As anticipated, President Obama sent out an official notice to begin the sequester on March 1. This triggered the release of OMB's report detailing the reductions that each federal agency must make. In its analysis, OMB calculated that all non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, like those authorized by the OAA, must be reduced by 5.1 percent over the course of the current fiscal year to meet the sequester's reduction targets. Because these cuts must be achieved over 7 months instead of 12, the effective percentage reductions for NDD programs will be approximately 9 percent.
Since this percentage must applied uniformly at the program, project, and activity (PPA) level within each federal budget account, federal agencies have no discretion to decide what programs to reduce, or by how much. For some background information on the sequester, please see ADvancing States' FAQ on Sequestration and the States. We are in the process of updating this analysis to reflect the release of OMB's sequestration order, and will distribute this when it is available.
The documents released by OMB on Friday are available here: