
Kermit Gordon December 28, 1962 - June 1, 1965 John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
David E. Bell January 22, 1961 - December 20, 1962 John F. Kennedy
Maurice H. Stans March 18, 1958 - January 21, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Percival Brundage April 2, 1956 - March 17, 1958 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Rowland Hughes April 16, 1954 - April 1, 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Joseph Dodge January 22, 1953 - April 15, 1954 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Frederick Lawton April 13, 1950 - January 21, 1953 Harry S. Truman
Frank Pace February 1, 1949 - April 12, 1950 Harry S. Truman
James E. Webb July 13, 1946 - January 27, 1949 Harry S. Truman Webb later became the first administrator of NASA under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson
Harold E. Smith April 15, 1939 - June 19, 1946 Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman
Daniel W. Bell September 1, 1934 - April 14, 1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Lewis Douglas March 7, 1933 - August 31, 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Clawson Roop August 15, 1929 - March 3, 1933 Herbert Hoover
Herbert Lord July 1, 1922 - May 31, 1929 Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover
Charles Dawes June 23, 1921 - June 30, 1922 Warren G. Harding Dawes would later become vice president of the United States under Calvin Coolidge and the U.S. ambassador to the Court of St. James's (the United Kingdom) under Herbert Hoover



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