This year was the first year our managers came to us and said “during these tough economic times, we need to reduce our budgets to only “keep the lights on” type of expenses. This mean that no new work would be funded, that we did minimally what we needed to do to just maintain.
Our little area gave up ½ of our yearly budget at that time. We also reduced the scope of new work to match the new funding level. We worked efficiently and completed all our work and even some new things within our new budgetary constraints.
I suggest that we operate each year like this, and turn back in to the President’s budget all that money we did not use.
This year and like many years in the past, we were told to go, go, go and spend what you need to fund for the next fiscal year. I guess we really had all the money we originally asked for, so now we are paying our way into the next fiscal year. This type of end of year spending happens all the time, so my proposal would be to take a REAL look at what you need in March, and if you have not procured what you needed by July 4th, give the money back. This will probably reduce all federal agencies’ budgets by a significant amount and keep us under the debt ceiling every year.