Impact of Fiscal Year 2013 Sequestration Order on National Science Foundation Awards

Since passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, President Obama has been working with Congress to reach agreement on a balanced deficit reduction plan. Since an agreement was not reached by the end of February 2013, the President is required to issue an order on March 1, 2013, that will implement across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.

As a result of this sequestration order, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 appropriations of the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be reduced by 5 percent. The National Science Foundation has issued a press release saying, “we intend to make the necessary FY 2013 reductions with as little disruption as possible to established commitments.”

The NSF is using the following set of core principles to guide the sequestration planning activities:

• Protect commitments to NSF’s core mission and maintain existing awards

• Protect the NSF workforce

• Protect STEM human capital development programs

By adhering to these core principles and the government-wide guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget, Memorandum 13-03, Planning for Uncertainty with Respect to Fiscal Year 2013 Budgetary Resources, the NSF expects to be able to accommodate the sequestration reductions in ways that minimize, to the extent possible, the impact on its mission, both short- and long-term.

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