I’m Art Stigile, retired Office of Management of Budget (OMB) scorekeeper (1985-2019). From 2002-2018, I was Chief of OMB’s Budget Concepts Branch, which has the responsibility for annually updating OMB Circular A-11, otherwise known as the bible of the Federal budget process, concepts, and definitions.
I had a hand in resolving countless scoring issues over my 35 years at OMB, often as the lead OMB analyst. I was also OMB’s lead analyst for implementing budget enforcement mechanisms and designing new or revised enforcement mechanisms, like the recently enacted fix to the formula for the disaster cap adjustment and the new wildfire cap adjustment. I also wrote the Joint Committee sequestration mechanism that was enacted as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, and I oversaw OMB’s implementation of the required sequestrations each year 2012-2018.
In the world of federal budgeting, a scorekeeper is someone who keeps track of (or scores) the cost to taxpayers of new legislation and both makes and applies the rules of the budget process. When there is a consensus that the rules are not working well, there usually is an effort to change them to produce better results. How the Federal Government budgets for expensive capital projects is an exception. It was a glaring and growing problem over my career, and it will continue to be unless we change the process and the incentives for decision-makers. During my last three years at OMB, I spent considerable time developing a proposal to create a new budget mechanism to deal with the problem of funding expensive capital projects within tight discretionary caps. The proposal is one leg of the Trump Infrastructure Package and is included in the Administration’s 2019 and 2020 Budgets. The Administration transmitted legislation to implement the proposal on June 12, 2018.
I retired from OMB at the end of April 2019, and now I’m looking for opportunities to pitch the idea to anyone or any group who might help get it enacted. Contact me if you would like to hear more about the proposal. I would be happy to discuss it with you or your group.
May 26, 2019
Note: The views expressed on this website are my own. I’m speaking for Art Stigile, not for OMB or the Administration.