Provided, That, notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of the funds provided by this Act or provided by previous Appropriations Acts to the Department of Education available for obligation or expenditure in the current fiscal year may be used for any activity relating to implementing a reorganization that decentralizes, reduces the staffing level, or alters the responsibilities, structure, authority, or functionality of the Budget Service of the Department of Education, relative to the organization and operation of the Budget Service as in effect on January 1, 2018.
Through the language in this bill to keep our government funded, Democrats and Republicans are preventing Secretary DeVos from circumventing Congress’s oversight authority. As elected officials in charge of appropriating taxpayer dollars efficiently and effectively, it is essential that Secretary DeVos be transparent about any plans to reorganize the Department of Education. This is especially true for the Budget Service office, which provides invaluable expertise to Congress regarding the formulation and implementation of programs.
I’m concerned that a breakdown in communication, a culture of secrecy, and a fear of retaliatory action has prevented Budget Service from providing House and Senate appropriators and staff, and for that matter, the public, with key information about the Department’s plans for fiscal year 2019.Specifically, the Congressional Budget Justifications for Fiscal Year 2019 fail to disclose details of the Department’s Agency Reform Plan. The attached ED Reform Plan slides were presented to employees in an all-staff meeting on February 14. As you can see in the slide deck, the plan was finalized in late November. This means there was ample time to incorporate relevant details into the Department’s request to Congress.