Reorganization plan sent to President

Thursday - 6/9/2011, 8:10pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Office of Management and Budget sent recommendations today to President Obama on how to reorganize the agencies that focus on trade, exports and competitiveness.

Moira Mack, an OMB spokeswoman, said the President will review the findings and options, which "will take some time given that any changes to the structure of the federal government will be inherently complex and necessitate careful consideration. When the President concludes his review, we will talk with all stakeholders, including Congress, and make his decision public."

Obama called for the first major reorganization of government since 2003 when Congress created the Homeland Security Department in his 2011 State of the Union address. OMB deputy director for management Jeff Zients and Lisa Brown, a senior policy advisor, led the effort.

"Over the last few months, the team has been hard at work gathering ideas, input, and advice from owners of small and large businesses, federal employees, outside experts, current and former agency heads and members of Congress and their staffs to make government more efficient, streamline key functions and make it work better for the American people and the economy," Mack said in an e-mailed statement. "They've been asking what works and what doesn't and identifying where duplication and fragmentation exist…"

Zients wrote in a recent blog that the focus of the reorganization effort is "ensuring that the structure of the federal government is best serving our nation's entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their businesses and create jobs here at home by selling their goods and services overseas."

He said federal employees submitted 5,000 ideas and cast 90,000 votes on those ideas.

"Submissions ranged from innovative ways to inform small businesses of export promoting services to large-scale reforms that would change the mission of some government agencies," Zients wrote. "We also received ideas about how to cut waste and change the way Washington does business in other terrains--and we'll be looking at those as part of our broader efforts to make the government work better for America's families. We could not be more grateful for this input."

Zients added he expects the reorganization effort to be difficult, but it is necessary to improve service to citizens and save money.

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