When the “B” in OMB was BOB: A Preoccupation with Accurate Information

One of the lasting accomplishments of the Nixon Administration was the creation of OMB. In part this action was taken because it was believed that its predecessor was preoccupied with “green eye shade” issues.

Nonetheless during the early days of OMB it was inhabited by BOB personnel and their culture. This culture included an overbearing and complete commitment that OMB generated information, or information  generated under its direct supervision, had to be accurate at all costs.

It appears that over the years the BOB mentality has nearly escaped OMB. Consider the recent release of the Unified Regulatory Agenda. CRE has read select components from key agencies and found them to be full of inaccuracies.

Then consider the report issued by the GAO, dated yesterday, January 17, which is a “Financial Audit: U.S. Government’s Fiscal Years 2012 and 2011 Consolidated Financial Statements”.

The GAO concluded that the underlying data was so poor that “they were prevented  … from expressing an opinion on the fiscal years 2012 and 2011 accrual-based consolidated financial statements”.

Imagine if a SEC registered firm received a similar report from an auditor.

Perhaps the constant bashing of federal employees, reductions in staff levels, no pay raises and the constant threat of sequestration is taking their toll.

1 comment. Leave a Reply

  1. Not Einstein

    It’s a mixed bag. Look at Obama/Coburn http://www.usaspending.gov. It is impossible to simply post all spending across agencies. It’a a leadership issue–as it always was. The buck stops where? A bi-partisan shot at leaders acorss the years, I add.

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