Budget Season Temporary
Appendix Team Assignments
Concepts Branch Assignments
Systems Branch Assignments
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 as well.
change, we are planning this year's assignment to run from December
1st through mid-February. Annual leave during this period will be severely
limited, and significant amounts of overtime, including weekend work
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, includes instructions
on how to apply, 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 2005
Budget, and we would appreciate any help you can provide.
OF THE FY 2005 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 1st through mid-February.
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 Systems Branch.
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
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
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
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
Concepts Branch Assignments
individuals will be assigned to the Budget Concepts Branch to analyze
data, coordinate certain appropriations language, 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 appropriations language that would apply to the government
as a whole rather than one department or agency, and preparing other
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 team
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.
The primary focus will be to assist with the development of a Pilot
Expansion Project for the automation of the Budget Appendix text.
The Pilot will further 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.
tasks may include agency on-site assistance during the initial development
of agency Appendix, requesting and collecting feedback on the
editing system, assisting in reporting and fixing software bugs, tracking
the status of documents, proofreading documents, developing business
rules for workflow processes, 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 information technology who enjoys researching and experimenting
with new software packages and working with the user community to identify
may last 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.
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. The assignment can tax patience and good
humor. In addition to intelligence, dedication, and talent, good "people"
skills, personal maturity, and flexibility are critical.
leave 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.
all 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 EmploymentOF 612"), along with a
letter of approval/recommendation from your supervisor to Darrell Park,
Budget Review Branch, by Friday, September 26th. 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.