When President Biden took office one year ago, our country was confronting a historic set of crises all at once—the COVID-19 pandemic, a painful economic downturn, an accelerating climate crisis, and systemic inequities. Every day since, the President and this Administration have moved quickly and decisively to meet these challenges head-on, make the most of the opportunities before us, and deliver results for the American people. Here at OMB, our team has been working hand-in-hand with our agency partners to implement the President’s vision and agenda for our country across the entire Executive Branch. Here are some of the highlights of OMB’s work this past year:
- Released A Budget to Invest in the American People. In May, OMB released the President’s FY 2022 Budget, which laid out the Administration’s vision for investing in American workers and families, enhancing our national security, and advancing American leadership abroad. The Budget included historic investments to create jobs, grow the economy, advance equity, and improve the lives of the American people—and proposed to reform our tax system by changing the rules of the road for the largest corporations and highest income Americans.
- Established A New Made in America Office. During his first days in office, President Biden established a new Made in America office within OMB to strengthen the use of Federal procurement to support American manufacturing. Since then, the Made in America Office has made significant progress advancing the President’s vision and strategy for ensuring a future made in all of America by all of America’s workers. For example, the office has facilitated billions of dollars in new purchases to support American manufacturing, issued new guidance requiring agencies to better justify and reduce waivers to Made in America laws, and launched a new online hub to provide unprecedented levels of transparency and information. With the passage of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the office has been codified in law and is working to support domestic sourcing for infrastructure projects across the country.
- Launched a Government-wide Strategy to Advance Equity: Together with the White House Domestic Policy Council, OMB is helping agencies implement the President’s Day One order to take a whole-of-Government approach to advancing equity and reaching underserved communities. We’ve helped break down barriers and reduce burdens that have prevented far too many communities from accessing government services and programs, including by making equity a key consideration in our review of significant regulatory actions proposed by agencies. We also directed agencies to develop equity action plans incorporating best practices from the learning community. And we developed new guidelines for incorporating equity into procurement practices so agencies better leverage Federal dollars—such as funds secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—to reach underserved communities.
- Advanced the Administration’s Environmental and Climate Resilience Goals. President Biden has made historic commitments to use every lever at his disposal to combat the climate crisis. The President’s FY 2022 Budget made the largest increase in investment in climate change and environmental justice in history, including major new climate investments designed to restore critical capacity at agencies, secure environmental justice for communities that have been left behind, and help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. OMB issued interim guidance to begin implementing President Biden’s promise to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. We also took action to better integrate climate-related financial risk into the investments and core business practices of the Federal Government—from budget priorities, to procurement, to financial reporting and asset management, to how the Federal Government incorporates climate in estimates of fiscal health. And we worked closely with agencies to publish important regulatory protections that have helped get the country back on track to tackle the climate crisis.
- Took New Steps to Help Strengthen Our Nation’s Cybersecurity, Modernize Federal IT, and Improve Digital Services. Rapidly improving the cybersecurity of Federal systems and leading by example to implement innovative, effective technologies are core to the Biden Administration’s cybersecurity strategy. In September, OMB released a draft Federal strategy designed to move the U.S. Government toward a zero trust architecture. This multi-year, all-of-government strategy directs agencies to consolidate identity systems, combat phishing through strong multifactor authentication, treat internal networks as untrusted, encrypt network traffic, move protections closer to data by strengthening application security, and more. The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) Board, which is chaired by OMB, also awarded funds secured through the President’s American Rescue Plan for projects to address urgent IT modernization challenges, bolster cybersecurity defenses, and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Through resources from the American Rescue Plan, OMB has expanded the role of the United States Digital Service as a cornerstone of innovation—focusing on human centered solutions to some of the most important technical challenges and opportunities facing our Government.
- Secured Resources to Confront Urgent Needs. As we continued our work to combat the pandemic, power an economic recovery, address climate change, and advance equity, we also confronted other urgent needs, such as responding to recent natural disasters and meeting our commitments to our Afghan allies and partners. We met these needs by working with Congress to secure billions of dollars in resources to help impacted states and tribes recover from recent extreme weather events and natural disasters, and to enable the success of our multifaceted, historic operation to move to safety tens of thousands of Afghans at risk, including many who helped us during our two decades in Afghanistan.
- Released the President’s Management Agenda Vision. To help ensure our Government delivers results for all Americans, in November we released the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Vison. The PMA will serve as a roadmap for ensuring a more equitable, effective, and accountable Government that meets the needs of the American people. The PMA is built around three priority areas that are critical for improving the way the Federal Government does business, restoring the American people’s trust in Government, and laying a strong foundation for working families for years to come: strengthening and empowering the Federal workforce; delivering excellent, equitable, and secure Federal services and customer experience; and managing the business of Government to build back better. In December, we also launched cross-governmental efforts through an Executive Order to promote fiscal stewardship by improving the Government’s service delivery to its customers, the American people, directing agencies to put people at the center of everything the Government does.
- Fostered Public Trust in Government and Rebuilt a Cooperative Approach with the Oversight Community. In keeping with the President’s long-standing commitment to oversight, OMB issued guidance to agencies to restore the integrity and independence of their Inspectors General. This guidance built on the effective approach through ARP implementation, working with the oversight community to enhance financial controls and data sharing, address identity theft, improve program reporting, and enhance consultation with stakeholders. These efforts include our ongoing commitment to fostering cooperative and collaborative relationships with the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, agency Inspectors General (IGs), and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). OMB also restarted the longstanding “trilateral meetings” between OMB, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and agencies to address the highest risk federal programs. And to help ensure Federal funding is serving its intended purpose, we issued a framework that will transform the way agencies improve payment integrity.
This is just a quick glimpse into some of the work our extraordinary team has done over the past year on behalf of the American people. We’ve got more to do in the year ahead, and we look forward to working with our partners across Congress and the entire Administration to deliver on the President’s agenda and vision for all Americans.