FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director, Media Relations
Arlington, Va. (Mar. 10, 2023)
|FY24 Clock is Already Ticking: Congress and the White House Need to Mind the Calendar and Get Moving on the Budget
The Professional Services Council (PSC) has begun its assessment of the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2024 (the FY24 PBR), released yesterday. PSC urges the Congress to move forward quickly on legislation that will provide funding in time for the start of FY24, just over six months from now.
“Yesterday’s budget documents omit many details that are essential to understand how well the resources proposed in this budget will meet agency needs and provide the funds for their operations,” said David Berteau, President and CEO of PSC. “We will go through those details as they become available in the coming days and weeks.”
Because companies need to start planning now for next year’s contractor support, PSC focuses on FY24’s proposed funding for each federal agency and on changes in priorities from the prior year.
“The FY24 funding levels affect all government contractors and the vital work they do in support of successful government operations,” Berteau added. “In addition, PSC pays attention to taxes and other initiatives that will affect the ability of contractor companies to stay in business.”
PSC also calls attention to the budget’s uneven approach to covering cost increases due to inflation and a nationwide shortage of skilled workers.
“The FY24 proposed defense budget is barely 3% above FY23 levels, which amounts to a real reduction in buying power, given current increases in the Consumer Price Index,” said Stephanie Sanok Kostro, PSC’s Policy Executive Vice President. “In addition, while the proposed increase for civilian agencies is above 6% in the aggregate, many of these agencies do not receive enough funding to cover expected inflation.”
Submission of the FY24 PBR is a month past the statutory goal, after Congress approved FY23 funding nearly three months into the current fiscal year.
“We expected the budget to be late, because agencies and the White House needed to incorporate December’s FY23 funding levels into the FY24 budget,” Berteau added, noting that this delay creates uncertainty not only for Congress but also for federal program managers and contracting officers and generally leads the federal government to slow down project implementation.
“This cautionary approach to delaying needed work is the wrong approach. We have already seen delays in contract obligations for the first quarter of FY23, which were 18% lower than the same period in the year before,” he said. “That means that important work is not being done.”
PSC believes that, rather than slowing down, government should speed up delivery of services to Americans. “The federal government is more productive, efficient, and cost-effective when it takes better advantage of the full capability and capacity of the contracting community,” Berteau noted. “The best way for the administration to defend its FY24 budget proposals for next year is to accelerate implementation and show better results from this year’s funding. Through their agility, innovation, and dedicated workers, contractors can best help achieve these results.”
Even if federal agencies and the White House accelerate action on programs today, Congress will still need to move rapidly to provide funding before FY24 begins on October 1. Congress often falls short of passing funding bills before the start of the fiscal year, leaving agencies to operate under the unnecessary constraints of Continuing Resolutions. These constraints prevent agencies from implementing improvements and innovations to deliver better services across America and to respond more robustly to national security and other challenges at home and around the world.
“PSC encourages focused congressional action on providing funds in time for the start of the next fiscal year,” said David Broome, PSC’s Government Relations Executive Vice President. “We stand ready to provide whatever support is needed to help the committees do their work expeditiously.”
For further information, particularly as additional budget details are provided by the White House and federal agencies in the coming weeks, please contact Pheniece Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org