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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cuts in a Nonexistent Agency?

Our chapter on bureaucracy points out that the executive branch is extremely complex -- so much so that budget officials have trouble keeping track of exactly what is in it. Reason reports:
If you want a thorough agency-by-agency rundown of the budget cuts sequestration would deliver, the Office of Management and Budget has you covered. In compliance with The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, the OMB sent a detailed report to Congress in September 2012. But there's a small problem with the report: One of the cuts it warns against would affect an agency that no longer exists--and didn't exist when the OMB sent its report to Congress.

The first line item on page 121 of the OMB's September 2012 report says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget. While that's slightly more than 8.2 percent (rounding error or scare tactic?), the bigger problem is that the National Drug Intelligence Center shuttered its doors on June 15, 2012--three months before the OMB issued its report to Congress.