Season Temporary Assignment
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) offers a select group of qualified
Federal employees the opportunity to gain unique insight into the preparation,
compilation, and production of the President's annual budget. These employees
work with permanent OMB staff on a non-reimbursable detail assignment
from sponsoring agencies for approximately 10 weeks in a variety of assignments
associated with preparing the President's budget. We would like to ask
you to consider nominating appropriate members of your agency for this
year's temporary assignment, a professional training opportunity that
would hopefully benefit not only the selected individual but your agency
change, we are planning this year's assignment to run from December 2nd
through mid-February. Annual leave during this period will be severely
limited, and significant amounts of overtime, including weekend work,
may be required.
of this unique training opportunity include exposure to the budget decision-making
process at the agency, OMB, and White House levels and detailed involvement
with the technical and conceptual underpinnings of the Federal budget.
Particularly valuable is the hands-on experience gained through day-to-day
use of OMB budget system applications to identify and resolve technical
and conceptual discrepancies in the budget materials. In addition, participants
learn how various requirements of the Budget Enforcement Act affect the
development of the budget.
requires close daily contact with OMB program examiners and other OMB
staff. Although permanent staff members and, in particular, team leaders
provide training and support, we expect temporary staff members to be
independent and self-motivated. Experience in working with computers and
large amounts of data is helpful. In our consideration of candidates for
this assignment, we will be looking for those who can quickly grasp complex
and unfamiliar concepts, handle a number of activities or problems at
the same time, and work as responsible and amiable team members.
describes aspects of the assignment in greater detail, as well as who
to contact for further information. We would appreciate your providing
prospective candidates with copies of the enclosure. We would be pleased
to consider qualified candidates on your recommendation, including individuals
not directly involved in budgeting. Please see the "How to Apply"
section of the enclosure for additional information.
preparation of the President's budget depends in large part on the willingness
of agencies to provide qualified candidates for this unique assignment.
We would like to be able to offer a member of your staff the opportunity
to participate directly in the preparation of the President's FY 2004
Budget, and we would appreciate any help you can provide.
OF THE FY 2004 BUDGET:
DESCRIPTION OF TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT WITH OMB
be working for the Budget Review and Concepts Division (BRCD) or the Budget
Analysis and Systems Division (BASD) of the Office of Management and Budget,
Executive Office of the President, as a non-reimbursable detailee for
"budget season." Budget season is a period of approximately
10 weeks during which the data and textual materials comprising the President's
annual budget are compiled and produced. This year, the assignment is
expected to run from December 2nd through mid-February.
BRCD is composed
of two branches: the Budget Review Branch and the Budget Concepts Branch.
For budget season, these two branches combine portions of their staffs
and adopt a team approach for preparing the technical materials that comprise
the Detailed Budget Estimates section of the Budget Appendix. BASD is
also composed of two branches: the Budget Analysis Branch and the Budget
As a temporary
staff member in BRCD or BASD, you may be assigned to work on an Appendix
preparation team, or on other assignments related to the preparation of
the President's budget that are managed by the individual branches.
Appendix Team Assignments
A team approach
is adopted for preparing the Budget Appendix. Each team will have team
leaders drawn from the Budget Review Branch and the Budget Concepts Branch.
In addition to team leaders, teams generally will be composed of other
permanent staff members and two to three temporary staff members.
As a member
of an Appendix preparation team, you will be assigned a section of the
Budget Appendix that will be your responsibility. For example, a typical
assignment for a temporary staff member might be an Appendix chapter presenting
the budget for a major cabinet agency and portions of the Other Independent
Agencies chapter presenting the budgets for several small agencies.
involves resolving technical and conceptual problems in the agency budget
submissions, monitoring the development of the computer database that
supports the budget, and ensuring the error-free printing of assigned
sections of the Budget Appendix. Early in the assignment, you will be
introduced to the OMB program examiners responsible for your assigned
sections and will be expected to work closely with them throughout the
staff in BRCD and BASD will offer help in specific areas. For example,
certain people specialize in control of Federal credit data while others
provide guidance on budget concepts or presentation issues. In addition,
the team leaders will offer guidance, advice, and moral support at all
times. Once you have been selected, you will be treated as a permanent
employee in every way.
follows two parallel tracks. First, you will be responsible for the preparation
of the materials presented in your assigned Appendix chapters. Concurrently,
you will be responsible for the technical accuracy and conceptual integrity
of the detailed database that supports the budget.
Concepts Branch Assignments
will be assigned to the Budget Concepts Branch to analyze data, coordinate
legislative proposals, and prepare reports. Specific assignments may include
preparing reports used in congressional hearings on the budget, working
directly with senior OMB staff to produce specific sections of the Analytical
Perspectives volume (e.g., the chapters on investment and Federal debt
or Federal and trust funds), coordinating legislative proposals that would
apply to the government as a whole rather than one department or agency,
and preparing special reports to accompany the President's budget. A typical
day often includes analyzing computer reports and contacting other OMB
staff to assist them in resolving technical and conceptual problems or
inconsistencies in the database. The assignments in the Budget Concepts
Branch generally last two weeks longer than those of Appendix preparation
Systems Branch Assignments
with the Budget Systems Branch will provide insight into the technical
side of budgeting as well as exposure to cutting-edge information technology
and can be identified as an excellent IT development opportunity. The
primary project will be to assist with the systems development for a pilot
project for the automation of the Appendix text process. The pilot will
automate the current manual text collection, which is conducted at the
same time as the automated collection of non-textual budget data. The
project involves research and implementation of new collaborative technologies
including document management, workflow, and XML editing and publishing.
include agency on-site requirements gathering for the Appendix text process,
developing business rules for workflow processes, creating entity relationship
diagrams, designing document templates and style sheets and working with
the collaborative features of editing word processing packages. The position
requires someone with an aptitude for computer software usage who enjoys
researching and experimenting with new software packages and working with
the user community to identify their requirements.
may be last for up to six months depending on the availability and interest
of the candidate. More than one position may be available. If you are
specifically interested in an assignment in the Budget Systems Branch,
please indicate so on your application. For more information, please contact
Sahar Taman at (202) 395-3531 to discuss the position.
arrival at OMB, you will receive orientation and training sessions on
the scope of the assignment, contents and uses of the budget, and the
basic elements of the budget preparation process. These sessions are typically
held during the mornings of the first week, with the afternoons reserved
for reading, hands-on sessions with the database, and individual team
or branch meetings.
be located in close physical proximity. This can mean a high level of
noise and visual distraction. Telephones ring, and people are constantly
in and out of the room. The assignment can tax patience and good humor.
In addition to intelligence, dedication, and talent, we seek those individuals
with very good "people" skills and the personal maturity and
flexibility necessary to deal effectively with a hectic work environment.
will generally not be available to you for the duration of the assignment
because of the demands of the work. The amount of overtime varies, depending
on the timing of budget decisions, the quality of the work done by the
agencies and the program examiners, and requirements of the production
schedule. Your own agency's policies and rules will govern your accounting
for any overtime pay or compensatory time that may result from the assignment.
of this, the assignment can be a lot of fun. The long hours, close proximity,
and shared stress create close friendships and a "team spirit"
that is invaluable. The sense of personal satisfaction when the assignment
is completed cannot be emphasized enough. Professionally, the assignment
provides an opportunity to participate in a fascinating policy-making
process, learn something about the budget process and the underlying budget
concepts, make valuable professional contacts, and learn a great deal
about the computerized network linking OMB and the agencies, as well as
the automated photocomposition process used to print the budget documents.
process has become increasingly competitive over the last several years.
Approximately 10 to 12 temporary employees will be selected for work on
the Budget Appendix, while additional candidates will be selected to work
on assignments in various BRCD and BASD branches. While helpful, previous
budget experience is not required. We encourage applicants from all areas
of government. For example, in the past we have selected as temporary
employees State government employees, administrative officers, and program
and management analysts. This assignment can also serve as an excellent
rotational assignment for those participating in the Presidential Management
Intern Program, the Executive Leadership Program, the Executive Potential
Program, or other similar internship programs.
to conduct interviews from mid-September to early October and should be
able to notify you of our selections by mid-October so that you will have
several weeks to plan for the assignment.
for the assignment, please fax a resume and/or an SF 171 (or "Optional
Application for Federal Employment -- OF 612"), along with a letter
of approval/recommendation from your supervisor to Darrell Park, Budget
Review Branch, by Friday, September 13th. The fax number is (202)
395-4768. If you have any additional questions, you may contact Darrell
Park at (202) 395-6816 or Arline Dell at (202) 395-3878.