On June 15th, 2017, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and the Budget, issued OMB Memorandum M-17-26, which purports to reduce the “Burden for Federal Agencies by Rescinding and Modifying [previous] OMB Memoranda.”
While the President has issued directives to reduce regulations, this memo provides insight regarding how President Trump is attempting to change the federal government in the face of continuing difficulty to enact his legislative program. The memo directs agencies to focus more on their mission, and less on reporting. Below are four key takeaways from the memo.
1. Contracting Process Revised
Over one-fifth ($80 billion) of federal contract dollars are spent through major federal contracts including multiple-award contracts and Government-wide Acquisition Contracts. The memo repeals the process to create and renew major contracts, and directs OMB to design a process that will reduce contract duplication by August 1, 2017.
The memo also eliminates the 100% goal for agencies to report on contractor past performance for contracts greater than $150,000. Citing a need to relieve agencies of “rigid compliance,” OMB will improve the use of past performance information without the requirement.
2. Federal Construction Updated
The prior administration required consideration of union collective bargaining agreements, also known as Project Labor Agreements on federal construction projects greater than $25 million. The memo eliminates the requirement to consider a PLA. It also reiterates the commitment to continuing the “freeze the footprint” directive that encourages consolidation, co-location, and disposal of federal property to reduce overall agency space.
3. Core Federal Services Council Eliminated
Last March, the Obama Administration created the Core Federal Services Council to improve customer service between agencies and the public for programs including patent approvals and trademark registration, Medicare operations, airport security screening, veterans health benefits, and more. The memo ends the Council, and calls for the development of government-wide standards, practices, and metrics based on proven program management principles.
4. Old Policies Jettisoned
The memo eliminates dozens of outdated policies on the books including regulations relating to the year 2000 information technology issues and the BP Oil Spill. The memo indicates the Administration is removing these requirements to lessen the administrative burden so agencies can focus primarily on mission.