Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon
When I reported about the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget for the Baldrige Program in February 2011, Congress had not yet passed the FY 2011 budget. I want to update you on the current status. Congress is currently on their August recess and will be addressing the FY 2012 budget when they return in September. FY 2012 begins on October 1, 2011. The House Appropriations Committee has proposed zero funding for the Baldrige Program for FY 2012. The proposal must be voted on by the full House and then the Senate must vote on an appropriation. If there are differences between the two bills, a conference committee will beappointed to resolve the differences. When a final appropriations bill is passed by both Houses of Congress, it goes to the President for approval. As in 2011, until such time there is the potential for a continuing resolution to fund government programs.
With the potential for the House proposed bill becoming the final appropriation, the Baldrige Program, members of our stakeholder community, and the Baldrige Foundation are doing contingency planning. The Baldrige Foundation is committed to the sustainability of the Program, although the current endowment alone could fund the Program for only a few years. The Foundation officers have stated that they will ensure the completion of the Award cycle for all 2011 Award applicants, including site visits for those selected by the Judges in September and the judging process in November. Next they will turn their attention to working with Congress and long-term sustainability of the Program.