President Unveils Second Term Management Agenda

In a speech from the State Dining Room on Monday, President Obama outlined his second term management agenda. The agenda will be spearheaded by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, new Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The management agenda will focus on three areas: 1) delivering services better, faster, and more efficiently, 2) reducing waste and eliminating duplication, and 3) increasing the amount and types of government data made available on the internet.

The President described the management agenda as improving upon areas of success from the first term.

"We are the first to confess that progress has not always come quick and major challenges still remain," Obama said. "But we've made huge swaths of your government more efficient and more transparent and more accountable than ever before."

In his speech the President reiterated his 2012 request that Congress grant him authority to reorganize the executive branch of government, saying “almost every President from Herbert Hoover to Ronald Reagan had this authority.”

According to a 2012 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, Congress periodically (between 1932 and 1984) delegated authority to the President that allowed him to develop plans to reorganize portions of the federal government.

“It makes sense for us to be able to redesign government so that it can deliver on the functions that the American people are looking for. We should all want a government that’s smarter, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people,” Obama stated.

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said in a statement, “This time, instead of trying to find a way to work around Congress, President Obama needs to approach Congress as a partner in reorganizing federal agencies and improving government performance. These are issues that Congress has said, on a bipartisan basis, it wants to address. There is common ground on these problems and members of both parties and both chambers stand ready to work as partners with the President.”

Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) said in a statement, “Strong management is critical to ensuring an effective, efficient, and innovative government. From improving ways to measure the performance of government agencies and programs, to increasing public transparency on how our tax dollars are spent, to rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in government programs, strong management can save billions and make our government work better. Today’s announcement by the President is an important part of that ongoing effort and our Committee looks forward to working with the Administration, especially the Office of Management and Budget, to help move this initiative forward.”

The President also highlighted in his speech the efforts of his administration to attract private sector solutions and thinkers to help address issues faced by the government. He touted the second class of Presidential Innovation Fellows, and extended a call to public service for those in the private sector.

“I’m going to be asking more people around the country — more inventors and entrepreneurs and visionaries — to sign up to serve. We’ve got to have the brightest minds to help solve our biggest challenges. And it’s a reminder that in this democracy, we the people recognize that this government belongs to us, and it’s up to each of us and every one of us to make it work better. We can’t just stand on the sidelines. We can’t take comfort in just being cynical. We all have a stake in government success — because the government is us.”

Posted in General News

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