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The Federal Coach: Waiting for the Federal Budget

Although we have yet again avoided a government shutdown for at least three more weeks with the passage of the latest short-term appropriations bill for fiscal 2011, the operating conditions created by the continual funding uncertainties are taking a toll on federal agencies.

As a federal leader, you’re already doing more with less. Perhaps you have delayed hiring for critical vacancies, curtailed training, put off signing new contracts, swallowed hard as your customer service has slipped or held back on moving forward with information technology upgrades or other needed investments.

It’s hard to engage in sound planning or make rational program, policy and management decisions when you have no idea how much money will be available for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The end result is that you may be postponing expenditures that eventually will have to be made, and perhaps at a higher cost. This is one of the inefficiencies that have been forced on you by the stalemate between the White House and Congress.

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