Obama appeals to feds for reorg suggestions

Wednesday - 3/30/2011, 7:27am EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

President Barack Obama called on federal employees once again to submit ideas to reform the federal government.

In a video posted on the White House website Tuesday, the President is encouraging frontline workers to submit ideas to increase trade, exports and overall competitiveness, or make other parts of the government more efficient and effective.

"You know what works and what doesn't," Obama said in the video. "And you know why this is so important. So I'm asking you to go to WhiteHouse.gov/FederalVoices to share your thoughts about this project. Your ideas will be a critical part of this effort, and I look forward to hearing from all of you in the days ahead."

Obama reiterated that this effort isn't just about cost cutting, but overall improvement across the board.

The video is part of the President's reorganization initiative. He announced the plan in his State of the Union address in January. In March, Obama named Jeff Zients, the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management and chief performance officer, and Lisa Brown, a domestic policy analyst, to lead the initiative.

At a recent event hosted by the Center for American Progress, Zients said he sent out an email asking federal employees for their ideas, and would have recommendations to the President by June.

The President is asking feds to answer three questions to increase trade, exports and overall competitiveness:

  1. What could the government do better to help increase trade, exports, and overall competitiveness in the 21st Century?

  2. How can we better streamline the government's trade, export, and competitiveness programs and services?

  3. How can we use government resources in trade, exports, and competitiveness more efficiently and effectively?

He then asked three other questions to make other parts of government more effective and efficient:

  • Where are the biggest opportunities to streamline and modernize government processes?

  • How can we use government resources more efficiently and effectively?

  • Is there overlap or duplication within the federal government that could be consolidated or eliminated?

"We all know that America can't win the future with a government of the past," Obama said. "We need a government that's more efficient and effective; that gets rid of waste and better harnesses the technologies that have already transformed our economy. That's why we started by going through the budget, line by line, making some difficult cuts--even to worthy programs we'd otherwise support. And we're spending smarter and reducing red tape. Because just as families have to make sacrifices in hard times to make ends meet, the government needs to do the same."

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