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OMB chief to announce order directing agency cuts

By Suzanne Malveaux, CNN
  • Agencies to cut at least 5 percent
  • Orzag to address Center for American Progress
  • Redundancies in resources cited

Washington (CNN) -- Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag will announce Tuesday morning that the Obama administration is directing agencies to cut at least 5 percent from their budgets. This comes in addition to the president's pledge to freeze spending at most agencies over the next three years.

In excerpts provided by the OMB, Orszag will address the Center for American Progress, saying " the budget guidance for Fiscal Year 2012 issued to agencies this morning ...We are asking each agency to develop a list of their bottom 5 percent performing discretionary programs, as measured by their impact in furthering the agency's mission.

"In addition, to ensure that we can meet the president's insistence on a freeze for non-security agencies while funding priority areas, we are asking non-security agencies to specify how they would reduce their budgets by 5 percent -- which will give us the ability to achieve the overall non-security freeze even while meeting inevitable new needs and priorities."

Orszag will also identify areas where the government believes there is significant duplication and waste. Orszag will say "as stewards of the American people's tax dollars, we cannot afford to waste money on programs that do not work, that are out-dated, or that are duplicative of one another."

Orszag will point out "over 110 funded programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in 14 departments and agencies; over 100 programs that support youth mentoring scattered across 13 agencies; and more than 40 programs located in 11 departments with responsibility for employment and training. This redundancy wastes resources and makes it harder to act on each of these worthy goals."

Orszag will also highlight how the government will increase its use of information technology to become more efficient.

"Closing the IT gap is perhaps the single most important step we can take in creating a more efficient and responsive government. Indeed, it is the key differentiator between our effort to modernize and reform government and those that have come before," Orszag will emphasize.