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Budget Preparation Specialist

The "budget preparation specialist" designation is a job title within the GS-560 "budget analyst" series that was specifically developed to recognize the unique duties of certain analysts within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Organizationally, these analysts comprise the majority of the staff of the Budget Review and Concepts Division of OMB.

The budget preparation specialist participates in a variety of functions related to the preparation, execution, and analysis of the President's budget. Generally, the work encompasses problem identification and resolution; compilation and analysis of program and budgetary information gathered from a variety of sources; technical and substantive review of budgetary data, appropriations language and related Congressional reports, and other information; preparation of associated tables, reports, letters, memoranda, and the like; liaison functions within and outside of the OMB; representation of Branch work at varying levels of government; and a variety of data/information management and administrative tasks associated with budget analysis.

Examples of specific work assignments include:

  • Monitoring Congressional action on appropriations bills. The specialist serves as the focal point for preparation and dissemination of information concerning the Administration's position on appropriations action taken by the Congress. Attends mark-up sessions; conducts liaison activities with the Appropriations Committees and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO); maintains a computer data file supporting the appropriations monitoring process; prepares letters to Congressional leadership, statements of Administration policy, and various supporting materials for use by OMB policy officials and the White House in conducting negotiations with the Congress on appropriations matters.

  • Contributing to preparation of the President's budget. Working with other staff of the Division, the specialist coordinates the development of the data base that supports the President's annual budget and contributes to the preparation of the technical materials portion of the budget document. Reviews agency budget submissions for technical and conceptual accuracy and consistency; works with OMB program divisions to resolve problems encountered; ensures that milestones in the budget preparation process are met, and that both the budget document and the data base supporting it are of high technical quality.

  • Preparation of recurring and ad hoc analytical reports. Frequently using personal computer applications, the specialist compiles data and other information and analyzes its implications in order to produce statistical or analytical reports for the use of OMB policy leadership. The subject matter of the analysis may concern a wide variety of budgetary topics such as (1) planned versus actual spending in the current fiscal year; (2) the effect of budgetary proposals on the discretionary spending limits established by the Budget Enforcement Act; and (3) comparisons of OMB and CBO scoring of legislation.

  • Analysis of budgetary issues. Working independently or, more typically, as part of a work group, the specialist exercises reasoning skills in considering various conceptual, technical, and procedural issues related to the budget process (e.g., implications of the Budget Enforcement Act for OMB reporting requirements, refinement of computer systems applications to accommodate evolving technical budgeting requirements). The result of these efforts may include (1) development of OMB positions on various conceptual issues to facilitate the exchange of information with the Congressional Budget Office, the House and Senate Budget Committees, and the Appropriations Committees; and, (2) development of guidance for the OMB program divisions and other Federal agencies.